Merlin Rockets by Keith Callaghan
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HEBRON (1966)

In the mid 60's I was a cadet member of the Up River yacht Club at Hullbridge, Essex. Initially I sailed in a 22ft bilge keel cruiser ALICIA that I had built with my father and brother. Most of the younger members sailed dinghies, of course, and gradually I became interested in dinghy racing. My first experience crewing a Merlin Rocket was in a Proctor MkXIV - when she started planing I knew I wanted more! Because I already had boatbuilding experience, I thought I might build my own Merlin Rocket, so I contacted Ian Proctor and asked him if I could purchase a set of plans of one of his latest designs. He refused, on the grounds that he had commercial agreements with the then builders of his designs. So I set about designing a Merlin Rocket myself. I studied some of the newer boats in the URYC dinghy park and read up on yacht design at the local library. then I sketched out a set of lines, which after several re-drafts became HEBRON.

At the time I was designing Hebron, I was working as a computer programmer at H.M. Customs and Excise, Southend. I lodged at a hotel run by two customs officers. They generously allowed me to build Hebron in the back garden of the hotel.

I got a 'second' C section mast from Proctor's for £9, but spared no expense on my Dacron sails from Bruce Banks, who supplied me with one of the first 'gaff' mainsails in the class.

Hebron was launched in late August 1966. With her beam of 2 metres (6'6") she was the widest Merlin Rocket built to date. She proved fast in a breeze, but slow in light airs.

The boat aroused much interest at my local club and at open meetings. In 1968 a club member asked me to design a Merlin for him to build himself. The result was HOTSPUR.

Click on an image below to see a larger version.

Building HEBRON in the garden of the Haven Hotel, Thorpe Bay, 1966 Don Hearn and the designer painting Hebron's hull, 1966 Hebron's lines were quite radical - her wide transom belies the fact that she was designed nearly 50 years ago (as of 2012)
Half way through the building, I had to move from the Hotel. Don and Eileen let me finish the boat in their carport! Hebron hull completed and ready for fitting out Peter Onions and Keith planing in Hebron at URYC, 1966
Hebron displays her hull shape. URYC dinghy park C1966
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Last updated 27 October 2012