For the last 20 years, Phil Lambert has been building high quality blue water boats for discerning cruisers. The Outbound 46 remains one of the best boats ever conceived for a cruising couple who want a boat that combines great sailing performance and true offshore capabilities with handsome and traditional accommodations.
Last year, Lambert and his team introduced the new Outbound Voyager 52, which is, as its name implies, a boat built for voyaging. The Voyager’s raised saloon is what really sets it apart from its sisterships and from many of the boats in the cruising fleet. The high saloon cabintop has been made aesthetically pleasing with the use of large, sculpted windows and a streamlined, cambered shape. Inside, there is a large dinette to port and a true sea-going U-shaped galley to starboard.
Sitting in the dinette you have a view all around you and I can easily picture myself sitting here with a hot cup of coffee as the sun comes up watching the birds feeding and the other cruisers rising to meet the day aboard their own boats. This could be in the Bahamas, Bora Bora or Bali because the Voyager 52 was designed to take you there.
The cockpit has twin wheels and a cutout in the transom for access to the boarding platform aft. The bench settees are long enough for a person to lie down and the raised saloon offers plenty of protection from wind and spray. The drop leaf table is large enough for six to dine al fresco.
The rig is the standard Outbound system with a double headsail or Solent-style configuration forward and a roller furling mainsail. The inner headsail is more of a jib and will be used when sailing upwind or in stronger breezes. The genoa will be used in lighter breezes and when reaching and running. A downwind sail can be tacked down out on the tip of the bow sprit. With this rig a single watchstander can reef or unreef all sails as needed from the safety of the cockpit. One of Lambert’s goals when designing his boats is to reduce fatigue when sailing offshore. Many factors come into this but the sail plan and sheeting systems are key elements.
Down below, there is a single quarter cabin aft of the dinette and a full work room on the starboard side where you can keep all of your tools and have a workbench with a vise for making all types of repairs to gear. A day-head is optional on the starboard side aft of the galley.
The two sleeping cabins forward offer large double berths and their own private heads. These are great cabins and reflect Lambert’s long experience cruising on his own boat and hearing feedback from his many Outbound owners. Unlike Europeans who cruise with crowds of friends and family aboard, North American owners tend to coastal cruise with another couple or a child or two and will pick up an extra crew of two or more when making offshore passages. This layout works well for both situations.
The fit and finish of the Voyager 52 is traditional and very much in the Outbound style of satin finished teak joinery with light colored fabrics and white overhead panels. The Voyager will have tons of natural light in the saloon and the cabins have overhead opening hatches, opening port holes and fixed hull ports, so they too will have plenty of natural light and good ventilation.
With 250 gallons of fuel aboard, the Voyager will have a range under power of a thousand miles or more. This is not insignificant since along traditional world cruising routes there are several passages of a thousand miles where you are in the doldrums and need to motor. Plus, if you want to be adventurous and get well off the beaten track, you need to be entirely self-sufficient. The Voyager was designed for that. If you are too, then the Voyager is for you.
Check it out at www.outboundyachts.com.