Merlin Rocket 3055

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MuckyRocket
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Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by MuckyRocket » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:05 am

Good morning all,

First post of probably many to come.

I have acquired a Merlin Rocket in needs a fair bit of work and love. The number on the thwart is 3055. Does anyone have any info on this boat? I'll upload some pictures later but i have a date with the dentist shortly.

One thing that struck me was the hull look like ply as opposed to solid wood (forgive me im a beginner at boat restoration) - i was under the impression it would be solid, does this mean i have a home built vessel?

Regards


Dave

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by Ancient Geek » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:23 am

The design (with the Merlin Rocket restricted class rules.) is a Smokers Satisfaction by Phil Morrison father of Steve the 49er sailor and designer of a lot of production boats like the RS400.
She however is not part of a production run being built in Christchurch, by Bob Hoare in 1976. Using glued clinker plywood (Solid wood and rivets/clenches went out around sail no 507 in 1954 or thereabouts
Whilst I had stopped racing Merlin Rockets in 1970 (With a one off appearance in 1974.) I maintain my contacts, this was a succesful design. do join the CVRDa AND The Merlin Rocket Owners Association http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk lots of help available a welcoming and knowledgable bunch if on occasions of differing opinions on how to do it!
Simples.

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jon711
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by jon711 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:35 pm

A great boat, the Smokers design, possibly, is one of the best all round designs ever!!!

It will sail fast on rivers, lakes, estuarys and sea. A great find, care for and love her, she will reward you.


Any help or advice you need can be gained either on here or on the Merlin Rocket forum..

Jon

davidh
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by davidh » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:19 pm

dave,

I'm another Dave (though normally referred to as something else) and I too sail a smokers, mine is 3025. I'm away from my reference books right now so am working from memory BUT... is your boat pale blue with a conversion to a deck stepped mast? But working from memory the boat was called 'shogun'.

I travelled all the way from Southampton to Hull to buy the boat but sadly returned empty handed (this was 3years ago) but the boat seems to have been bought and sold a few times over the last few years.

But no matter - the Smokers is a brilliant boat to sail, it give the helm what I would describe as one of the great sailing experiences. There are fast Merlins, better Merlins even, but few that do so many things well. The boat is know for carrrying weight well: it can ghost along inland, or survive the dusty going conditions at sea and if the crew doesn't wreck the boat, they are quick.

Yes, I'd love a newer boat but for sailing on the CVRDA circuit there is only one other boat that I'd rather sail and that is another Merlin (my old one off- 3199).

will you be bringing it along to any of the cvrda events - it would be great to have another smokers there.

Dougal and supercrew the scrapper jon in 3025, Smokey bear
David H

MuckyRocket
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by MuckyRocket » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:58 pm

Thanks for the replies -

AncientGeek - So i have a late 70's built boat but with hull/construction methods from many years previous? Any guess as to why that may be?

Jon - with the amount of care and love she is going to need she better be good.

Dave - yep, "shogun" is the one, albeit a retired ninja rather than a force to be reckoned with at the moment. What was the reason you didnt pick her up when you mentioned? Id love to get her along to some cvrda days, infact there is a meeting at the sailing club i intend to join and where the boat will be based when finished - Bough Beech in Sevenoaks.

The boat is in fairly shocking condition even to my amateur eye - there have been some very "special" bits of work carried out during her existence - from the deck stepped mask effort to the rebuild front bouyancy tank, not to mention some of the epoxy madness. Anyway i didn't buy it for the easy life, and after an afternoons work most of the fittings have removed and its ready to begin the long road to being a beauty again.

Below some pics of the effort so far -

Image

After the epic struggle through the gate and into the garden, mante andy helping to strip off the crap

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most of the bits out now

Image

the deck stepped mast support..... special

Image

Image

hmmmm, looks pretty fooked back here

Image

More soon,

Dave

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jon711
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by jon711 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:17 pm

Dave,

DavidH and my self will be at Bough Beech next weekend, just look for the Merlin "Smokey Bear" - I am crewing, DavidH is helming. We will be easy to identify, as we will be leading the fleet!!! :wink:

We will be happy to advise and help where possible...

Jon

MuckyRocket
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by MuckyRocket » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:38 am

Hi John,

Sadly i wont be able to make it over - am off for a few days in the sun.

So the way i see it so far - apart from sanding/filling/painting/varnishing, i have the following major bits to do -

Replace all decking front to aft, along with the supporting ribs.
Replace transom and the piece inside the boat which fixes to the keel.
Replace the centre board case/recitfy the stepped mast efforts fallout in the hull.
Replace the front bouyancy tank with something a lot better looking and finish.

Where am i best to start - I guess taking all the decking etc off along with the ribs. Then replace that, and then worry about transom and centreboard case?

Dave

ETA - should this move to the boat restoration page?

roger
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by roger » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:12 pm

Hello Dave and welcome to the CVRDA. You will find lots of advice here and on the Merlin site. Some of it will be conflicting but most of it will be very useful. The main aim from my point of view is to do as much as you feel nessesary to get the boat back out and enjoying her.
To my untutored eye she looks in pretty good nick so enjoy working on her but more important enjoy sailing her.

Roger
Hornet 191 Shoestring,
Hornet 595 Demon awaiting restoration
Hornet 610 Final Fling
Hornet 353

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by Ancient Geek » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:20 pm

Hi Mucky Rocket because that is the way the class built boats, and still does occasionaly! Some are FRP hulls nowadays but so few new boats are built -11 last year- one hesitates to say all are anything!
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davidh
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by davidh » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:51 pm

Dave,

Not an easy email to write but what I hope is constructive background for you.

The reason I travelled up from Southampton to Hull was to buy 3055, sold as being in excellent condition. Got there, took one look, got back into the car and drove home. Yes, the work could have been done but at the time I wanted to just go sailing. Plus (believe this or not) I was worried that I'd get a handicap penalty for the deck stepped mast - even though I doubted that the deck step conversion that had been done to 3055 would last for long (certainly supercrew scrapper Jon would have the rig down around his ears on the first beat!!).

When I looked at the hull, I did ownder if the boat had been crushed gunwale to gunwale. That was the least of the issues, the deck stepping being by far the more worrying of the work areas.

If you need any pictures of how a Smokers is put together I can always take snaps of 3025....once the work is done we look forward to seeing you at an event in the future.

D
David H

DavidC
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by DavidC » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:51 pm

Hi,

The best advice I can give is don't rush and do it properly once. Don't cut corners and don't think "it will be OK". It won't and having to re-do something is a real pain. If you do it right and completely the first time you will be sailing for much longer and the boat will take what you throw at it.

:)

MuckyRocket
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by MuckyRocket » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:17 pm

Hello all,

Davidh, cant say i blame you to be honest... it was a punt buying this boat, its certainly in no fit state to take to the water, and some of the work ahead is going to be arduous.

Well i got started on removing the deck today -


Image

Image

The stepped deck mess literally came apart in my fingers. Chisle/screwdriver/hammer/saw took care of the rest -

Image

I was then left in two minds as to what to do next so i set about the bouyancy tank... a la hammer and made short work of the shoddy thing -

Image

Image

Then having cleared the section i want to tackle first, i got down to some sanding -

Image


Image

My plan is to sand/fill/sand/varnish the bow inside. Then reconstruct the deck supports and bouyancy tank - before moving further back to tackle the gunwhales and centerboard casing.

Graham T
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by Graham T » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:47 am

If I had removed all the decking I would be tempted to screw temporary supports across the hull to help hold her in shape whilst I scraped around inside her......
Graham T
Osprey 1340, Osprey 1245, Osprey 55, Miracle 1358, Laser heap, ancient Mirror kit half assembled, Project Miracle in need of decks........
Kielder Water Sailing Club

MuckyRocket
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by MuckyRocket » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:15 am

Thanks Graham - i take it you mean i should have done this and im a plonker for not doing so?

Rupert
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Re: Merlin Rocket 3055

Post by Rupert » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:16 am

I'd not go that far...the hull won't have move too much yet, but when leaning in, moving her around, scraping her, it is a very good idea to hold her in shape.
Rupert

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