The one which started it all! The legendary Merlin will start a new chapter this spring in time for the 2019 Transpac race, the race in which it the held the course record from 1977 to 1997.
The story of Merlin and the Wizard behind it, Bill Lee, is one of many firsts. The boat was a driving force behind the founding of Santa Cruz Yachts as well as a fleet of 70 foot sleds which are still actively sailing today. The term “Sled” refers to a an ultra light sailing yacht designed to sail on top of the water and surf down waves, a term which Merlin undoubtedly helped coin as part of everyday sailing lingo.
The next chapter for the boat will be replacement of an aging existing spar with an optimized high modulus Offshore Spars carbon spar, EC6 composite rigging and a modern composite boom. The optimizations will include sail plan alterations and weight reductions. The addition of halyard locks will reduce tube compression and line stretch. The new boom will be lighter and designed to compliment the spar and the crew sailing style.