Famous Sleds Get Re-Turbocharged

Who in sailing hasn’t heard of Merlin and Ragtime - the two break-through “sleds” in TransPac racing? Both also share being brought back from retirement and supercharged with GMT carbon spars.

30 years after her birth, and just before the 2005 TransPac, Merlin lost her aluminum mast. GMT was contacted to see whether we could design, engineer and build a new rig before the race. We did, and that performance plus Merlin’s success brought Ragtime’s new owner.

“Rags” remains one of the most recognizable racers, from Down Under to California. Her restoration under Chris Welch, after a long period of neglect under several owners, included a sensitivity to avoid so altering this historic yacht that her legacy would be obliterated. One of the important improvements has been the replacement of her spars with GMT carbon composites. Ragtime is back on course, a distinctive racing machine that might actually now be faster than the day she was built more than 40 years ago.

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