Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log

Martin Marie’s Arielle

Transoceanic cruising in powerboats began in 1937 when French yachtsman Martin Marie crossed the Atlantic alone in Arielle. There had been several transatlantic stunt voyages prior to that, but this was the first real ocean cruise in a powerboat. Marie was a marine painter, and he wished to spend time with his subject. Arielle was 42’6” (13m) LOA and of moderate displacement and proportion; certainly not a massive heavyweight. He drew up extensive specifications for his vessel, including the addition of a wheelhouse—a first for ocean-cruising powerboats. Fitted with a 75-hp Baudoin diesel and 1,500 gallons (5,678.1 l) of fuel, the boat cruised from New York to Le Havre, France in 19 days. This calculates out to a respectable average speed of 6.7 knots for the distance of 3,063 miles (4,929.4 km). Arielle’s cruise passed without incident: the engine ran smoothly and the crew met no heavy weather. Therefore, the journey generated no dramatic press. Ocean-cruising under power was obviously not heroic and possibly considered a bit boring.

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