Anyone considering a performance bluewater cruising multihull should have a look at Chris White’s designs, typified by the Atlantic 47. Toby Hodges and Francois Tregouet find out why

Anyone considering performance bluewater cruising multihulls should have a look at Chris White’s designs, typified by the Atlantic 47.

The Dartmouth, Massachusetts-based designer has three decades experience of drawing fast cruising catamarans and some innovative rigs to go with them.

The Atlantic series of catamarans was first launched in 1985. They are instantly recognisable thanks to their fine hull entries, forward cockpit and aft pilothouse layout.

The midship pilothouse is designed to give the helmsman good all-round visibility from both the cockpit and inside helm position. Some might view elements of the coachroof and pilothouse design as the forerunner to the early Gunboat style. 

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The Atlantic 47, originally launched in 2013, retains these much loved features and suits short-handed fast ocean sailing at an approachable size. The pilothouse is more voluminous than past models, which helps allow for a semi-raised galley.

The Atlantic 47 also has a dedicated workbench area in the port hull for ongoing maintenance projects.

Lengthening the design to 49ft allowed for an aft cockpit. Like the Atlantic 47, the A49 is available as a sloop, or with White’s patented MastFoil ketch rig – rotating aerofoil masts designed to be the easiest and safest sail plan possible for short-handed cruising without sacrificing performance.

Twelve of these MastFoil cats are sailing now, nine A47s and three of the newer A49s.

Atlantic 47 price

Guide US$1.1m

Read our full list of the best bluewater multihulls of all time.

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