The Outremer 4X is the supercharged version of the Outremer 45. It’s based on the same hulls, but it’s longer and quite a bit faster.
Outremer have aimed high here- the objective was to produce a catamaran that delivers everything you need for cruising with all the thrills of a fast boat. Loïck Peyron (the 2012 Jules Verne Trophy winner) was employed as a consultant to help with the development.
She’s an Outremer, so she’s built to cross oceans quickly in comfort. And comfort on an Outremer is more about how the boat rides and how quickly it can get you there, rather than huge living space. The 4X is designed to be lived aboard – but the X stands for performance, so the hulls are 3 ft longer (more stability), she has an tweaked deck layout, and a carbon rotating mast (the rotating bit is an option) plus carbon reinforcement to reduce the weight. The Main bulkheads, daggerboards, rotating mast (as an option), and tiller seats are all built with fiber. With less weight and a 15% powerful sail plan, this is their supercharged version of the 45.
The Outremer 4X is built by the same group that is behind the newer Gunboats (albeit a different division). Read our Gunboat 68 review to get a good idea of how advanced these guys are in the art of performance catamaran cruising.
Well, this is the most important section on the boat isn’t it? As we are talking Outremer’s performance boat. Outremer claim that the Outremer 4X is the fastest yacht in its category, and this is easy to believe when you study the sail area to weight ratios.
A large genoa replaces the self-tacking jib in lighter wind conditions and the double sheet system allows you to trim the mainsail from either side. 300 nautical miles in a day on a passage was the target for the designers: this 48-footer can move at the same speed as the wind, and sails upwind efficiently thanks to those daggerboards.
She’s light and finely balanced, sailing upwind or whichever point of sail. There is a single helm on the coachroof (port side) and tillers aft where you can steer sat on the famous bucket seats at the stern. All this translates into pure sailing pleasure.
The team at La Grande Motte seem to have nailed that difficult balance between speed, feel and safety on this boat- she has an exceptionally smooth ride and cracks along even when you are over reefed and playing safe. Next to the helm are the winches and clutches that control the sheets, halyards and mast rotation. Everything is well thought out and to hand – features that have been developed from years of customer feedback from other boats like the Outremer 51 and her smaller sister, the 45.
Of course, your compromise for all this speed is space, particularly down below. For that speed, she needs to be light, so the interior is geared towards no frills simplicity (although she looks more cozy than a Marsuadon or a Schionning), and her narrow hulls have less space than that cruising cat you will be leaving behind you on the horizon.
But the key thing to understand about the 4X is that the comfort comes from the way she sails and the motion of the boat. Even in rough conditions,the motion will be more comfortable than many other yachts. The lighter weight reduces the pitching motion: there is no lurching sensation that you can get with boats that carry more weight as they tend to dive into the waves rather than cut through the the waves. Of course, with this in mind it´s important that you don´t overload her.
The 4X cruises at 5- 6 knots under power at 2,200 RPM through one of her 30HP engines. You´ll burn through around 2 litres per hour: that’s the benefit of those sleek hulls. Alternate the engines and you´ll have a nice quiet hull for the person who is off watch, and you´ll extend your range.
With both engines at full speed ahead, (3,200 RPM) you should get over 9 knots in calm conditions.
The Outremer 4X isn’t cheap (the carbon sees to that), but they do hold their value pretty well. All the structural parts are laminated and she has vacuum infused carbon composite reinforced bulkheads. These are boats that are built to circumnavigate for 30 to 50 years.
There are 2 layouts on the menu: the owner’s version and the offshore version. It´s identical to the Outremer 45.
In the salon of both, there is the galley to Starboard facing aft with a nav station forward. To port there is an L-shaped sofa and table (it´s worth going for the telescopic table that collapses down to give you a night berth). There´s plenty of space for lounging about in a nice bright interior with that attractive sculpted Outremer coach-roof.
The galley is a decent size and I like the rubbish chute system on the worktop- that´s well thought through. There´s also a neat little chute that empties into the sea for organic waste/fish food when you are offshore. That saves a trip to the aft beam and back.
There is an option for a freezer on the starboard side to match the fridge on the port side.
In the aft cockpit, there´s another dining table and a sofa that wraps along the aft beam. With the sliding doors fully open, it all connects up into one big space on one level. and becomes one big extension to the main cabin.
There´s not much shade in the aft cockpit though, as they have a bimini strip along the cockpit rather than full coverage. You can order shades that extend over the cockpit – they are an essential option I think.
In the owner’s version there are two cabins in the port hull with a shared head and shower. In the starboard side, there is one double berth aft and a decent sized head forward. This cat is built for speed, so the hulls are slender – there´s less space down here than many other multihulls, but that´s your compromise.
Outremer´s philosophy is that the ride is much more comfortable on their yachts. You’re not going to sleep well in a massive cabin if you are smashing around in it. These are boats for crossing oceans.
In the offshore version, you get 4 double berths, which is what most manufacturer´s call the charter version, but I guess that market is limited with an Outremer 4X. Who´s going to want a once-a-year bareboater blasting away on their 4X?
If you are looking for the fastest long distance cruiser on the market, the 4X could be it: a super smooth, fast performance cruising catamaran that is built to last.
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