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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My wife and I are looking for our first cruising boat and have found two fantastic potential candidates in a 1989 CS36 Merlin and a 1990 CS36 Merlin. We've seen the 89 and it looks to be in fantastic condition, lovingly maintained with numerous upgrades.

What I'd like to get is input from more experienced CS owners. What are the traits of the Merlin? Have you encountered any significant issues? How did the design change from '89 to '90? Is there anything in particular you think I should look at closely before making an offer? Are there any CS owner clubs on Lake Ontario? What is the support structure like for this boat?

I'm ready to put down my money but am always looking for more information. If there are any CS pros out there who can help me make my decision easier, I'd love to hear from you!

Cheers!

G
 

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I met the designer once, Ray Wahl, I think was his name. He is a very capable designer and a nice guy. I always thought those boats were very well built.
Bob... the CS 36Ts (and 33, 27 and Quanta 28) were designed by Ray.. The CS Merlin 36, 40 and 44 were Tony Castro designs.

Ray Wahl (Wall?) IS a great guy, came out of Camper Nicholson and was willing to talk to me about our (originally) Nicholson boat even though he'd moved on by then.

I doubt there'd be much difference between the two merlin models.. they are nice boats. At some point they added a transom platform, that's a plus if you're comparing two of them.
 

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Try and send a PM to David ie Dodenja on here, He has one one here in Edmonds. Seems like a nice boat, then again, we both have boats designed by that Castro character.

Having sailed it once, I did not find it to be a bad sailing boat. Davids did need some tuning, new sails or a recut of the main IIRC. Seems like it would be a nice boat for cruising.

Marty
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter #6
I doubt there'd be much difference between the two merlin models.. they are nice boats. At some point they added a transom platform, that's a plus if you're comparing two of them.
I thought the same thing until I looked at them. The traveller in the 89 is in the cockpit, but in the 90 they moved it to the coach roof. Also, the companionway in the 89 is a ladder, but in the 90 they extended it out into a stairway over the motor.

So far we've only seen the 89, but hoping to see the 90 as soon as the snow melts enough to get to it.... (gotta love the Ontario snow belt!)

Cheers!

G
 

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Davids boat has the traveller in the cockpit per say. But it has been moved a bit back from where it is supposed to be. As the previous owner could not use the traveler in its intended spot with a dodger installed. This probably was noticed by the manufacture, and re[laced/designed at the factory in 90, along with the different ladder part of the equation.

Marty
 

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"The CS 36 MERLIN, while having similar dimensions to the CS 36 TRADITIONAL, is a completely different design. While it was being produced a purchaser had five pages of options to choose from— a Kevlar or fibreglass hull; a swim platform or regular transom; a 28 hp diesel or a 43 hp turbo; a tall or regular rig and by the end, four keel configurations (shoal, wing, deep and performance bulb). As a result, other than the 20 or so that went into charter, no two Merlins are alike.
Contruction standards were high. The hull was hand-laid fibreglass or Kevlar with balsa core above the water and both hull and deck were vacuum bagged."
CS 36 MERLIN sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
 

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I know on the later models, they changed the bridge deck/companionway ladder as described above. I used to think the huge bridge deck was a waste of space, but it is actually quite useful for temporarily placing stuff when you move it below. It's also a nice perch when it's cold and rainy, and the autopilot is on.

I really like my Merlin after having her for over 3 years. She's fast, comfortable and fun.

Last Sunday we raced her in rain and sleet. Making over 6.5 knots close hauled in about 12 knots of wind. We finished the race tired and cold.

Turned on the heater, and went down below afterwards for hot chocolate, soup, and conversation. Had nice furniture to sit on too! (Missed you, Marty, you coward!)

That's my Merlin.. Fun to sail, and very comfortable
 
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There is a CS owners group - CS Owners Associations Home Page
Being that they were built in Brampton there is a good local following on Lake Ontario, Lake Huron/Georgian Bay and also in Montreal & Quebec. We had a dealer network covering Maritimes, US east coast and Canadian west coast. Some of the early CS36T's were shipped to Holland. I left to manage their Long Island dealer in 1982, shortly before Raymond Wall struck out for Vancouver and prior to Tony Castro designs. Search on line and you may find more available
CS 36 Merlin - Oshawa / Durham Region Sailboats For Sale - Kijiji Oshawa / Durham Region Canada.
 

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David,

No coward here, did not know there was a race. As I am NOT on CYCE's email list. I suppose I should rejoin the idjiots. but probably will not be after the **** on my face a couple of them did to the main sponsor and myself. No apologies as of yet. They are lucky I did not delete the FB page, considering I was a main person on it!

Sheryl and I were having brunch at Anthony's as we saw you all coming in.

Marty
 

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I've got a 1989 model. They changed the companionway from a ladder to the split stairs because (so I heard) on an early model the company had to do an engine change under warranty and it was a B###h to get it out.
That said, I love mine! I do have to watch my depth as I've got the deep keel (6'3") and it has smudged bottom a few times on Chesapeake Bay.
Handles well, fast and would probably sail better with new sails.
One thing I'm not sure I like is water tanks take up all of both settees. I'd rather have less tankage and a secure place to put my tool bags. The traveler is really not very useful in the cockpit but it's great for single handing as I can adjust the main and jib from the helm.
The Volvo 2003 is pretty reliable; doesn't have glow plugs but when it's cold you pull the engine kill out for a few seconds, then push it back in and that seems to help. (I have no clue as to the science behind THAT! Just something that was told to me)
I suspect it cuts off the fuel momentarily and allows the engine to turn w/o getting fuel and build up heat by compression.
I don't know that we'd do any lengthy cruising in her but we did 9 days last fall and loved it. Plan to do that again as well as go to New England for a month or so eventually. Could possibly see us going to the Bahamas too, we'll see.

Good boat!
 

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Friends of ours have a 36M and routinely spend up to 4-8 weeks cruising summers in BC.. djodenda's boat used to be in our club, the former owners still miss her (but are glad she's in good hands)

The Merlin is newer, probably nimbler and sleeker looking than the 36T but by all accounts shares her owners' loyalty and great reputation.
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter #14
Funny you listed that one, rugosa.
We viewed it on the weekend and are making an offer this week.
If all goes well, this will be our new boat.
We are very nervous and excited at the same time.

I'm grateful for the comments I've received so far, and look forward to any feedback the Sailnet community can offer us on owning and caring for a Merlin.

Pending a survey and sea trial, the Humoresque may be ours! :D :D :D
 

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Funny you listed that one, rugosa.
We viewed it on the weekend and are making an offer this week.
If all goes well, this will be our new boat.
We are very nervous and excited at the same time.

I'm grateful for the comments I've received so far, and look forward to any feedback the Sailnet community can offer us on owning and caring for a Merlin.

Pending a survey and sea trial, the Humoresque may be ours! :D :D :D
Small world indeed - :cool:
 

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Mainesail has a CS 36 Traditional, not a Merlin Different designer.. Different boat
 

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CS36 Merlin - O Pato
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Discussion Starter #20
Mainesail has a CS 36 Traditional, not a Merlin Different designer.. Different boat
Just now realizing that you are the person someone told me to seek out. You own a Merlin? What year? What condition? Has your boat had any significant alterations? What kind of maintenance issues have you encountered?

Cheers!

G
 
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