Copyright 2021 - Woods Designs, 16 King St, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2AT UK
  • production Strider 24

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

The standard building method for Merlin is strip plank cedar hulls and ply decks. However some people have built it in foam sandwich and others with double-diagonal ply, as Strider

Temporary frames are setup on a building frame and the hull planking with western red cedar strips. It is best to start at the gunwale. However if you fit a knuckle it is possible to use plywood on the topsides, and cedar just between the knuckle and keel. That is quicker and cheaper but does mean you have stringers and extra frames in the topsides (which you don't need with an all cedar boat)

After planking and fairing the whole surface is glassed with a light cloth and epoxy. As always, paint the hull while it is still upside down!


This stern view shows packing tape on the frames, so the hull doesn't stick to them and the shallow rudder skeg

Proud owner!

fitting the main companionway bulkhead, note how clean a strip plank interior is

The deep mastbeam as an option to the standard beam. It gives more protection to the cockpit and is essential if you are going to fit a cuddy

The small cuddy being fitted. Note the hole to take the outboard motor. This is the best position for motoring, but the raised engine tends to get in the way when sailing. So the alternative is to mount a bracket on the aft beam (port side if you are right handed)

This boat has metal beams which fit in the same beam boxes as the wood beams. You can just see the anchor lockers on the forward side of the mastbeam - adding more storage space and keeps muddy anchor warp out of the hulls. Also visible are the launching trollies. the back wheels are load bearing and are about amidships, the front wheels are turning castors for manouverability