Old Bell Merlin info?

I have an old Bell Merlin and would like to know more about it; year it might have been built, how many where built, etc……

This Merlin must have been one of the earlier ones. The interior shows Kevlar, the outside is an almond colored gelcoat. The original gunwales were of the one piece style with a kerf sawed in to slip down over the sides. The floatation is glued in foam blocks. All of these details I’ve seen before on Bells. The odd thing is that this canoe is an inch shallower overall than any other “original” Merlin I’ve worked on.

Any ideas?

info from an old catalog
The only info I have is from an old catalog I received from Ted Bell some time back in the early 1980s. At that time the line-up was pretty limited with the CJ Solo, the Merlin, and the Traveler III described in the 4 page catalog (which was a single piece of monochrome brown “construction paper” and the Creek Runner, Fusion, Dynamic WWOC-1, and the North Bay Cruiser described in some typewritten paper pages included.

At that time the standard construction for Bell boats was S ‘glass exterior/Kevlar interior with almond gel coat, cane seats, and white ash rails and thwarts with black walnut deck plates.

The info given for the Merlin is as follows:

Designer Bruce Kunz

length overall 15 1/2’

gunnel width (outrail to outrail) 27"

depth B/C/S 15 1/2" 11 1/2" 14 1/2"

zero rocker

You should be able to figure out the year of production of your boat from the HIN. Perhaps Charlie Wilson knows how many were produced.

Maybe Kevlar Deluxe construction?
My Bell Wildfire has one piece gunwales, glued in foam flotation, non-scuppered wood decks and blue gel coat and it’s construction is described as Kevlar Deluxe.

Your Merlin appears to have similar construction, but different color gel.

checking depth
I’m going to take it down off the rack and measure the depth. I’m pretty sure it’s shallower then 11 1/2" at the center.

the year ought to be easy
Seems this is the Merlin I not the II which has a different designer and dimensions

Last two numbers of HIN will be year.