Sea trials on the all new Excess 11 are under way, and it’s no surprise to hear of the resounding feedback for this awesome little cruiser. The team at Multihull Worlds magazine recently took the 11 for an exclusive test run and have much to say about her impressive balance of performance and liveability.
Off the coast of La Rochelle, on France’s Atlantic coast the team were met with some less than favourable mid-march weather. Despite poor visibility, 15 + Knots made for a roaring day on the water for sailors.
At 9 tonnes, she is a light ship, making the 29hp motors well-suited. Manoeuvring off port was a breeze, cruising at a “respectful 6.8knots and well soundproofed, even in the aft cabins”.
“Upwind, the 11 maintains a heading of 50 to 55Æ and is sailing at nearly 7 knots in only 12 knots of wind. Obviously, the relatively short hulls are much more sensitive to sea state than, say, a 50-foot platform, but the fun of helming motivates us to try and negotiate the waves as well as possible and maintain a good laminar flow with the solent telltales.”
“You can unfurl the gennaker as high as 65/70Æ off the wind in light-enough airs: these are the conditions which promise, according to VPLP’s polars, excellent performance: 9.2 knots at 75Æ to a 12-knot wind. The minimum angle increases of course as the breeze is more consistent.”
“With 14 knots of wind, this 62 mÇ (670 sq ft) sail can be rolled out from 110Æ. The speed increases significantly - a gain of 1.5 knots.. It should be noted that our Pulse Line version offers 8 mÇ (86 sq ft) more sail area upwind and that our test boat is fitted with folding propellers.”
The cosy cockpit of Excess 11 features an L-shaped bench on the starboard side, and daybed on port. Seats on the aft beam sit above a large storage locker while up forward there is a large sun pad relaxation area. “All sailing maneuvers are concentrated on the starboard side, except for the gennaker halyard and the first reef – at the port helm station. Each line has a distinct pattern while maintaining an overall harmony of colour.”
“The famous retractable sunroof in the bimini is also to be seen here - quite a find. The work carried out on the coachroof’s glazing ensures excellent visibility from either helm station to the opposite hull. Circulation to the forward sunbathing area and the large trampolines (the port one is wider than its neighbour, because the anchor chain lead is off-center) is easy; access to the coachroof is provided by folding mast steps.”
Although built to deliver outstanding performance, the Excess 11 is not without its creature comforts, boasting impressively large living space for a boat this size. The interior features well utilised space and novel design with a practical galley located aft, L-shaped sofas to create a functional main saloon, and plenty of under seat storage.
“All in all, it would be difficult to do better in such a deliberately restricted volume. Let’s remind ourselves here that the Excess 11 is only 38 feet long! A figure that’s easily forgotten as soon as you enter the hulls: admittedly, to port, the cabins share a heads compartment, but the berths are wide: 1.60m (5’3”) aft and 1.80m (5’11”) forward.”
“The 11 is a model with no pre-existing constraints, which has allowed the architects and designers to raise the bar a little further towards performance. The launch of the Excess 11 is also a strong message for the cruising multihull market: Yes, you can sail comfortably aboard a catamaran under 40 feet in length!”