Piper to Build Classic MerryMac Sailboats
August 7, 2015
Piper Boatworks is building new wooden and fiberglass versions of the classic MerryMac sailboats. New Hampshire designer/builder Ned McIntosh produced and estimated 200 of the 13 ½’ MerryMacs between 1953 and the late 1960’s. The design and construction of these beloved watercraft have stood the test of time, with many of the original numbered fleet still plying the waters along New Hampshire’s seacoast and beyond.
Balancing form and function, the boats are perfect for beginners and can also be sailed competitively by experienced sailors.
The new numbered MerryMacs are being built using McIntosh’s original molds and patterns. Piper Boatworks will also be producing replacement parts and components for the 200 numbered originals currently in circulation.
MerryMacs are 13 ½’ long, 5’ wide, draw less than 6” of water, carries 90 square feet of sail. Designed with an eye towards both ease of use and maintenance of the vessel, its limited number of components decreases the potential for problems on the water and limits the need for maintenance.
The MerryMac is a free-standing, Marconi-rigged catboat with a halyard and mainsheet that is easily rigged and managed by sailors of all skill levels. Comfortably sailed by one person or with multiple passengers, the boat’s 20’ mast was carefully designed to be handled by both male and female sailors. The mainsail can be reefed from a seated helm position.
MerryMacs are unique in that the open cockpit allows those aboard to sit inside the boat, reserving the side deck and rail for when the wind or the competition is up. This affords the comfort, performance and safety of a real cockpit, which is unusual in a small boat. The open layout of the cockpit makes the space versatile for different configurations of passengers and gear, which again enhances performance and safety.
The Merrimac is also easy to trailer and launch singlehanded.
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