Does anybody have or know any info about a 1969 Meridian sailboat? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-27-2008
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Does anybody have or know any info about a 1969 Meridian sailboat?

I bought my first sailboat, 1969 Meridian. I was trying to get some info and history on the boat. Was wondering if anybody can help me out because it seems to be a super unique boat because I can't find any info on it. PLEASE HELP
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Old 03-27-2008
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Is it a Rhodes Meridian? Do you have the LOA, LWL, BEAM, Displacement, etc. for the boat?
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Old 03-27-2008
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I assume you mean a Phillip Rhodes designed Seafarer Merridian 26. I believe that they were build by Devries, Lench in Holland under licence to Brian Ackworth who founded Seafarer. Brian was a British Airlines pilot who commissioned the design and imported the boats to the U.S. They actually went out of production somewhere around 1966 due shifts in the dollar relative to European currencies and the impact of the common market on boats shipped to the US. They were nicely built and beautifully finished. Compared to modern designs they are cramped, do not sail all that well, and were not all that seaworthy.

Nothing all that unique about them. They were pretty typical CCA era racer/cruisers with all that implied (mostly not so good).

I may actually still have literature on the Merridian. What is more do you want to know?

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-27-2008 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 03-28-2008
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lots of variables

I just got a 1962 seafarer meridian.
this is clearly the original philip rhodes design
this has a full keel with an attached rudder--LOA just shy of 25'
some had inboard power some had the common (in the era) o/b well
they had a wooden mast and boom---very rare!!! adds a lot of character

later the production was moved to the u.s. & the molds were modified (I believe with McCurdy & [Bodie]Rhodes)
these variation had names like meridian vineyard, meridian bermuda, etc--they were around 26' LOA
fin keel with separated rudder

I assume you read these
Seafarer Meridian

Meridian

after reading these again yours must be a fin keel

let us know
-kevin
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our rhodes meridian, s/v sugar magnolia:

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Old 03-28-2008
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None of the Meridians had true 'full keels'. The earliest design had a sharply cut away forefoot and sharply raked rudder post (what we would have called a fin keel with attached rudder in those days) so that it actually had a shorter keel length than a typical fin keel/spade rudder boat of that era like a Contest 25 or Cal 25.

The result of this short keel and attached rudder was a boat that has the worst features of both long keels or a fin keel/ spade rudder configuration and few of the virtues of either boats with long keels or with fin keel/ spade rudder, (meaning it would not track well, was hard to maneuver, and its rudder was exposed to damage in a grounding)

Later keel options included a centerboard model, and a fin keel spade rudder model.

Seafarer produced a new 26 foot model when they began building in Huntington (around 1965/66). It was quite a different boat than the earlier Meridian, but I don't recall it being called a Meridian. Unlike the earlier Meridians which had beautifully finished mahogany interiors, the later boats had molded fiberglass interiors intended to save money. On the other hand these boats had aluminum spars rather then the wooden spruce spars found on the Dutch built boats.

Jeff

As was popular in those days there were a wide variety of cabin types (trunks of various lengths and a trunk and doghouse design). This was an era where manufacturers adapted the same hull with different deck and interiors to produce daysailors with open cuddy, weekender and cruiser models.
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Old 03-29-2008
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"And how the Meridian sailed! My mother always recited the slogan, "She ghosts in a Zephyr," which she said appeared somewhere in the literature about the boat. The helm was so perfectly balanced that you could hold the tiller with a pinky and I remember one fine day on a 10-day cruise that my father let go the tiller and she sailed all day on that one tack. The tiller wasn't even locked."

Oh my, that sounds just terrible.
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Old 03-31-2008
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Thanks for your time and info.
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Old 03-31-2008
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Seabreeze: LOL

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."

Jeff
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Well, I don't know about the boats. I just thought it was an interesting comparison on different perspectives.
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Old 04-01-2008
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I agree with you. I thought it was an interesting comparason of perspectives as well. Its funny how my own perspective has changed over the years. One of my favorite boats that I ever owned was a 1949 wooden Folkboat. She was one of the nicest sailing little boats that I have ever sailed and for years I compared everything that I sailed to her and few 25 footers measured up. Then in the 1980's I bought a Bruce Kirby designed 25 footer and was amazed at her speed and ease of handling.

The way I look at Folkboats today is that they still are wonderful sailing boats, that offered great performance for their day. I still think that I would enjoy sailing a Folkboat in most conditions. That said, I know that they really don't do well in winds under 5 knots compared to most more modern designs.

Jeff
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