Chip Merlin

President at Merlin Law Group

CHIP MERLIN grew up sailing on the Gulf Coast and Chesapeake Bay, racing for championships as a teenager on the one-design circuit.

School and work took him away from the water. After undergraduate and law school at the University of Florida, Chip founded the Merlin Law Group in 1985, which specializes in representing policyholders with claims against their own insurance companies. He takes a particular interest in cases involving losses due to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and other disasters. The firm has grown into a national force for policyholder rights with eleven offices including those in Tampa, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles.

Chip Merlin currently sails whenever he has the opportunity, racing in several different classes in addition to campaigning the storied seventy-one-footer Merlin.

Mavericks & Merlins

Publication Date: October 2021

How A Talented Attorney Took His Passion To Win From The Courthouse To Offshore Yacht Racing.

In 2017, attorney Chip Merlin got more than he bargained for when he accompanied a friend on a sailboat race to Cuba. He didn’t know it then, but his life would never be the same. The racing bug bit hard … really hard. Right after the Cuba regatta, Chip bought a thirty-two-foot boat to start racing in the Tampa Bay area. Soon, however, sailing locally in Florida waters wasn’t enough. He wanted to take his dad on the Newport to Bermuda race, reliving the days when they once raced small sailboats together.

Chip needed an oceangoing speedster for the Bermuda race. He discovered that Merlin, an iconic racing yacht, was up for sale. He’d read about the boat in 1978 when he was in college after Merlin set a record for the Transpacific Yacht Race from California to Hawaii. Impressed, Chip vowed to buy the boat if he ever could. Fast-forward thirty-nine years, and the boat became Chip’s.

With the help of a friend with offshore ocean racing experience, Chip found the right crew, and the push was on to get Merlin ready to race in 2018. What followed was a season of steep learning curves, hard knocks, triumphs, danger, tragedy, and joy in a riveting story that blends high-seas adventure with thoughtful self-reflection on life at home and in the boardroom.

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