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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » M - Boats starting with 'M' » Merit

Previous Product 
Merit 22
Reviews Views Date of last review
12 8597 Tue August 12, 2008
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0












Description: Merit 22
Keywords: Merit 22
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri August 1, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Trailerable racer/cruiser. Quality built, lead vertical drop keel, sleeps 4, poptop available.

My Merit has the traveler set up accross the stern and no play in the centerboard trunk. With the board down she acts like a fin keel, but to come unstuck ( a fairly regular thing in the Delta) we just winch it up with the starboard Lewmar and we're back in business! This came in real handy when we wandered out of the channel on Suisun Bay last year.

We've powered ours with a 9.9 Nissan. Probably overkill, but we have been able to tow larger boats back to port. My wife loves it when we're able to come back from an outing with a 30' yacht in tow! Five HP would do fine.
Nice well built boat, fast and pretty!


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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed January 14, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The Merit 22 is a smaller version of the highly successful MORC racer, the Merit 25. Paul Yates designed and built these boats from 1980-86 in California and shocked the racing establisment by showing up in his own design (the 25) and winning the MORC internationals more than once.
The M22 is easily trailerable due to it's lifting keel and easily stepped mast rig. The boat weighs 2,000lbs all up, and the 600lb lead keel is rased to the cabin top by a block and tackle and the starboard winch. Draft is 4' down and 2' up. This is also a great help if you should run aground and not be able to free yourself, just raise the keel and drive away! The boat is very well constructed with balsa core and excellent glass and gel coat finishes. The mast can be stepped and unstepped by two or three people and the standing rigging does not have to be adjusted allowing very quick set up and sailing. The boat is 22' overall with 18' LWL and 8' beam.

The interior is very large, and with the optional pop-top, allows standing headroom when anchored. The V-berth is large and fine for a couple, the boat has seats facing for a dinette to port with a fold-out teak table (compact and nice). The table can fit between the dinette seats and with the backrests create a single and a half berth to port. There is another long berth to starboard and an optional quarterberth to port. There is an interesting optional small galley that stores in the starboard quarterberth and can be pulled out over the starboard berth for meal preparation. It is just a manual pump with a water tank, a "sink" made of a tupperware type rectangular bowl and it has a teak drawer in it and a working surface on top. I take a Colman camping stove for cooking, use a small cutting board on the work surface and can wash stuff in the sink.

Sailing Qualities:
Awesome performing boat. She rates 204 on the Chesapeake and outperforms many larger boats. Same PHRF as a Catalina 27! Usually waterline length can't be beat, but the Merit can overcome even physics! Masthead rig and does not sail well under main alone, but even a #4 headsail (85%) puts her on her toes. Light weight means quick acceleration out of a tack or when hit by a puff, but can be initially unnerving to spouses not used to heeling over! If too much sail is up and boat heels over beyond 35 degrees, she will simply round up into the wind. If sailed in heavy winds, mains should have two reef points installed and small jibs should be available. In light winds she sails well with a 155% Geneoa and full main. Several modifications can help this boat win a trunkload of silver in racing. Most important is to install a Harken windward sheeting traveller car system across the cockpit. The ability to play the traveller and fine tune the sheeting angles on the main help the pointing ability dramatically. A section of the boom can actually be removed after this modification and internal rigging can be added if desired for the reefing lines. I have surfed the boat in a variety of medium to heavy wind conditions, even under reefed main and #3 Haarstick racing blade on a reach. She will plane downwind under asymetrical poleless or symetrical spinnaker with a pole. Rail meat is necessary to win in strong winds as the boat's light weight is an asset only if you can keep the high side weighted down. Good, custom made sails are worth their weight in gold! A good, heavy, stiff dacron main with a shelf foot and a suite of mylar jibs will bring you much happiness. Even the original Horizon sails are good and adequate to learn and cruise with. All in all the Merit 22 is a fantastic Racer/Cruiser or Pocket Cruiser. The interior is adequate for weekending and the sailing experience is exceptional. I am very happy with the boat and have been trying to find out if the molds are still available in California after Merit went bankrupt (poor management not poor boats), but have been unable to locate them. The Merit 22, 25 and 28 (only a couple) are superb designs and I would be willing to start a boatbuilding company to manufacture them again if the molds could be found! There were about 525 Merit 22's made and they are rarely found on the resale market due to their perfect size, performance and all around ability. If you find one in good shape and are looking to have fun, or learn to sail, or race competitively, or explore via trailersailing on weekends...... grab one of these jewels.
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administrator

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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Mon February 23, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Be sure to read Stuart's review. I will add a few comments.

I have only had my Merit 22 for a year. It has been on mountain lakes here in Montana
and in the San Juan Islands. I put in a mainsheet traveler across the middle of the cockpit.
This is an improvement even though it takes up space in the cockpit. This allowed me to
cut nearly a foot off the boom which reduces the chance of hanging up on the backstay
during a violent jibe.

I moved the stern pulpit back (welding required) about 8 inches and the bow pulpit ahead
about the same. There is more room in the cockpit.

I cut about eight holes in the hull liner and installed screw-in inspection plates. I wanted
to see what was "in there" and wanted to be able to ventilate the cavities when the boat is
stored. I found some foam flotation under the bow and under the stern. At some point I
would like to know if the boat would float full of water. I don't know if I am interested
enough to fill it up with water and really test it.

I have made a removable, aluminum bowsprit that attaches to the deck. I plan to tie the
tack of my asymmetrical spinnaker here. This has not been tested.

I removed the companionway ladder believing it took up too much room. I used the teak
to make drawer fronts for two long drawers, inside, that slide under the cockpit. I don't
have the galley option on my boat. The drawers are great!

The previous owner tightened up the keel so it wouldn't thump around in the slot. It is
hard to pull up and I think I will grind some off.

The Merit 22 was pictured on the cover of SMALL BOAT JOURNAL and there was a
short review; Number 51, November 1986, pages 38-43. This great magazine is
unfortunately no longer published. I have a copy and if you send a SASE and the price of
a cappuccino I will make a copy and send it to you.

If there is a Merit 22 enthusiast who could set up a web page for this boat that would be
great.

Charless Fowlkes, 31 Gardner Park Drive, Bozeman, MT 59715
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Tue June 30, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I've owned a Merit 22 for 5 years now. Really enjoyed the boat. Found it a little tricky to sail/tune. The boat is very fast in light to moderate winds. I can easily keep up - and pass - larger boats (i.e. Catalina 27's). Once it starts to blow, the boat is hard to keep flat without a lot of crew, and it slows down. Also have found a problem in light air with too much crew. The extra weight imparts lee helm, probably from an imbalance to the stern end. I typically sail the boat with full main with a shelf, and a 155% genny. Found it better to short reef the main rather than go to a smaller headsail. The boat has a main traveller installed in the cockpit. Helps with performance, but not comfort. Unless you are racing, I don't think I'd make this modification. Another guy in our club has a Merit 22 with the stock traveller mounted over the transom. His boat goes well too, but I'm definately faster. Found rig tension to be real critical. I try to get the uppers as tight as possible, and the inners just slightly looser than that. Normally adjust the backstay in pretty tight too, except downwind. Inside is pretty comfortable. Sleeps two adults and two kids well. the quarter berths are short though, because of the positive floatation foam which is molded into the stern. Never had a chance to check the floatation, so I don't know if it's worth it or not. My boat has genoa tracks installed along the top sides of the cabin. This is really nice because it allows for a narrower sheeting angle, and it's easy to adjust the leads. One problem though, is it's tough to lead the jib sheets to the cockpit winches from there. Could be a big problem if you like to single hand the boat. All in all it's a great boat! Good design, comfortable, fast, and pretty well respected.
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administrator

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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Sat December 4, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This is my first sail boat. The boat is in exelent shape , but the trailer is in poor shape ( it was a good deal at 3000 dollars ). I am very much in need of an owners manual
for the boat. I will keep you informer of my adventure of learning to sail and the performance of the boat 'Cloud 9 '
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Review Date: Fri July 28, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


This boat is a great blend of cruiser/racer. She trailers well behind an SUV. I spent 3 weeks with my wife and dog cruising the San Juan Islands. The pop top gives you standing headroom, add an oil lamp, some throw cushions, and a good book make for some great nights on the hook. I have made many modifications to the boat; some good some not so good. My latest is a 5' bowsprit which can articulate 17 degrees to port or starboard and a big assymetric kite (we saw 8 kts. while towing the dingy!) The assymetric is simple to set, douse, and gybe with a crew of 2. The boat sails very well in light air (5-15) but above 15 kts. she can become a handful going to weather unless you make some rig modifications: I added the Harken windward sheeting traveler car and center cockpit traveler. I have added a 12-1 vang which is helpful. In a blow I now vang sheet when I meet the limits of the traveler. I have also added a 24-1 adjustable backstay. It is amazing how much that affects the power in the sails even on a masthead rig like the Merit. The last improvement I made to help go to weather in heavy air is a 60% jib. This is a used Star class jib and with that up I don't reef until 25Kts. I have owned many boats and I actually down sized from an Aries 32 to the Merit and I don't regret that move at all. Because it is cheap to maintain, easy to sail short handed, and trailers so nicely, I have cruised much more with the Merit than the Aries. Please note though that the Merit is not intended for offshore cruising, at least not the Pacific coast. If you find a Merit for a fair price, you can't go wrong.





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Review Date: Mon October 2, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The Merit 22 is the first sailboat for both me and my wife. We like the boat very much. When we bought the boat it was stock. We added Pelican hooks on the life lines. Then a new Tabernackle plant under the mast for blocks. Installed deck blocks and line clutch for three on the starboard side. T tracks was installed just behind the shrouds for jib blocks. Now I can control everything from the cockpit. The main sail was a rope feed and added slugs and a home made lazy jack. The jib had a cloth flap to hold the sail to the head stay. Added hanks. The original sail where hard to raise and lower. Added a small block at the bow to use as a down hauler. And copied from a friends boat two thin plates that holed the main sail to the mast. Not allowing the slugs to fall out of the slide on the mast. I like the traveler just where it is. Keeps the cockpit clean. We have sailed it on Millerton Lake here in California for most of the time. Have taken it up to 7000 ft and sailed it at Huntington Lake, CA. And spent 2 weeks sailing around the San Juan Island with my wife and grand-daughter. V birth is nice but up graded it to a thicker 4 inch foam. The original foam was a soft 3 inch. The boards came through. Have had a hard time finding gasket for the Dagger keel. The stuff from the hardware store just flatten out. Found 1/4 inch rubber worked well. Had a hard time installing a depth finder and speedometer. The port a potty sets where you need to place the probes. Had to install sleaves that I fiberglassed in. Off center infront of the keel. Found the bottom of the boat had quite a lot of water blisters for the owner before me. I would say over 40 of them. He had fixed them and painted over them with canded spray paint. Had to seal the bottom with epoxy paint. Then added a antifouling paint. I think I have the boat the way I like it. We sail it all the time.
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KurtM
Junior Member

Registered: April 2002
Posts: 2
Review Date: Tue April 16, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

My wife and I purchased the Merit in 2000 and have been sailng it since. If anyone wants the manuals for this boat e-mail me at imalzr@hotmail.com I dont have them digitized yet but I will hurry if I get any response about this posting. I have the original sales brochures also. Let me know if anyone wants this.
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dinghy_sailor
Junior Member

Registered: December 2001
Posts: 4
Review Date: Wed November 20, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Ahoy mate! My name is Chuck. I live in Greenville SC and sail on Lake Hartwell. I have owned a Merit 22 since 2/01/02. Its sitting at the lake while I play crew dog on J-24's. I begin sailing cats on Hilton Head Island in the 70's and have had many boats since. Hope to hear from other owners of the Merit 22.

I have scanned the owners manual and other data on the Merit 22 information site. Please visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/merit22/
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Review Date: Sat December 21, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I've had my merit for about 5 years now and have really enjoyed it. I've race it on a small inland lake and am very pleased with its light air performance. When the wind kicks up it can be a hand full but very safe. I've never experenced a knock down and I don't think it would be possible. The heaver the wind the more she tends to head up.

This boat is now for sail so if you are reading these reviews and are interested, please visit www.thomark.com/merit22 for details about my boat. I will also be posting several pictures there in the next few days.
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Review Date: Sat January 17, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Purchased new, Lot's of fun, from Central Iowa.
Would like to hear from others in the area.
also at tombriles@aol.com
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eggersd
Junior Member

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 1
Review Date: Tue August 12, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good intro racer/cruiser. Excellent in light winds
Cons: needs a bilge pump

I just bought an '84 Merit 22 and have been sailing her a bit this summer with my family. We love the boat and are just learning about how to sail her in different conditions. From what I can tell from reading other posts most everything is stock rigging. I'd love to hear from other Merit owners and get ideas for tuning, rigging, and handling in various conditions. I have a non-stock spinnaker that's probably too small. I'd like to add a bow-sprit and an Asssym. Any recommendations?
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