Best blue water multihulls: Outremer 51 and 55


As multihulls increasingly become the boats of choice for offshore sailing, Toby Hodges and François Tregouet have selected the best designs. Here, they take a look at Outremer 51 and 55

When you think of multihulls designed for ocean cruising, Outremer will probably be one of the first names that will come to mind. Its heritage lies in building catamarans capable of sailing quickly and strong enough to sail around the world.

The 51, the current version of which launched three years ago, is an archetypal example of what to look for in terms of mixing speed and space. Weighing a light weight of 11 tonnes, it is designed to carry a further three tonnes of cruising gear.

The option to sit and steer the helm from the bucket seats and enjoy thrilling performance is a main draw, as it is configured to handle the powerful sail plan with a small crew.

Photo credit: Didier Hillaire

But it also has a bright, airy, and well-finished interior with a forward-facing navigation station, though more minimalist than the bulky family cats at production yards. The dream design for a family trip around the world?

Meanwhile, the French yard’s new 55-foot VPLP design may look drastically different from its previous models, but the philosophy behind it remains the same. She is designed to adapt to winds of up to 12 knots and Outremer estimates that her ability to navigate in 5 knots of wind will allow her to navigate 95% of the time in circumnavigation. If you mess up your routing and need to sail upwind, the daggerboards offer up to 15 ° better performance.

A swivel helm station allows you to sit on the side deck in good weather, or to take shelter under the sun awning in bad weather. And the ventilation has been well thought out, eliminating the need for air conditioning, which means less fuel and less weight.

Outremer 51 and 55 prices excl.

Ultramarine 51: € 830,000;
Ultramarine 55: € 1,215,000

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