The Merlins were built to a higher standard than the CS36T
I respectfully disagree.
The Traditional is a better built boat.
The "t" has a solid glass "overbuilt" hull and the Merlin has a cored hull. Although cored might be lighter and possibly stronger when new....I prefer the solid glass hull of the "T" on a 30-35 year old boat.
All the options in the world don't make the Merlin a better built vessel.
I worked at CS yachts in the early 80's, in all facets of production, sales and commissioning.
The CS 36 Traditional's were well built and some of the best of Canadian boat building of the era. The Traditional has a loyal following and although they are over 30 years old, have held their value and the reputation as a above average "blue water" vessel.
Delivered them on both coasts and they are a pleasure to sail.
The Merlin is a whole other "animal".
Raymond Wall design (Trad.) of Camper & Nicholson fame vs. Tony Castro design (Merlin). The Merlin is a "pan" boat and has had problems with "shifting" or "cracking" as a result of the mast "butt" stressing the pan and it manifests in a nice crack on the starboard salon settee bunk. Just lift up the cushion and most have some signs of stress or complete failure in that area.
Of note is the fact that Merlin's are now priced the same as Traditionals in the current market. Back in 2008 Merlins were selling for close to a $100K in the last 5 years they have dropped down to around $60K the same as a well equipped CS 36 Traditional.
The Merlin offers a "euro" look and an interior closer to what the market is currently looking for BUT the Traditional is a better built boat.....hands down.
Just ask "Boatpoker" a well respected expert Marine Surveyor or "Mainesail" who has the most beautifully "reno'd" CS 36 T I have ever seen.