west system fp banner ad 1 15

pyi vendee ad

pyi-kiwi-12-16

diab big

enter the wizard

csabi

post-17096-0-03414700-1446061341

Many have called Bill Lee’s Merlin the boat that launched the West Coast’s love of high speed downwind sailing.  The ultra-narrow icon has been bastardized and frankenboated to near death (thanks Leif Beiley) in her recent years of Great Lakes racing, but with her long-awaited return to a Santa Cruz that once loved and worshipped her, all that is about to change.  For a beautifully written look at the full and fascinating history of one of the sport’s most important milestones, click over here.  Here’s the arrival report from SA’er “sleddog”, from the thread. Photos from the same dog.

At 9:30 this morning, with police escort lights flashing, Driver Mike with MERLIN in tow made the last turn, gently bottomed out on the boatyard hill, and MERLIN was home.
Mike had been delayed at Donner Pass Ag Station when an inspector, doing his job, had found a Zebra Mussel infestation in the keel box and canting mechanism and quarantined the boat.  It took Mike 4 hours to find someone who would hot pressure wash the boat….but he seemed in good humor and no worse for wear, given the size and length of his eye catching cargo.
post-17096-0-51626300-1446061441Three of MERLIN’s original TransPac crew were on hand for her arrival:  Designer/builder Bill Lee, “Bosun” Dave Wahle, and Phil “Cosmic Flush” Vandenberg.  As MERLIN was backed into the boatyard for unloading by TraveLift, there was a brief moment of serendipity when MERLIN passed close astern of Bill Lee’s first ocean racing boat, the shoal draft, centerboard, John Alden designed, 38′ FRIDOLF, on which Bill crewed in Southern California in the mid-60’s, and later on Monterey Bay.
There’s a lot to be done to make MERLIN ocean worthy again.  First up is to locate a used TP-52 keel to replace the canting monstrosity. Bill has feelers out from Canada to Mexico.  The “leaky” canard trunk has to be cut out, and glassed over.  Even though Bill agreed the forward sloping, carbon fiber, cabin top is ugly, I doubt it is going anywhere soon. There are bigger fish to fry.   Ditto the ” MERLIN’S REATA”  graphics, a leftover from when she was sold to a Texas restauranteer.
Everyone was smiling this morning to see MERLIN back home. I’m sure there will be more stories to come

 

csabi

October 30th, 2015

http://www.camet.com/

front-banner