Home . Articles . Boats . Boat Test . Seductive simplicity

Seductive simplicity

2024 January 1

This performance cruising catamaran takes aim at monohull sailors with its simple elegance and sprightly performance

The Excess 14 was in high demand for test sails following the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October. It was easy to see why as the boat swung by my pickup point at the end of the South Annapolis Yacht Centre docks. The low-slung cabinhouse, modest freeboard and eye-catching gray and orange color scheme gave the boat a sleek look as it swooped in and I jumped aboard. The conditions were favorable for a good sail as we headed out Back Creek toward Chesapeake Bay.

The square-top main provides plenty of horsepower, and tacks easily because the boat is rigged without a backstay. 
The Excess 14 is the culmination of five years of design, testing and planning. Groupe Beneteau launched the Excess brand in 2018 with two repurposed designs, the 40-foot 12 and the 48-foot 15. But it was back to the drawing board for the 39-foot Excess 11 launched in 2020, with a sporty cabinhouse and increased sail area.

“When we first launched the Excess brand, the goal was not to compete with our other multihull brand, Lagoon, but create something different with entirely new DNA. Less is more. More affordable with more performance,” Antoine Windels, Americas Sales Manager for Excess Catamarans, said.

Designed by VPLP with interior design by Nauta Design, the Excess 14 expands on the 11 both in size and performance. The 14 made its worldwide debut in France in 2022, with more than 75 boats sold.

The goal of the Excess line was to reduce weight and costs, a tricky proposition since lightweight composite materials such as carbon fiber and foam cores are often the most expensive. By limiting carbon fiber only to the high-load areas around bulkheads, and using less expensive end-grain balsa in areas such as furniture, the company was able to keep the base boat price under $600,000.

The almost 360-degree wraparound windows create a bright interior and feature opening ports for good ventilation.


Continue reading: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Next