The Merlin Rocket Book

General chat about boats
Obscured by clouds
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by Obscured by clouds » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:30 pm

davidh wrote:Steve,


Space therefore has to be made for the real gems - boats that moved the class forward, from the Mike Jackson Sugar Plum (help, I'm on a run, how long before we capsize!!), the Jones Xpectant, the mike Noakes Star Rocket, the Debenham boats, Hugh Welbournes King Louis....

D
I'm now the proud owner of MR 2404 which has been described to me as being a Star Rocket or a Moon Rocket. Beyond that I know nothing about it, apart from the fact it seems to differ from every other MR I've ever see by having totally built in buouancy. was it a good design, or just competent or a total dog like the Adur 8[?] or did it never prove itself?

as for this particular boat, aside from the fact that it's a Wyche and Coppock and built somewhere about 69, I know nothing.

Some enlightenment would be good!
Tony



MR 2404 Julia Dream
N18 276 Sibrwd [ongoing project]
Hirondelle catamaran Kalipse
[down to 3!]

davidh
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by davidh » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:44 pm

2404 is a Moon Rocket, built as you say by W&C.

The key points of the design are the slim bow sections and the flat run aft, bordered by a tight turn in the bilge.

Te MR guide notes that these boats were built with the River Trent in mind and are therefore light airs/flat water rocket ships.

The other note about the boat is a marked tendency to head off 'down the mine' - ergo - to nose dive.....one can but hazard a guess what sailing one at Bough Beech the other week would have been like. Worry not, for the warning about downwind behaviour could be applied to quite a few of the boats of that era, as I've already noted, Mike Jacksons Sugar Plum being just one design that caused a few heart stopping moments along the lines of "take deep breath at windward mark as it will pay dividends later along the run"!!!

AG - a question for you - what were your Surf Scoter and Supersition designs like? Did they show any bad behavioural traits?

D
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:04 pm

Surf Scoter, 1451 Beat Nik 1523 et al (all 7 of them!) were never out of the first 6 in championships from inception to retirement John Harris had Paragon 1561 but it was the first two that shone, really a Wyche & Coppock mk 9 rip off crossed with a MK11! Beat Nik should have won the 65 Championship but only two races were sailed - two 2nds the others a first and low 30's each discards allowed in those days! Rule changed at the AGM! Beat Nik was amazing to windward fast close winded etc that mat have been her gybing board? She won in a blow she won in light airs.
Flower Child the first Supersticion was a flyer too no vices won in light airs won in a blow once we'd moved the shrouds aft!
Most of the vices boat around then observed were over enthusiastic drivers not backing off soon enough and were down to driver trouble remember John Oakleys great five year con trick about the vices of the mk9!!!
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:07 pm

BTW,
I do not think Robin Fowler had any problems with Sugar Plum 1663 (Beautifully home built.) and deserved better luck with her than he had. Any death roll is down to basic handling problems in boats if it begins to roll beyond where you can control it pull in a length of mainsheet your mainsail is twisting too far fwd! Ditto nose diving not using the waves properly.
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jon711
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by jon711 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:31 am

Sorry AG, are you saying that a Scoter, is a forgiving boat, or an unforgiving boat?

While, I agree that all boats are manageble and helm skill can overcome, some boats are easier than others....

Maybe we should start a league table of Merlins, ranging from the easy sailed boats to the nightmares (Well, that's the Adur sorted!!)

I am, thinking, that as my Classic Boat Helm is ageing (He may act like a twenty year old, but I was surprised when his better half let slip his age!!), that a more sedate Merlin may be in order, so a Scoter may be ideal. Us crews do try to look after the helms and the older generation!!! :lol: (Just waiting, for the response from the helm - it could be very humerous and x rated!! - I am expecting a two word response, one of which will be off!!)

Jon

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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:51 am

The Surf Scoter is as forgiving/unforgiving vice free.full of vice as any other Merlin Rocket I simply do not buy the thesis that some are harder than others, even Shaft and I did sail her once in a breeze at Hamble was OK.
(The awful thing is some people have more inate skill than others.)
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by davidh » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:35 am

Oh dear, we'll really have to agree to disagree on this one AG.

I sailed in a lake boat at Hamble, pretty sure it was a winderbox. In light airs it was close to incredible, it slipped upwind and to tack it you just thought "I'll tack now" and there you were. Just what you'd expect from a specialised lake boat. Sea breeze time, against the ebb and in the mouth of the River, well, it was another story. Hardly a 'stable' platform and I never really felt that in these conditions you could keep the boat going to the optimum.

Now on the other hand, 3199 Credit Card, though no slouch in the lighter stuff, was no where near as good in the morning when compared to the Winderbox. Come the afternoon, with the going officially described as exciting, you just got helm and crew both behind the hoop and went for it. The powerful aft sections provided a good degree of stability, allowing the boat to just take off, well powered up and giving the helm and crew all the confidence they needed to push harder.

But if that is not enough.... when I went out to Oz at Christmas, the cedar planked 'woodie' boat that I sailed was supposed to be close to the local Dinghy Sports GRP shape. Now forget not that this is a strict 'one design' (yeah, right!) that I was sailing. Now up until my departure I'd been sailing a dutch copy of a Tony Smith modification of a Steve Daniel 'one off' - so I was able to make a direct comparison. The dutch boat, finer forard and with more rocker middships, went upwind well and felt 'planted' downwind in the big waves. The Aussie boat was quick, splashed more going upwind, was quicker downwind but at the same time was much tippier. The flat aft sections always felt as if they were skidding away from you, which when you are trapezing from right aft is no fun! So there you have it - two boats from a one design class with huge difference in the handling characteristics!

D
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Re: The Merlin Rocket Book

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:26 am

So many contributing factors apart from hull shape, stiffness, type of rig, how it's set up the "brain" of the yachties sailing it on that day. foils etc etc etc
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