This past week end Marivent Yachts together with Excess Catamarans organised the second set of sea trials in Spanish waters.
On this occasion it took place in Barcelona, specifically at our Port Balís base where we were able to test the French Shipyard’s new catamaran models, 12 and 15.
Just one year after the world premiere and shortly after the presentation of Excess at the Autumn Boat Shows, we were at last able to go aboard, hoist the sails and stand behind the wheel of the first two catamaran models of this new Brand of the Beneteau group. Without a doubt they have surpassed our expectancies and delivered on their promise to build an exceptional boat.
Our most sincere congratulations to the design team at Beneteau. As confirmed by the specialized press everybody who has been on board is agreeably surprised with the good feeling transmitted by these catamarans.
It is not only a Yacht with a sporty design nor is it just a very good marketing campaign. It is about a new catamaran which did not exist on the market that combines comfort and sailing sensations perfectly.
Make no mistake, we are not talking about a Racing catamaran but one that provides great fun and exhilarance. All this produced by one of the world’s leading boat builders, we are not surprised by the excellent outcome.
The sea trials were carried out in quite demanding conditions. In the mornings marginal winds averaging 5 Knots. The sea and wind conditions were old seas with variable gusty winds. Precisely these conditions proved how reactive both models are. Obviously the Excess 12 proved to be more adaptable to these marginal conditions. In the afternoon when the wind reached 20Knots the catamaran Excess 15 required concentration. Better be aloof when you have 170m2 of sail between Mainsail and jib and a 0 code of 117m2. Both models were equipped with the “Pulse Line” option which not only looks good but incorporates 10% more sail surface!
EXCESS has combined a series of ingredients that make these catamarans more attractive. A taller mast, controlled weight, renewed rig with offset mast astern and a lower boom made possible by the absence of a fly bridge. Both yachts respond quickly to the trimming of the sails and to the rudder as well as gusts, changes of the winds direction and waves. We have before us a sea worthy catamaran which reacts positively to good handling. You could say it is almost demanding. A few degrees less on the rudder and a couple of meters more sheet and the speed log rapidly reacts. It is the kind of Yacht that you will want to sail whenever you can.
We try to find faults and they are hard to find. The visibility is good except for one point, a diagonal from the Helm to the opposite hull. In any case with some help from the crew when maneuvering inside the port or the installation of a video camera this is not an issue. The skipper is not banished to the fly bridge, separated from the rest of the crew any longer. Shifts can be carried out in good company even from inside the saloon if need be. Any changes to the rig can be done quickly without having to walk up and down steps. The optional sliding roof gives you an ample view of the mainsail and moving the boom to one side allows you easy acces to it. The foldable seat at the Helms although at first sight might seem flimsy, once unfolded prove to be solid and comfortable. The Helm awnings or tubular biminis not only give good shade and protection, but are also attractive to look at.
Excess has nailed it! We have encountered a catamaran that is good for cruising and is also great fun to sail. The space and sensations it offers. The esthetics and practicality. If you get the chance, try it!
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