Dec. 11, 2005
Here's a report on our new Atlantic 48 Catamaran, Resolute:
Over the past two weeks, Connie and I sailed Resolute from Trinidad to Tortola. The trip was entirely to windward making 190-200nm/day for three days against 10-25kts true wind speed and 3 to 8ft seas (with a typical AWA of 33-40 deg.).
Resolute goes extremely well and we had to reduce sail to keep her under 10 kts as 12-14 kts of boat speed was a bit tough on us, especially at night. We had fairly rough seas approaching St. Croix and had to make a long tack out eastward to clear the island. Even in these sloppy conditions our track on the chartplotter indicated there was no problem making 90 degrees between tacks.
The steering is perfectly balanced at all times. It takes only a couple of fingers on the wheel, upwind or down. Going to windward we are able to leave the wheel unattended for significant periods. Tacking is crisp and fast.
All sail handling systems on the boat worked perfectly with a variety of jib and reefed mainsail combinations. The luff downhauls and the Antal leech blocks on the mainsail make reefing very easy, even in the dark with rough seas. The jib is a snap to tack never requiring any winch grinding; just hand trim quickly and ease slightly after the boat comes through the wind.
Once in the BVI, Dave Penfield (Atlantic 42 Remedy, Atlantic 55 Synergy) spent several days with us. He took photos from the dinghy as we sailed in the Drake Channel in light wind with full main, jib or Genoa. We also set up the Code 0. The Harken 2:1 downhaul and 2:1 halyard allowed complete control over the luff tension, as is critical for this sail.
After a day of no wind, we sailed to windward to Anegada in 8-14kts TWS. The next day on the return was more exciting, first reaching with the Genoa with one reef in the main in 16-22kts true wind speed making 13-16kts through the water. Later we set the Code 0 and sailed between 70-120 deg AWA at generally 10-14kts boatspeed. The larger AWA's required that the halyard be eased 3-5ft allowing the luff to project well to windward. The Code 0 is very easy to roll up and that makes it simpler set and furl than a spinnaker and almost as effective on a very deep reach. I think it will see lots of use.
Given that both the Penfields and the Blasies have owned Atlantic 42's AND that Connie and I have made several Caribbean-to-Cape Cod-and back voyages on the A55 Synergy, our overall conclusion below takes on added significance. We all feel that the Atlantic 48 design, is the best Atlantic Catamaran design ever! It indeed combines the best of the A42 and A55 designs. Resolute has so far already met our expectations providing A55 performance, easy sail handling and comfortable passages.