I have a Merlin that I bought new in 1988. I still have her after nearly twenty years. Mine has the shoal draft Hydrokeel. Contrary to what you say very few are raced up here mainly due to the low production numbers, less than 100 were built. Mine is #36 and they stopped production two years later. I have made eight trips south from Toronto in her. They are sought after on the Great lakes as a good cruising boat because of the aft cabin. The water tankage is good too - 150 gallons. Most of them have rod rigging and are built fairly robustly. Solid glass below waterline, vacuum bagged balsa cored above. The Tony Castro design is light and airy down below as opposed to the Traditional which is a bit dark with that divider forward of the chart table. I do think the Traditional is a prettier boat with nice sheer, which the merlin lacks. I no longer take her south now as the long journey was getting to be a bit of a drag. I have a Ben 393 which I sail in the Bahamas. Most of the Merlins up here are in fairly good condition. They are much sought after up here. Two or three of them were put in charter in BVI in the late eighties, they are no longer there but you should check the history of any one you look at.
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Last edited by Vasco; 11-12-2007 at 10:30 AM.