Recently, we were fortunate to speak Axel Jepsen, the owner of a Nautitech 44 Open named 'Solaris' which recently participated in the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) Challenge. The ARC is a 2700nm journey across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia. During this last rally, there were 3 Nautitech 44 Opens participating, all of which placed very well in the multihull division. Axel has recounted his story of the adventure below.
"The Atlantic trip with Solaris was my third crossing and my biggest by distance, but why: Firstly, the ARC organisers required all vessels to do their preparations right, especially the safety inspections which gave us great advice before leaving Gran Canaria. Secondly, we had a great opportunity to meet a lot of other sailors with all kinds of experience and backgrounds, which gave us confidence in making a successful crossing and you never felt alone during the trip. Thirdly the trip itself was great even though we only 3 people on board, where I was the only one having offshore experience.
The Nautitech 44 offers a lot of space for provisioning, e.g. we have 2 fridges and a freezer allowing us to take frozen meat for up to 5 people for at least a month. The fridges allowed us to have cold soft drinks all day and the drawer setup makes it easy to see and reach everything. Furthermore, we used the lockers in the front for storage of water bottles and other things which you don't need on a daily basis.
The crossing took almost 3 weeks (20 days) and each day was different. The first week brought light winds up to 12 knots, which was a big problem for us because we didn't have a Spinnaker and we could see the other Catamarans racing ahead flying their Oxley Spinnakers - important learning point for us. In the second week the breeze was stronger, and so our boat speed increased allowing us to cover about 140nm per day.
The last week was windy with squalls up to 40 knots of wind and waves plus 5 meters. We felt very safe at all times, the boat behaved fantastically sailing on the Autopilot and kept a straight course at all times. The sailing characteristics of Solaris were much better than any monohull I have been on in such weather. We had good food every day, sundowners at 5pm, and then a good sleep needed for everyone on board.
After my third crossing I'm in no doubt that cats are safer and more comfortable for ocean sailing. The Nautitech 44 Open offers great living and functionality with a spacious cockpit and innovative layout inside with the useful bar in the middle of the salon.
For those who would like to follow us, you can check out our Instagram page @solaris_nautitech."
The Ensign Yachts team specialises in European delivery of Nautitech catamarans and other premium brands. Talk to our team today and find out how much you can save. Check out a guided tour of the 44 Open below.