“Nothing Succeeds Like Excess” (Oscar Wilde)
Last fall at the Cannes boat show, the Beneteau Groupe, which is the world’s largest builder of recreational vessels, introduced their all new Excess line of cruising catamarans. The Excess 12 and 15 are the first two designs in the line and at 38 and 47 feet offer cats in the two sweetest spots in the cruising cat market.
The two designs are similar and both have a somewhat radical new look when compared to the boats being built by their sister company Lagoon or their main rivals at Fountaine Pajot and Leopard. The boats are conceived to be “athletic” which translate into having better than average sailing qualities, aft steering stations and large and powerful rigs. Judging from the promotional materials and the brand’s website, Excess is seeking a younger audience – younger families in particular – who will cruise actively and use their cats as a platform for diving, kite surfing, fishing and exploration.
The hulls were designed by VPLP, a design team that is famous for designing the world’s fastest multihulls and a few record breaking monohulls. The Excess 12 at 38 feet has a displacement of just over 22,000 pounds and a working sail area of 882 square feet, which translates into a “performance” sail area to displacement ratio. The designers are using a very modern rig with a high aspect mainsail hoisted on a mast that is stepped quite far aft. This provides for a large fore triangle and a self-tacking jib. A code 0 can be flown from the short bowsprit. The boats will be easy for a couple to sail efficiently and a lone watchkeeper will be able to manage sail trim by herself.
The exterior styling has been polished by noted French designer Patrick le Quement, who also works with Lagoon to give their hulls and cabins the new distinctive look. The Excess look is sleek, sporty and modern. The cockpits of the two boats are set up for outdoor living, entertaining and comfortable sailing. Both boats have retractable sun shades over the cockpit, so on lovely days or starry nights, you can roll in the shade to enjoy blue sky, sunshine and night views of the heavens.
The Nauta Design Group designed the boats’ interiors and made interesting use of the spaces. The 12 comes with either a three or a four-cabin layout. In the three cabin, owner’s version, the port hull is the master suite. In the larger 15, you can order the boat with a three-cabin owner’s version, a four-cabin version or you can actually have the boat with six cabins and six heads.
This year, 2019, will see the boats introduced in both France and North America. In the meantime, you can check out more details, join the Excess “immoderate” lifestyle and find a dealer by visiting the excess website at www.excess-catamarans.com. You will also find a fun game called the Excess Challenge that will let you simulate a passage compete with other Excess enthusiasts.