Privilège Marine, a French builder of big bluewater cruising catamarans, arrived in style at Strictly Sail Miami this past winter with two cats for the company’s first visit to a U.S. show in several years. Models on display included the 745, the company’s longtime flagship, and a more modern sailboat, the 615, a 62-footer that’s an anchor for the company’s new Series 6.0 line of cats (there will also be a 5.0 and 7.0 series as production gathers steam).
Privilège’s roots go back to 1985, when winning BOC Challenge singlehanded racer Philippe Jeantot founded the company and set up shop in Les Sables-d’Olonne. In 1996, the company expanded under the direction of Alliaura Marine, producing both catamarans and the Feeling brand of monohulls. The company hit a rough patch with the global financial meltdown, but the brand was brought back to life in 2012 under the direction of Gilles Wagner, and with many from the old team back at work in the Privilège yard.
The 615 is a lovely boat. In keeping with the latest style, it sports a flybridge complete with twin wheels (the starboard wheel is an option, as is a second set of engine controls) and a sprawling sun bed where the crew can lounge the day away. Stairs on either side lead below to a generous cockpit, where a second lounging area sits to port; a long oval table is to starboard.
A large centerline sliding door opens to the saloon, a couple of steps down. Indoors, an L-shaped couch surrounds another large table, with director-style chairs that can be moved about as needed. A very sea-kindly and fully equipped galley is located in the saloon’s forward starboard corner (galley down in the starboard hull is another option). A nav station is to port and can be equipped with a joystick and engine controls to make an additional helm station.
A couple of living accommodations are available: a five-cabin charter version and the four-cabin owner’s model, which was at the show. The starboard hull is fairly conventional, with a fore and aft cabin, both with en suite heads and showers. An additional fridge and freezer were located amidships. To port, a third cabin took up the aft portion of that hull; the owner’s suite stretched from amidships forward and culminated in the master bedroom, spanning the entire area forward of the mast. The layout, space, and fit and finish were nothing short of stunning.
Despite its size, under sail the 615 was one of the easier of the large cats to handle. Though a staysail and gennaker are both options, this boat had a single furling genoa with sheets led to electric winches on either side of the flybridge. In 9 knots of true wind, we skipped right along at nearly 7 knots closehauled. Later, reaching in a 13-knot breeze, the speed climbed to an effortless 9 knots (and more).
As we turned around off South Beach to head back for the barn, I stepped below briefly and revisited the owner’s stateroom, marveling at the silence below: just what you want to hear on a long downwind sail to nowhere.
Privilége 615 Specs:
LOA: 60′ 6″ (18.44 m.)
LWL: 56′ 9″ (17.30 m.)
Beam: 30′ 3″ (9.22 m.)
Draft: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m.)
Sail area: 2,303 sq. ft. (213.9 sq. m.)
Disp.: 58,000 lb. (26,309 kg.)
Water: 342 gal. (1,294 l.)
Fuel: 396 gal. (1,499 l.)
Holding: (2) 40 gal. (151 l.)
Mast height: 85′ 5″ (26.04 m.)
Engine: (2) 110 hp Yanmar (w/saildrives)
Designer: Marc Lombard
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