Sailboat Preview: Outremer 52

This offshore globe-trotter sticks with tradition while adding modern ideas to make cruising easier and more comfortable.
Outremer 52 catamaran
The Outremer 52 catamaran was named European Yacht of the Year for 2024. Courtesy Outremer

The jury has spoken. At the Düsseldorf International Boat Show in January, amid a competitive field of 21 yachts that were nominated for the 2024 European Yacht of the Year award, the Outremer 52 took home the hardware. 

This outcome was no surprise to those familiar with the Outremer brand, which has developed quite a fan base among the oceangoing set. Long lines of people often wait to board the latest models on the global boat-show scene. 

Designed in collaboration with Outremer’s parent company, Grand Large Yachting, naval architects VPLP and French designers Patrick Le Quément and Darnet Design, the philosophy behind the Outremer 52 is to uphold tradition while integrating new elements to improve the user experience. The result is a bluewater warrior that carries hallmark features of its predecessor, the 51, but adds the contemporary aesthetics and function of the 55 model, which, coincidentally, nabbed the 2022 European Yacht of the Year award. 

Paramount to the 52, and to the Outremer brand overall, are seaworthiness and safety. The builder borrowed construction methods, including the use of carbon, inspired by Gunboat’s shipyard technology—another brand under the Grand Large Yachting umbrella. This technique allowed for weight reduction without compromising structural integrity. Using carbon also allowed for added stiffness, more space, and increased glass surfaces and openings throughout the vessel. The result is better visibility for guests and crew, including a forward view from the salon.

In the cockpit, adjustable helm positions with a helm seat for two add to the comfort factor. Inside, an open-plan living area promotes fluid movement throughout the boat. The integration of “My Free Space”—a modular zone within the port forward stateroom—offers customizable configurations to accommodate the needs of different owners. There are options for a double-berth stateroom; a convertible office with bunk berths; a stateroom with an office that converts into a workshop, folding bench and stowage; a dressing room; or a cabin for the kiddos.

The layout of the interiors and exteriors abovedecks is conducive to keeping a better lookout. For example, the bar area of the cockpit allows for meals while on watch, and night watches can be kept from a forward-facing bench in the salon.

According to Outremer’s commercial director, Matthieu Rougevin-Baville, the sea trial covered 89 nautical miles and saw top speeds of 24.6 knots without pushing the boat to its limits. The mast was stepped backward from the 51 model, placing it on the coachroof as opposed to the forward deck. A carbon post spreads the load from the mast to the bulkhead, and the front deck is a usable space—ideal, Rougevin-Baville says, for relaxing and enjoying the ride while sailing downwind in the protected lee of the coachroof.