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post #12 of Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

I've got a 1989 model. They changed the companionway from a ladder to the split stairs because (so I heard) on an early model the company had to do an engine change under warranty and it was a B###h to get it out.
That said, I love mine! I do have to watch my depth as I've got the deep keel (6'3") and it has smudged bottom a few times on Chesapeake Bay.
Handles well, fast and would probably sail better with new sails.
One thing I'm not sure I like is water tanks take up all of both settees. I'd rather have less tankage and a secure place to put my tool bags. The traveler is really not very useful in the cockpit but it's great for single handing as I can adjust the main and jib from the helm.
The Volvo 2003 is pretty reliable; doesn't have glow plugs but when it's cold you pull the engine kill out for a few seconds, then push it back in and that seems to help. (I have no clue as to the science behind THAT! Just something that was told to me)
I suspect it cuts off the fuel momentarily and allows the engine to turn w/o getting fuel and build up heat by compression.
I don't know that we'd do any lengthy cruising in her but we did 9 days last fall and loved it. Plan to do that again as well as go to New England for a month or so eventually. Could possibly see us going to the Bahamas too, we'll see.

Good boat!

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