Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kirkland, Washington
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As my dock neighbor Marty points out, pointing ability is a complex issue, including boat design, sails, and skill, including helming ability.
Sail trim matters. I did an upwind horizon job on a faster Tartan 3500 last weekend with a first-time sailor at my helm. The Tartan is a faster boat, but my boat was trimmed better.
Marty and I race together, and you could see a dramatic improvement when he got his jib recut and his boat got faster. It was remarkable. We all noticed, and are presently seeding barnacles on his hull to slow him down a bit.
All that being said, I've had my Merlin for a year now. She has a dacron 130 genoa and main. I find that I can point pretty close to the rest of the fleet, consisting of mostly smallers cruisers/racers but not as well as those that have laminate jibs.
Now, I'm still learning to sail my boat, and expect that my performance will continue to improve. Swapping my prop out for a feathering prop will help as well.
I intend to get a laminate genoa sometime soon, but am still waffling on size and supplier.
I bought the Merlin, after a long search. I wanted something well built that would sail very well. I wanted something that I could fit in a 36 foot slip, and also have an aft cabin (no quarterberth)
She is fast, powerful and responsive. A true joy to sail.
She's also comfortable down below, and has more "legs" in terms of storage capacity for longer unsupported cruises.
So, after a year, I think I made a smart choice for my boat. There are other smart choices out there.
If you can get to Seattle, I'd be happy to take you sailing.
1987 CS 36 Merlin "Kyrie"
"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown
Last edited by djodenda; 09-13-2011 at 01:57 PM.