Test / Architecture and design of the Excess 12, fun on two hulls

Appearing at the last Cannes boat show, the Excess brand, created from scratch by the Bordeaux branch of the Bénéteau Group, is making headlines with the first three models in the range: the 12, 15 and 11. They bring a new lease of life to the catamaran world.

Attracting a younger and more demanding clientele, who are more in demand for thrills and sometimes coming from monohull sailing, is the objective that the French leader's think tank has been setting itself for many years. After long peregrinations on the original concept, it was finally decided to create a brand in its own right, with a very distinct image of the cruising catamarans produced by Lagoon, which have been victims, it must be said, of a certain overweight over the years. Five models from 11 to 15 metres have been developed to meet a variety of specifications.

Simpler, more efficient, but comfortable

Marketing research has defined the brand positioning that finds a central and free place on the market: a balance between performance, feel and comfort. The boats must therefore satisfy former monohull users, young people coming from light sailing and also novices, whether or not they come from powerboating. This sweep includes all forms of sailing whether owned, managed or chartered. The developers have paid particular attention to the ratio of sail area to displacement, while at the same time looking at the simplicity of the boat. Its very controlled light weight (10.3 t), does not however rule out the notion of comfort, a delicate balance that needs to be established.

Design tips

The trio of design firms: VPLP for the naval, Patrick le Quément for the exterior and Nauta Design for the interior, had as their specifications to rejuvenate catamaran sailing. Making the most of the marine environment, getting a good feeling at the helm in a very suitable comfort, all with a more modern style were tangible objectives. The fully glazed surface of the roof for 360° vision, the chines of the upper and lower sides of the hulls, to enlarge the space, but not the wetted surface or the deck, the flat roof cap integrating a soft sunroof, the double helm seats retractable at the stern and their mini bimini, a grey gelcoat tint and the hull decorations are all winks to a long-awaited revival, favouring conviviality and cheerfulness.

A construction resulting from the group's synergy

It goes without saying that the group's resources in terms of purchasing raw materials and equipment, in terms of cross-brand engineering, are a serious advantage when it comes to the final rendering of the models. The hulls, gondola and deck are infused in the form of an anti-osmotic polyester/balsa/glass sandwich and monolithic underwater. The bulkheads are made of laminated or glued plywood depending on the forces to be taken up or attenuated.

More articles on channels:

Read the report : Test of the Excess 12

Excess 12 pricing and alternatives, a different pricing strategy

The Excess 12's interior design, life style first and foremost