Sailboats - Racing

Merlin Rocket Dinghy 'Hazardous'

The Merlin Rocket is one of the UK’s premier 2 person racing dinghies.After nearly 70 years and 3750 boats built, the Merlin Rocket racing dinghy continues to develop and evolve. The class rules allow development in hull and rig design and today the Merlin Rocket attracts the top crews (male and female) because of its versatility and thoroughbred handling characteristics.The original boats were designed for clench-built clinker (lapstrake) construction, but this later evolved into glued clinker/plywood construction. Today, most boats are built in FRP, but the hulls still conform to the clinker planking appearance.The Merlin Rocket is designed for a crew of two. There are no sitting-out aids, but the 4.27m LOA hull flares out to 2.2m beam to provide sitting out power for even the lighter crews.I started designing race-winning Merlin Rockets when I was a teenager. Nearly fifty years on, and I am still developing: the HAZARDOUS is my latest design and built in wood is fully competitive with the FRP boats, and looks a darned sight better.The plans include full size patterns for all plywood parts, including the planks. Files for direct CNC cutting of all plywood parts are also included. For more details, see my web page below.Julio Arana, of Austin, Texas, is building a HAZARDOUS Merlin Rocket. He is writing a blog, describing the progress of his project. Julio’s blog may well become the standard work on how to build a Merlin Rocket. See Julio’s blog at

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