Mari-Cha III: World’s coolest yachts

Published on October 13th, 2021

Yachting World has been asking top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times, and Yachting World’s ex-editor, Elaine Bunting nominated the Maxi Ketch Mari-Cha III. Here’s the report:


Fast, shapely, elegant and still formidable on the race course, Mari-Cha III was and still is one of the world’s most impressive yachts, writes Bunting.

Created to break records, this Philippe Briand design was built in 1997 for American Bob Miller. Mari-Cha III seized the outright monohull transatlantic record in 1998, the big ketch crossing the finish line at The Lizard on 24 October 1998 in 8d 23h.

She claimed a fistful of record passages including, in 1999, the fastest ever from Sydney to Hobart. Sailing the 630-mile course in 1d 18h at a then phenomenal average of 14.75 knots, but often hitting 30 knots.

Refitted with a 3m taller mast, she now races in some of the big superyacht regattas. The development of batten cars, halyard locks, outhaul claws and square top mains have increased the amount of canvas she can carry.


For Yachting World’s list of cool boats, click here.

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