Swimsailor

Merlin at 75 mph

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Sorry no pic as I was riding my bike, but got to see Merlin on I-80 in Salt Lake City being trucked west. Love or hate the re-build, she looked great.

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They let you ride your bike on the Interstate?!!

The homeless usually get a pass on infractions....:lol:

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They let you ride your bike on the Interstate?!!

The homeless usually get a pass on infractions.... :lol:

 

 

Cuz they have no money to pay the fine, and you can't take their bike which is their only means to make a living collecting nickel cans and bottles.... :ph34r:

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Even if he IS homeless he knows about and can recognize Merlin so.....

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JFC ! You guys is Harsh. . . B)

 

So who knows what ?

 

Did it sell ? Who bought it ? Wherezit going?

 

After that faggy paint job I'm surprised it wasn't re-named the Melvin. :wacko:

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Bill lee has bought it back and is fitting a fixed keel to her she will be based in Santa Cruz I believe

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Good news. Always hated the way that iconic boat had been fucked with. Presumably a deep bulbed keel will be going on - that should improve her stability and reduce complexity.

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Excellent!

 

With the way the SC Harbor shoals up and the kelp, a deep bulb might not be the best way. She's plenty fast with a fin.

 

This is great. I'm getting all warm and fuzzy here. . .

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The Wizard reports MERLIN ETA Santa Cruz: Tuesday 10/27, just in time for Halloween. I'm sure there will be a "Welcome Back, MERLIN" happening. It's Santa Cruz, Fast Is Funner

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I was on the frontage road, near the Great Salt Lake Marina. I figured she was headed there. :D

Yeah, our marina has plenty of water for her... the new hydraulic lift keel only draws 4", right?

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Bill lee has bought it back and is fitting a fixed keel to her she will be based in Santa Cruz I believe

So glad to hear this!

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Well, at least they don't have to let the air out of the trailer tires to get under the freeway overpasses .

 

 

 

And why the hell isn't this on the front page ???

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The Wizard reports MERLIN ETA Santa Cruz: Tuesday 10/27, just in time for Halloween. I'm sure there will be a "Welcome Back, MERLIN" happening. It's Santa Cruz, Fast Is Funner

 

get that paint off ASAP !

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The Wizard reports MERLIN ETA Santa Cruz: Tuesday 10/27, just in time for Halloween. I'm sure there will be a "Welcome Back, MERLIN" happening. It's Santa Cruz, Fast Is Funner

get that paint off ASAP !

+ 1000

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The Wizard reports MERLIN ETA Santa Cruz: Tuesday 10/27, just in time for Halloween. I'm sure there will be a "Welcome Back, MERLIN" happening. It's Santa Cruz, Fast Is Funner

 

ADD has gone into fucking overdrive looking at those two facing opposite directions!

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The Wizard reports MERLIN ETA Santa Cruz: Tuesday 10/27, just in time for Halloween. I'm sure there will be a "Welcome Back, MERLIN" happening. It's Santa Cruz, Fast Is Funner

 

crazy shit

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I'm one of the apparently few people who doesn't actually mind the Unicorns or My Little Pony paint job. Just replacing the rainbow with the Wizard's hat image (or red socks) would be fine with me. Also the tapered forward part of the cabintop was an improvement on Lee's box shaped cabin.

 

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gallery_3_1_10969.jpg

^^^ this is Merlin.

 

That other thing on the truck might have been Merlin in the past, and hopefully will be Merlin again, but in the interim has been tortured beyond recognition for those who love her.

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Damn, growing up in SC and watching her sail, this is so fricking great to hear. Affirmative on scraping that crap off her hull.

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heading down to the harbor for work the birdman should be here anytime it will

be great to see her home again, think after work I'll have to launch SUMMERTIME

for a sail

Mario.

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I must disagree on the cabin Jon. The current version looks like it belongs on a Beneteau, and the window is all wrong. The original cabin trunk was classic, and the basis of all the Santa Cruz yachts' cabins.

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Update: MERLIN got busted at the Donner Pass ag station for Zebra Mussels.
They have been hot water pressure washed away.
The trucker was going to leave Donner Summit around 11:15 this morning (Tuesday) and approach Santa Cruz via 129/Watsonville.
Google Maps says 4 1/2 hours, which doesn’t allow either for slower trailer speed limit nor the traffic.
Excitement builds.

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yeah, like someone was going to ramp launch Merlin into a fresh water reservoir.....

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I must disagree on the cabin Jon. The current version looks like it belongs on a Beneteau, and the window is all wrong. The original cabin trunk was classic, and the basis of all the Santa Cruz yachts' cabins.

 

All of which were shapeless boxes.

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Update: MERLIN got busted at the Donner Pass ag station for Zebra Mussels.

They have been hot water pressure washed away.

The trucker was going to leave Donner Summit around 11:15 this morning (Tuesday) and approach Santa Cruz via 129/Watsonville.

Google Maps says 4 1/2 hours, which doesn’t allow either for slower trailer speed limit nor the traffic.

Excitement builds.

 

 

Where are they taking it ? Is the chicken coop still functional ?

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hears he was looking for a keel from a tp52 or similar

Few old SC70 keels in west michigan, could have brought one over to Wisco before she left. Good to hear she's headed home.

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Update: MERLIN got busted at the Donner Pass ag station for Zebra Mussels.

They have been hot water pressure washed away.

The trucker was going to leave Donner Summit around 11:15 this morning (Tuesday) and approach Santa Cruz via 129/Watsonville.

Google Maps says 4 1/2 hours, which doesn’t allow either for slower trailer speed limit nor the traffic.

Excitement builds.

 

 

Where are they taking it ? Is the chicken coop still functional ?

 

I don't think so. Wasn't there a vid here somewhere of Bill at the site reminiscing for old times?

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The Chicken Coop on Hilltop Road was history long ago.

MERLIN is headed to the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard on Lake Ave.

Lake Ave. was torn up this afternoon. Not sure how they will get the rig downhill.

Mario's on the scene, maybe he can tell us.

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heading down to the harbor for work the birdman should be here anytime it will

be great to see her home again, think after work I'll have to launch SUMMERTIME

for a sail

Mario.

 

This is wonderful news! I think I may need to stop by the harbor after work today too.

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I must disagree on the cabin Jon. The current version looks like it belongs on a Beneteau, and the window is all wrong. The original cabin trunk was classic, and the basis of all the Santa Cruz yachts' cabins.

 

All of which were shapeless boxes.

 

You do have a point. If SC boats were slow, we might think them ugly. But they are the Santa Cruz shapeless boxes that have become iconically beautiful in our minds. They sit on beautiful hulls, and the athwartships and vertical propotions are correct, so I give them a pass. I am tired of the rounded Beneteau look, even though it is preferable to a lot of the butt-ugly production crap we see today.

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cmon man, just becuase someone puts a rainbow on thier boat does not make it "faggy"...your insecurities are showing.

 

That said I think the boat would look best in pure metallic reflective white with a single black cove stripe

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cmon man, just becuase someone puts a rainbow on thier boat does not make it "faggy"...your insecurities are showing.

 

That said I think the boat would look best in pure metallic reflective white with a single black cove stripe

It's not the "faggy" issue. That paint job is just plain old ugly. Nothing more, nothing less.

Edit: it's perplexing. His previous boat was the very definition of good taste. Not sure what happened when he got a hold of Merlin.

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I must disagree on the cabin Jon. The current version looks like it belongs on a Beneteau, and the window is all wrong. The original cabin trunk was classic, and the basis of all the Santa Cruz yachts' cabins.

 

All of which were shapeless boxes.

You do have a point. If SC boats were slow, we might think them ugly. But they are the Santa Cruz shapeless boxes that have become iconically beautiful in our minds. They sit on beautiful hulls, and the athwartships and vertical propotions are correct, so I give them a pass. I am tired of the rounded Beneteau look, even though it is preferable to a lot of the butt-ugly production crap we see today.

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I don't think them ugly, quite the contrary. It's only the plain, characterless box cabintops that I never liked - much like many or most J-Boats. I was on a very early SC 50 when it arrived here in Van all those years ago and I loved it with two exceptions - that bland cabintop and the completely empty space between the V-berth and the main bulkhead. I thought there should have been at least a couple of stringers there - virtually no weight penalty for a lot of added stiffness. From what I've heard about their hulls panting it would appear I was right.

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correct me if I'm wrong here but merlin got one of those CBTF jobs that were the rage for a bit in the early 2000's right?

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correct me if I'm wrong here but merlin got one of those CBTF jobs that were the rage for a bit in the early 2000's right?

She does (did?) have a canting keel, but I'm not sure about the forward canard, at least while she was in MKE.

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correct me if I'm wrong here but merlin got one of those CBTF jobs that were the rage for a bit in the early 2000's right?

She does (did?) have a canting keel, but I'm not sure about the forward canard, at least while she was in MKE.

 

 

I seem to remember that she did have a forward canard and it made her flex massively.

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A MERLIN sighting report from her 1977 TransPac "Bosun" Dave Wahle: "At 7:45 a.m. MERLIN was stuck in traffic at Freedom Blvd. (Aptos), 6 miles short of Santa Cruz Harbor. I didn't even recognize at first."

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A MERLIN sighting report from her 1977 TransPac "Bosun" Dave Wahle: "At 7:45 a.m. MERLIN was stuck in traffic at Freedom Blvd. (Aptos), 6 miles short of Santa Cruz Harbor. I didn't even recognize at first."

 

It is fitting to be stuck in traffic when arriving "home" to Santa Cruz. Seems to happen to me every time I go out of town too.

 

Thanks for the update! Looking forward to seeing her in the yard on the last Wednesday Night of the year. Sadly I get off work to late to go sailing toight.

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Gotta love the guy pissing off the stern.....

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she's home now, several of the 77' record crew where there to see her off the truck

I am lucky to sail on some of the best and latest boats but she still looks lean and

mean it will be fun to set the kite off westcliff and surf the SC waves again

PL.

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Pardon my ignorance but would merlin be considered to be faster than a Santa Cruz 70 or the like?

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Pardon my ignorance but would merlin be considered to be faster than a Santa Cruz 70 or the like?

With the canting keel, technically yes.....

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Pardon my ignorance but would merlin be considered to be faster than a Santa Cruz 70 or the like?

In her original 1977 trim? My guess is that the SC-70 would be faster upwind, but decent breeze with kites and swells, I'd put money on Merlin.

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Pardon my ignorance but would merlin be considered to be faster than a Santa Cruz 70 or the like?

In her original 1977 trim? My guess is that the SC-70 would be faster upwind, but decent breeze with kites and swells, I'd put money on Merlin.

SC70 has much bigger hull = form stability upwind and reaching. Merlin = minimum life support system necessary for a big spinnaker running deep

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At 9:30 this morning, with police escort lights flashing, Driver Mike with MERLIN in tow made the last turn, gently bottomed out on the boatyard hill, and MERLIN was home.


Mike had been delayed at Donner Pass Ag Station when an inspector, doing his job, had found a Zebra Mussel infestation in the keel box and canting mechanism and quarantined the boat. It took Mike 4 hours to find someone who would hot pressure wash the boat....but he seemed in good humor and no worse for wear, given the size and length of his eye catching cargo.


Three of MERLIN's original TransPac crew were on hand for her arrival: Designer/builder Bill Lee, "Bosun" Dave Wahle, and Phil "Cosmic Flush" Vandenberg. As MERLIN was backed into the boatyard for unloading by TraveLift, there was a brief moment of serendipity when MERLIN passed close astern of Bill Lee's first ocean racing boat, the shoal draft, centerboard, John Alden designed, 38' FRIDOLF, on which Bill crewed in Southern California in the mid-60's, and later on Monterey Bay.


There's a lot to be done to make MERLIN ocean worthy again. First up is to locate a used TP-52 keel to replace the canting monstrosity. Bill has feelers out from Canada to Mexico. The "leaky" canard trunk has to be cut out, and glassed over. Even though Bill agreed the forward sloping, carbon fiber, cabin top is ugly, I doubt it is going anywhere soon. There are bigger fish to fry. Ditto the " MERLIN'S REATA" graphics, a leftover from when she was sold to a Texas restauranteer.


Everyone was smiling this morning to see MERLIN back home. I'm sure there will be more stories to come

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Thank you for the update sleddog. The smile on Bill's face with FRIDOLF in the background is priceless. Good to hear Dave and Phil were there too. Phil helped me a lot as a teenage Laser sailer in SC in the era when Merlin was built so her homecoming brings waves of memories.

 

A great day for Santa Cruz sailing.

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The house on Merlin now is ugly, but not way off the lines of the SC 33. While I think that changing the boat originally was a crime that should still be punished retroactively, it would be hard to justify shrinking the deck back to the original specs now.

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After seeing that fourth shot I decided you guys were right - the original house, although bland, was better looking.

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The house on Merlin now is ugly, but not way off the lines of the SC 33. While I think that changing the boat originally was a crime that should still be punished retroactively, it would be hard to justify shrinking the deck back to the original specs now.

I have to disagree.

 

The Merlin is not just another old boat.

It's an historically significant cultural icon and the heart and soul

of Santa Cruz sailing. I hope it gets restored to it's original condition

and gets a new rainbow chute and is around long after we're all dead and gone.

 

And then some other 20-something can take a turn on the wheel and brag about it

35 years later.

 

It's way more than a boat.

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Thanks for the update Sleddog. If the funds are not there to deal with the horrid graphics I think a gofundme or kickstarter campaign is in order. I know I'd contribute a modest sum...

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Welcome home Merlin!

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post-3-0-39120400-1446049073.jpg

 

Nice, that's how it is supposed to look.

 

 

The only change I would have made would be to make a bow plumb.

maybe give you 2' + waterline.

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And ruin its looks?

 

27 knots not enough for you?

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And ruin its looks?

 

27 knots not enough for you?

maybe 27knts could have been sustained longer?

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And ruin its looks?

 

27 knots not enough for you?

its honestly crazy what that boat truly did for big boats on the west coast. hard to grasp .i say leave the bow be as well .

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And ruin its looks?

 

27 knots not enough for you?

maybe 27knts could have been sustained longer?

 

 

I figure if you can outrun a coast guard cutter sent out to escort you then the boat is fast enough and you can afford to work on its looks a bit. ;)

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The only change I would have made would be to make a bow plumb.

maybe give you 2' + waterline.

 

mona_zpsmjx4j0ar.jpg

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There are many changes that one could make to make this an all-around faster boat. If you want to do that, just build another boat. As many have said, this boat is an icon, and shouldn't be messed with. A better keel but fixed, sure. A more advanced foil for the rudder, ok. Some structural reinforcement where needed, that seems fair. Maybe even a carbon rig, as long as the proportions are kept the same. A sprit for an Asso, no. The hull shape, deck and cabin features, in fact everything that makes this boat look and feel like Merlin should be treated with reverence.

 

You wouldn't update the USS Constitution with steel plate, diesel power, and surface to air missiles.

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I say restore it to original. Lets help Bill Lee start a Kickstarter campaign to do it.

 

Simply too much history to let it remain a bastard child.

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Apparently plan is to keep the carbon mast.

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The guys over the years that have kept Ragtime going have done it right. Let's hope Bill and his gang in Santa Cruz will do the same with Merlin.

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The guys over the years that have kept Ragtime going have done it right. Let's hope Bill and his gang in Santa Cruz will do the same with Merlin.

mucho agree .

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A carbon mast and deep T-keel would improve Merlin's reputed lackluster upwind performance while not changing the boats outward character and certainly not its downwind speed.

 

Ragtime, as mentioned and Passage have both had $millions spent on repeatedly updating them but they are still "the same".

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I say restore it to original. Lets help Bill Lee start a Kickstarter campaign to do it.

 

Simply too much history to let it remain a bastard child.

This is the sort of thing that makes the sport worthwhile. Who is going to talk to Bill and let him know people want to help make sure this boat is done exactly as he thinks it should be. I'm in for a couple bucks.

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I am sure The Wizard will be true to his masterpiece. Whatever he want to do with her is fine with me.

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I would pay 500 towards this if I could go for a sail with Bill on it afterwards!

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Merlin, is wonderment. Bill Lee always treated me square. Let him do his thing.

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You know way back in the day for a smallish town,

SC had just an insane amount of really talented boat builders

putting all those Olsons, Moores, and SC's, etc . . . together.

 

But damn it all to hell, they're a bunch of old geezers now.

 

Hey Sled, who's gonna glue the thing back together again.

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Way back when, I stopped by the "Chicken Coup".

There was a long skinny boat being built upside down. I asked a young bearded builder what it was and he said "a trophy machine".

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The John Spencer designed Infidel renamed Ragtime was the first and original down wind maxi in California.

Bill came down to the Cal Yacht Club when we were sailing Ragtime in the Cal Cup. I forget the year might have been 1975. Bill took the measurements of Ragtime at the dock and proceeded to build Merlin "there is a whole story there". Bill made a better boat. I sailed both boats over the years, Transpac's, Mexican races local regattas etc. Merlin in both configurations. While Merlin didn't have the same look after modifications it was much faster with the canting keel Than the original. We did the Pac Cup in 6 1/2 days on Merlin, a good run in any ones book. I have always respected Bill lee and have owned his and other Santa Cruz area designs. In Santa Cruz they just got the whole idea of FAST IS FUN. Merlin is back where it should be and no mater what Bill does with it I am really happy for him and all the people that have put there love and hard work into it over the years. I always loved the original look and feeling of Merlin but after the modifications were made it was a stiffer structure. The new cabin was always a compromise as the Texan who bought it had to have headroom with his cowboy hat on all the way forward. He didn't know shit about sailing and blew a lot of money following a dream he had. It didn't turn out so good for him but now the boat is back where it should be and hopefully back in the hands of the talented people that can recreate the Magic . I wish Bill all the best in getting Merlin back on the water and hope he continues to inspire all of us.

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BL reports:

 

"4 young guys with 4 trucks spent 5 hours today emptying MERLIN and taking the contents to a storeroom. Included were a pair of 28 1/2’ spinnaker poles. Next comes taking out the canting machinery, heavier than originally thought.

Everyone agrees on the deckhouse. Just need to think it out so it is not all consuming. Halyards and all are involved. I need to make a template of what the old one (deck house) was.

We are going to saw out the dagger board case and that leaves a deck hole.
Do you know anyone who wants a big daggerboard and case ?"

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28' poles! That would have made a taller mast for my first keelboat. :D

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The John Spencer designed Infidel renamed Ragtime was the first and original down wind maxi in California.

Bill came down to the Cal Yacht Club when we were sailing Ragtime in the Cal Cup. I forget the year might have been 1975. Bill took the measurements of Ragtime at the dock and proceeded to build Merlin "there is a whole story there". Bill made a better boat. I sailed both boats over the years, Transpac's, Mexican races local regattas etc. Merlin in both configurations. While Merlin didn't have the same look after modifications it was much faster with the canting keel Than the original. We did the Pac Cup in 6 1/2 days on Merlin, a good run in any ones book. I have always respected Bill lee and have owned his and other Santa Cruz area designs. In Santa Cruz they just got the whole idea of FAST IS FUN. Merlin is back where it should be and no mater what Bill does with it I am really happy for him and all the people that have put there love and hard work into it over the years. I always loved the original look and feeling of Merlin but after the modifications were made it was a stiffer structure. The new cabin was always a compromise as the Texan who bought it had to have headroom with his cowboy hat on all the way forward. He didn't know shit about sailing and blew a lot of money following a dream he had. It didn't turn out so good for him but now the boat is back where it should be and hopefully back in the hands of the talented people that can recreate the Magic . I wish Bill all the best in getting Merlin back on the water and hope he continues to inspire all of us.

 

You Rock Billy Bob.

next time you get out here you better holler.

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