Travels Diary

Transatlantic, back again

8 March 2013 | | Reading time 4 minutes

After the crossing of the Lagoon 52 from last week, here is the passage of a smaller one! Charles-Etienne Devanneaux , Lagoon distributor in California, and now previous owner of “Naos 400”, did ​​the ARC transatlantic rally last winter aboard  Lagoon 400S2 #1. His fascinating testimony definitely reminds us that an experienced sailor on monohull can really enjoy cruising on a cat!

Few years ago I was still calling cruising catamarans the “ponton flottant’’ (literally the floating cradle)… Being a pure monohull racer since I was born, the concept of high comfort was something unknown and these ‘’bulky boats’’ were not really attracting me in the past.

When I became a Beneteau and Lagoon dealer 3 years ago, I had a serious discussion one day with my 10 years old daughter:‘’Dad, I don’t get you, you are representing the 2 brands but we always go sailing on your racing boat, they heel, I get wet and sick and we can’t do anything while sailing’’.

Charle’s daughter prefers Lagoon cats!

I ended up buying with some friends one of my inventory boats, a Lagoon 400, enjoyed it a lot in California waters with the kids and friends, having our traditional ‘’sailing to Catalina’’ every 3 months. Then the project of NAOS 400 came. The idea of crossing the Atlantic grew-up when my dad retired. After a lot of thoughts on which boat to take, and talking with the Lagoon team about products and schedule, we decided to take the new Lagoon 400S2, number 1 (I knew already the 400 was a great sailing boat) for the project. The boat had a busy planning: being the ‘’Premiere’’ in European boat shows, register on the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), cross the Atlantic, the Caribbean and Bahamas island and have her on the show in Miami.

That was a giant project to organize with crew, provisioning, and the cruising equipment. Actually apart one experienced crew who was always on board with me for long passages, the big portion of my crew was novices or low experienced sailors or even power boaters (one ended to buy a Lagoon 450). They all found the catamaran being their boat: stability, comfort, space, easy-sailing were a real discovery for them. What I really love on these boats is to go inside, enjoy this almost 360° view, and needless to talk about the hot shower every day when you are at sea (I am used to sea shower with a bucket when we are racing)! During the 3000 miles of the crossing, the foul weather gears stayed in the cabinets and I was bare feet all the time.

A few of the best memories in the last 4 months with NAOS 400:

  • celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday in 30 knots of wind in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with 15feet of seas. We installed the complete cockpit enclosure and we had the cake (cooked in the oven) for dessert after eating a duck confit,


  • the arrival in San Lucia after 16 and half days at sea (we finished 3rd at the ARC in the multihull fleet and 1st boat not using engine for propulsion),

  • the 1254 miles that we did in 6 days (8,70 knots average!) during the Atlantic crossing with some surfs between 17 and 20 knots,

  • the first Mahi-Mahi we caught and the fresh Tuna sashimi for dinner in the middle of the Ocean,

entering in Summer Point marina between the reefs in 6 feet of waters after having the worst sailing

  • conditions I ever had with the boat (35-40 knots and bad crossing seas between Turks and Caicos and Rum Cay Islands),
  • drinking piñacoladas on a sunset in the Exumas with my buddies while listening Bob Marley and watching the sharks attracted by our underwater lighting.

Now NAOS 400 will have new adventures with her new captain who plans to go around the world (his route: Bahamas – Caribbean – Panama – Polynesia – Australia for the next 2 years). And I will wait for my new Lagoon 39 to spend good times on board with my family and friends.