Mr Merlin (Mark)

an area to discuss dinghy developments
Alan Price
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Post by Alan Price » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:53 pm

Hello Mark.
I've been most impressed with the full info on any Merlin that you seem to have at your finger tips,so I thought I'd run a couple past you that I'd love to know more about.
First up is number 2783 that is at our club that was bought, I'm told, by someone new to sailing who I saw very briefly last summer but did not have chance to speak to them.It has hardly been sailed ( I've never seen it out) and over the winter the cover has been blown to shreds.It now is looking a bit distressed.It is very wide but appears to have a narrow wetted area and transom. What is she and any details?
Second is number 2240.This is a boat I sailed very occasionally but eagerly back in 1973/74 whenever asked to accompany the owner's daughter who was my age(all just before I lost my heart to a certain OK).This boat was all grp with Sky Blue decks and Orange hull and used to flex like mad even on the gravelpit.It seemed a long walk from one side to the other after my old Graduate and new Laser thingy.More about the boat I never knew but have good memories.
See you soon,
Alan
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Ed
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Post by Ed » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:12 pm

you just need the Merlin year book

2738 Echo Design by C.G Gregory built by Rowsells in 1973 named 'No Problem' last known club - Nottingham

2240 Northern Light Design by R.Debenham built by W.McDonald in Eire in 1969 named Ton Up last known club - Broxbourne.

There used to be another Northern Light in Bristol Docks - 2242 named Spherical Bouncers, but that as they say....is another story.

cheers

eib
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Alan Price
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Post by Alan Price » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:39 pm

Wow, so quick. Thanks Ed.
I was out bid on a copy of the Merlin Book on Ebay a couple of years ago but the association have a very good guide to designs on their site.
2783 certainly fits the description of an Echo and appears to be just the sort not to sail well here on the sea.Oh dear.
2240 was owned by a family in Hertfordshire and sailed in Bedfordshire when I knew it, which fits the Broxbourne connection but built in Eire? That's a suprise.
I think I shall only ever admire Merlins from afar as they all have one huge fundamental flaw. They require two nutters to sail one and, as anyone who's seen me sail knows, one nutter in a boat is quite enough.
Alan

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Ed
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Post by Ed » Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:59 pm

Its not the 'Merlin' book you need.....just a good old 'Year Book', which every member gets each year. In fact the Merlin History doesn't have a boat listing like the year book does. The year book comes out every year (of course) so has all latest boats in it. Although they have changed the way the listing works recently and it doesn't now have as much info as it used to have. I guess this is due to Data Protection. If you have a 1997 or earlier, it even has the name and address of last known owner.

However I would point out....that there are quite a few mistakes in it....and just because it says 2240 was built in Eire...does not mean its true!!

Somewhere out there......there is a merlin just looking for you!

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

davidh
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Post by davidh » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:10 am

The nipped in transom and underwater sections are very much the product of Greg Gregory - the Echo being the development of his very successful Ghost Rider. In previous strings there has been a lot of comment on Merlin designs that didn't 'work' - sadly the Echo was one of them. The idea of reducing buoyancy in the stern to reduce the nosediving tendency has been tried and tried again - I even went for a one off 14 along these lines and....... it doesn't work!

The demise of the Echo was probably hastened by the arrival on the scene of the 'power' sailors, mainly in Morrison designs - which also saw better rig control....... much close in fact to a more 'modern' Merlin.

I've never thought of the Merlin as a 'Nutters' boat - quite the opposite in fact as you can choose a boat that will carry trhe pounds one tends to gain with age!!!!!!!!

A quick thanks also to all the regular contributors on here who'd fed ideas, thoughts, details and comments in to me ...... Part 1 of the 'Lost classes' series came out on THursday in Dinghy Mag. They've given it a good spread and the CVRDA getrs a mention at the end with the web link...... hope it does the job of raising awareness.

David
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JimC
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Post by JimC » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:01 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by davidh</i>
The idea of reducing buoyancy in the stern to reduce the nosediving tendency has been tried and tried again - I even went for a one off 14 along these lines and....... it doesn't work!<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Works in Moths and Cherubs though. But there's more than one type of nosedive I suspect. Similar symptons, different causes.

Alan Price
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Post by Alan Price » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:05 pm

Did'nt mean the Merlin was a nutter's boat in particular.
Let's face it, it helps to be of a certain bent to sail any racing dinghy.
Quite often question myself whilst sailing on cold grey days and talk to myself on every sailing day.

Garry R
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Post by Garry R » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:56 pm

But don't you find the hair on the palms of your hands keeps them warm for the winter sailing - it certainly helps me!!

Alan Price
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Post by Alan Price » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:25 pm

Yep,and I always have trouble getting cloves with long enough fingers.

Pat
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Post by Pat » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:57 pm

If you'd seen the Merlin Scottish event Sunday race you'd know it was a nutter's boat - you had to be nutters to go out and sail and survive in those conditions!!
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

Garry R
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Post by Garry R » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:23 am

Have a look at these from last weekend in Scotland - the vintage pictures are there and looking lovely. It's good the way the guy has split them up into the vintage and new - makes it easy to look at the varnished ones instead of wading through the plastic fantastics!! That's why we sail them!!

Mark
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Post by Mark » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:22 pm

David, there is an interesting boat in the boatpark at Lee on Solent roadside Gosport end, was travelling too fast to see whether it was a Twelve or a Merlin....Could be a project
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davidh
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Post by davidh » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:52 pm

Mark,

There is indeed....its's the Hotspur that I risked hypothermia to rake through the frozen mud inside to find the number on the hog!

It would make a nice project if you're a lightweight and sail inland!! One of the issues with all thse older Merlins is the cost of (for example) redecking: On the Merlin website are details of a 9b (I think) where just the materials came in at £500+.

I'm already looking at a potential project - I've found a Typhoon more or less complete that I'd love to get hands on. I've yet to see it so I'm keeping fingers crossed for now - at least that has the underwater sections of a 9b - or so the story goes.

I've had some interesting feedback to the Part 1 series in Dinghy Sailing mag (on the Ghost, Unit and Typhoon).... I'm now doing part 3 which is 'modern dinghies'.... and who will (though I didn;t say this) be the first candidates for CVRDA membership. The Spice maybe, the Boss.... or Laser 5000, for sure some of these boats have been and gone quicker than one can say - or spell - asymmetric!

Shout if you're going to be down Lee on the Solent way again sometime soon - I'd have stood you a beer!

D
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Rupert
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Post by Rupert » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:10 pm

I got a DSM through the post this morning - great article - looking forward to the next one!
Good boat test Firefly V's N12, too, though it didn't really throw up any surprises.
My vote for the first CVRDA modern boat - the Bell Flyer!
Rupert

Mark
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Post by Mark » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:54 pm

Thanks for that David, am down quite often, unfortunately it is during the day and I normally on my way to or from Haslar
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