Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

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Captain_Pugwash
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Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Captain_Pugwash » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:25 pm

Well. I'm sure many of you know the feeling! You see a boat sat in a corner of the dinghy park and think 'Damn, that looks beautiful' and the more you look the more beautiful it becomes. In a very short space of time the boat in question is sitting on the drive, the wife is saying 'Not another one!', the children, thinking their inheritance is disappearing fast, ask how much it cost and of course, the neighbours ask if you bought it for Guy Fawkes. Why don't people understand?
That really is the start of this project. Personally, I think she is beautiful - a Procter Mk12 , built in 1961. She has a Needlespar mast - so thin I wouldn't use it as a fishing rod - and modernish sails although she has an older set as well. She also has a small spinnaker but the mice have more of it than I do! - anyone want to sell an old spinny? She is, of course, wood. She needs re-decking and I've since discovered the bottom of the transom, the knee to the hog and the first 9" of the hog need replacing. Otherwise she looks OK. That's about it in a nutshell. I will report progress on a reasonably regular basis and look forward to having her on the water come the spring. I hope the following pictures upload OK.
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Mikey
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Mikey » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:11 pm

She looks to be in pretty good nick. Decks look good but photos can be deceiving. Unusal to see centre mainsheet on a Mk 12 she would originally have had transom sheeting. A Mk.12 can be a good boat especially on restricted water. Let me know the number & I will look through my M/R yearbooks to give you some history.

Mike Liggett.

Mikey
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Mikey » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:14 pm

Woops should have looked closer at your post! Will check on 1200.

Mike.

Mikey
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Mikey » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:53 pm

1200 was built in 1960 and owner finished from a Wyche & Coppock hull and my 1961 year book shows her named "Nor" and based at Thames SC. By 1972 she had moved up river to Walton-on-Thames. A move to Stevenage took place in 1976 but no club given. Another change in owner in 1985 and a short move to Langley in Herts. - again no club. This is the last recorded owner and location of the boat.

Mike Liggett.

Captain_Pugwash
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Captain_Pugwash » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:53 pm

Thanks for the info Mikey. The front decks have started to lift and the side decks are not to bright either. The boat was called 'Tor' by the previous owner and also a couple of previous owners on the MR forum. It was only when I joined the MR association that I noticed the name should be Nor - 1st king of Norway as a matter of interest. Is the centreboard case built to take the stress of the centre main? The PO did mention that he thought there was a leak from the c/board although I think that may well have been more likely from the rotten wood around the bottom of the transom.
The intention is to get the hull back to bare wood inside and out and then start the rebuild. I will be keeping her for the long term so I would like to take the time to replace the poor wood with good as I think it worthwhile. I'll also be quite honest and say that I have no thoughts of modern high tension rigs, etc. I don't even have strong feelings about c/mains. I would be happy to go back to a transom main. I won't do it at the moment because I think it would simply pull the transom off the back of the boat!

JimC
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by JimC » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:37 pm

I doubt the mainsheet loads on the CB case are much of an issue. When you consider the loads that are imposed by umpteen stones of crew jumping on the board and all the rest of it, I reckon anything that can cope with that will easily deal with the mainsheet.

Captain_Pugwash
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Captain_Pugwash » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:35 pm

I suspect you're right Jim. However, I'm not sure about your phrase 'loads that are imposed by umpteen stones of crew'. Mrs Pugwash may well take exception to that remark!(lol) The trouble is , if I remove the centre main track from the thwart, she may well want it upholstered!

chris
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by chris » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:24 pm

I put the centre sheet back to the original transom sheeting on MR507. I personally prefer it that way anyway and it certainly works well. I like the lack of clutter in the middle of the boat too. There are several Mk 12s around and I know the owners do enjoy them. As said, good inland particularly.

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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by JimC » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:22 am

Captain_Pugwash wrote: umpteen stones of crew'. Mrs Pugwash may well take exception to that remark!(lol)
Takes two to make a crew... The upholstery problem is easily solved: suggest you'll make it detachable so it can be taken home and laundered...

podmeister
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by podmeister » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:33 am

Excellent - I'll be following this thread to see how you go with the restoration :D

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Ed
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Ed » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:51 pm

There used to be a very good article on the MR website by Dan Alsop about the pros and cons of mid and aft sheeting on classic boats.....but I couldn't find it after a quick look. Maybe someone else has it.

I think if memory serves, the general advice was that in most cases, aft sheeting works better on classic/vintage boats due to being able to use the mainsheet to firm up the rig (forestay) tension on what tend to be rather floppy unstiff boats. At one time, many boats were modernised to mid-sheeting but then found to be unable to point at all.

If you want to do it (as I did on MR999), then you really need to try and stiffen up the hull as well to keep some rig tension, without the mainsheet. This can be done either by putting in a fore-tank, or Tammy-wires (rigging wires from hog to main crossmember under deck), or kingpost, or redecking, or all of the above.

It will be easier to get the boat stiff enough for a traveller than a hoop, but aft sheeting should be easiest of all.

The issue with this all is....that really the main should be cut differently for an aft-sheeted rig rather than a mid-sheeted boat, so you might need to play/fiddle/choose with care.

MR 999 originally had a traveller, but I didn't like it. The Merlin Rocket is all about teamwork and even if your crew is your better half....you still need to provide somewhere for them to sit.

I would say, either put it back to the aft, or do some serious stiffening and then put in a hoop.

just my thoughts

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
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Pat
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Pat » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:34 pm

What about a compromise - either Laser style sheeting or a split tail main on the transom but led forward to a centre block (or even skiff style off the boom) so you can face forward when tacking but have that rear end connectivity??
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

chris
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by chris » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:18 pm

If I remember correctly Dan Alsop's article advocating keeping or putting back a traveller if it had been removed in favour of a hoop on 'classics'. Modern merlins usually have a very complicated one string arrangement for mast rake. A rear mainsheet on a rig without too much tension does (not quite) the same thing with no strings at all. The higher you point and the tighter the mainsheet the rig will rake back, ease off and it goes forward (ok and sideways a bit too). I like to opt for a simple boat and concentrate of sailing rather than fiddling. works for me anyway but you do what you want.

davidh
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by davidh » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:40 pm

Okay...... as one who took a poorly installed hoop of an old boat and restored it to a full width mainsheet traveller.....

The Dan Alsop approach suggested treating the mainsail like a barn door. Instead of seeking to control the twist in the upper regions of the sail, the 'concept' was that the sail shape stayed pretty much the same, with the helm bringing the whole sail in and out with the traveller. However, please don't think that it is a simple case of just adding a traveller, for you really need the whole rig set up so that it works as it did when travellers were all the rage. That includes the cut of the sail..........indeed, there is quite a noticeable variation in the overall shaping put into both the main and jib.

In the MR book it is interesting that this is an important sub plot. Mike McNamara was the sailmaker of choice for the class and his understanding of what was expected from the rig was first class. Then along came Phil Morrison and the first hoops.....complete with Morrison Sails - and in just a few months Mike Macs 'X' sails were like fax machines...here today, gone tomorrow!

For a boat of 1200's vintage, I think you can pretty much do whatever you like! Ken Rose had a traveller on his boat and many of the IXs, IXbs and XIIs had been modified. I had a centre main on my XII (1317) - and it worked.

BUT..... it has to be said that not all crews will love you for it..... Supercrewjon found that the traveller had chewed through his wetsuit and through a certain part of his anatomy but it is a case of 'mind over matter' - I didn't mind and Jon's backside didn't matter!!

D
David H

Captain_Pugwash
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Re: Merlin Rocket 1200 Restoration

Post by Captain_Pugwash » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:33 pm

Gentlemen - thanks for the input. I don't profess to be an expert in these matters but I'm inclined to believe that, with the old hull/slack rigging the transom main probably ticks the boxes. 1200 has had a set of sails from 33XX which, taking your point about sails built to match rigs, I assume would be cut for a centre main and could cause problems. To be honest, at this point in time, I'd be happy if she was water tight! However, it is always best to have a plan as to where these renovations are going and all the information has been taken on board!
I would like to take this opportunity to complement the MROA. I sent of my membership on the Monday after I purchased 1200. On the Thursday I had a 'Welcome' letter, three old magazines and a yearbook. It then took the RYA a couple of weeks to send the certificate with change of ownership. I bought another classic dinghy at the beginning of August. I sent my membership cheque on the 8th August and am still waiting for a reply so to receive a reply within a week is amazing. Well done.
The following photos are of the rot in the lower transom/hog. It looks as though it started around the lower pintle. The knee between the transom and the hog was also rotten and has been removed. The hog appears to be drying out reasonably well but I really need to get her inside for the transom/hull to dry properly. There is a large hole through the transom in the area of the lower pintle and a hole vertically into the hog where the knee was. It looks as if the screws that go up into the knee through the hog have rotted and the knee began moving. To try to fix this the owner put two square sections of wood along the hog against the knee. It may have held the knee for a while but didn't solve the original problem. I am of a mind to cut out the transom and replace and also cut out enough of the hog to get me back to good wood. This does mean that the lower planks will get a chance to dry properly before the area is rebuilt. I have also been advised to fill the area with epoxy and also to use a Ronseal product that repairs wet wood. I tend to think that she has lasted 50 years and it would be nice to think that the repair will last another 50 years and probably the only way of doing that is to replace poor wood with good. Does this make sense or is it OTT?
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