I bought my Merlin II used a couple of years ago. Black gold, tan, with wood trim. I've enjoyed the boat but didn't feel moved to write a review until after a long paddle on Saturday. I took the canoe out on Weeks Bay (central Gulf coast), with a stiff wind and some challenging chop. I was amazed with how well the boat handled when paddling into the wind - it really gave me the confidence I needed to handle the weather. My only complaint: I just can't paddle on my knees for very long at all without discomfort (I suppose you have to be raised doing that your whole life to enjoy it), so I had to lower the seat and install foot braces to make the boat fit my paddling style.