CS36 Merlin Model Comparison - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 52 Old 02-24-2014 Thread Starter
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CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

Hi,

My wife and I are looking for our first cruising boat and have found two fantastic potential candidates in a 1989 CS36 Merlin and a 1990 CS36 Merlin. We've seen the 89 and it looks to be in fantastic condition, lovingly maintained with numerous upgrades.

What I'd like to get is input from more experienced CS owners. What are the traits of the Merlin? Have you encountered any significant issues? How did the design change from '89 to '90? Is there anything in particular you think I should look at closely before making an offer? Are there any CS owner clubs on Lake Ontario? What is the support structure like for this boat?

I'm ready to put down my money but am always looking for more information. If there are any CS pros out there who can help me make my decision easier, I'd love to hear from you!

Cheers!

G
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

I met the designer once, Ray Wahl, I think was his name. He is a very capable designer and a nice guy. I always thought those boats were very well built.

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post #3 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

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Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
I met the designer once, Ray Wahl, I think was his name. He is a very capable designer and a nice guy. I always thought those boats were very well built.
Bob... the CS 36Ts (and 33, 27 and Quanta 28) were designed by Ray.. The CS Merlin 36, 40 and 44 were Tony Castro designs.

Ray Wahl (Wall?) IS a great guy, came out of Camper Nicholson and was willing to talk to me about our (originally) Nicholson boat even though he'd moved on by then.

I doubt there'd be much difference between the two merlin models.. they are nice boats. At some point they added a transom platform, that's a plus if you're comparing two of them.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

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post #4 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

Faster:
I knew that.

Or, once upon a time I knew that. Thanks for the correction. I hate not knowing.
Tony Castro is also a great designer.

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post #5 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

Try and send a PM to David ie Dodenja on here, He has one one here in Edmonds. Seems like a nice boat, then again, we both have boats designed by that Castro character.

Having sailed it once, I did not find it to be a bad sailing boat. Davids did need some tuning, new sails or a recut of the main IIRC. Seems like it would be a nice boat for cruising.

Marty

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post #6 of 52 Old 02-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

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I doubt there'd be much difference between the two merlin models.. they are nice boats. At some point they added a transom platform, that's a plus if you're comparing two of them.
I thought the same thing until I looked at them. The traveller in the 89 is in the cockpit, but in the 90 they moved it to the coach roof. Also, the companionway in the 89 is a ladder, but in the 90 they extended it out into a stairway over the motor.

So far we've only seen the 89, but hoping to see the 90 as soon as the snow melts enough to get to it.... (gotta love the Ontario snow belt!)

Cheers!

G
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

Davids boat has the traveller in the cockpit per say. But it has been moved a bit back from where it is supposed to be. As the previous owner could not use the traveler in its intended spot with a dodger installed. This probably was noticed by the manufacture, and re[laced/designed at the factory in 90, along with the different ladder part of the equation.

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post #8 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

"The CS 36 MERLIN, while having similar dimensions to the CS 36 TRADITIONAL, is a completely different design. While it was being produced a purchaser had five pages of options to choose from— a Kevlar or fibreglass hull; a swim platform or regular transom; a 28 hp diesel or a 43 hp turbo; a tall or regular rig and by the end, four keel configurations (shoal, wing, deep and performance bulb). As a result, other than the 20 or so that went into charter, no two Merlins are alike.
Contruction standards were high. The hull was hand-laid fibreglass or Kevlar with balsa core above the water and both hull and deck were vacuum bagged."
CS 36 MERLIN sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

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post #9 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

I know on the later models, they changed the bridge deck/companionway ladder as described above. I used to think the huge bridge deck was a waste of space, but it is actually quite useful for temporarily placing stuff when you move it below. It's also a nice perch when it's cold and rainy, and the autopilot is on.

I really like my Merlin after having her for over 3 years. She's fast, comfortable and fun.

Last Sunday we raced her in rain and sleet. Making over 6.5 knots close hauled in about 12 knots of wind. We finished the race tired and cold.

Turned on the heater, and went down below afterwards for hot chocolate, soup, and conversation. Had nice furniture to sit on too! (Missed you, Marty, you coward!)

That's my Merlin.. Fun to sail, and very comfortable
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post #10 of 52 Old 02-24-2014
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Re: CS36 Merlin Model Comparison

There is a CS owners group - CS Owners Associations Home Page
Being that they were built in Brampton there is a good local following on Lake Ontario, Lake Huron/Georgian Bay and also in Montreal & Quebec. We had a dealer network covering Maritimes, US east coast and Canadian west coast. Some of the early CS36T's were shipped to Holland. I left to manage their Long Island dealer in 1982, shortly before Raymond Wall struck out for Vancouver and prior to Tony Castro designs. Search on line and you may find more available
CS 36 Merlin - Oshawa / Durham Region Sailboats For Sale - Kijiji Oshawa / Durham Region Canada.
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