Merlin mainsail

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Garry R
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Chapel Allerton Somerset

Post by Garry R » Fri Oct 01, 2004 8:52 am

Anybody out there got an old Merlin mainsail. The Merlin is a Proctor IX No 1729 with an alloy Proctor mast and a tracked boom. Don't want to spend a fortune (naturally) as have just restored her and budget a bit squeezed. gjr@rowett.ac.uk will get me.

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Ed
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Post by Ed » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:24 am

I might have something......but it wouldn't be very nice.....

In the past I have always bought 2nd hand merlin sails from either the Merlin Web site 'bits for sale' pages or from the Welsh Harp Boat Centre who used to flog all of Wembley S.C. old sails.

I would say....in a word of warning....that buying 2nd hand sails for old merlins is not easy. As the size of main and jib are added together for measuring, there are a wide range of differing sized sails around. Some years the fashon was big main, little jib.....other years the other way around. Of course whether there was a bow shoot also made a difference to size and aspect ration of jib. However the biggest difference has been in the luff size. Older boats especially old river boats (and new boats at some clubs - Tamesis for example)use a sail plan with a 6-9in longer luffed main.

So....you need to measure your luff.....and jib foot....and then carefully look around.

For what it is worth....when I did MR999 Rozzer....also a MkIX....it originally had a much longer mast, but 2nd hand mains that would fit were few and far between, so I found another mast that fitted the shorter main luff...although in fact I seem to remember that even that I had to shorten a bit. With the shorter luff, it was much easier to find a main. As a rule....I think that mains are a little bigger (lower aspect) and jibs a bit smaller (higher aspect) these days. It seemed to me that the jib fitted well from its new tack position which was now behind the spinnaker shoot......but I am not sure it would of fitted so well from a tack at the very bow.

So.....you can put a modern rig on an old merlin.....and it can be the cheapest way of doing it. With Rozzer....strangely enough it worked well, in fact better than on a later merlin I modernised MR2900 Urban Kipper. However.....I don't think it looks quite as original as the old high-aspect rig does.

Oh....another idea for finding merlin sails....especially the high river-rig....is to try Tamesis or one of the other river clubs..UTSC, Cookham Reach, Hampton as people often have old sails hanging around in their garages. Finally you can try Dick Batt who makes a fair number of Merlin sails including river-rigs.....he sometimes has 2nd hand sails.....used to have them on his web site.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


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