If you’re after a serious round-the-world adventure and have the budget for a boat like this, the Outremer 52 could well be the cat you're looking for
Multihulls are clearly booming. They’ve been popular as charter boats for a long time, thanks to the sheer amount of real estate they offer, and the appeal of life on an even keel. The high-volume charter boats haven’t, however, done much to improve multihulls’ reputation for aesthetics or performance.
Outremer catamarans are cut from a different cloth. Light and fast, they are aimed at performance cruising with double-figure speeds, while still being comfortable to live aboard and without being extreme machines. They are serious blue-water cruising boats and are increasingly popular, albeit at a price that puts them on a par with the priciest top-end luxury monohulls.
French boat builder and owner of several mulithull brands, Grand Large Yachting has pooled serious knowledge, design and build experience to create what it deems to be an ideal family-sized fast catamaran for world voyaging. Outremer as a brand focuses on lightweight designs.
The Outremer 52 combines the proven features of the 51 (over 100 built) with the fresh looks and success of the recently launched 55, which won a European Yacht of the Year award last year.
Outremer is aiming for 10-12 knot average speeds for this new model: ‘250 miles a day is enough for comfort and performance,’ said Outremer CEO, Xavier Desmarest, at the unveiling at Cannes Yachting Festival.
Its sister company, Gunboat, was involved to help lighten the structures while increasing stiffness, including the use of carbon bulkheads. The weight saved in structure allows more volume with slightly wider upper parts of the hull, and openings and glass surfaces have been increased.
In comparison to the 51 it is actually slightly heavier, but carries more sail area. VPLP, which spent two-and-a-half years developing the design with Franck Darnet and Patrick Le Quément, expects the performance to be similar if not slightly better than the 51. Sightlines and communication are also improved, with forward visibility from the bar area and saloon seating, and there are four opening ports in the saloon for ventilation.
Wheel and tiller options are offered or, uniquely, a choice of both on either side, while mechanical steering delivers the sporty feel for which the brand is renowned. The layout sees three or four cabins and three different ‘moods’ or styles. And, in line with its larger sister, a utility cabin option is offered so owners can choose an office, workroom, laundry or kids’ cabin.
The standard boat will have diesel engines, but the Grande Motte yard insists the yacht’s ability to sail well means these will be little used. It does already offer electric propulsion alternatives and – as seen on Roland Jourdain’s new 5X We Explore, which uses lots of flax fibre – it is increasingly building with recycled or recyclable materials.
The 51 has the potential to mount 2,100W solar panels, an option all owners are reportedly choosing. Outremer is continuing to increase its production capacity to try to meet the insatiable demand for its performance catamarans, but insists it will maintain its direct customer contact approach. The first boat has now been launched, although there is a four-year wait for those ordering now.
If you’re after a serious round-the-world adventure and have the budget for a boat like this, you’ll cover the ground at serious speed and in real comfort.
Outremer 52 specifications
LOA: 15.73m / 51ft 7in
LWL: 15.71m / 51ft 7in
Beam: 7.89m / 25ft 11in
Draught: 1.07m / 3ft 6in
Displacement: 12,800kg / 28,219lbs
Mainsail: 95m2 / 1,023 sq ft
Genoa: 60 m² / 646 sq ft
Selftacking jib: 45 m² (484 ft²)
Price: (ex VAT) €1.23m (sailaway €1.55m)
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