Merlin was built in the centre of Tasmania (as far away from the water as you can get) at Pontifex Street, Queenstown by Cliff Probin, who was foreman carpenter at the Mt Lyell mine and who seemed to have no problem in obtaining high quality Huon Pine. Merlin has Huon Pine planking, ribs, deadwood, deck and deck beams and remains as one of the more original D’s. She was launched in Hobart, after an 18 hour truck journey, in 1948. Chooky Newman sailed her for years in Pennants and Regattas, with many victories including the Hobart Regatta. Merlin lived in the Huon River for the 40 odd years. Noel ‘Badger’ Evans, a local orchardist, sailed her at Port Huon for many years. Roger Harwood put on new toe-rails and rubbing strips during this time. She was then sold to Bob Cleary who brought her to Cygnet, where Ross Berkman bought her in 1991. She continued to live in Cygnet before moving, in 2013, to Kettering & Bruny Island in the ownership of Jane Wilson and sailed by Jane Wilson, Ian, Parry ,Tasman and Dan Parry.
She is the most beautiful little boat, 70 this year and looking pretty spritely still, especially with her newly red painted mast which has definitley made her faster still.
Its a privilege to own her, this piece of the Derwent’s maritime history and she has recently been chosen by Tourism Tasmania to grace one of the roadside billboards advertising the South. Drive into Margate, you drive past Merlin!