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Merlin - a Frolic 31


Creative Marine took over building this replica Edwardian saloon launch from The Steam and Electric Launch Company where I cut my boating teeth. The first out of the mould was Salad Days ordered by the impresario and musical producer Cameron Mackintosh. Since then many discerning owners have ordered their own version of what has now become a modern classic, or a contemporary classic, as I like to call this kind of mix of GRP with varnished solid woods.

Merlin with a smart navy hull and cosy interior has been used on the Norfolk Broads since she was built in 2005 for her current owner. Stored every winter out of the water under cover she was recently varnished in 2023. The owner chose to have the boat built with mahogany decks and cabin sides using sold teak 1/2 inch board for the cabin floors. The engine is a 3 cylinder Nanni diesel with a bow thruster for close manoeuvers. Unusually there are two steering positions, one on the port side of the forward cockpit and one inside the cabin for less clement weather. There is no reason why one couldn't use this boat all the year round on a lake or loch where flooding is less of a problem than on the Thames for example.

Additional luxuries are the diesel heating, hob and oven, hot water and fridge with good heads opposite the galley. The Wallas system is powered by a separate diesel tank aft. The owner chose brass and gunmetal deck fittings to enhance the classic look. There is a table with folding sides which enables eating with friends in the main saloon on occasion while in the forward cockpit the engine cover also serves as a useful table top for picnics.

A full length cover is included and of course the canopy has its own side curtains for inclement cruising. There may be a possibility to purchase a bespoke trailer by separate negotiation. If you were to order a new boat today built to this standard and equipped to this level I expect that your final invoice would be close to £200,000.

BSS certification up to date and Broads Authority licensing to the end of 2023.


Cretive Marine
Year of build
7ft 6ins
Nanni diesel

Please call Gillian on 01491 578 870 for more information


Henley Sales and Charter Ltd have gained a reputation over the last 30 years for selling and chartering beautiful, classic boats. Experience of operating and selling boats on the river Thames enables us to offer expert objective advice to prospective owners on all aspects of boat ownership including purchase, surveys, repairs and moorings. We will do our best to find the ideal craft to suit your individual needs - for a day or for a lifetime.

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29 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire


01491 578 870

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