Crossword Genius

Excellent ship backed by energy and skill (7)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

finesse

Here is my best explanation:

'skill' is the definition.
(thesaurus)

'excellent ship backed by energy' is the wordplay.
'excellent' becomes 'fine' ('fine' can be a synonym of 'excellent'**).
'ship' becomes 'ss'.
'backed by' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'energy' becomes 'e' (physics symbol as in E=mci).
'fine'+'ss'+'e'='FINESSE'

'and' is the link.

This clue was last seen in The Telegraph