One of the areas in which Excess Catamarans is working hard to stand out from the crowd is their desire to connect and build relationships with owners and prospective buyers.
This approach seems to be paying dividends – it’s helping them develop their boats with direct feedback from customers and helping people to navigate through the complex process of buying and kitting out a new catamaran.
The end result? Skilful sailors with new friends having fun out on the water.
Excess Campus 2023
Just recently, the team ran the first Excess Campus of 2023. This event, organised by Excess Catamarans, a brand of the Beneteau Group took place in Canet-en-Rousillion near Perpignan in France, and was a series of workshops and seminars that aim to help customers learn more about topics such as predicting the weather, navigation, boat maintenance, safety, and lifestyle on board.
There were 21 owners involved (a mix of English & French speakers) for 3 days of theory and practice to learn all about maintaining an Excess and the must-have tips for sailing.
And of course, the event had a substantial social side, enabling owners and buyers to mingle with other enthusiasts from around the world.
The event is all about learning, sharing, and having fun, a course for experts and novices alike who want to discover the joys of sailing and living on a catamaran.
Some of the topics covered were:
Navigation: how to plan your route, use the instruments, read the weather, and handle the sails and engines.
Boat maintenance: how to check the systems, perform routine tasks, and troubleshoot common issues.
Safety: how to prepare for emergencies, use the equipment, and communicate with the authorities. This includes a session with SNSM: Les Sauveteurs en Mer, whose raison d’être is saving lives at sea around the French coast, including the overseas départments and territories.
Lifestyle: how to organise the space, store the supplies, cook the meals, and enjoy yourself on board.
Boat Handling – this is probably the most popular part of the course – hands-on training on an Excess catamaran perfecting skills such as docking, anchoring, picking up a mooring buoy, raising and trimming the sails and more.
Following the success of the 2023 edition, Excess is already planning the 2024 edition of the Campus, so stay tuned!
Lagoon has been designing and building catamarans for almost forty years. They will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2024. We met up with the management team to talk about Lagoon and their plans for the future. Their mission is to remain the world leader, building boats for their customers that are safe, reliable, comfortable and that can travel the world with a respect for the environment.
Lagoon shared some remarkable numbers at the Cannes International Yachting Festival.
First of all, with the 51 and 55, the last two new models, they have reached a milestone in September 2023 of 250 units sold. Both boats are built in Bordeaux, where they are increasing production capacity. And in August they delivered the 500th Lagoon 46 to Australian clients.
What is the Top Seller Ever in the Sailing Catamaran Market?
It used to be the Lagoon 380 which was later overtaken by the 450. Now the best-seller, the world champion is the Lagoon 42. In October 2023 they will deliver the 1000th Lagoon 42 to French owners who joined them for the party on Friday night in Cannes.
And more than forty-two Lagoon SEVENTY are sailing worldwide with orders to come, a much bigger number than Lagoon was expecting in their initial business plan for this luxury market segment.
Every year, Lagoon shows a SIXTY & SEVENTY at the Cannes Yachting Festival and every year the boat is different: these are fully customised yachts. They have a dedicated team for this luxury market segment, working closely with the captains and crew to continuously optimise the boat.
The luxury charter segment has been very successful, with these yachts commanding a one-week charter price of between $70k to $80k in high season.
7000 Lagoons Sailing
In the coming month, Lagoon expects to hit another milestone: seven thousand Lagoons sailing worldwide. Their ambitious goal is to be in touch with all of these owners through the Club Lagoon with a lot of services for all clients. This is a key service they want to develop over the coming years.
With the SIXTY and SEVENTY, each boat has a dedicated after-sales team, a point of contact, direct with the factory and owners can follow the construction of their boat online.
1) Customers have direct contact with Lagoon’s SIXTY 5, SIXTY 7, SEVENTY 7, SEVENTY 8 Specialists: a Premium Service 2) They follow their boat in production 3) Customers have a dedicated after-sales team
Lagoon Furling Boom
One of the latest innovations to be offered on Lagoon catamarans (46′ and 51′) is the mainsail furling boom. This has been developed by the Lagoon team with Incidence Sails and Groupe Wichard.
One of the main advantages of the Lagoon system is its simplicity: the furling spindle is not enclosed in a housing, so it is easy to monitor and control hoisting, reefing and furling manoeuvres. And it’s lighter than a standard set-up.
To use it, the main sheet must be eased, the topping lift employed, you must be headed into the wind (or at least a 30-degree TWA), and you must keep a fair tension on the luff while adjusting the sail. The system has been thoroughly tested over 2 years and has proven to be very reliable. On the 46 and 51 which have the flybridge, this system makes a lot of sense with their higher booms. This will help owners to use their sails more often.
This is an exclusive system, installed by Lagoon and covered by their warranty.
Reducing their Footprint: Lagoon – Awarded ISO 14001
What Is ISO 14001? ISO 14001 is a set of standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
It aims is to define the best practices for organizations that wish to reduce their environmental footprint by adopting an effective environmental management system (EMS). They have also been awarded ISO 50001, a standard intended to help organizations develop and implement an energy management system.
What does this mean in practice? The resin used on Lagoons is becoming more and more bio-sourced, the kitemark looks at the raw materials that Lagoon uses, with a target to use 100% recycled materials on the upholstery and work on using recycled materials for the sails continues.
Hemp fibre is replacing fibreglass in many panels on the boats. They are replacing teak with a new type of wood from sustainable forests. A water purification system will be installed on all Lagoons, helping people to move away from water in plastic bottles as you can drink the water from the tank.
Lagoon delivers with every boat launch a pack of eco-friendly cleaning equipment, to help educate clients on the best eco-friendly products that are available in the market.
Other areas they are working on include black water treatment, solar panel efficiency, wind turbines, hydro-generators, and more efficient A/C.
They continue to test electric power and hybrid power extensively to develop a system that is very reliable and safe.
The Future is Bright
So, the future is bright for this market-leading French catamaran manufacturer and they continue to grow responsibly across many different market segments.
We are looking forward to seeing the new Lagoon 60 on the water in 2024, the year that they celebrate their 40th anniversary. The next target? 8000 yachts on the water, all active members of the Lagoon Club!
One of the big announcements at the 2023 Cannes Yachting Festival was from Excess Catamarans who announced a new addition to their range of sailing yachts. The new model will slot in between the Excess 11 and Excess 14.
Helping them on the next stage of development of this increasingly popular brand will be Lombard (MLYDG) – in charge of the naval architecture and Jean Marc Piaton who will design the interiors. Following the Excess Catamarans philosophy, this will be a collaborative process involving the Excess team and the “Tribe”: their owners, clients, dealers and industry experts. We are looking forward to seeing the design in more detail in early 2024!
Building on the Success of the Excess 14, shown below:
The Next Generation
These two experienced design teams will evolve the design from the Excess 11 and 14 which were created with VPLP design and Patrick Le Quément for the first generation of Excess catamarans.
The brief for the designers is to build on the brand’s strengths by creating a catamaran that’s fun to sail and comfortable to live aboard. It’s this balance and a growing reputation for after-sales and relationship building that has defined the essence of Excess so far.
Marc Lombard Yacht Design Group
A word from Eric Levet, Marc Lombard Design
“For the Lombard team, integrating the Excess Catamarans brand with this new project is a challenge we’ve been delighted to take on!”
“In partnership with the Excess design office, we were keen to develop the design of this new catamaran to reinforce the brand’s strengths.”
“The brief was simple yet ambitious: to create a catamaran that’s evolving and balanced, solid, and offering great sensations, all combined with the comfort and interior volume that has made Excess such a success.”
“The form of the hulls, the weight, the composite structure, the layout, the ergonomics, the efficiency of the sail plan, everything about this new Excess is designed around the pleasure of easy sailing and comfortable living on board.”
“Following several months of design and rewarding exchanges with the Excess team and Jean Marc Piaton, we’re taking the time to refine the design in detail and in manufacturing optimization. We can’t wait to see the boat sail!”
A word from Jean-Marc.
“We heard from around thirty people who spoke to us about the brand (in-house people, dealers, owners, and charter companies, among others), and what emerged was a very positive and, above all, highly identifiable perception.”
“This is both very rare for such a young brand, and very interesting when considering its design.
Hervé Piveteau, Product Manager at Excess, had high expectations of lightness, both real and perceived, and wanted this new model to fit in well with existing models, without creating too strong a break.”
A New Model in 2024
We’ll keep you posted with the latest news on this new model.
In January 2024, at the Düsseldorf boat show, Excess will be revealing the name and the first 3D images of the new yacht.
The Windelo 50 has recently been upgraded with a fresher, sleeker look and a further upgrade of sustainable energy.
The first of the new catamarans, a 50 Yachting, splashed in July 2023 and will be making an appearance at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2023.
Katamarans.com are joining the Windelo team on their delivery trip from the Windelo Base in Canet-en-Rousillion near Perpignan, capital of the capital of Pyrénées-Orientales region, to the Côte d’Azur. We can’t wait to see the new design in action firsthand!
The New Windelo 50 has had a substantial design upgrade thanks to a team effort from her naval architects (Christophe Barreau and Frederic Newman), designer (Charlotte Schiffer), and the Windelo engineering office.
The new design represents a move upmarket, with upgrades to the decks, superstructure, and roof and a reworking of the layout.
The New Windelo 50 design accommodates even more solar on a longer roof without compromising on weight thanks to the simplified composite assembly manufacturing process. And this ECO yacht now boasts a racy, stylish look.
The aft deck has been enlarged to provide a more comfortable living space, even better protected from the sun and weather.
The New Windelo 50 Yachting can now accommodate up to 5,680 W solar panels for even greater autonomy and zero emissions while motoring on her electric engines.
Launching at Cannes Yachting Festival
The Windelo team will be presenting the New Windelo 50 Yachting at the Cannes Yachting Festival from September 12 to 17. We’ll be closely covering the show and the trip to Cannes on the Katamarans network, so stay tuned for more information from the passage!
The Windelo 50 is manufactured from an innovative environmentally-friendly composite sandwich consisting of Basalt fiber and PET foam from recycled plastic bottles, reducing the boat’s carbon footprint by 47%.
Two electric motors, 5,680 W solar panels, and a hydro-generation system that recharges the battery bank every day provide up to 4 hours of autonomy using solely green energies when motoring at 6 knots.
A forward cockpit at the foot of the mast centralises all catamaran manoeuvres. The new cockpit can be completely closed, so you can sail close to the action, protected from the elements, whatever the weather. A nacelle offering incredible interior/exterior modularity allows you to make the most of your surroundings and enjoy XXL space, whatever the weather. You can transform your living room into an incredible terrace with a simple turn of the winch.
Lagoon recently passed the 500 mark for their 46 footer. This popular cruising catamaran continues to attract strong demand thanks to those ocean views from the flybridge, the open sundeck and high levels of comfort in the Interior. They have also launched an option for a furling boom.
Let’s take a look at the boat in more detail:
Naval architects VPLP have achieved a great balance between the different living spaces aboard the Lagoon 46.
With her front and aft cockpits, cooking area at the back, and a salon that is a home away from home, there are plenty of zones to hang out in.
Up top, the Flybridge has a double access port and starboard, and is another zone for relaxation as well as being the control centre when sailing.
Choose between a folding cabriolet or an automated Bimini for sun protection
Head forward, and you have the forward lounge tucked in behind the nets for sundowners.
Aft on the Lagoon 46, you can choose between classic stainless steel davits or an electrical hydraulic platform for your tender. The platform allows for easy access to the water at anchor.
Interior Comfort – a Home Away from Home
Nauta Design were in charge of developing the elegant interior. The owner’s suite is generously furnished and has an island berth. It’s spacious down here, with a sofa, desk and ample storage. The bathroom is huge with a separate shower.
The other cabins aboard are also roomy, especially the forward cabin which also has a large bed.
Up top, the saloon area runs through to the aft cockpit and is light and airy.
VPLP are known for designing boats that sail, and they have done a great job evolving the Lagoon 46 from her predecessors.
She’s a seaworthy, forgiving boat.
Boom Furler Option
Lagoon recently announced that they are offering a boom furler option on the 46.
This is a simple, robust solution designed to make the Lagoon 46 even easier to sail. One of the main advantages of the Lagoon boom furler is that the furling mandrel is not enclosed in a housing. So you can watch and control hoisting, reefing and furling manoeuvres.
The Lagoon 46 is a bestseller in the cruising catamaran segment and it is easy to see why. This is a very comfortable, seaworthy boat that has been optimised for easy sailing with many different relaxation zones to enjoy at anchor, including that iconic flybridge.
Excess Catamarans have worked hard to develop cruising yachts that are fun to sail and comfortable to live aboard.
The Excess 12 and 15 were launched in 2019.
Then, in 2020 the French manufacturer launched the Excess 11 and the first Excess 14 splashed in 2022.
This 46 footer was designed by VPLP with feedback from customers and Excess owners via the Excess Lab, a forum to gather feedback and design ideas.
The Excess 14 strikes a good balance between performance and comfort in a cruising package. It’s a catamaran that has carved out its own space in the cruising market.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that they have developed.
One thing I have noticed about this catamaran manufacturer is that the team, led by Thibaut de Montvalon, is very focused on what they want to be and how they want to get there.
Having a clear vision and communicating it well is half the battle for organisations, and you’ll hear Excess often talk about “Sensations” – it’s a key driver for them. They want their owners, dealers and employees to enjoy sailing Excess yachts. It’s one of the reasons why this brand is attracting many monohull sailors.
Sailing feel is a key design element in the 14. She has a sporty, low slung boom, asymmetric hulls, refined keels and is built with lightweight materials.
If you opt for the Pulse Line package, you can boost the upwind sail area by 10% to 135 m² (1,453 sq.ft) from 123 m² (1,323 sq.ft).
Built to Sail The low boom, lower freeboard with reduced windage and sleek lines gives the 14 distinctive look. She has aft-set coach-roof, a forward-stepped mast, a composite bowsprit as standard and inverted bows.
The fins have been optimised for beating to windward, and the rudder blades have been extended.
VPLP and Excess have designed the 14 with a forward-set rig, a square-top mainsail, and a large overlapping genoa as standard to optimize the sail area to displacement ratio.
Bridgedeck clearance has been increased for better passage through the water, and the hulls designed asymmetrically to reduce drag. The low boom moves the centre of effort of the mainsail down and she has been built with foam sandwich and carbon reinforcements.
With a full complement of lighter wind sails flying off the bowsprit, this is a catamaran that should keep the smile on your face when the wind is blowing.
Sail Close to the Water The helm stations are set aft with optional biminis, so you have a direct connection with the rudders and a good view of the sails.
Visibility has been optimised though untinted saloon windows.
The direct steering system uses textile lines, for a better helm feel.
The aft helms have an important safety aspect as well – all of the crew are forward of the skipper in his or her line of sight.
VPLP, Excess and their customers have worked hard here to develop a good balance of performance and comfort with:
A low boom and low centre of effort from the wind.
A sporty sail area to displacement ratio particularly on the Pulse Line (26.5) which approaches some performance cat ratios. The overlapping genoa and composite bowsprit all help.
Asymmetric hulls and optimised keels and rudders for upwind performance.
Aft helms mean you sail close to the water with full view of the sails connected directly to the rudders.
Construction from foam sandwich with carbon reinforcements results in a stiff, strong boat.
This is only half the story though, as the Excess 14 has been designed to deliver a decent performance level without compromising on comfort.
Comfort and Flexibility This cruising catamaran offers high levels of comfort and flexibility in its living spaces. Volume and good headroom are priorities in a warm and bright environment.
Down below, in the hulls, you’ll find wide, comfortable beds, and bathrooms with a separate shower. Large and subdivided storage spaces have been designed to store your gear efficiently, with some great touches like the retractable chart table.
Optimise your layout Everyone’s needs are different of course, so they have designed this catamaran with plenty of layout options.
3 Cabins In the 3-cabin version, the main features are :
-A central bathroom -A large private dressing area -Extra bunks as an option
4 Cabins -Up to four cabins, four heads & four separate showers – An optional skipper cabin in each hull
The Skylounge An innovative solution on the coachroof – a spot for sundowners at anchor that does not compromise the low boom height.
Dressing Room An option for a walk-in dressing room allows you to store both sailing gear and clothes. You can configure this with additional twin berths, for a family configuration.
There is no denying that this a a very comfortable boat, particularly if you opt for the owner’s configuration (3 cabin). The aft helms allow for a large, connected living space up top, and down below the cabins and bathrooms are roomy and there is plenty of storage.
With the flexibility offered with the dressing room and the sky lounge on the coach-roof, it’s an appealing package.
Sails Square top mainsail 83 m² | 893 sq ft
Overlapping genoa 40 m² | 430 sq ft
Code 0 (option) 72 m² | 775 sq ft
Upwind sail area 123 m² | 1323 sq ft
PULSE LINE Upwind sail area 135 m² | 1453 sq ft Code 0 [option] 86 m² | 926 sq ft
Dimensions Length overall (depends on options) 13.97 to 15.99 m | 45’9’’ to 52’5’’
Hull length 13.34 m | 43’9’’
Light displacement [EC] 12,8 T | 28219 lbs
Beam 7.87 m | 25’9’’
Mast clearance (std/pulse) 19.78 m | 64’11’’ / 21.54 m | 70’8’’
Draft 1.48 m | 4’10’’
CE certification A : 10 – B : 12 – C : 16 – D : 20
Other Fuel capacity 2 x 200 L 2 x 53 US gal
Engines 2 x 45 HP 2 x 57 HP (option)
Fresh water capacity 300 L (standard) + 300 L (option) 79 + 79 US gal (option)
We had the pleasure recently of spending some time recently with Pierre-Eric Fremaux from Lagoon at the International Multihull Show. Pierre project manages the SIXTY operation for Lagoon (SIXTY 5 and SIXTY 7 Power), and gave us a fascinating insight into these semi-custom luxury catamarans and the kinds of requests that he gets from owners and people buying the yachts.
Designed by VPLP, the SIXTY 5 and SIXTY 7 are part of the new 5th generation design from the famous French manufacturer, and along with the SEVENTY 7 their most luxurious yachts to date. The SIXTY 5 is the successor to the 620, and represents quite a step up in terms of performance and refinement.
At a length of 20.55m or 67.5′ and a beam of 10m (32.1′) at the beam, she spans three levels with a big flybridge. With the fully battened mainsail and furling genoa, the sail area adds up to 268m2
The new boat shares many of the features that have made Lagoon so successful, particularly the ease of handling.
For her size, she is an easy to use yacht that can cruise far and wide under sail, a seaworthy boat like her big sister, designed for extended trips. She has been designed to eat up the miles, and provide superior comfort at stopovers.
This is a sleeker design direction from Lagoon, a beautiful boat able to accommodate quality rigging and powerful sails.
Step inside, and you appreciate the design evolution: open and uninterrupted spaces that link the interior and exterior with open views all around.
One of the benefits of the SIXTY 5 is the scope for customisation. Pierre informed us that on one build, he received over 700 emails from the customer with ideas and questions. If the work has previously been scoped out and the plans drawn up, then these changes are relatively easy.
If not, a project is needed to analyse the request, calculate the cost and draw up the plans, but essentially anything is possible for a price unless it affects the overall structure of the boat.
The Lagoon SIXTY 5 can either be configured galley up or galley down. In the Down configuration (or Lateral Galley), there is double access from either the cockpit or the crew cabin, and includes a dining area with a cozy area to enjoy an early breakfast, or for the crew to meet and prepare meals away from the guests.
Lateral Galley Configuration
With the galley down below, the living space is opened right up in the Saloon. In this layout, the 30sqm saloon has two huge sofas on either side, with a coffee table to port and a dining table to starboard. Forward is a nav station including a chart table, and to the right is a well-equipped bar area with ice maker, wine cooler and refrigerator.
The galley in the aft port hull leaves room for either 4 en-suite cabins (one master suite with access to the deck aft) or 5 ensuite cabins.
Central Galley Option
The other basic option is to configure the yacht with a galley up top in the saloon, know as the Central Galley Version.
With the galley up, on the port side of the saloon and with an island bar, there is room down below for six cabins, three on each side, or five, with the owner’s suite located aft in the starboard hull.
Stand Out Features
So what are the features that make the SIXTY 5 stand out from the crowd? Here’s a few of them
Configure the yacht galley up or galley down with up to 6 cabins down below.
The luxurious Owner’s Suite has direct access aft to the sun and sea
With options for an Owner’s Suite and a VIP cabin.
Access to the forward lounge through the saloon
Wide transoms with a platform bridge opens up the space further aft. This platform lowers to sea level.
A huge flybridge with twin helms. Options for a sunbed & dining area or sofas and dining area up here
Carbon fiber boom
Carbon mast is an option for our performance-focused owners.
A powerful rig flies 268 m² / 2,884 sq.ft of sail. A Code 0 or gennaker can be added to the base sail plan.
The Lagoon sails well in a breeze with that powerful rig. Expect to see 8-9 knots in 15 knots of wind with that almost 100sqm genoa.
The standard power unit is twin 150hp Volvo D3s with a cruising speed of nine knots or there is an upgrade available to 180hp Volvo D4s for a cruising speed of just under 10 knots. The range on the bigger engines is around 800nm at 1,500rpm.
The SIXTY 5 is a striking looking catamaran from Lagoon, a real step up from the 620. There’s an abundance of space on this semi-custom yacht, form the cool forward cockpit for lounging and reading, through the saloon to the aft cockpit with seating and a dining area and the flybridge up top.
And this is a yacht that can sail, with an integrated bowsprit allowing you to shifting sails easily depending on wind strength and direction. Lagoon are successfully carving out a new market for themselves with the SIXTY 5 and SEVENTY 7, and I can see some of these features filtering through to the rest of their range in the future.
We caught up with Thibaut de Montvalon, Director of Excess Catamarans, at the International Multihull Show in La Grande Motte to ask him about the philosophy behind this fast-growing catamaran brand. If you want to know what makes Excess tick, read on!
They are not only innovating in their boat design but also in after-sales, customer relationships and their dealer network.
K: “Hi Thibaut, great to see you again. Can us through some of the latest news from Excess Catamarans?” TdM: “Great to see you as well. Excess has come a long way since we launched our first models in 2019. We have now sold close to 400 boats, of which we have delivered a bit less than half. Our mission, our ambition, is to try and make all of these owners Excess ambassadors.”
K: “Can you tell us more about the philosophy behind this? The Excess Tribe, for example?” TdM: “We consider our network of customers, of dealers, of the press as the Excess Tribe. We want our clients, our customers to share their experiences as being part of the Tribe.”
TdM: “So what does that mean exactly? Well, to help us clarify, we have mapped all of the points of contact that the client has with the brand, starting from the first email, the social media they see, coming to a boat show, doing a sea trial, visiting a distributor, signing the contract and so on. we have mapped all of the paths from taking delivery of the boat through the life of the boat: the Excess Customer Journey.”
“We are focusing and putting a lot of effort into making this Excess Customer Journey a special one.”
K: “OK, sounds well geared towards people. Can you give me some examples?” TdM: “Sure. For example, some very important ambassadors that we need are the dealers. So we have started launching some initiatives, like skiing mixed with work as well, of course. We want to develop our relationship with them, become friends with them, go sailing with them and so on, to bring together and create this sense of a Tribe, all being part of the same team.”
“Our business model at Excess is to distribute boats through our dealers, and I have the firm belief that we need to reach our clients and make them feel part of that one same Tribe: a key objective and path to success is to make our dealers the best brand ambassadors of Excess Catamarans.”
K: “Are you also developing contacts directly with your customers?” TdM: “Yes, for sure, that is so important for us. We need to delight our customers. We have a few hundred customers and this is another big area of focus. We organised for the first time on the second weekend of March an open factory tour. We opened the shipyard on the weekend, on Saturday, only for Excess customers or people in the process of ordering boats. “
“So we enjoyed some food, a few drinks, a visit on our boats, and the chance to meet the people who are building the catamarans with a factory tour. This is something that we will do every year, and it will be one of those moments where the Tribe comes together, timed to be one month ahead of La Grande Motte boat show. All the clients and prospects we invited had a great time and said it was a very good event, so it is something that we will continue.”
“We are also putting a strong emphasis on the delivery of the boats. Excess Catamarans are sold through our network of distributors. So the dealer handles the boat through to the customer, but we are making a strong effort to have a presence at the time of delivery.”
K: “How Does the Great Delivery Experience Work?” TdM: “We want to excel in this area. It means being there, having lunch, meeting the customers when they have delivery of the boat, or simply writing a thank you letter or sending a gift to the customer. This might seem obvious to you that any brand should be doing this, but in the boating world, not all brands do. Their philosophy is to hand everything over to the dealer after manufacture. What we are trying to do at Excess with our dealers is to work together to make the customer experience a better one.”
“Focusing on the delivery, the day the boat is being handed over to the client so that they have a special experience. We have set a template of what an Excess delivery should look like and the standard of an Excess delivery: a strong effort to focus on this important moment.”
K: “Are there any other ways that you are meeting and getting to know your customers?” TdM: “We are going to launch the Excess Campus in October. We have to finalise the date and location, but most likely it will be in the South of France in October. “
“We want to invite Excess customers and owners to come to a two-and-a-half day seminar. We will cover how to manoeuvre a catamaran in a marina, we’ll work with people who specialise in weather forecasting, how to plan for your trip, looking at the weather charts, and so on.”
“I won’t tell you everything as this might inspire some of our fellow boat builders ;). How to maintain your boat, your rigging, how to fine-tune and set your sails. We’ll have our electronic partners there explaining how to use the radar, and how to get the best use of all of the electronics that you have in the boat.”
K: “Safety training will play a part in that I guess? Just fishing for more info!” TdM: “We’ll have several suppliers and contractors there, we’ll even have a doctor specialised in how to react to emergency medical situations on the boat.”
“We are going to work with SNSM (la Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer), the French Lifeboats Association to understand how best to launch a life-raft, how, where and when you set off a flare and so on. “
“We’ll also be doing Excess owners’ Rendezvous. We had one, actually, just before Covid or the second year of Covid in the Balearics. In 2021, I think, we had four boats. This is something we’ll be doing on an annual basis. We’ll have several Excess Owner’s Rendezvous in different parts of Europe and the US, and hopefully soon in French Polynesia with David Allouch (Sail Tahiti).”
K: “How about the Excess Lab? I have been hearing a lot about this forum” TdM: “I’ll give you an update on the Excess Lab, as this is a fantastic platform to exchange ideas. We are close to 400 customers who use the Excess Lab to give feedback on how they use the boat, to ask questions and interact with Hervé Piveteau”.
“Sometimes, some of the owners believe that the Excess Lab is a hotline to ask Hervé to modify every single boat that we have sold, which is not the case ;). It’s great because we see all of our owners and clients interact a lot.”
“We have had 37 contributions over one year, suggesting topics of what they want us to talk about. We have written 25 articles on different topics. We have 403 members in the Lab and about 8,600 visitors throughout the year.”
K: “Can you talk us through some of the feedback you have had through the Lab?” TdM: “One topic that we are working on at the moment, one that is close to many people’s hearts, is the boat office, i.e. working from your Excess. We have recently published two interviews of people who have been working from their boat, either running their company or doing their job from their boats.”
“We have also been talking a lot about the experience we had with the Excess 15 and the development of the electric engines.”
“We spoke in depth about the Excess 14 and the asymmetric hulls and all the improvements we did in terms of naval architecture. Without revealing any secrets, we are using the Lab extensively to get inspiration for the next Excess we are working on.”
K: “Interesting, can you give us any more details on the new Excess? Any scoops?” “I can’t share any information at this stage, but rest assured that there’s some exciting stuff going on!”
“Overall, with the Excess Lab, the idea is to continue to increase the number of interactions we have with our customers to make the Excess customer journey a special one.”
K: “Is there anyone that we have missed that is also in the Excess Tribe?” TdM: “The press is an important channel for us as well, talking with our customers of today and our customers of tomorrow. We feel we want to do more with you guys from the press. We still have a lot of work to do, we are only three and a half years old. we feel we should be sailing more with you.”
“One thing that is making a difference at Excess because of the promise we have of sailing, or the fun of sailing our catamarans- it’s the same sensation sailing our boats as you have when sailing a cruising monohull”.
“Most of the boats we have sold, we have sold these boats because the clients try the boats.”
“I can pitch the sailing, the fun of sailing an Excess to you for hours, we can show you the colours, we can talk about naval architecture and so on, but we will not be as convincing as you sailing the boat with us.”
“You have to experience the boats more and this is something that we want to push.”
K: “That’s great Thibaut, thanks for taking the time to share that with us.“
All in all, some very interesting feedback from Thibaut and the whole Excess team on where they are heading.
They are developing a real customer-centric strategy which is great to see, and are building strong channels of communication (such as the Excess Lab) and a desire to get out there, meet and build relationships with their customers, their dealers and the press.
I get the feeling that they are “walking the talk” on this, putting it all into action. This feedback loop is only going to help them perfect their designs over the long term and build customer loyalty.
Here are some notes from our discussions and the press conference at the International Multihull Show in La Grande Motte with Matthieu Rougevin-Baville – Commercial Director at Outremer.
This should give you some excellent insights into the development of this performance catamaran. 11 minute read
Top Sellers “The 51 was our best seller so far with 100 boats sailing. And millions of miles sailed around the world, with families. Outremer is not a boat that you park in front of your house and sail on weekends. It’s usually a life project with your family.”
“And when you finish your project, you sell the boat to another family who will do the same. So the boats have an impressive average mileage, with several yachts with more than 2 million miles already. And to get a better boat, we ask many of our owners: “what could be improved?””
“And they came with a long list of possible improvements. And the experience we now have with Gunboat has also allowed us to bring plenty of improvements. The basic philosophy is that we want to reach a good performance level: not a racing boat, but we feel that being able to reach 10 knots of boat speed in 10 knots of wind is a good target.”
“That is more than enough for for a family project. We keep a huge safety margin because of course, the first thing people are looking, when they’re buying a Outremer, is always safety. That’s always the first request. So we want to be sure that even in a gusting wind, we stay very safe.”
Space “To improve, the volume, the space, we need to save weight. That is what we have achieved in the last five years. Saving weight, not to fly a hull and be faster, but to hit the speed average that we aim for. We have managed to save almost one tonne from the boat structure that we have put back into the features.”
“Features like this big opening. Such as the taller higher windows: as you know, windows weigh more than composite. So we can soak up extra weight on this because we saved the weight on the structure and that is what allowed us to have such big openings.”
Safety “The main feature on the Outremer 51 (the previous design) is the feeling of safety. People wanted to feel safe because most of our Owners are families sailing long distances.”
“One feature, which is very appreciated on the 51 is the closed cockpit “U” shape, which is very secure. It’s easy to have a net behind and you can feel very protected, but the other thing people were asking for was an opening in the cockpit to be able to reach the transom, to go for swim more easily. On the 51 you need to climb on the deck and down on the transom.”
“We have an opening there, similar to the Outremer 45, but we have a moveable seat which is designed to secure the area on passage. So when you are in bad weather, with following seas it’s easy to close the area and you feel more safe with kids or even pets.”
“Of course, when you don’t need it you can bring it inside to have a continuous seating area around the cockpit or you can also flip it on its end and use it as a stool for the bar.”
Visibility “We also wanted to improve the visibility. When you have a performance boat, it is very important to see what’s happening in front of you because you are covering a lot of distance. We wanted to offer this on all points of sail. The ability to clearly see what’s in front of you.”
“So if you are preparing food, having lunch you have a perfect visibility in front of you. When you are sitting in the cockpit, the sofa is orienteered length-ways. So if you need a 10m nap when you are doing your watch, it’s easy. You have a pillow behind your head and you see what’s in front of you every 10 minutes. Of course, the forward facing chart table is ideal for visibility, if you need to send emails, or you are downloading the weather, or on watch in bad weather.”
Air-Flow “Ventilation is also very important. You have four windows which are oriented so that you can direct the airflow in the direction you need. We tested it last week, it’s very efficient.”
Headroom “We have more headroom: 10 centimetres higher for the entrance door, 10cm higher in the saloon. So there’s plenty of space because our customers are taller and taller.”
Protection “One of the things that was requested from 51 customers, (and we also experienced that with the 55), is better protection in the cockpit.”
“You have two sets of steps in the 51, which means openings in the bimini top. So you have wind coming in, air turbulence around the coach roof when you are moving. On the 52, you can close this entire space with the sliding window and the clears. And regarding the ability to control the boat, we feel we have reached a very nice compromise.”
Versatile Helm “So you notice the swing helm on the starboard side? You can use it on the deck, sitting on the bench, when conditions are nice, something that is appealing to Monohull sailors who want a good feeling in the elements with visibility forward. Most people keep it vertical coming into the marina.”
“My favourite position is slightly inwards because there you can control the helm from the cockpit but also from the deck with access to the winches. When you are at the helm, you have all your instruments, the sheets and access to the the controls.”
“And of course, you then can swing in to the fully inside position. You close up and bring the sheets inside: the cockpit can be fully closed with clears.”
“You still control the winches with 360 degrees visibility. I can tell you on the first test sailing in March, it was rather cold and we felt very comfy inside the cockpit.”
“Of course the table is convertible. You can make it into a bed, the same thing is possible inside. Convert it to a coffee table or have a nice home video place with a folding down screen.”
Storage “When you are sailing far away with your family, you need plenty of storage. With all the seating areas in the cockpit, you get storage. In the saloon as well, and we added storage under the floor, and you will see an extra bench.”
“In total on the 51 there is 1,100 litres of storage. On the 52, we have 1,700. We have added six hundred litres of storage. Just one of the smaller details that make a difference when you are living on a boat.”
Rain and Winches “You can collect rain water from the bimini: the water comes down the pole in a pipe. If it’s clean, you can direct it to the water tanks.”
“The winches on the side are lower than the 51, so it is possible to winch manually without using the electric as you are in a better position.”
Accommodation “The hulls are wider. They are not wider at waterline level, we have the same ratio of length to beam at that level, but they flare to give more space inside the hull. So the bed is lower. On the 51, the bed is higher, and you need a small step to climb in. We lowered it.”
Performance “Because the structure of the boat is built differently, it’s stiffer. Using carbon we have even more stiffness than the 51 but also more space. It’s impressive on the water.”
“Some people were worried that the new boat would not sail as well as the older model. We are very happy to say that that’s not true.”
“From our the first trip, we covered 89.2 nautical miles with a maximum speed of 24.6. Very easy surfing and that was not pushing the boat, just the first sea trial. So yeah, we are very proud of the way the boat sails.”
“One of the differences between the 51 and the 52 is the mast was stepped backwards, So the mast is not on the front deck like on the 51, it’s now on the coach roof.”
“Of course, there is a carbon post to transmit the load from the mast to the bulkhead, but it gives you the ability to use the front deck. So, we have cushions covering the space and it’s very nice when you are sailing downwind being protected against the coach-roof.”
Longer bowsprit “So, you can see that we have a longer bowsprit with a net in front for safer access. The ratio of weight to performance is the same as the 51 and it would be very interesting to see how the boat sails in the next Outremer Cup. We are very confident about the performance.”
Commercial Success “The boat is a huge commercial success. I told you the 51 sold a hundred boats over ten years. The 52 has already sold more than fifty.”
“Some people were coming to buy a 51. We had to tell them that the 51 was about to stop. And then, the usual reaction was, “Can you show us some some details?”. And yeah, it was very successful.”
Production “So for the moment, we have a capacity of 12 boats per year. The official delivery time is three to four years. But we plan to increase production to double the production of the boat within two years. So we expect the delivery time to be some time in 2025, with a new factory here, not far away.”
Solar “How much solar? 2050W at peak times. 800 on the davits and 1300W on top.”
Dimensions “The 52 is 40cm wider than the 51 and 15cm longer. Basically, what has happened in the last 15 years of boat design? Everything was moved backwards. The mast is slightly aft, the aft transom, the structural bulkhead.”
“So this is gives you the ability to increase the cockpit. But the main difference is in the rocker, the longitudinal curve of the boat to give it more stability at higher speeds.”
“So what we see in light, wind upwind there is not much difference with the 51 but in stronger wind downwind, the boat accelerates for a longer time and you have better average speed sailing downwind with plenty of stability.”
“The transoms are slightly wider in the back, which gives better access but also better buoyancy.”
Payload “The official empty weight of the boat is 12.5 tonnes. We achieved less than that on the first boat, and of course, you can save weight with more carbon.”
“You have three main carbon bulkheads. They have to be carbon because the opening is so wide. We need a lot of strength in the corner and obviously on the front one, but you could add more carbon in the coach roof for extra weight saving. It’s a balance between saving more weight to get better performance or to compensate for more stuff and cost.”
Interiors “You can have options like fake teak in the cockpit. We have 3 different options inside: three different types of wood finish and you have a choice of lots of upholstery: there are more than 100 different possibilities inside.”
“The front cabin options come from the 55. It’s what we call my “Free Space”. There are five different possibilities.”
“So, a standard double cabin, But you could also have an office with a foldable berth. And the upper part: two, foldable berths. Or you could have a walk-in dressing room, skipper’s carbon, kid’s cabin, etc. There are plenty of possibilities.”
“Usually, the owner’s cabin is on starboard, and the owner’s suite and the guest cabin will be on the other side. If you choose the four cabin version, you would have two guest cabins starboard. And usually the owner’s hull would then be on the port side where you could have a dressing room, with even more storage.”
“Of course, heating, air conditioning, gen set are all possible. You have two huge lockers in the front where you could have a gen set, a dive compressor or whatever’s needed. The average payload is three tonnes, which we feel is more than enough for a long distance blue-water sailing yacht.”
A Boat for Racing As Well? “We always have people coming from both worlds: racing and cruising. And the predicted polars from VPLP are very encouraging.”
“If you want to go for performance, i.e. not having too many options, you will get an even better result that the performing 51. So the boat can be sailing at faster than wind speed until 12, 13 knots. So yeah, it’s very encouraging.”
Is there an option to have wheels on both sides? “No, just one wheel with an optional tiller on the port side. What we wanted to improve from the 51 is the helm. We have a double bench which is very appreciated on the 55 and it works even better on the 52.”
“Everybody wanted to keep it because the angle is just perfect. If you want to test it, it’s a very comfortable position. Even if you’re not steering, but just to enjoy the view.”
Can you have a tiller on the starboard side? “Actually, we could in theory have a tiller there as there is the same fitting on that side but the thing is, you have the bench and you have the standing post. So the angle would be very small, it doesn’t really make sense.”
Did you test the reaching angle? “We beat to wind within ninety degrees on our test sail. The water was flat, wind from the north. We had 15 knots of true wind, we were sailing at 50 degrees, at 10.1 knots. The boat can reach 45 degrees In good conditions. When there’s wind and flat water.”
“We beat almost all monohulls except the real racing ones, of course, we will not compete.”
“We had two clients test the boat on Saturday and both of them have made an order. 100% Conversion! So far, so good.”
“We’re very proud of the result so far. It’s very successful. I think we have the best compromise to please both experienced sailors and people who don’t care about sailing at 20 knots, who want a space that they can enjoy.”
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