Lee 68 “Merlin”
The legendary Merlin started a new chapter in spring of 2018, 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 an ultra light sailing yacht designed to sail on top of the water and surf down waves, a term which Merlin undoubtedly helped coin.
The yacht received an optimized high modulus Offshore Spars carbon spar, EC6 composite rigging and a modern composite boom. The optimizations included sail plan alterations and weight reductions. The addition of halyard locks reduced tube compression and line stretch, while the new boom is lighter and designed to compliment the spar and crew sailing style.