Quiz: Are you ready to take on a transat?

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Crossing an ocean, especially the Atlantic is always a special time in a sailor’s life. It’s a powerful experience, the accomplishment of a dream. Sometimes, it’s a time to reflect, and make the most of a couple of weeks (at least) either alone, or with family or friends, in the middle of the ocean, with no horizon other than the blue of the ocean, and you chasing a myth amplified by the stories that you read as a child.


But even though doing a transat might be a dream, it’s not a simple sail like other trips. Your boat needs meticulous preparation, as does the crew, for everything to run smoothly. A complete overhaul of the rigging, sails, motors and autopilot would be an absolute minimum for 15 days at sea. In addition, serious victualling, keeping in mind that you might be much longer than anticipated in the middle of the Atlantic… One of the journalists at the magazine (who we won’t name here) set off to make a fast Atlantic crossing on a quick trimaran with enough food for 15 days. The trip eventually took… 23!


But if incidents happen, or even accidents, almost all the boats completing a transat will have had the opportunity to live through some exceptional moments - seeing orcas or other whales swimming in mid-ocean with thousands of meters of water beneath their fins, or epic catches when fishing and of course, memories of the crew laughing like crazy in the mayhem!


So, shall we go? A transat is a special, fun time to spend with friends or family. Something which will remain in your memory forever. And to find out if you are ready, all you need to do is take our test!


1 - Living aboard, leaving sight of land for several days and a feeling of living life at your own pace. For you, crossing an ocean, is:

<pclass="msonormal"> A - A scary prospect. But how are you going to manage for 15 to 20 days on a boat?
B - A challenge. How will you react to such a new situation?
C - Exciting. At last you’ll find what you love: taking charge of the boat and your responsibilities!



2 - Especially on a long trip, the boat needs maintenance. And for you that implies:
A - It’s not the best part of the trip, but there’s no choice, it’s got to be done…
B - Fixing, preparing, improving, there’s always something to be done…
C - Preparation, that’s for before you set off. After, you’ve just got to manage any problems!


3 - Two to three weeks at sea, that’s what you can expect for a transat. And at sea, mealtimes are…
A - But where are we going to go shopping?
B - A moment of conviviality between the crew. A time to make the most of?
C - Essential. They are the basis of keeping crew morale high, and making sure they are always ready to react as they need to!


4 - During a transat, you’re supposed to be pushed along by the trade winds. But sometimes you still need to handle the sails. For you, good sail handling is:
A - All maneuvers can be done from the cockpit, so it’s easy.
B - Well-planned, sail handling maneuvers can always be done on your own…
C - A bonding moment between the whole crew. Like everyone playing their role in a well-rehearsed ballet.


5 - For you, a good crossing is first and foremost:
A - Memories galore, which you’ll keep for the rest of your life, of sundowners with friends, or night watches in the warmth of the salon, watching movies.
B - A cleverly orchestrated mix of some great sailing moments with the kite up and shared pleasures with the crew.
C - A crossing with an average speed over 10 knots, full sail, even at night… we’re going to finish first!


6 - The best boat for a transat is:
A - A boat in which my family feels at home, feels safe and can really enjoy cruising
B - The best boat is the one you set off on!
C - A seaworthy, comfortable boat, which is fast enough to outrun any weather.


7 - At sea, only the unpredictable is predictable…
A - I’ve selected a very competent crew to help me out.
B - Before the transat, I’ll definitely be doing all the necessary training courses.
C - Preparation, experience and anticipating things will allow me to manage any situation which might arise.


8 - Why a transat?
A - I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid.
B - To live an unforgettable experience and to sail my boat in the Caribbean!
C - These 15 days at sea are always my favorite.


9 - For you, the weather offshore is:
A - The great unknown. How can you manage it and anticipate it?
B - Out there, you can’t get it wrong, otherwise you risk being stuck for days waiting for the wind…
C - The key to a great crossing!


10 - After two weeks of seeing nothing but waves and the horizon, you can just see the outline of a Caribbean island in the distance. What are you feeling?
A - YES! We’ve done it!
B - What a great trip and good speed we made!
C - That’s one more ticked off. Next stop Panama!



11 - For you, this trip is:
A - A multitude of memories! Can’t wait for the next one…
B - A time to enjoy your boat and life at sea to the full!
C - A dream that you’ll live one day. For sure.



<pclass="msonormal">SO, SHALL WE GO?


Come on, stick with us… In just a few minutes you’ll finally know if you’re ready to set off on a transatlantic… Ready?

Count up one point for every time you answered (A), two for (B) and three points for (C)



You scored over 25 points

You have seawater running through your veins. If you’re away from your boat and the big blue ocean for a few days, you’re very unhappy… There’s no doubt, you’re built to set off, to sail and enjoy the sailing life, long term. If you want to set off with your partner or your family, all that remains is to hope that they’ll achieve the same score. Then, the adventure’s up to you! Next winter you’ll be in the tropics, anchored off a white sandy beach lined with palm trees!



You scored between 11 and 24 points

You love boats and the sea… of that there’s no doubt! And you’re also one of those people who’ve had the chance to see a bit of the world and love meeting people, in the way that only voyaging lets you. Bravo! But before launching yourself into this “great adventure”, it might be an idea to try cruising for a week or two. What have you got planned this winter? How about a charter in the Grenadines?



You scored less than 10 points


OK, but maybe not a transat straight away. Start by renewing your subscription to Multihulls World, and learn by reading about the adventures of other sailors. Then, try going on a week’s charter with a skipper in a fun and easy location for beginners (the BVI or the Seychelles, maybe). And then after a few years of training, there’s no doubt you’ll be ready to take your turn at the big adventure that is the Transat!



<pclass="msonormal">A shared experience…


Are you scared of doing a transat? Stop worrying: there are solutions to help you live your dream with great support. Every year, several rallies are organized starting in the Canary Islands, heading for the Caribbean. The ARC is the biggest, with over 200 boats on the start line.

New for 2017, GPO, the organizers of the Grand Pavois La Rochelle Boat Show, are re-launching the famous “Rallye des Iles du Soleil”. The objective is clearly defined: friendship and safety are the keywords, as the organizers are catering for a maximum of 80 boats to complete the transat. The start will be on November 18th from Lanzarote, finishing in Marie Galante (off Guadeloupe). There’ll be two opportunities for boats to meet up beforehand, on France’s Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean, and to cruise in company to the Canaries. Of course, Multihulls World is a partner in this 3000 miles-plus adventure, and all you need to do is confirm that you are a reader of the magazine to receive a substantial discount… A great first gift which won’t be the only one for the multihulls taking part! Note that the organizers will be holding seminars to help crews prepare for living this adventure to the full.


For more information: www.rallye-ilesdusoleil.com

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