Merlin Rockets by Keith Callaghan
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MR3091 Blind Date racing at Salcombe Week 1977

The "Hazard" Merlin Rocket, 1977

I designed this Merlin for my friend Colin Humphrey at the end of 1976. I crewed for him in 'Blind Date' MR 3091 throughout the 1977 season. In spite of NEVER being passed off the wind in any breeze, we had a mediocre season. I blamed it on Colin's starts - we always ended up way down at the first mark, and had to battle our way to the front. Our best results at open events was 4th overall (including two wins) at Salcombe Week, and one Silver Tiller win (at my old club - Up River YC. It was the last time I ever sailed there). We finished 9th at the Nationals, and I can remember the joy of sailing in a fast and responsive boat with a competitive but companionable helmsman. But the Championships went to Patrick Blake and his brilliant crew Dave Webster, sweeping all aside in their amazing Smokers Satisfaction 'After Myth'. So after several years of near misses in Callaghan boats, Patrick had triumphed in a Morrison design. That spelt the end for my career as a dinghy designer (at least for 25 years!).

Norman Blowers from Waveney & Oulton Broad Y.C. had the third and last Hazard (MR 3130). He named it 'The Last Session' - very appropriate, as it was the last Merlin built to my designs in the 20th century.

I regard this boat as my best Merlin design - for crews weighing less than 140kg.

My Merlin Rocket design career was not over, however. In 2003 I was commissioned to produce two new designs - Hazardous 140 and 170

View Hazard's lines drawing
Four 3D solid renderings of Hazard
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Last updated 6 January 2011