J 42 Finesse, Bermuda bound
I hear it’s a little foggy in Newport today, but I doubt it’s dampening the excitement about tomorrow’s 100th Bermuda Race. A couple of weeks ago I visited Alex Merrill aboard his dad’s J42 Finesse, above, just before they sailed from her winter berth in Maine (the phenomenal Lyman Morse yard) to Newport. The compact electronics system, much upgraded last winter, features a Raymarine E80 networked with a built-in VEI Marci computer running RayTech 5.0 and displaying on a Big Bay 10.4” monitor. Note the little WiFi antenna at top left in the photo, bigger here. Finesse actually shifted berths while I was visiting to get a better WiFi connection so Alex could download all the weather he wanted for crossing the Gulf of Maine. I’m sure he’s doing something similar in Newport right now, but during the race he’ll be limited to the ultra narrow bandwidth data available via the fixed Iridium and the SGC SSB (no, I hadn’t heard of the SGC brand either, but the Lyman Morse electronics guy is fan). Alex will be updating Panbo during the race, and we’ll be looking at Finesse’s system in a little more depth.