A true high-performance cat with the ability, on passage, to knock off one 300-plus nautical-mile day after another, for 2014 our panelists named the 59-foot Outremer 5X the Best Full-Size Multihull Over 50 Feet.
“This is a company that’s been building boats for 30 years, and they’ve traditionally staked out the territory more toward the performance end of the spectrum than many of their competitors,” said Tim Murphy.
“For the design team, they’ve commissioned VPLP, a French consortium who’ve done a lot of very, very fast race boats,” Murphy added. “Over the years, slowly but surely, the multihull category has evolved toward true sailboats that you can also live comfortably aboard. The Outremer 5X is an example of that.
“Yes,” he continued, “you could call this a complicated boat. It’s definitely aimed at experienced sailors. But the reason it’s so technical is that they’ve given you a lot of tools to really shape and control the sails. The jib leads are almost three-dimensional, in that there’s a series of barber-haulers in three different directions so you can put that lead exactly where you want it to be.”
“Relatively speaking, this is a light-displacement vessel,” said Ed Sherman. “Yet, under power, it was also one of the quietest boats we’ve tested. That speaks to solid construction, because lighter boats are generally noisier. I look at that as a really positive attribute.”
“The builders were very upfront with this boat’s goals,” said Mark Schrader. “They want it to be the best-performing cruising catamaran on the market. The design challenge was to make it fast but also comfortable. To execute that design parameter, they made things infinitely adjustable. No question, this boat had the best sheet leads and trimming tools. Simple it’s not. Balanced it is.”
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