Multihulls and the 2021 ARC

No longer a rarity, multihulls are now a mainstay of the ARC fleet, shown here departing Las Palmas in Gran Canaria – Photo courtesy of James Mitchell/WCC

The days of multihulls being the weirdos of the sea are gone. Nothing illustrated this better than the 2021 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), which departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (in Spain’s Canary Islands) in November and wrapped up in December on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Of the 143 boats that crossed the starting line of the 3,000-mile voyage, 32 were multihulls, mostly cats with a smattering of trimarans as well.

The ARC has been running 36 consecutive years, ever since the first one was organized by the World Cruising Club (WCC: in 1986, and multihulls are increasingly visible. This ARC was rough, with 15ft seas and 40-knot winds barreling down on the fleet about a week after an unusually slow (and upwind) start. Nonetheless, the crews on cats fared well. Many commented that they appreciated the more stable platform of multiple hulls and that it enabled them to be more rested and make better decisions…

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