2014 ARC Summary Report – Monohulls are faster?

All boats have crossed with a “no news is good news” result. No major problems with the fleet have made the headlines of any sailing magazines or blogs that I have seen yet. Well done by all.

Philo Cat Ena

Here you can see that a little catamaran called Philocat Ena has reached the harbor in St. Martin well ahead of most boats. Not until we look at the results, which are corrected for handicaps and MOTORING PENALTIES can we determine the finishing order.


Philocat Ena has finished second, because they used their motor quite a bit they were not first. Still, impressive to take on an Atlantic crossing on a light catamaran and do it faster than it’s taller competitors. But does that prove that catamarans cross the ocean faster than monohulls?

Let’s compare them. They are in two different classes. Here we can see the first and second place catamarans finished their crossing in 16 days.

ARC 2014 Division Results

Blue Waves actually sailed faster on this crossing than all other catamarans. Well done sailing and maintaining a beautiful boat.

Lagoon 45 Blue Waves

And on this table we can see that ten monohulls, some of which are built to go fast, finished before the third place catamaran did, which was in 17 days and a bit.

ARC 2014 Division Results boat 40

Congratulations to the crusing class monohull winner, Arietta.

Arietta 4.2

This disproves my theory that all catamarans make crossings faster that monohulls, in general. Nine other monohulls finished  before the 3rd place catamaran did. I’m sure some catamarans are faster that some monohulls, such as the Philocat Eno and Blue Waves are  faster than most all of the monohulls.

However, if we compare all catamarans to all of the monohulls that made this crossing they are not faster. They cats  were interspersed among the monos. Perhaps it’s the way a catamaran skipper drives his boat, maybe they like to take it easy and don’t like heeling over. It wasn’t a race, after all, it was a RALLY.

But still, I will attest that a catamaran is more comfortable on anchor than a monohull, which is where Lindsay and I intend to spend most of our time.


This is especially true wherever there is motorboat traffic passing the anchorage. Even small boat wakes from outboard engines tend to “rock the boat” more on a monohull than a catamaran.


Tipping over when accidentally going aground will never happen on a catamaran either. What a nightmare that would be!

Monohull sideways aground

We can all agree that the appeal of chartering a cabin on a catamaran is more attractive than on a monohull, so I think our decision is still sound to purchase a catamaran in the 40-foot-range. Don’t you agree?