Crew: 2 man crew.
Dimensions: 4.27 meters in length and ±98kg.
Sail Area: 14 square meters, spinnaker is 10 square meters.
Class: Box Rule applied (all class boats need to be a certain length and width, but can be any shape)
Characteristics: Single-trapeze planing dinghy with conventional kite and is sailed in over 60 nations.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
The Merlin Rocket is a 14 foot dinghy sailed in the United Kingdom. The boat designed around a box rule, which allows for quick modernization of the class. The great advantage to this is the ability to change a boat to a person's weight and ability. Although the rules allow for many sail plans, many modern Rockets have similar sails. Most have a high batten allowing for a large roach in the sail. Although the rules are open, they are not unlimited. Use of a Trapeze is forbidden in this class.
The Merlin Rocket sits at the centre of the dinghy-racing scene. It combines the boat handling and tactical racing of the traditional designs with the thrills and excitement of the modern "fast in a straight line" designs.
Upwind, the high aspect rig means that in light and medium wind conditions, the Merlin Rocket is one of the highest pointing dinghies around. It is the bane of the trapeze boat sailor. The power to weight ratio and the controllability of the rig means that planing to windward is common in strong winds, without much loss of pointing ability.
A feature of the Class has been the high standard of craftsmanship and finish that the various builders have maintained over the years. As the years pass, the Class and its builders are examining ways to maintain the character of the class yet at the same time take advantage of new materials and techniques.