Merlin Heritage

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Nov 24, 2007

LeeG sez: "Kurt, is the Merlin like Bells Merlin? I saw a fellow paddle an Advantage at full speed,,it was FAST. You're an inspiration."

I reply: Know what's funny? Lots of people are suddenly asking me a bunch of really good canoe questions, and I don't know beans about canoes. I built the thing so I could learn. Man, I could sure use whatever experience I'll have in a bout a year right now...

As I understand it, the old Bell Merlin is the same as mine: a Kunz design. The newer Merlin II ain't. It was totally redesigned by some other intelligent hotshot for reasons I have no clue about. Even the similarity level between the original production Merlin and the homemade job is vague to me, with some saying it's exact, and others saying no, lotsa diff there...

I try to pass around my little inspirations wherever I can, as some spread STD's and stuff. I got in it cuz of my friend and paddling mentor Bryan Mason, the guy who taught me my first roll. For the past couple years he's paddled nothing but a solo canoe with a single blade: a beloved Swift Shearwater, just got that Advantage to play with, Zav paddles. He never shuts up about how great canoes are, and calls me snide little names when I stick my fishing crap in his boat to carry for me. He keeps up with me in my Outer Island, and that's what finally pushed me over the edge right there. I never cut him any slack... heck, I'm usually trying to shut him up and/or get shed of him. I cruise between 4.5 and 5.5 mph... pretty aggressive.

It's certainly a lot more work to shove a canoe along with half a paddle like that, as I find out, but what the heck... a little excercise never killed anyone, I reckon.

In Response to: Re: Canoe Launched! by LeeG on Nov 23, 2007