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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new owner of a 1989 CS36 Merlin.
I've seen a few different designs for custom bimini/dodger combinations on the Merlin. The design on our boat has a very narrow bimini and I was wondering if there were other designs out there that had better coverage.

Does anyone have a photo of a nice CS36 Merlin bimini?

Cheers!

G
 

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Mine is pretty small - it is because the boom comes so far back, and unless you are willing to compromise and have a bimini that is REALLY low you don't really have a choice
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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It all depends on where your traveller is. The Merlin was built with three different mainsheet traveller configurations. Early models had the traveller just forward of the pedestal, later models on the coachroof and a "racing" model had a wide traveller across the cockpit seats and bridge deck.
 

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Fair point Vasco - mine has the traveller just in front of the binnacle.

That being said though - for me the biggest restriction is that when I am going hard to wind with the main sheet tight, the back end of the boom is below the bimini leading edge, hence the bimini couldn't go any further forward without it catching or a much lower bimini which for me simply wouldn't work.
 

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Fair point Vasco - mine has the traveller just in front of the binnacle.

That being said though - for me the biggest restriction is that when I am going hard to wind with the main sheet tight, the back end of the boom is below the bimini leading edge, hence the bimini couldn't go any further forward without it catching or a much lower bimini which for me simply wouldn't work.
Mine (88 model #6236) is the same. That's why I've never put a bimini on it. I have a dodger extension which can only be used when not using the mainsail.
 

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I have a fairly short bimini - it is only about 2 maybe 3 feet deep but it certainly keeps the sun off me when I'm behind the wheel during the hottest part of the day. Also because it is short it isn't too difficult to look up past it to see my windex.

I'm pretty happy with it and zip in a centre section when I'm at dock that joins the dodger to the bimini - I just move the mainsheet over to the toerail so that can happen.

The one thing that I am thinking of changing is the dodger. It was on the boat when I bought it and it is quite low, enough so that it makes getting into the cabin a bit of a pain. I've looked at the set up and I could easily have one that is 8 or so inches higher and still not have any issues with the boom, even when it is pulled down tight.

I'd be interested in any recommendations regarding makers of dodgers in the Toronto area as I have seen some disasters

Lee
 

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Looks good - I will check them out

On another subject - I'm currently assessing my upwind performance on the boat. Mine has the wind keel and the tack angles aren't what I would like - is yours a wing keel and if so - what are you seeing as tack angles in a medium breeze - 10 or so knots and flat seas

Lee
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Looks good - I will check them out

On another subject - I'm currently assessing my upwind performance on the boat. Mine has the wind keel and the tack angles aren't what I would like - is yours a wing keel and if so - what are you seeing as tack angles in a medium breeze - 10 or so knots and flat seas

Lee
I have the wing keel "patented Hydrokeel" as CS puts it. She doesn't point the best. I don't race so it's not a significant factor for me. You need the deep keel for that. Also with the wing keel the boats don't turn on a dime.
 

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Yeah - I'm finding that - but I'd just like to get some sort of comparison to see whether mine is better/worse. I'm seeing tack angles that are in the 105 degree range even in what I would consider perfect conditions.

I do race, although just at the club level and want to try to get the best performance out of her, but if those sort of angles are what I can expect then my tactics need to be radically different, so any input you can give would be gratefully received

Lee
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input, guys. I suspected there wasn't much I could do about the bimini/dodger configuration and it appears that I'm unfortunately right. The boat does have a full enclosure I can use but only when the boom is shackled out on the toe rail.

As for the tacking angles discussion, I'm not a racer of any sort... and I have the wing keel as well, but I've been pretty happy with the boat's performance. In any case, I have a short list of issues to address before I decide how tightly she can tack comfortably.

Cheers!

G
 

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Thanks for the input, guys. I suspected there wasn't much I could do about the bimini/dodger configuration and it appears that I'm unfortunately right. The boat does have a full enclosure I can use but only when the boom is shackled out on the toe rail.

As for the tacking angles discussion, I'm not a racer of any sort... and I have the wing keel as well, but I've been pretty happy with the boat's performance. In any case, I have a short list of issues to address before I decide how tightly she can tack comfortably.

Cheers!

G
Hey, this thread is a bit old, but the body of knowledge for Merlins is so small that I figured I ought to contribute to it. I've attached a picture of our boat the shows the layout of the bimini and dodger. Our traveler is mounted on the bridge deck, so that bimini can be a bit longer than those of you with the traveler mounted at the binnacle. We also have a zip-in piece of canvas to connect the bimini and dodger that can be used when the mainsheet is moved over to the toe rail. Obviously that will only work when not under sail.
 

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Hi Lee,
Unfortunately I have no idea. Probably someone in Ontario, as it was done by the previous owner. If I'm able to dig up that info I'll post it here.
Will
 

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Looks good

Who made it for you and how happy were you with them?

Regards

Lee

If anyone's looking for canvas work in the Toronto area give Island Canvas a shout. Abby (Island Canvas) just made me a new dodger. Excellent work, good price and no delays. (canvas folks are notorious for not delivering on time).

NeverMonday I've had my Merlin since it was built in 1988. I watched it being built, used to visit the factory every weekend. If you have any questions pm me.
 

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NeverMonday I've had my Merlin since it was built in 1988. I watched it being built, used to visit the factory every weekend. If you have any questions pm me.
Rick - Fantastic! Not many folks out there with that body of knowledge. I don't have any questions, but I'm sure I'll be in touch in the future. Thank you very much.
 

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It appears that this thread is pretty old however for what it's worth we have had a Merlin for a season now, shoal draft 5'4 135 % Genoa and my tacking angles are about 100 degrees. I thought it would be closer.
Cheers,
 

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Pinnacle,

You are right - it is an old thread, but I still follow it.

I've had my merlin for 3 years now and am still learning how to sail it quickly. One major factor for me was the use of the main. My prior boat was a CS 27 where the main was a very small contributor to upwind performance, but in the Merlin, it plays a much bigger role.

I have the cockpit traveller set up and factory mainsheet and find that for upwind I have to use the boomvang to control twist, and the car at the highest position to keep the boom on the centreline. Once I've got that set, then I use the traveller to ease off if I get overpowered, which seems to happen very easily.

The other key seems to be boat speed. I have the hydrokeel and if I pinch the boat, the keel is less effective and does not "pull" the boat to windward, so I foot a little, get the speed up and then the boat points

Regards

Lee
 

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Hi Lee
I know what you mean about the main, My Boats a 90 with the traveller on the coach roof, which if you can imagine the main sheet is in the first 1/3 of the boom, so I have relied heavily on the boom vane to control the main. Seems to work pretty good. Like I said I seem to tack through about 100 degrees. As far a downwind I have learned to do chicken jibes, couldn't imagine jibing the main the way it's set up, something would surely break. I do love the way she sails. Second seasons coming up in a few months so I'm sure I'll probably slow her down. Lol
Cheers,
Gary
 

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89 Wing Keel Merlin here....

Upwind the boat is a bit sticky and takes a bit of concentration and feel to get it to get above 100 apw. One thing we discovered is that the backstay is quite powerful. There were many times we would feel we were not sailing as high and fast as we should be and would find out that we were over backstayed. The boat can be a bit finicky to balance and like s to be sailed quite flat.

We also now have brand new Tri radial sails (M & G) They help alot

Here's a pic from National YC in Toronto this past summer
 

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