Merlin - Micro Racer

Canadian merlin under sail

Merlin was designed as a compromise between Strider and Gwahir.

The hulls are finer than on the Strider for improved strong wind performance, but the hulls have more free board and the cabins are longer than on Gwahir, making Merlin a more attractive cruising boat. Interior layout as Shadow.

"Top speed so far is 20 knots (reaching in a F5 under main and genoa). I am very satisfied with the boat" Wigo, Sweden

Despite racing three up a Merlin has twice won the "fastest Multihull in Holland" prize

From a letter in the Sept 2000 Practical Boat Owner by Martin Corrick

"I brought a friend of mine (who'd damaged his hand in an accident) back from Weymouth to the Solent in my Woods Merlin. We ran all the way with spinnaker and furled mainsail in a F3-4 westerly, which perfectly demonstrated the wonderful downwind stability of a catamaran. My friend, lying pale-faced clutching his painful hand, said
"My God, this is a wonderful boat!" Tracking as if on rails, we averaged 8 knots without any effort at all. My friend was right: the catamaran, particularly the Woods lightweight designs, makes a terrific cruising boat"

He isn't the only one to think that. John wrote after his first sails in his newly launched Merlin.

"We have sailed twice with good results. Today we maintained 10 to 12 knots for about 24 miles in 3 foot seas and the boat remained flat and true (and dry!). We get a lot of closely spaced "chop" here, so it was truly a good ride."

Merlin on trailer

Merlin is still easily trailed behind a small car

The youtube clip below shows our unmodified Merlin sailing in light winds, yet still at 7-8 knots on the gps when owned by the builder

You can see more photos, material list etc here

To order the Download versions of study plans or building plans please use the Shopping Cart

To order paper versions of study plans or full building plans please use this order form


Richard Woods
Foss Quay, Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1EN, UK

The MERLIN - Micro Racer


strip cedar round bilge hulls, ply decks

LENGTH O.A.7.65m
BEAM O.A 4.6m
DISPL (empty) 0.65T
DISPL (loaded) 1.1T
DRAFT 0.25 - 1.0m
SAIL AREA 30.75 sq m

We now own a Merlin and sail it in British Columbia, living on board for several months each summer. We have fitted a deep mast beam, a small removable cuddy for cruising and a squaretop mainsail for racing. The photo below shows the racing rig, see elsewhere on the website for more details.

We now own four multihulls - too many! So reluctantly we have decided that Tucanu, our own Merlin will have to go.

Very fully equipped and a beautifully built boat with new sails, engine etc. Currently located in BC, Canada

Please contact me for more details