The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2011

At 12.30 GMT the gun on the Spanish naval ship fired  for the start of the catamarans and open divisions.  First catamaran across the line was Catana 47 Rafale (FRA), followed by Lagoon 620 Foxy Lady (GBR) then Privelège 745 Cattitude (GBR).  With 30 catamarans and one trimaran, this is a record-breaking year for multihull entries in the ARC; making it the largest-ever ocean crossing by catamarans.

Over the years we have seen more and more cats (or whole boats as we like to call them) out sailing. While this is absolute proof of their growing popularity we are acutely aware of the general decline in performance of many of these Catamarans while many of the monohulls are getting sleeker and faster every year.  Our perception is that these cats will fly across the pond in record time, however the reality (demonstrated in previous years) is that they have disappointing downwind performance and will be easily passed by the monos.

But why?  Well, we all want more; more headroom, more deck-space, more equipment.  Sadly this all comes at a price -the boats become heavy transom draggers with rigs compromised by higher decks.  We have been addressing this on a couple of boats lately, from fitting superlight Sterling engine generators and carbon tenders, creating central stores and re-balancing entire yachts. Performance up, fuel consumption down.

We’ll be keeping a keen eye on the standings.