is found up and down the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Seattle including
several lakes and rivers. The popularity of the class in part stems from
the original Nunes idea that the boat should be simple in design so that
anyone could build one.
In fact, the original Mercury could be purchased
kit for home assembly, partially assembled waiting to be finished, or complete
and ready to sail. To this day plans are available from the Association
for the home builder. After twenty years of plywood only construction,
made the bold decision to authorize the building of fiberglass Mercuries
by a franchised boat builder.
The idea while controversial at the time,
proved a boost to the class. Not only was the Mercury now low maintenance
repairs completed with amazing ease, the boats became relatively inexpensive
and were uniformly well built.
Another major step was taken in 1970 when
the Association allowed the use of tubular aluminum spars. It was at this
point that the class evolved into the sophisticated realm of sailboat racing.
Now, not only was the mast more controllable, it was stronger. The sail-making
technology of other "development" classes was utilized making the
Mercury even more popular with serious racing sailors.
The advent of mechanical
pushers in 1979 added to the new sophistication. Contrary to the trend
in other classes, the Mercury Association has insisted that the boats be well
built, durable and safe. As a result, with the advent of sealed bulkheads
the seaworthy Mercury has become even safer. It is also not unusual to
wooden boats and the original fiberglass boats among the highest finishers
in any regatta. The MCYRA has held its championship every year since 1947
rotating the hosting of the regatta among its nine member fleets in such
varied locations as San Francisco Bay, Huntington Lake, Santa Barbara, Los
Monterey, Santa Cruz and Clearlake.
A very active racing calendar that
encourages travelling has created a circuit that has its own yearly champion
and trophy — the
Rosman Travel Trophy. The Mercury Class has been described as "a great
class to get started in and a better one to come home to." A large percentage
of the association have been active participants for more than ten years.