Merlin Rockets by Keith Callaghan
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Merlin Rocket Designs

My interest in designing (and building) Merlin Rockets* began in 1965, when I contacted the then top designer in the Class, Ian Proctor, with a view to obtaining a set of plans for DIY building. He declined the request, as he wanted to support the professional boatyards.
So I borrowed a book on yacht design from the library, and set about designing my first Merlin Rocket. I was 19 at the time.
..... Hebron was launched in 1966.
* 'Merlin Rocket' is a trade mark of the Royal Yachting Association.

Patrick Blake helms a Hysteria - MR 2988 'Moonshadow' at Salcombe Merlin Week,  c1975. The designer is crewing. (photo: Robert O'Neill) 20th CENTURY DESIGNS...

HEBRON (1966)
HOTSPUR (1968)
HEXAGON (1973)
HAZARD (1977)

The move to liberalise the construction rules (1972-1973) - the 4-plank Merlin

How the first phase of my Merlin Rocket design career ended (1977))

HAZARDOUS series: 21st century Merlin Rocket designs

The National Merlin Rocket has an active Owners' association. Visit their website at

For details of the early history of the Merlin Rocket dinghy, see "The First 6 Years".

NEW FOR 2012: Library of Technical drawings.

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This section is dedicated to my friends Ian Perkin and Alf & Joan Darlison, who sailed Merlin Rockets with me at the Up River Yacht Club (1966-1973), but who are no longer with us. Their enthusiasm and encouragement was fundamental to my enjoyment of my early years in those delightful dinghies.

Ian Perkin Alf Darlison Joan Darlison

Last updated 5 June 2014