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

When you think of multihulls designed for bluewater cruising, Outremer will likely be one of the first names that comes to mind. Its heritage lies in building catamarans that can sail fast and are built strong enough to do laps of the globe.

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

The option to sit out and tiller steer from the bucket seats and enjoy thrilling performance is a prime draw, while it is configured to manage the powerful sailplan short-handed.

Photo: Didier Hillaire

But this also has a light, airy and nicely finished interior with forward-facing navstation, albeit more minimalist than the voluminous family cats from production yards. The dream design for a family circumnavigation?

Meanwhile, the French yard’s new 55ft VPLP design may look boldly different from its past models, but the philosophy behind it remains the same. It is designed to match windspeed up to 12 knots and Outremer reasons that its ability to sail in 5 knots of breeze will allow it to sail for 95% of the time on a circumnavigation. Should you get your routing wrong and actually have to sail to windward, the daggerboards provide up to 15° better performance.

A swing helm pedestal allows you to sit up on the side deck in fine weather, or shelter under the bimini when it turns inclement. And ventilation has been well thought out, negating the need for aircon, which means less fuel and weight.

Outremer 51 and 55 prices ex VAT

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

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