Racing or Cruising? Maybe both.
The Marsaudon Composites ORC50 (formerly the TS5 before the launch of their new brand: Ocean Rider Catamarans) sits at the very head of the performance cruising catamaran category, well proven as a racing machine at St Barths and appreciated as a world cruiser. Designed by fast cats supremo Christophe Barreau (who has a whole range of fast Catana Catamarans and a few Outremers in his design archive), they are among the fastest livable multihulls in the world (capable of 350+ miles a day). If you want to make that step up on performance, this cat should be on your shopping list.
Photos credit, Marsaudon Composites and Olivier Tisserant
The profile is muscular and sporty, with long, mean straight bows that instantly say “racing catamaran”. The angular coachroof gives owners plenty of space and panoramic allround views. With the coachroof set back, a high freeboard, and big inverted bows, she cuts through the sea quickly. Add a powerful 20m Lorima rotating carbon mast and sail plan and you begin to understand how she achieves such high speeds. I can only think of one other boat to take her on in an offshore race. Read our Dazcat 1495 review for more information on that one!
- These boats are fast! They are among the fastest liveable multihulls in the world right now.
- The ORC50 or TS5 has more living space than the TS42. It´s the bigger sister.
- She is a very striking looking catamaran – she looks mean and a real speed machine even at anchor.
- The views in the salon are panoramic.
- There has been an almost maniacal attention to weight saving on this boat. She is light and accelerates quickly.
- There are many custom options available – use of carbon in the bulkheads, forward beam, compression beam and mast for example, the rotating mast.
- Those overhang seats and tillers aft give you the full sailing adrenaline rush. And you thought you were letting it all hang out o an Outremer bucket seat?!
- These are technical boats to sail and will only suit experienced sailors.
- Even the non sailors onboard are likely to feel intimidated by the power and speed of this yacht.
- The interiors of these boats are pretty spartan – it´s all about weight saving inside. She has her charm, but don´t expect to feel cosy.
- The underwater hull of the ORC50 is shaped for speed with slim, taut lines designed to reduce the wetted surface- so that means less living space, particularly down below in the hulls.
Strong and Light
ORC50s are stiff, light machines that have been designed to get you places fast. They are pretty minimalist inside, but if you want a fast cruising cat which you can win the occasional race on, this boat is hard to catch on most points of sail if she is handled well. The weight clocks in at around 9 and a half tonnes – pretty impressive for a boat this size with such a powerful sail plan. That gives you an SA/D ratio up in the mid 30s, which is well into Gunboat territory. If you add all the carbon options on you´ll be able to reduce the weight by another tonne, but that requires deeper pockets.
Built for Speed
Marsaudon Composites, from Lorient in Brittany, have quite a reputation in the offshore cruising and racing world. The ORC50 (TS5) is built using an infusion process in a female foam-glass-poly/vinylester sandwich mold, and carbon structural elements can be added to suit the owner´s requirments. So the aft beam and main bulkhead can be made in carbon as can the forward beam and the compression beam, for example.
Inside, this boat is all about simplicity. The finish doesn´t hit the heights of something like the Ocean Explorer OC60, but then to be fair we are not in the same price bracket here.
The galley is L-shaped, with plenty of storage space. There´s a large L-shaped dining area that sits 6-8 people and a decent nav station. The general feeling is of a light, functional space that gives you the comfort you need without the weight.
The dining table in the Saloon is designed to be mobile and can slot out of its mountings and slot in to similar ones in the cockpit… thus saving the weight of a table aboard.
When we originally wrote this review, we had assumed that there was no table in the aft cockpit, but Marsaudon have corrected us on this point. I guess you can go for 2 tables if you are happy to carry the extra.
We love the skylight and down below you can choose between the 3 cabin owner´s version or the 4-cabin version which are home to pleasant, bright and wide spaces in the sleek hulls. The bunks measure 200 x 160 and the decor is warmer down here with wood-effect headlining panels. The big aft facing windows in the back cabins will grab your attention.
The heads and shower area is pretty cosy though!
The furniture is all foam cored to save weight.
On the Water
If you have chosen some of the sportier options, this boat will fly. Well, it´ll fly without some of the sportier options, it´s just a case of the level of speed that you require. 25 knots in 28 knots of wind? It´s been done. 30 knots? In the right conditions, yes. The bottom line is that she´ll comfortably sit in the high teens and low 20s in the right conditions.
Powerful Sail Plan
With the Lorima rotating carbon mast, carbon crossbeam and the rest you can pull together a seriously powerful and light package from this manufacturer. The rig is set aft, Gunboat 68 style, and 40hp engines with three-bladed, folding propellers will push you through the chop efficiently if the wind dies.
She Points High
The ORC 50 comes loaded with daggerboards, so you´ll be beating into the wind at speed while minimising your leeway. The bucket seats, tiller steering option and big daggerboards are all geared up for people who love the thrill of sailing at speed.
This boat is all about fun on the water: sitting in those bucket seats on the windward side, over the side of the hull with the carbon tiller in hand flying along will give you a real buzz.
The speed log should frequently hit numbers very close to true wind speed and you´ll be sailing up to 30 to apparent, and she can pinch even further.
This speed machine won´t suit everyone of course- it´s designed for experienced sailors who want maximum fun out on the water and who want to reach their destination fast. She´s pretty minimalist (there is no table in the cockpit for example), but if it´s a super-charged, finely balanced, seaworthy catamaran you´re after, this could be it.
Where is the Marsaudon Composites ORC50 (TS5) made?
The company is based in L´Orient in Brittany, France, in the old submarine base.
Why is the company called Marsaudon Composites?
The company was started in 1999 by Samuel Marsaudon. The composites refers to their skill in producing strong lightweight structures for racing and their production cats.
What Boats are they Famous For?
Marsaudon are behind IDEC 2, the holder of the Single handed Around the World record, and Prince de Bretagne, winner of the Route du Rhum 2010 in the 50’ class.
How much are Marsaudon Composites ORC50s (TS5s)? What´s their price?
Dependent on options, but these boats are pretty good value for money for this type of yacht: approximately €650k before tax.
Options include: rotating carbon mast with fiber rigging: 80k, fiber standing rigging for aluminum mast: 10k, carbon cross (forward beam and compression beam): 28k, mast bulkhead and aft beam in carbon: 20k, carbon daggerboards: 12k, electronics pack: 18k, 4x160W solar panels + davits: 10k, watermaker: 14k, deck hardware for gennaker: 4k.
There are plenty of other options of course! As with all boats, good luck on sticking to the standard configuration when they start tempting you with all of the extras 😉
ORC50 Video and Specs