Build Quality of Merit 25, Olson 25 and Express 27 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2011
SPC SPC is offline
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Build Quality of Merit 25, Olson 25 and Express 27

I've read what I can about sailing characteristics and these two 25s seem to be comparable. What about build quality and construction techniques? Is there anything to distinguish one or the other?

This is what I have read. That the deck core is balsa on the Olson and plywood on the Merit. Both hulls are balsa cored. There was a problem with the keel to hull join on some Merits and the problem is more likely with newer examples. Anything else?

Also, if I am off base about the sailing characteristics, please set me straight.

Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2011
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I would point you to the race records of these boats. Olson 25s and Express 27s have successfully raced to Hawaii from the west coast--don't think any Merits have.

There are two Olson 25s in our harbor (Vallejo Yacht Club, Vallejo, CA). Both are raced and do very well in SF bay conditions. There are several O25s in the bay area. I've been aboard and they seem well put together. I haven't heard anything bad from their owners. I have an Olson 911se. The previous owner sailed in the ocean races around here and also took it to Hawaii. I thinks it's a solidly built boat.

Although we have no E27s, they have been campaigned in SF bay since they were new--there is a very active one-design fleet here.

There are a few Merit 25s on the bay too. Haven't heard much about them though.

IMHO, I'd lean toward the O25 or E27. Look below on these boats. The O25 is much more liveable than the E27. The E27 is a faster boat. Depends really on what you want from your boat.

Good luck
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Old 12-13-2011
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There is nothing wrong with either the O25 or M25. The E27 is a little too different to compare these other two boats too.

3 Merit 25's have sailed to Hawaii from CA, and two sailed back on their own hulls. The O25 and M25 are both solid boats. The Merit did have under built stringers but most of the boats have been fixed. Just check the keel for wobble when it's hanging. No wobble, you're GTG. The Olson has a bit more wood down below which wasn't something I'm crazy about. They both rate almost the same, with the O25 being a few seconds faster than the M25 depending on where you are.

I'm a little partial to the Merit, but must admit I haven't sailed an Olson either.
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