Article 42392 in rec.boats: From: email@example.com (Paul Kamen) Subject: Re: Anybody Familiar with the Merit 25 Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest) Date: Sun, 15 May 1994 19:41:31 GMT Lines: 57 I've been racing a Merit 25 (TWILIGHT ZONE, San Francisco Bay Area) for 11 seasons now. It's hull #3, built in 1979. I've done very little cruising in it, just a few overnights every year. Lots of daysailing, though, and I raced from SF to San Diego in '83 (trailered back) andraced in the Singlehanded Transpac in '86 (sailed back - I guess thatcounts as "cruising," eh?) The boat is adequately described as a "better copy" of a J-24. The legend has it that Paul Yates (M-25 designer/builder) had a J-24 which was lastseen heading into his garage, and never came out. Instead there was this mold for a Merit 25... Yates' family was involved with plastics technology, so I'm told, and building a quality product was not difficult. The boat has proven to be very strong and reliable offshore, especially compared to J-24s. There were a few upgrades made after the first 50 hulls or so, notably the rudder size and mast section. Just about all of the local boats here were upgraded at the time. The cockpit and deck layout is much more comfortable than the J, the V-berth is better because the mast compression strut is at the aft end instead of in the middle, and the rig has a higher foretriangle so the forestay tension is much more directly controlled by the backstay. Also, the in-line uppers don't tend to go slack like the swept rig on the J when the rig bends. Actually, I'm told that the North loft in Seal Beach designed the rig. The other big difference from the J is beam - the Merit is exactly 8 ft. for easier trailering, and (it turns out) better capsize-recovery characteristics (I've been over beyond 90 degrees twice, once under spinnaker in the Bay, and once under bare poles in the ocean. Recovered easily both times). LOA, btw, is really 24.5. Speed is about equal tot he J in 8-10 knots of wind. The Merit has an edge in lighter wind, the J has an advantage upwind in anything over 10 (probably due to wider beam, less weight (even though brochure weight is the same) and lower foretriangle. There's only one problem with the boat structurally, and this is progressively worse with newer boats: The structure in the garboard area, where the hull intersects the keel root, goes soft. In extreme cases, when the boat is hanging from the hoist slings, you can wiggle the keel back and forth several inches by hand. (this was for a 1985 boat, after two seasons of heavy ocean racing and a Transpac.) The fix is about $2,000, and results in a very strong repair and a nice new wood cabin sole. A 1984 boat is probably okay without reinforcement in this area, but if the surveyor says the keel is wobbly (and make sure they check), you'll need to allow at least that much for the fix. Get an unbiased observer to comment on the sailing characteristics, especially planing and surfing. I sure like it. (My best days run was 208 miles, all under autopilot.) Oh, and the clincher: The Merit 25 has the biggest V-berth of any boat under 40 feet! -"Call me Fishmeal"- Article 42458 (27 more) in rec.boats: From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Patrick Twohy) Subject: Re: Anybody Familiar with the Merit 25 Date: 16 May 1994 17:36:46 GMT Organization: The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, Sausalito, CA Lines: 9 NNTP-Posting-Host: well.sf.ca.us my first boat was a merit 25, due to the urging of fishmeal and a bunch of other folks. it was an excellent choice. fast, responsive, easy to handle even for a newby like me. several times i cruised it for a week or two -- once with another person once alone. many times i used it for overnights or weekends. i wouldn't say the cabin is roomy. the comfort level was similar to camping. other boats in the size and price range probably are more comfortable. but they wouldn't be as fast, durable or fun, imho.