Swimsailor

Merlin at 75 mph

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Whatever happened to Drifter?

Burned to the water in Cabo.

 

IIRC, it was more dramatic than that.... like, propane explosion lifted the deck off, and what was left burned to the water. There was some...uh... conjecture that maybe it wasn't entirely an accident.

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Didn't Drifter beat Merlin in a transpac?

 

wasnt drifter longer than 70 feet ?

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In 1977 trim, Drifter was right at 70'. For the 1981 race they added a sugar-scoop that added about 8 feet to the stern.

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Has Moloshco (sp?) done anything since?

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Didn't Drifter beat Merlin in a transpac?

 

wasnt drifter longer than 70 feet ?

 

 

 

From what I understand 71 feet. But, I think the waterline length was listed as 69 feet. Not sure.

 

From what I understand, Harry had a warehouse that was 72 feet long. All of his boats made in that warehouse were just under 72 feet.

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Has Moloshco (sp?) done anything since?

 

He built a 71.5 foot motor sailer. I think he still has it. Nothing in racing land.

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Whatever happened to Drifter?

Burned to the water in Cabo.

 

IIRC, it was more dramatic than that.... like, propane explosion lifted the deck off, and what was left burned to the water. There was some...uh... conjecture that maybe it wasn't entirely an accident.

 

 

Yeah, I never did get the full story. I really didn't want to ask, either.

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Guess I was right.

 

I guess so. I never understood the name, either. Kind of an oxymoron, right? :wacko:

 

Or quite the understatement.

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Has Moloshco (sp?) done anything since?

have no idea if related, but a quick web-search reveals that there is an elder Harry Moloshco (age 85), and a younger Harry Moloshco (age 49), both residing in Huntington Beach.

 

haven't seen a Moloshco mentioned in the yachting press for a really long time.

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Drifter had to be the elders boat - it was 40 years ago.

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Has Moloshco (sp?) done anything since?

have no idea if related, but a quick web-search reveals that there is an elder Harry Moloshco (age 85), and a younger Harry Moloshco (age 49), both residing in Huntington Beach.

 

haven't seen a Moloshco mentioned in the yachting press for a really long time.

 

 

Harry is around 85. Unless he moved, he doesn't live in Huntington Beach.

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Thanks for the article. Had a lot of information I was never aware of and was a good read. I do remember the whole "downhill only" sled arguments taking place back then.

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L. Francis Herreshoff wrote in his excellent book "The Common Sense of Yacht Design" that light boats were great as long as they had enough stability.

 

ULDB's have been made to go to weather quite well if they have enough stability. Deep fins with bulbs and canting keels, etc.

 

If Bill gets that TP52 keel he seeks, look for MERLIN to do very well on all points of sail. Very fitting for such a wonderful boat!

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11.07.15

400 pounds of internal keel canting equipment has been removed from MERLIN, with more to come. Bill is weighing everything coming off the boat. No keel replacement yet found. Apparently, used TP52 or equivalent keels more difficult to locate than first surmised, possible candidates having been melted down. Possible option under consideration is using the old (canting) keel with its canting hinge removed, then sliding the fin up into a slot (trunk) in the hull and thru-bolted. This would reduce draft, a mixed blessing. The stability would no longer be there for big spinnys set off the bowsprit. However, MERLIN could use Santa Cruz Harbor F dock (60 foot slips) which carry 10' of depth at low tide. Good thing Bill was once a nuclear sub engineer. His intention is to have MERLIN sailing locally next summer.


15 miles down the road, at Moss Landing, things initially went easier for the red SC-70 THIRSTY TIGER (SC-70 #3, ex-CITIUS, ex-OLE), which also arrived from the Great Lakes shortly after MERLIN. THIRSTY TIGER, will be put in the sunset wine cruises and whale watching business, similar to the SC-70 CHARDONNAY. It took only two days to rig and splash THIRSTY TIGER at Gravelle's. Next up for THIRSTY TIGER is building the CG required stainless railing, 36" high, around the deck. But that only gets things started with achieving CG passenger certification. To achieve necessary stability for 64 passengers, 3,000 pounds of lead may have to be added, likely in the bilge. Dock talk is THIRSTY TIGER will be renamed MERLOT.

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Merlot !

Good heavens man

That's bad form.

Way to close to Merlin in tone. Damn near parasitic.

 

If they must stay with the smashed grapes theme,then maybe Pinot Envy is a better choice.

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11.07.15
400 pounds of internal keel canting equipment has been removed from MERLIN, with more to come. Bill is weighing everything coming off the boat. No keel replacement yet found. Apparently, used TP52 or equivalent keels more difficult to locate than first surmised, possible candidates having been melted down. Possible option under consideration is using the old (canting) keel with its canting hinge removed, then sliding the fin up into a slot (trunk) in the hull and thru-bolted. This would reduce draft, a mixed blessing. The stability would no longer be there for big spinnys set off the bowsprit. However, MERLIN could use Santa Cruz Harbor F dock (60 foot slips) which carry 10' of depth at low tide. Good thing Bill was once a nuclear sub engineer. His intention is to have MERLIN sailing locally next summer.
15 miles down the road, at Moss Landing, things initially went easier for the red SC-70 THIRSTY TIGER (SC-70 #3, ex-CITIUS, ex-OLE), which also arrived from the Great Lakes shortly after MERLIN. THIRSTY TIGER, will be put in the sunset wine cruises and whale watching business, similar to the SC-70 CHARDONNAY. It took only two days to rig and splash THIRSTY TIGER at Gravelle's. Next up for THIRSTY TIGER is building the CG required stainless railing, 36" high, around the deck. But that only gets things started with achieving CG passenger certification. To achieve necessary stability for 64 passengers, 3,000 pounds of lead may have to be added, likely in the bilge. Dock talk is THIRSTY TIGER will be renamed MERLOT.

 

64 passengers?..Sad end for a racing boat to be turned into a tourist bus.

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11.07.15

400 pounds of internal keel canting equipment has been removed from MERLIN, with more to come. Bill is weighing everything coming off the boat. No keel replacement yet found. Apparently, used TP52 or equivalent keels more difficult to locate than first surmised, possible candidates having been melted down. Possible option under consideration is using the old (canting) keel with its canting hinge removed, then sliding the fin up into a slot (trunk) in the hull and thru-bolted. This would reduce draft, a mixed blessing. The stability would no longer be there for big spinnys set off the bowsprit. However, MERLIN could use Santa Cruz Harbor F dock (60 foot slips) which carry 10' of depth at low tide. Good thing Bill was once a nuclear sub engineer. His intention is to have MERLIN sailing locally next summer.

 

15 miles down the road, at Moss Landing, things initially went easier for the red SC-70 THIRSTY TIGER (SC-70 #3, ex-CITIUS, ex-OLE), which also arrived from the Great Lakes shortly after MERLIN. THIRSTY TIGER, will be put in the sunset wine cruises and whale watching business, similar to the SC-70 CHARDONNAY. It took only two days to rig and splash THIRSTY TIGER at Gravelle's. Next up for THIRSTY TIGER is building the CG required stainless railing, 36" high, around the deck. But that only gets things started with achieving CG passenger certification. To achieve necessary stability for 64 passengers, 3,000 pounds of lead may have to be added, likely in the bilge. Dock talk is THIRSTY TIGER will be renamed MERLOT.

I know of a tp52 machined billet fin lying around. It might work with the existing bulb.

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11.07.15

400 pounds of internal keel canting equipment has been removed from MERLIN, with more to come. Bill is weighing everything coming off the boat. No keel replacement yet found. Apparently, used TP52 or equivalent keels more difficult to locate than first surmised, possible candidates having been melted down. Possible option under consideration is using the old (canting) keel with its canting hinge removed, then sliding the fin up into a slot (trunk) in the hull and thru-bolted. This would reduce draft, a mixed blessing. The stability would no longer be there for big spinnys set off the bowsprit. However, MERLIN could use Santa Cruz Harbor F dock (60 foot slips) which carry 10' of depth at low tide. Good thing Bill was once a nuclear sub engineer. His intention is to have MERLIN sailing locally next summer.

 

15 miles down the road, at Moss Landing, things initially went easier for the red SC-70 THIRSTY TIGER (SC-70 #3, ex-CITIUS, ex-OLE), which also arrived from the Great Lakes shortly after MERLIN. THIRSTY TIGER, will be put in the sunset wine cruises and whale watching business, similar to the SC-70 CHARDONNAY. It took only two days to rig and splash THIRSTY TIGER at Gravelle's. Next up for THIRSTY TIGER is building the CG required stainless railing, 36" high, around the deck. But that only gets things started with achieving CG passenger certification. To achieve necessary stability for 64 passengers, 3,000 pounds of lead may have to be added, likely in the bilge. Dock talk is THIRSTY TIGER will be renamed MERLOT.

I know of a tp52 machined billet fin lying around. It might work with the existing bulb.

 

how much for next day air to santa cruz ?

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I didn't know Merlin broached - I thought it just went faster.

 

How do you broach a boat that has done 27 knots? Does it all fall apart at 28?

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I didn't know Merlin broached - I thought it just went faster.

 

How do you broach a boat that has done 27 knots? Does it all fall apart at 28?

I know, wouldn't the bow wave half way back the hull keep you centered. . . what could go wrong? I think that it mostly happened at night.

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Merlin now back in Santa Cruz, SC70 Thirsty Tiger now gone west, Andrews turbo sled Runaway (ex: Pegasus_) going west soon, rumors of another SC70 going west, it looks like the sleds are going back to where they came from. Sad to see them all leave the great lakes, but cool to see them re-congregate too. Cool era having them around here in the midwest all these years for sure. Maybe all the great lakes sled owners will migrate (modernize) toward TP52 ?

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It would definitely be cool to have TP52's, but these owners are getting up there in years. The GL's need a new generation of big boat owners. But they mostly buy J70's now...

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I think all the older 52's are heading to the PNW..

Yup! It's pretty neat. 2 52's and an RP55 in the last year alone. Makes for some close and fast racing. Was pretty neat to see 3 52's and the RP ripping through the other boats at 25 knots during round the county 😊

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Merlin now back in Santa Cruz, SC70 Thirsty Tiger now gone west, Andrews turbo sled Runaway (ex: Pegasus_) going west soon, rumors of another SC70 going west, it looks like the sleds are going back to where they came from. Sad to see them all leave the great lakes, but cool to see them re-congregate too. Cool era having them around here in the midwest all these years for sure. Maybe all the great lakes sled owners will migrate (modernize) toward TP52 ?

Agreed. It's been a great run with the sleds. We've had at least one, and at one point 3, here in Sheboygan for 23 years now. There's talk around here that this could be the last season for Evolution, and it's 50/50 as to whether Chance will come out of the shed at all. It's been close to 10 years since Chance did anything other than the Chicago Mac, although she has raced the GL 70 Sheboygan Regatta when they come to town. Sounds like they are coming back this year with the '52's, so that might be the Swan Song for this class.

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B. Alcott, aka Densa! I came out of 10 years of total retirement from all sailing, to do Block Island Race Week with him in '95 on the RP50 with a bunch of gals from recent America cubed program. Awesome week, rating even with DC's F1, Stars and Stripes. At one start, Stu told Boner to luff Dennis up a bit, and he was flushed away taking many transoms! Good times!!

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Since there haven't been any updates to this thread recently, I thought I'd give you all a little of what I've seen about Merlin and Thirsty Tiger.

 

Firstly, in full disclosure, I am one of the crew that has started work on Merlin and have done work on Thirsty Tiger.

As has been stated before, we removed Merlin's canting keel hydraulics and all associated mechanics. The dagger board and housing were also surgically (read: cutoff wheel and sawzall/) removed. There was also a water tank on starboard that was removed. Bill has collected everything, including dust from the Festool and shopvac, to be weighed.

 

We also had the pleasure of working on Thirsty Tiger when it first arrived down Moss Landing back in the beginning of October. We new bottom paint and assisted in stepping the mast.

 

And now for photos!

 

IMG_1307-2-XL.jpg

 

IMG_1411-2-XL.jpg

 

IMG_1416-XL.jpg

 

IMG_1420-XL.jpg

 

IMG_1431-XL.jpg

 

I'll post more when there is new info.

 

Cheers!

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Merlin now back in Santa Cruz, SC70 Thirsty Tiger now gone west, Andrews turbo sled Runaway (ex: Pegasus_) going west soon, rumors of another SC70 going west, it looks like the sleds are going back to where they came from. Sad to see them all leave the great lakes, but cool to see them re-congregate too. Cool era having them around here in the midwest all these years for sure. Maybe all the great lakes sled owners will migrate (modernize) toward TP52 ?

Agreed. It's been a great run with the sleds. We've had at least one, and at one point 3, here in Sheboygan for 23 years now. There's talk around here that this could be the last season for Evolution, and it's 50/50 as to whether Chance will come out of the shed at all. It's been close to 10 years since Chance did anything other than the Chicago Mac, although she has raced the GL 70 Sheboygan Regatta when they come to town. Sounds like they are coming back this year with the '52's, so that might be the Swan Song for this class.

 

I saw Evo on Yachtworld available August 16, and with at least one of the remaining 70s actively for sale, I fear that you are right. I had the privilege of sailing in that fleet for about 12 years, what fun boats, people and experiences.

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Merlin now back in Santa Cruz, SC70 Thirsty Tiger now gone west, Andrews turbo sled Runaway (ex: Pegasus_) going west soon, rumors of another SC70 going west, it looks like the sleds are going back to where they came from. Sad to see them all leave the great lakes, but cool to see them re-congregate too. Cool era having them around here in the midwest all these years for sure. Maybe all the great lakes sled owners will migrate (modernize) toward TP52 ?

Agreed. It's been a great run with the sleds. We've had at least one, and at one point 3, here in Sheboygan for 23 years now. There's talk around here that this could be the last season for Evolution, and it's 50/50 as to whether Chance will come out of the shed at all. It's been close to 10 years since Chance did anything other than the Chicago Mac, although she has raced the GL 70 Sheboygan Regatta when they come to town. Sounds like they are coming back this year with the '52's, so that might be the Swan Song for this class.

I saw Evo on Yachtworld available August 16, and with at least one of the remaining 70s actively for sale, I fear that you are right. I had the privilege of sailing in that fleet for about 12 years, what fun boats, people and experiences.
With Evo leaving the game, I think that's pretty much the end of the GL70 fleet. They went above and beyond to keep the other boats competitive and sailing.

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As most surmise, MERLIN is no longer competitive for Transpac F2F/Barn Door....Wisely, Bill is being deliberative about how he wants to approach things, and is working with the best in the business, Alan Andrews, about how to make the parts fit the puzzle of making MERLIN whole again. Ironically, for Transpac, this takes Bill and Alan down the handicap route, at least so far as making MERLIN competitive in the Sled Division.

 

No final decision has yet been made regarding the keel. No viable used keels, TP-52 or otherwise, have turned up. The old canting fin (strut) will likely be re-used, in a fixed position, with a new, heavier bulb.

 

One criteria regards depth in Santa Cruz Harbor. MERLIN's new draft can't very well exceed 10 feet, where it was 12 feet on the GL.

 

Sail area will likely be reduced, with up to 5' coming off the main boom.

 

At Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard, MERLIN on the tarmac is about as close to the water as could be, without being afloat. I stood up yesterday inside the keel slot, and had a look around. As reported by SolarWind, above, nothing is coming off the boat without being weighed.

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As most surmise, MERLIN is no longer competitive for Transpac F2F/Barn Door..

 

Wow, a boat that hit almost 30 knots 40 years ago is not competitive anymore. :blink:

 

Who'da thunk it

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Thanks for the update Sleddog. I think we have a little bit of heart out for Merlin. Thank you Bill and Alan for making that happen; properly. And it's great to see Alan Andrews into the mix. I don't if Bill looks at SA or this thread but maybe it's time to pop him an e-mail of support. I'm certain this isn't money making endeavor but one of love.

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Rumor has it that Chance has been sold, but is not going out West where most would assume is the logical progression for these boats.

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As most surmise, MERLIN is no longer competitive for Transpac F2F/Barn Door..

 

Wow, a boat that hit almost 30 knots 40 years ago is not competitive anymore. :blink:

 

Who'da thunk it

 

POLITICAL HANDICAPPING??

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As most surmise, MERLIN is no longer competitive for Transpac F2F/Barn Door..

 

Wow, a boat that hit almost 30 knots 40 years ago is not competitive anymore. :blink:

 

Who'da thunk it

 

POLITICAL HANDICAPPING??

 

No, top speed is one thing when the average wins overall.

 

Let me post this again. Save the file for your library because it is not available anywhere.

 

merlin_submarine.jpg

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I hope that the rumors are true. That boat needs a new owner.

Sold and painted white with a green boot stripe.

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One wednesday way back when I was out for the races in santa cruz in the evening. It was a rare day when the northerly was blowing off the land very strong. They brought merlin out and with no chute on the flat water that boat planed all the way from the pier to the harbor mouth (beam reach). It was like a cartoon.

 

these days the boys and I are getting our sc27 in some semblence of shape and did our first wed night last week. Its very inspiring to drive by merlin on the way to work on our boat and sail it. I was 13 when my boat was built, 16 when I sailed against one like it. It spit our cal 27 off the back downwind like it was tied to a post. It may be cramped below, tight on deck and wet upwind but fast is indeed fun! Cant wait to see her on the water again.

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I hope that the rumors are true. That boat needs a new owner.

Sold and painted white with a green boot stripe.

 

Let me guess; is the new sail number USA 323?

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As most surmise, MERLIN is no longer competitive for Transpac F2F/Barn Door....Wisely, Bill is being deliberative about how he wants to approach things, and is working with the best in the business, Alan Andrews, about how to make the parts fit the puzzle of making MERLIN whole again. Ironically, for Transpac, this takes Bill and Alan down the handicap route, at least so far as making MERLIN competitive in the Sled Division.

 

No final decision has yet been made regarding the keel. No viable used keels, TP-52 or otherwise, have turned up. The old canting fin (strut) will likely be re-used, in a fixed position, with a new, heavier bulb.

 

One criteria regards depth in Santa Cruz Harbor. MERLIN's new draft can't very well exceed 10 feet, where it was 12 feet on the GL.

 

Sail area will likely be reduced, with up to 5' coming off the main boom.

 

At Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard, MERLIN on the tarmac is about as close to the water as could be, without being afloat. I stood up yesterday inside the keel slot, and had a look around. As reported by SolarWind, above, nothing is coming off the boat without being weighed.

 

Outstanding report. Thank you.

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I hope that the rumors are true. That boat needs a new owner.

Sold and painted white with a green boot stripe.

Let me guess; is the new sail number USA 323?

Yup.

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Long live Merlin! Long live Bill Lee!

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With Santa Cruz Harbor's 30 year old dredge well and truly dead, long time Port Commissioner Bill Lee had a vested interest in this morning's launch of the new $5 mil. dredge "Twin Lakes." While Bill, I, and a happy crowd of 200 spectators watched, the 280 ton,120 foot, "Twin Lakes" was slowly lowered down the launch ramp on 8 inflatable sausage bags, each 6 feet in diameter and 35 feet long. Acting as a brake was a four part tackle of 1.5 inch flexible steel wire anchored to an 18 wheel tractor trailer and a giant diesel winch.

 

At one point, an air bag squirted out from underneath, and things came to a stop while the now listing dredge was righted by relocating the wayward sausage, and pumping in,more air (2.5 ppsi) from a giant compressor. It was all slow motion, and took about 4 hours for the dredge to travel a precarious 75 feet down the ramp and into the waters of its new home. The crowd cheered and applauded, and Bill Lee smiled his wry smile.

 

Why this all matters, other than the ill designed Santa Cruz Harbor needs full time dredging during the winter and early spring, is MERLIN's new Alan Andrews' designed keel bulb and strut, a beauty on paper, are currently being built at Duro Keel, near Mexico City, and scheduled for delivery in Santa Cruz in mid-July.

 

The keel will weigh 10,500 pounds, same as before. But MERLIN is lighter, with an all carbon deck and a lighter rig. Draft will be 10.5 feet, about all that Santa Cruz Harbor can accommodate.

 

Things are looking up for MERLIN. Bill is assembling an outstanding crew for Transpac '17, all of whom have Santa Cruz loyalties. No crew will be paid to race. Everyone is A#1, top-notch talent who will compliment MERLIN's pedigree to the fullest. Good on Bill Lee.

 

When the keel arrives, things should begin to happen with more pace. I know it's been occasionally frustrating for Bill trying to assemble the pieces of a 40 year old legendary design into a competitive ocean racer for modern times. Bill's calmness, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of design history and parameters, bodes well for MERLIN's return to the Pacific swells.

post-17096-0-18188700-1467234907_thumb.jpg

post-17096-0-39630500-1467236147_thumb.jpg

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Did they restore the cabin top back to the original design ?

if they haven't , i sure hope they do !

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The cabin top isn't just a matter of aesthetics. Look at all the hippies around the mast. Lots of serious business goes on there.

 

Ain't no place for a sloping BeneRoof.

 

At night.

 

At 20+

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The 17 yo and I stopped by the boat friday after picking up the battery and the out board for our boat. We discussed the current cabin which though long does not look that bad to me if seeing it without knowing the history. Just looks a little long but in going with the original idea there is extra weight in it for sure. I say lose it. Btw theres a dagger board for sale and a keel by the looks of it. The exterior mounted chain plates are interesting.

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My favorite shot never to be repeated.

 

gallery_3_1_10969.jpg

that pic is a salute to the builder. can you imagine the loads on that swiss army knife at that moment ?

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Downwind, the loads on the ULDBs were not that bad as compared to others because as the wind picked up, the boat speed picked up so the apparent didn't grow that quickly. I know the loads on an SC70 are less than an IOR50. Upwind, the loads don't grow that quickly as the boats are light so the sail area isn't that great. I agree with your comment, Bill Lee is a genius and did a great job with all his boats.

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My favorite shot never to be repeated.

 

gallery_3_1_10969.jpg

that pic is a salute to the builder. can you imagine the loads on that swiss army knife at that moment ?

 

 

I've never heard a bowman called that before.

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Downwind, the loads on the ULDBs were not that bad as compared to others because as the wind picked up, the boat speed picked up so the apparent didn't grow that quickly.

That's true, right up until you stuff the front half of the boat into a wave....

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Bill Lee used to have a standing reward offer for the original of this pic.

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Bill Lee used to have a standing reward offer for the original of this pic.

 

The photo had to be taken by a helicopter or plane with probably a pro on board. Maybe an event photag? or just a rich guy out for fun.

It might have been a CG copter, judging by the big bright light, that was escorting the boat in during dicey conditions and a record breaking run and the photo might have been taken by a crewman?

Either way there should be records of flights on that day and time frame.

 

If someone has the time or contacts, that's where I would start looking.

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My favorite shot never to be repeated.

 

gallery_3_1_10969.jpg

 

Yeah, that's all fun and games on the Merlin

 

but when it happens on the SC 27, it's a little spooky.

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Downwind, the loads on the ULDBs were not that bad as compared to others because as the wind picked up, the boat speed picked up so the apparent didn't grow that quickly.

That's true, right up until you stuff the front half of the boat into a wave....

 

That's what I was thinking. Less load most of the time but in that pic they just crashed into a wave

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My favorite shot never to be repeated.

 

gallery_3_1_10969.jpg

 

Yeah, that's all fun and games on the Merlin

 

but when it happens on the SC 27, it's a little spooky.

 

 

Yea, I've been there done that.

 

Anyone remember the "Hotspur" 76 to 80.

Yea that was me all over the boat.

I remember the 76 SB to KH race, anyone remember that one?????

Is there even a place to look up old results???

 

And way before the internet and USS BS

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Good news from Santa Cruz is Monday MERLIN was lifted off the cradle and carefully set down on her new keel. Everyone had done a good job, and things fit with precision. Props to Homer and crew for the massive amount of glassing new internal hull and floor structure, and ultimately drilling the keel bolt holes using a template and pilot holes. Drilling large diameter holes from the outside upwards ain't no easy job, where the vacuum dust sucker is as important as the alignment spotter.

 

The rudder, looking about 8 feet deep, was also fitted into place. While Ian finishes rigging the nearby mast and fine tuning the steering, final underbody fairing and painting is taking place. Sooner, rather than later, MERLIN will again taste saltwater, the mast stepped, and sails begin to go up and down. Though you would not know it from their patient and calm demeanor, I know Bill and Lu Lee are ready to launch their baby back into the Pacific.

 

post-17096-0-11067100-1475187814_thumb.jpg post-17096-0-31000000-1475187908_thumb.jpg

 

post-17096-0-50042700-1475187968_thumb.jpg

 

Next door to MERLIN is a cute, slightly dated, IOR Half Tonner getting some fresh paint. Anyone care to guess who the unlikely designer was? ~sleddog

 

post-17096-0-71075400-1475189049_thumb.jpg

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Good news from Santa Cruz is Monday MERLIN was lifted off the cradle and carefully set down on her new keel. Everyone had done a good job, and things fit with precision. Props to Homer and crew for the massive amount of glassing new internal hull and floor structure, and ultimately drilling the keel bolt holes using a template and pilot holes. Drilling large diameter holes from the outside upwards ain't no easy job, where the vacuum dust sucker is as important as the alignment spotter.

 

The rudder, looking about 8 feet deep, was also fitted into place. While Ian finishes rigging the nearby mast and fine tuning the steering, final underbody fairing and painting is taking place. Sooner, rather than later, MERLIN will again taste saltwater, the mast stepped, and sails begin to go up and down. Though you would not know it from their patient and calm demeanor, I know Bill and Lu Lee are ready to launch their baby back into the Pacific.

 

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Next door to MERLIN is a cute, slightly dated, IOR Half Tonner getting some fresh paint. Anyone care to guess who the unlikely designer was? ~sleddog

 

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Cal T-2, Lapworth

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Cal T-2 Lapworth

I sailed on one a few times. Actually sailed well when the wind was up. I remember a stormy two day race... One was given away at my marina a couple years ago.

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Kind of a shame the mast is still painted blue. But I guess as long as it doesn't have stars and rainbows and unicorns on it...

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Last evening, as the sun set into a thick fog, Bill and Lu Lee's iconic 'Fast is Fun" MERLIN was lowered into the Pacific at Santa Cruz Harbor after an absence of many years in Great Lakes waters.

 

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Bill and crew spent recent months removing the dysfunctional canting keel, daggerboard, hydraulics, and massive internal structure, and installing a new, Alan Andrews designed, torpedo type keel. Bill had a broad smile last evening when he saw MERLIN floating evenly and exactly on her original, 1977, designed lines, indicating a displacement of 25,000 pounds had been met.

 

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MERLIN will compete in next summer's Transpac, 40 years after breaking the Transpac elapsed time record.

Welcome Home, MERLIN! A re-christening ceremony will be held February 26, all invited. Regarding questions about the paint job, cabin shape, and other refinements, Bill would say MERLIN remains a "work in progress," with nothing off the table..

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