Merlin Rocket

The Merlin Rocket is a responsive two person racing dinghy ideally suited to Edgbaston Reservoir. The 10 sq. metre spinnaker calls for additional skills and makes the crew an important part of the team.

MikeAnslow.jpg The Merlin Rocket is an exciting and responsive dinghy to sail and is suitable for helms and crews of both sexes.   There are a dozen Merlins at Midland and we want to expand our fleet.  If you would like a taster sail, either as helm or crew, then please contact me.

Mike Anslow

Merlin Rocket Class Captain

Class History at Midland Sailing ClubMerlin Rocket dinghy

The Merlin Rocket fleet at Midland was established in the early 1950s and has prospered over the last 60 years. Club members soon made their mark on the national scene with Les Brain and Peter Easton winning the Championships in 1953 and again in 1955.  Some of the best sailors at Midland have sailed in Merlins, many of them going on to perform well in other classes sailed at the club.  Fleet members at Midland are active on the open meeting circuits and also attend the Merlin Rocket National Championships, the Inland Championships and Salcombe Merlin Rocket Week.

Open meetings

The Club hosts an open meeting every year, usually as part of the class’s Silver Tiller series - a competition of 21 open meetings split between 3 categories (Restricted Waters, Open Waters and Sea), where competitors need to count a total of 5 results with at least one from each of the categories to find the best all-round sailor.  The Club’s open meeting also counts towards the Midland Circuit competition run at clubs within 50 miles of Birmingham.  We usually anticipate receiving around 30 entries for our open meeting, with top sailors travelling from all over the country to join us.  This is one of the highlights of the Club’s year.  See News & Events for details of this year's open meeting

Merlin Rocket 'Magician'Design

The Merlin Rocket class was formed in April 1951, when the Merlin class, which had been launched in January 1946, combined with the Rocket class, developed separately from 1949 onwards.

Built to a “Restricted” Rule, the original boats were made of wood, but over the years other building materials were adopted, though the signature clinker shaped hull has been retained.

Most hulls are now built from foam reinforced plastic (FRP), though some are still built from marine ply.  Hull shapes have changed considerably over the years, but all have to be built within the Restricted Rule.  Masts, originally built from wood, were subsequently made from aluminium, and more recently carbon fiber masts have been allowed.  It is interesting to note that over the last 20 years masts have again been deck-stepped, as they were in the early years!

Sails, originally made from cotton, may now be made from Dacron, Mylar or Kevlar, with spinnakers made from ripstop nylon.

RYA Yardstick
1096 to 1006 depending on age
Length 4.27 m
Maximum beam
2.20 m
Maximum sail area
Mainsail and jib 10.2 m2
Spinnaker 10m2
Minimum hull weight
98 kg

For more information about the class see

Additional Information

Midland SC Class Captain
Mike Anslow
UK Class Association
Merlin Rocket Owners Association
MROA Regional Rep
Richard Turner   email: