The Outremer 45 is the 51’s baby sister, a boat made famous by the Internet’s most famous sailing family, Elayna, Riley and Lenny on La Vagabonde. What a marketing deal that turned out to be! This model filled some pretty big shoes left by the previous 45 footer designed by Gérard Danson.
The 45 is a great looking boat, well proportioned and designed to deliver the Outremer promise: fast, safe sailing in comfort. For the French yard, comfort is more about the motion of the boat and speed of passage than huge berths in fat hulls. This is an ocean crossing boat like a Looping catamaran: one that gets going quickly in light airs and which is a blast to sail in windier conditions. It’s incredible how catamaran design has evolved in 20 years (read our Prout 45 review for a comparison of a boat from the mid nineties).
Photos credit, catamaran-outremer.com, sailing-lavagabonde.com
- The Outremer 45 is a fast, seaworthy yacht designed for crossing oceans. She is probably the market leader in her category.
- With centralised weight and those long trampolines, she has a smooth ride in waves.
- She’s well built and sturdy, and great to look at.
- The Outremer after-sales service has an excellent reputation, especially compared to other French manufacturers which, how should we put this, …. are not so fast once they have sold you the boat. If you have a problem in Tahiti, these guys will do their best to help you out.
- Outremer also offer a thorough training program for purchasers of new boats. Their philosophy is one of building up a family of owners: something to be applauded.
- Outremers hold their value very well compared to other manufacturers. These boats are in demand.
- The compromise is living space compared to other 45 footers. So even though she’s the same length as, for example, a Nautitech 46, she feels like a 40 once you step inside. But you will be leaving the Nautitechs behind on the 45.
- With the aft cockpit covered by a long strip rather than a full bimini, you are more exposed on a 45 than other catamrans. You can opt for material or hard “ears” which extends the cover out to full width for some of the bimini length. Some owners opt for a dodger at the helm station as well.
- This bucket seats could be a little bigger.
- The base price is pretty competitive, but the options can add up.
The hulls and deck are constructed in vinylester with a divinycell core and beneath the waterline the boat is solid glass for safety in the event of a grounding. Carbon is used in high-stress areas and the bows have multiple “crash boxes” to contain the danger of taking in water in a collision. The daggerboard trunks are tough and the boards have been designed to fail on impact. The upshot is that this is catamaran with a considerable amount of time and effort that has been spent on safety aspects.
Those slender hulls mean that this is a quick boat, but the compromise is living space. Have a read of our Voyage 480 review if you are looking for a bigger living area: there are plenty of options out there, but if you want to get to your destination quickly and safely, no-one does it better than Outremer,
These yachts are designed to last 50 years according to Director of Sales Matthieu Rougevin-Baville.
Let´s talk about sailing first, shall we, as that´s the main reason for buying an Outremer 45. She is powered by a substantial fully-battened square-top main. Up front is a self-tacking solent and larger sails are flown off the bowsprit. With her narrow hulls, and decent length she moves through the water nicely, and the low-profile deck house is shaped to reduce wind resistance, just like her predecessor. The design has moved on from the older design of the earlier 45, but you can still spot the DNA.
Lines Back to the Helm
All control lines for the mainsail and the self tacking solent come back to the helm, where you can also control the gennaker, code 0 or code D furler: all of these sails have halyards running to the helm as well if you want to set it up that way.
Her motion is kindly for a 45 footer and you can expect to be hitting speeds in the teens when the wind hits 15 knots and over. As long as you don´t overload her, you will see speeds of 5 knots and more, even in light winds: you don´t see these boats at the fuel dock that often. The plan on this boat is to achieve 80 to 90% of true wind speeds. In a 5 knot breeze, for example, the Outremer 45 should hit 4-4.5 knots, and 15 knots is an attainable target in windier conditions. You’ll see 20 knots and over surfing if you can handle the adrenaline and you have your waterproof pants on.
With the daggerboards up, draft is only 85cm and the draft when is 2 meters: this allows the Outremer 45 to point higher into the wind and keeps the speed up will minimising leeway.
The 45 feels like a safe boat to clamber around on, with wide decks which are an easy hop up from the cockpit and plenty of handrails along the coachroof with patches of anti-skid in all of the right areas.
A Boat for Sailors
You sail from a single port helm station and you can add the option of twin outboard tillers with bucket seats for maximum sailing feel at the back of the boat. I’d say that’s a compulsory option.
The main traveler runs along the width of the aft cockpit where you have a decent dining table. Other lines like the controls for the boards and the furling line for the headsail run all the way aft, and there are Lewmar winches, tracks and blocks with Spinlock clutches to help you manage the sails.
Centralised Weight For a Smooth Ride
You’ll notice in general that the Outremer 45 has long nets and a shorter cabin top than many other catamarans. This helps to keep the weight in the middle of the boat and is one of the ways that they achieve such a smooth ride.
Up on those long nets, you notice that the trampolines are split by a central beam along which the anchor chain runs. You can drop anchor from the helm or directly at the windlass.
A great safety feature is the location of the life raft in the port trampoline. The water and diesel tanks (300 liters each) are forward of the mast and you will find two large, forward, lockers for your additional equipment and sails.
Of course, there is one area that you will need to compromise on in order to achieve all of this speed and centalised wieght and that is in the living area.
Clever Use of Available Space
Compared to a production cruising cat, the space is more limited of course, but Outremer have done a great job of maximising comfort in the available space. You can choose between the 3 cabin Owner’s or the Four Cabin version.
The saloon is well designed with an L-shaped galley to starboard which flows through to the aft cockpit when the large sliding door is open. There is a decent nav station, and plenty of seating – it’s a well thought out design.
With those slender hulls, she slips nicely through the water powered by twin 30HP Volvos, comfortably achieving 6 knots with one engine going at 2200 RPM and 7.5 with 2. The idea is to get sailing as quickly as possible on these boats though. As soon as a breeze kicks in, you should be sailing.
Going Greener and Greener
Solar panels are standard on all Outremers (the 45 has 560 W of power). Add a hydro-generator and lithium batteries, and you will achieve some very good generation and storage numbers. The 45 will come in an electric version (Outrememr 45E) which is being developed for Jimmy Cornell.
How much does an Outremer 45 Cost? What is the Price?
This is highly dependent on the options you go for, but a figure of around €750 – 800k gets you in the right ball park for a new boat.
Do Outremer Produce Other Versions of the 45?
They are developing an all electric version with Jimmy Cornell called the 4E. There will also be a hybrid model available called the 4H.
The Outremer 45 is built to sail: she’s a safe and secure catamaran designed to be handled with a small crew. For long voyages, this boat is probably the market leader in her class.
Designing a catamaran to follow Gérard Danson’s much loved design was never going to be easy, but Barreau and Neuman have pulled it off once again, designing a catamaran that moves as well, but is more comfortable with the same length to displacement ratio.