Atlantic 42 Catamaran Owner Testimonials
October 5, 1997
I want to share with you some thoughts about why I chose this design for my new boat, since the Chris White Atlantic 42 is so different from the other boats here at the show.
For seven years I lived and cruised on my Rhodes Reliant yawl. My kids grew up on that boat as we explored many knooks and crannies of the New England coast. She was beautiful and bright. A looker in any harbor.
But she had draw backs.
After I sold her in 1988, 1 spent years trying to settle on what would be the perfect next boat. My priorities included: safety, sail handling ease, speed, crew comfort, shallow draft, low maintenance and single handed capability.
The advantages of multihulls are too numerous to discuss on this page. Chris White does a fine job in his book The Cruising Multihull.
Because this boat will not sink, she is safe. Her beam to length ration of 60% makes her very stable. Her weight of 10,300 lbs. including rigging make her very fast. And her hull construction of Baltek core and glass vacuum bagged with epoxy makes her very strong.
But why the center cockpit, aft pilothouse?
After chartering many cruising cats, I was very disappointed in their promise of speed. They are heavy as a breed and don't point particularly well. Sure they hold tons of people and stuff at the dock, but they are difficult to control in a blow and the sailing experience is robbed by having to stand at a wheel mounted behind a huge cabin. Reefing an aft cockpit cruising cat is often not much more fun than on a monohull.
What I love about the Atlantic 42 is that she is designed for sailing. The pilothouse is secure in foul weather, the settee is comfortable for my family when the going gets rough because it is at the least motion of the boat. From the security of the pilothouse I can see the set of my sails. The nav station has complete visibility and orientation.
From the outside helm, you can enjoy the thrill of sailing a lively boat. You feel like a kid sailing a beach cat. Visibility is unrestricted. All lines for trimming and reefing are at your fingertips. And the cockpit is dry. You feel safe and secure in the deep cockpit and the broad decks.
Reefing and mooring are an easy single handed exercise. 25-30 kts of wind is not intimidating but exhilarating. Monohull hunting is a wonderful pastime. Nothing like sailing past a boat in one direction, jibing a 1/2 mile later and then sailing past them on a beat.
With the daggerboards up the boat runs at wonderful stable speeds; thin water opens many more possibilities for anchorage. Boards down and the boat points 40 degrees to windward. At 13 kts in 18 kts of wind she tracks to weather as if on rails.
Because the Atlantic 42 is so light, speed to reach more distant cruising grounds and the ability to out run weather are big advantages.
I could go on and on about the advantages of this design. To really appreciate one, study the plans and think about what it would be like the" next time the wind blows hard and the sky threatens rain.
This boat deserves careful consideration from anyone who enjoys cruising and is aware of the joys and reality of life on the water.
Thanks for a great boat, Chris
Interview with Dave Penfield, M.D., owner of the ATLANTIC 42, REMEDY
Dr. Penfield is a very experienced racing sailor. In addition to numerous junior and collegiate titles he is twice World Champion in the highly competitive 505 Olympic dinghy class, he is the first American to win that title.
CW- Dave, you've had the boat now for a year and I know you have used her a great deal. What have you found that you didn't know before?
DP: So far this season we've been out 63 times, meaning we have actually hoisted sail and left the mooring that often. My schedule at the hospital allows me to work early or late so I often have the day to go sailing. But the all-weather nature of the pilothouse design really lets us use the boat when the weather is marginal and we would not have otherwise considered sailing,
CW.- What's the sailing performance like?
DP: It's great. The more I sail this boat the better I like it. We have never yet been passed under sail! Typical sailing speeds are between 8 and 11 knots, the acceleration is phenomenal. A puff of wind comes and she responds instantly. Maximum speed recorded so far is 18.6 knots, under main and jib in about 20 knots of breeze. I would have done more at the high end but Carol keeps reminding me that this is a family boat.
CW How about to windward?
DP: She points very well, we usually sail with an apparent wind angle of 31 to 32 degrees. The angle between tacks allowing the best VMG is normally 90-95 degrees. The daggerboards really help with boat's pointing ability and ease of tacking. We never feel that we need to back the jib to get the boat through a tack, although it can be helpful to ease off the mainsail leech tension.
CW., Any thoughts on sail trim particular to this boat?
DP: The mainsail needs lots of luff tension, I crank the halyard up as hard as I can and it looks really good. It's a very powerful sail. The spinnaker took us some time to figure out. Flying it in the typical cat fashion without a pole we were having a hard time getting it to trim right until we realized that we needed to use both the windward guy AND sheet to properly position the tack of the spinnaker . Once that was figured out the boat really started to sail well downwind, we can carry the symmetrical spinnaker up to 80 degrees apparent wind. The spinnaker, in a sock, is very easy to handle on a cat.
CW* How do you feel about the "backwards" arrangement of cockpit ahead of the pilothouse?
DP: I love it. The boat is extremely comfortable. And very easy to sail since all lines and controls are within easy reach of the wheel. I sail her single handed without any trouble. The sails are hoisted and the anchor can be pulled up from the cockpit. The inside helm station is wonderful. If it is blowing hard and the spray is flying or if it's raining we just duck inside where we stay warm and perfectly dry. I can see the sail trim from inside and feel very confident steering the boat from this position.
CW.- What about the interior arrangement?
DP: It works very well for us. We like the fact that the galley is really functional while still being open to the pilothouse. No one believes that the berths are full queen size until they sleep in them. And being able to use regular fitted sheets is real nice. The shower is large, hot and makes a handy place to drip dry foul weather gear. All in all, I couldn't ask for more.
October 5, 1997
Building a boat is a lot like having one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock. You stand on the dock looking at the boat that you really want to sail and you look at what it takes to get both feet on the boat and sometimes the water in between is just too cold.
After several years of researching boat designs, convinced that multihulls are safer and faster than monohulls, I settled on Chris White's Atlantic 42. He in turn introduced me to Lombardi Yachts where the 42's are under construction.
Experience has taught me that there are many promises that are made in the courtship phase of a construction project and that follow through is often more elusive. So I approached this project with my guard up arid a great deal of skepticism. I was determined to see the construction of my boat through and keep the project on cost.
I was not prepared for the experience: Flawless construction and management.
Construction payments were broken down into equal amounts, checks were written monthly.
Photographs were sent to me monthly of the progress, my options list was quoted and agreed upon in advance, equipment was ordered in sequence and on time, my communication with the yard was through email so that business travel did not interfere with progress.
Delivery was on time and the commissioning of the boat and subsequent sea trials could
not have gone better. Follow through from the yard has been terrific.
The real test after completion of a project of this size: would I do it again'?
The Lornbardis and the people that work at the yard are committed to quality and their customers.
If you are considering building a boat, you must consider this one. You will be able to proceed with confidence in the design and in the construction.
Congratulations to Lombardi Yachts and thank you.