Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I can see how you might view the description that you quoted as being at odds with my description but it really isn't. Back in the 1960's when the Meridian was a new design and this quote originates, we were all amazed that a boat could actually be sailed in winds that were much less than 3 or so knots. To sailers of that time, the boats of that day, with their seemingly light weight dacron mainsails and huge 170% genoas were a real revelation. I remember sailing our Vanguard in light air and ghosting past older wooden boats thinking that I could not imagine that boats could get faster than the Vanguard. But compared to modern 25 foot boats, or more significantly to a more modern 5000 lb boats, Meridians did not point very well, and offer very poor light air sailing ability.
Similarly in upwind in moderate conditions, they offered nicely balanced helms (especially the centerboard models which you could balance with the board), but in very light air they developed lee helm and were hard to maintain a course wanting to fall off unless large lee rudder angles were employed, and in heavier winds they developed a heavy weather helm for a 26 footer.
That is what I meant by "they do not sail all that well."