Packing up your bags to live weeks, months or even years on a boat is generally not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It requires thought and in-depth preparation. Everyone needs to get on board with the decision and this has been identified as key at Outremer
Buying a boat is a big decision. You’ve got a dream in mind – perhaps exploring the far corners of the Mediterranean, or reaching the Pacific. But how do you set about choosing a yacht that will be you and your partner’s or family’s home, workplace and exploration vehicle? And then supposing you have found the right boat, how do you learn to get the best out of it?
Catamaran builder Outremer has thought hard about this and come up with a way to support owners and their families. It starts with the boats themselves. As blue-water cruising catamarans, they offer consistent performance and incredible stability – even in high seas. And of course, the chief advantage of the catamaran is the living space it provides. Catamarans are often the choice of family-minded owners.
However, spacious and stable doesn’t need to mean slow or stubborn to handle. Outremer builds fast, lively boats which are fun to sail and respond well to a bit of fine tuning. From trimming the genoa-staysail combination to using the centreboards, a little experience pays off.
When they buy an Outremer, new owners become part of the Outremer family gaining exclusive access to the Outremer Academy. A wide range of training courses are on offer, including Outremer Week for an intensive five-day course shared with the community of Outremer owners, in La Grande Motte, near Montpellier. There are also year-round courses, or you can arrange a more bespoke training package. Either way, you will be learning from qualified sailing teachers who know Outremer catamarans inside out.
Striving for the best experience possible on board
For some reason, sailing is perceived as very much a man’s world, yet there are often two members of a blue-water sailing project (a man and a woman). To create a stress-free environment for women, Outremer offers “Ladies Only” training, in collaboration with celebrated British yachtswoman Nikki Henderson. Learn from a true pro in a supportive and friendly environment. Spokeswoman and talented writer, she also contributes to the Outremer blog with monthly articles and hosts bi-monthly private Outremer Webinars for Women.
“With our first boat we learned that successfully sailing as a couple is so much more than buying a boat and learning to sail. I want to sail and not die and my husband, a recovering racer, likes to take full advantage of what a boat can do. Dynamics like this can lead to dangerous situations or friction that end a project quickly. So when we decided we wanted a proper performance catamaran, I knew I would need to level up my skills because the gap in experience would only get bigger.” – says future Outremer 52 owner, Holly from Sailing Awen
With all the training courses, the level is adapted to suit the audience. Expect to learn the safest, easiest ways to tack and gybe the boat, hoist and lower sail in a hurry and reef and trim. Crucially, your trainer will also help you to understand the best sails for given conditions and for the available crew.
Holly adds: “Outremer’s owners education program is extremely valuable for two reasons. First, they understand that if the less experienced partner in the couple is comfortable handling the boat, the project has a greater chance of success. They focus courses to make sure that the least experienced person is the one who is prepared leaving the dock through Ladies Only courses that cater to how women learn, and mixed courses that help couples work better together on this kind of a boat! Second, we couldn’t piece all that training together ourselves when we were preparing for our first boat. Outremer offers a complete foundational program which is invaluable and gives us confidence we can be successful in our project.”
But it’s not just about getting up to speed on your new catamaran. Outremer remains committed to its owners, offering a range of other useful services. The yard has a well-developed refit and servicing network, a bespoke charter office and offers concierge services.
And when it comes to preparing for the voyage of a lifetime, Outremer can offer the distilled wisdom of decades of experienced owners and skippers. There are regular webinars throughout the year, tackling everything from electronics to medical kits, successful skippering to getting off the beaten track.
The shipyard even organises its own bluewater rally, under the aegis of Outremer’s parent company, Grand Large Yachting. The Grand Large Yachting World Odyssey takes a full three years to circumnavigate the globe, giving participants the time to enjoy many different parts of the world among a community of like-minded sailors.
See the world from the new 52
And what better boat from which to enjoy such a lifetime project than Outremer’s latest model, the Outremer 52. Benefitting from a new technology developed by Gunboat, it has a lighter, faster structure without sacrificing strength. This in turn allows more glazing in the hull and coachroof, making the saloon and cabins brighter than ever.
Innovative features include the movable helm station, which can pivot from the deep scoop seat on the bulwark down into the comfort and shelter of the cockpit. There’s also a fantastic forward-facing bench in the saloon for taking night watches. There are several kilowatts of solar panels integrated into the coachroof, and a clever modular cabin on the portside which can be configured for sleeping, working or storage.
The first hull is undergoing seatrials now, and will make its debut at the Multihull Show in La Grande Motte from 12-16 April. Outremer will welcome visitors who wish to see the boat, but demand is expected to be high, so it is best to make an appointment beforehand. For this and other details about the yacht, click onto www.catamaran-outremer.com
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