Want to get a taste for why Larry Ellison spent a couple billion sailing in big, slow circles at the last America's Cup? Check out the Esse 850
, made by Swiss-based Josef Schuchter Sportboats and sold domestically by Annapolis Performance Yachts
. The 850 -- available for under $100,000 -- brings the same super high-tech construction found in America's Cup boats. The magic sauce is not wing keels, like in the Dennis Conner A-Cup days of old, rather, it is just plain stiffness and ease of use. The result is a dead easy to sail speedster that can be raced at the highest levels with a crew of three. And that's a big step forward for a sport that needs something silly like 11 people per boat.