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sailor 5467

Merlin Rocket Walk Around

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Is this a link to a video or just a still photo?

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Very quiet ion the back ground I suspect that was filmed out of opening hours (just)

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OK now I *raelly* need to sail a Merlin Rocket before it is too late! (for me...)

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12 hours ago, fastyacht said:

OK now I *raelly* need to sail a Merlin Rocket before it is too late! (for me...)

It can't be too late, provided you're still warm. Some of them are older than the hills.

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Merlin’s are a type of boat that just couldn’t exist in the US.  People who think a UFO is too expensive would never shell out THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a little racing boat.   I was at the UK Nationals in Wales a few years ago.  They were unhappy with the turn out of only 50 boats or so. There is enough demand to keep more than one shop busy.

Maybe there is something to this socialized healthcare after all.

England is a different world.

SHC

 

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All that futuristic gear, yet the boat still has faux planking on the outer hull.

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17 minutes ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

All that futuristic gear, yet the boat still has faux planking on the outer hull.

Class rule, hulls have to be lap strake, or clinker as the poms say it.

SHC

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4 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

Merlin’s are a type of boat that just couldn’t exist in the US.  People who think a UFO is too expensive would never shell out THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a little racing boat.   I was at the UK Nationals in Wales a few years ago.  They were unhappy with the turn out of only 50 boats or so. There is enough demand to keep more than one shop busy.

Maybe there is something to this socialized healthcare after all.

England is a different world.

SHC

 

This is so true. It’s why people on this side of the pond just don’t understand the USA sailing market.

It true not many of us spend £20000 on a tricked out merlin rocket but they are plenty of people willing to fork out £8000/£10000 for a boat in a lot of classes , knowing that after a year , if you don’t like the boat you can sell it and not lose much money . 
 

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10 minutes ago, Xeon said:

This is so true. It’s why people on this side of the pond just don’t understand the USA sailing market.

It true not many of us spend £20000 on a tricked out merlin rocket but they are plenty of people willing to fork out £8000/£10000 for a boat in a lot of classes , knowing that after a year , if you don’t like the boat you can sell it and not lose much money . 
 

Things have changed a lot here in the US in 30 years. Back when I was building thistles in the early 90s, it was a consistent 16 boats a year, almost every single one bought by fleet leaders. Some would buy new boats every couple years because they were in the process of expanding their local fleets. This was also how the Lighting class, 505, Snipe and others functioned at the time -- mature classes that had once seen explosive growth but now (as in then) were in stable -- mostly -- maintenance mode. Some classes -- thistle included -- still see new boats built in 2020. But the number of classes that do has dropped dramatically from those days. I left out a lot of other classes that also had significant but smaller than 1970s building at that time. There are far fewer dinghies being built now. The real astounding part is just how low we have sunk since 1990, while the British Isles still seem pretty vibrant. Even my old class (yes, in the U.S.!) the GP-14, had 54 boats at UK nationals last year. And that's with a passal of Phil Morrison machines actively raced that have arguably obsoleted the Jack Holt designs. The class hasn't been active in years any longer over here. The club I raced at on a lake in the 70s used to see 15 GP-14, 15-20 Comets, a pile of sunfish, increasing lasers, Celebrities, 3 - 5 Lightings, A goodly number of Oday DS, and prindles and hobie 16. The lake was covered with sailboats! Now, the club actually still exists but it is a small collection of Sunfish, and Lasers, and nobody else.

 

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It’s not all sweetness over here , clubs have closed and the age of sailors is getting older , but it’s nowhere as bad as your side of the pond.

It helps we are a small country with plenty of places to sail. I sail at a very small club and it wouldnt take much to push us over the edge but if that happens there are 6 or 7 clubs within 20miles I could go to . If I push the distance up to 40 miles the number of clubs is over 20 . 

 

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It's no different in my part of the UK, dinghy sailing is in a decline.

The club I belong to has joint handicap racing (only fleet racing is Sandhoppers, which are keelboats) with the club next door & we still struggle to get 15 boats out, mainly Lasers, Radials & Solo's. 

But I do have the choice of probably 5 or 6 more clubs within easy distance if things got really bad, but the thing is all these clubs seem to be in decline too.

 

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15 hours ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

All that futuristic gear, yet the boat still has faux planking on the outer hull.

Thereby lies the eccentric charm of these beautiful pure racing boats.  If the Merlin Rocket class was active in the US, there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that I would own one.

@Steve Clark the $32,500 for the workmanship, detail and equipment that goes into the boat seems an absolute bargain compared to the $65,000-$75,000 for a race ready J70.  Hell , even the infamously affordable new Viper 640 pans out at $39,000 now.  For a state of the art race boat that will drop jaws at the yacht club and have chicks drooling (if you are a male owner) and Olympian hulks yearning to crew for you (if you are a female owner), it is cheap at twice the price.

This is a Ferrari not a Ford Focus.

Absolutely gorgeous.

Its no wonder British Olympians are so relaxed. Of course, its nice to win the odd Olympic medal or two, but when its over they go back to what really matters......sailing Merlin Rockets!

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14 minutes ago, IPLore said:

Thereby lies the eccentric charm of these beautiful pure racing boats.  If the Merlin Rocket class was active in the US, there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that I would own one.

@Steve Clark the $32,500 for the workmanship, detail and equipment that goes into the boat seems an absolute bargain compared to the $65,000-$75,000 for a race ready J70.  Hell , even the infamously affordable new Viper 640 pans out at $39,000 now.  For a state of the art race boat that will drop jaws at the yacht club and have chicks drooling (if you are a male owner) and Olympian hulks yearning to crew for you (if you are a female owner), it is cheap at twice the price.

 

In the US, you can spend about the same as the Merlin but get a 505 and have an instant national fleet schedule. That's the last of our great 2 person dinghies and we will not let her go away.

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I have to admit, as much as I liked Rockatross, the black on3 with yellow centreboard did it for me.  Stunning boat.

27CA8380-311A-4A93-AD64-9A78C13BB25B.jpeg

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5F893B9A-D096-4466-B664-4CA054B07BFE.jpeg

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1 hour ago, sosoomii said:

I have to admit, as much as I liked Rockatross, the black on3 with yellow centreboard did it for me.  Stunning boat.

27CA8380-311A-4A93-AD64-9A78C13BB25B.jpeg

9D5ADEF9-8892-4074-A756-7C1575046B84.jpeg

7A2E60A8-B953-4712-8730-1BE05B3E72E0.jpeg

5F893B9A-D096-4466-B664-4CA054B07BFE.jpeg

That paint job would NOT work in America!  Can you say, "third degree burns?"

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3 hours ago, Martin T said:

It's no different in my part of the UK, dinghy sailing is in a decline.

The club I belong to has joint handicap racing (only fleet racing is Sandhoppers, which are keelboats) with the club next door & we still struggle to get 15 boats out, mainly Lasers, Radials & Solo's. 

But I do have the choice of probably 5 or 6 more clubs within easy distance if things got really bad, but the thing is all these clubs seem to be in decline too.

 

We also have a choice of going to many other clubs,  but our dinghy classes are doing well. 

Why? 

Because the club set up a sailing school about 15years ago, very little extra cost to the parents.  Often when the child learns in a dinghy , the adults take lessons too in our sailing schools  20ft Yeoman  keelboats. Our current rear commodore being one of them. 

May to October we have up to 80 children learning to sail each Thursday afternoon evening... 

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 Don’t misunderstand me.  I love tweaky little boats and have an embarrassing Avenue of Broken Dreams that is probably unmatched in the world. 5 C Class Catamaran platforms for example....

SHC

 

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8 hours ago, IPLore said:

This is a Ferrari not a Ford Focus.

Its not a Ferrari though, its a Morgan.

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My first awareness of the Merlin came in 1975, when I read Twiname's book. Here is the photo that is forever burned into my consciousness.

49632809827_583f87d58f_k.jpg

And this other page is where I learned of the name, "Merlin." It seems the boats have changed ever so slightly over the years.

49632543266_c8ad9c7c15_k.jpg

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Well, the Merlin and Rocket  classes were very much different when originally designed. Their merged classes became much narrower on the waterline and out to the class limit beam just over 7ft..

Our club used to have many of them, but these days just the odd one.  That's the problem with a development class,  it gets very expensive trying to keep up with the latest boats and the cost puts people off.

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5 hours ago, The Q said:

Our club used to have many of them, but these days just the odd one.  That's the problem with a development class,  it gets very expensive trying to keep up with the latest boats and the cost puts people off.

Salcombe week is still sold out every year with a wait list to enter:

https://www.sailwave.com/results/^2019^merlin_rocket^Salcombe_Gin_Merlin_Rocket_Week_2019.htm

The 2020 event draw has happened and there are 26 on the wait list.

We have no equivalent adult dinghy regatta in the USA that is anywhere near as popular.

And the RS 400 is basically a one-design Merlin with an assym : https://www.sailwave.com/results/WPNSA/2018_RS400_Europeans/2018-RS400-Europeans.htm

 

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Merlin Rockets and International 14s are for dinghy sailors who can afford yachts

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3 hours ago, DavidYacht said:

Merlin Rockets and International 14s are for dinghy sailors who can afford yachts

Do note that "afford yachts" has shifted. (Some used) "Yachts" are cheap as chips now...

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:14 AM, Steve Clark said:

Merlin’s are a type of boat that just couldn’t exist in the US.  People who think a UFO is too expensive would never shell out THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a little racing boat.   I was at the UK Nationals in Wales a few years ago.  They were unhappy with the turn out of only 50 boats or so. There is enough demand to keep more than one shop busy.

Maybe there is something to this socialized healthcare after all.

England is a different world.

SHC

 

Australia is similar. I’ve got friends that have been into the 505 since they were youths. Current cost of a fully tricked out 505 is $50k+ AUD.  They are full carbon blah, blah, blah. I think a 49er is about $40k AUD. That said a Laser is $11k not tricked out ?!?!?!?!?!

Maybe it’s the Socialised med & somewhat regulated capitalism. 

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8 hours ago, fastyacht said:

(Some used) "Yachts" are cheap as chips now...

To buy. Not to run. You can put your Merlin in a sailing club dinghy park for a few £100 quid a year or take it home.

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23 hours ago, The Q said:

That's the problem with a development class

Strictly, it's a "restricted class" and you don't need to spend anything approaching £20K for a very nice club-level boat that will last for many years.

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On 3/7/2020 at 11:29 PM, JimC said:

Its not a Ferrari though, its a Morgan.

Not really. The control systems, which matter, are still developing. There are nostalgia classes around, and nothing wrong with that, but that isn't the ethos of the MR. What the class doesn't want is a rate of development that rapidly makes existing boats obsolete. Oddly enough, both Ferrari and Morgan are in the nostalgia business. https://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/ferrari

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I love boats such as Merlins, 505s, National 12s , I14s and International Moths, the thousands of hours of development that are put into these classes has a trickle down effect that benefits  all of us dinghy sailors, even Laser or whatever they are called now sailors!

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Is a wooden Merlin competitive?  I looked at plans for a while.  I don't have much interest in racing, but if I built one I would want to be able to sell it for at least the cost of the wood and rigging....Considering the price of that admittedly beautiful boat, a home build must not be in the same league or there would be many built.  

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On 3/19/2020 at 10:08 PM, Coquina012 said:

Is a wooden Merlin competitive?  I looked at plans for a while.  I don't have much interest in racing, but if I built one I would want to be able to sell it for at least the cost of the wood and rigging....Considering the price of that admittedly beautiful boat, a home build must not be in the same league or there would be many built.  

Buiuld  GP14 (40 year old advice haha).

Nobody gets money back building obsolete boats. But tgey are beauty

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I think competitive wooden Merlins can still be built. I don't think many are amateur built though.

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No a wooden Merlin is not a competitive option because you will never achieve enough  panel stiffness or torsional stiffness to deliver the power as well as a composite boat sadly, across the wind range and sea states.  

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When I were a lad, must have been to n the late 60s Merlin's where very popular at draycote water. The national champions built a boat every year, I understood that they made a living out of it.

The guy crewed for had a boat that had an inverse curve underneath. They banned it after but his wasn't illegal due to grandfathering.

Great fun. Great memories.

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6 hours ago, knobblyoldjimbo said:

When I were a lad, must have been to n the late 60s Merlin's where very popular at draycote water. The national champions built a boat every year, I understood that they made a living out of it.

The guy crewed for had a boat that had an inverse curve underneath. They banned it after but his wasn't illegal due to grandfathering.

Great fun. Great memories.

Supersead ? 

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Mustard Seed was fastish but Superseed was a dog ... the hollow garboard plank allowed for a higher rise of floor point, resulting in a narrower waterline at midlength.  There were a lot of good sailors going slow at that time ... quite amusing if you were sailing a different design.

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10 hours ago, Status quo said:

Supersead ? 

Can't remember I'm afraid, I don't think we ever talked about boat names, we just sailed. The skipper drove a VW fastback.

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