Outremer 51 Review – The Ultimate Cruiser’s Dream Boat?

The Outremer 51 catamaran has captured the attention of sailing enthusiasts with its blend of speed, performance, and liveaboard comfort.

As a revamp of the beloved 49-footer, this French-built vessel extends its predecessor’s legacy by offering not just additional space but also various features that have solidified its place in the bluewater cruising world.

With its notable design, it promises an almost formidable presence on the water, bringing forward an air of elegance and style that reflects the sophistication of its owners.

Whether you are eyeing the second-hand market or contemplating a fresh purchase, the Outremer 51 is lauded for its ability to maintain value and deliver exhilarating sailing experiences.

Known for consistently hitting the sweet spot between a comfortable ride and adrenaline-pumping speeds, this catamaran could well be the vessel to transport you across seas with both grace and pace.

In this Outremer 51 review, I unpack what makes her stand out, providing insights into its design, amenities, and overall seaworthiness.

Key Takeaways

  • The Outremer 51 merges swift sailing with liveaboard luxury.
  • Advanced navigational tech ensures a safe and enjoyable journey.
  • Meticulous design contributes to a high resale value.

Design and Construction

As you explore the Outremer 51, you’ll notice that it’s a masterful blend of speed, functionality, and beauty—a true testament to modern catamaran design. Let’s dive into the specifics that set this vessel apart.

Hull and Deck

The Outremer 51’s hull and deck showcase a meticulous design approach aimed at achieving top-notch performance without compromising on durability. Axe bows dominate the front, enhancing buoyancy and handling in heavy seas, while hard angles on the transoms contribute to the overall hydrodynamic efficiency. The structure is composed of fiberglass with a foam core, selected for its optimal strength-to-weight ratio. You’ll find the deck is laid out intuitively, with all sailing controls within reach, enabling easy single or short-handed sailing.

Interior Layout

Your comfort at sea is paramount, and the Outremer 51’s interior layout is designed with this in mind. The saloon and cabins are awash with natural light, thanks to the ample hatches and windows. The interior is a second-generation design by Franck Darnet, maintaining a stylish look with practical fixtures. The Outremer 51 offers a balanced distribution of space, allowing for spacious living areas, efficient navigation stations, and cozy sleeping quarters. The cabins are equipped with sufficient storage and amenities to ensure a pleasant experience during extended ocean passages.


When it comes to slicing through the water with ease, the Outremer 51 caters to your need for pace combined with the comfort of a cruising yacht. Let’s look into what makes this catamaran a swift and reliable option for your sea-faring adventures.

Sailing Capabilities

The Outremer 51 is designed to excel in various wind conditions thanks to its efficient hull design and sail plan. With low wind resistance and high stability, this catamaran gets up to speed rapidly, even in light breezes. Its extended bows increase buoyancy and contribute to its ability to cover distances swiftly, as its performance-optimized shape effortlessly translates the wind’s power into motion. Imagine carving through the ocean confidently, whether you’re navigating tight maneuvers or embarking on long passages.

Engine and Maneuverability

Powered by twin engines, the Outremer 51 is as capable under power as it is under sail. These engines not only provide redundancy but also ensure that you have sufficient maneuverability in marinas or when the wind drops. The catamaran’s design allows for responsive handling, giving you peace of mind as you make those tight turns and dock with precision. The thoughtful placement of winches and controls makes handling the Outremer 51 intuitive, turning complex maneuvers into simple, fluid motions.

Outremer 51 Lifestyle

Living Aboard

Embarking on an adventure with the Outremer 51, you’ll discover that it isn’t just about the journey – your comfort on the open seas is paramount. Here are key insights on what makes living aboard the Outremer 51 a breeze.

Comfort Features

Imagine yourself lounging in a spacious salon with panoramic windows that offer an unobstructed view of the ocean’s horizon. Your living space is bathed in natural light, making it a soothing place to relax. Now, picture a cozy owner’s hull on one side of the catamaran, complete with a queen-sized bed, private head, and shower. The guest hull on the opposite side mirrors this comfort, ensuring that both you and your guests enjoy privacy and comfort after a long day of sailing.

Storage Solutions

Navigating storage on a catamaran can often be a tricky affair, but not on the Outremer 51. You’ll find ample storage space cleverly integrated throughout the vessel. Clever cabinetry, hidden compartments, and thoughtful shelving mean that every item has its place, whether it’s your sailing gear, provisions for your voyage, or personal belongings. Not only is the storage practical but it’s also designed to be easily accessible, ensuring a clutter-free living environment that enhances your onboard experience.

Electronics and Navigation

In navigating the open waters, your Outremer 51 is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics and navigation systems that ensure a confident and safe journey. The communication equipment onboard means you’re never out of touch, no matter how far offshore you venture.

Navigation Systems

Your Outremer 51’s helm is thoughtfully laid out with easy-to-read displays and intuitive controls. Here’s what you’ll typically find:

  • GPS Chartplotters: These provide accurate and real-time positioning information that’s crucial for charting your course.
  • Autopilot: A reliable system that automates steering, which is especially helpful during long passages.
  • Radar: Essential for low-visibility conditions, helping you spot vessels, buoys, and other potential hazards early on.
  • Wind Instruments: These supply real-time data on wind speed and direction, allowing for precise sail adjustments.

Communication Equipment

Staying connected is vital, whether it’s for safety, weather updates, or just to share your adventures. Your catamaran typically includes:

  • VHF Radio: For short-range communication, essential for talking with marinas, bridge operators, and nearby boats.
  • Satellite Phone: Crucial for offshore passages where cell service is non-existent; this keeps you linked up with the rest of the world.
  • AIS (Automatic Identification System): This not only lets you see other vessels but also lets others see you, which is vital for collision avoidance.

Modern sailors treasure the balance between disconnecting from everyday life and staying safe at sea. Your Outremer 51 strikes this balance perfectly, providing you with peace of mind to truly enjoy your ocean escapades.

Safety and Maintenance

Ensuring your Outremer 51 remains a haven of safety and in prime condition demands attention to detail. Let’s unpack what equipment you need and the maintenance tasks that’ll keep you sailing smoothly.

Safety Equipment

Before you set sail, double-check that your Outremer 51 is equipped with the following essential safety gear:

  • Life rafts: Enough for all crew members, serviced annually.
  • Fire extinguishers: Strategically placed and checked regularly.
  • EPIRB: Registered and tested for an emergency signal.
  • Flares: A variety of handheld and aerial, within the expiry date.
  • Life jackets: One for each person aboard, with lights and whistles.
  • Man Overboard (MOB) equipment: Includes recovery system and throwable flotation devices.
  • Bilge pumps: Both manual and automatic, inspected frequently.
  • Navigation lights: Confirmed for correct operation before departure.
  • VHF radio: With DSC capability, battery checked and charged.
  • First aid kit: Fully stocked per the number of crew and voyage length.

Maintenance Checklist

Regular maintenance ensures your catamaran sails at peak performance and stays reliable. Here’s a brief checklist to guide you:

  • Hull inspection: Look for any signs of damage or osmosis every 6 months.
  • Rigging: Inspect shrouds, stays, and fittings annually for wear and corrosion.
  • Sails: Examine for tears, abrasions, and UV damage, especially after heavy use.
  • Engines and generators: Perform oil changes, filter replacements, and belt checks as per manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Winches: Service them annually, checking for smooth operation and lubricating as needed.
  • Safety gear: Verify expiration dates and functionality bi-annually.
  • Seacocks and through-hulls: Inspect and lubricate every 6 months to ensure they operate freely.
  • Electrical systems: Check connections and battery levels and charge regularly.
  • Freshwater system: Clean and treat the water tank and check for leaks periodically.
  • Bilges: Ensure they’re kept clean and free of debris to prevent clogging of pumps.

Pros & Cons

Before diving into the specifics, let’s take a closer look at what sets the Outremer 51 apart from its peers, as well as some considerations that might give you pause. With a design geared for performance and a variety of features that cater to comfort and practicality, weighing these aspects is crucial for your decision-making.


  • Performance-Oriented Design: The Outremer 51 boasts a lightweight build that enhances speed and agility. With a well-thought-out hull design, you’ll find it cuts through the water with grace, often outperforming expectations.
  • Spacious Cockpit and Deck Layout: Your experience on deck is characterized by comfort, with a large forward-facing U-shaped settee and a table with drop-down leaves accommodating up to 10 guests, ensuring that social gatherings are a breeze.
  • Excellent Visibility at the Helm: All lines lead back to a helm situated on the bulkhead, providing clear sightlines that make solo sailing more manageable and keep you in control as the captain of your vessel.
  • Interior Elegance: Inside, you’re treated to a selection of wooden finishes that allow you to customize the interior to reflect elegance that matches your style.


  • Cost with Added Options: While the base model is well-equipped, as you start adding options, the price tag can climb, which is an important financial consideration.
  • Helm Exposure: At the helm, the elements can be more directly felt, leading many owners to install additional protection like a dodger and bimini for comfort on longer journeys.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to common inquiries about the Outremer 51 catamaran. Whether you’re curious about performance, pricing, or craftsmanship, these FAQs are designed to provide you with concise, specific insights.

Q: What are the standout features of the Outremer 51 catamaran?

The Outremer 51 is known for its speed, ability to cover distance efficiently, and upgraded livability from its predecessor. Key features include a more angular coachroof design, feedback-influenced improvements for better living onboard, and performance-enhancing tweaks to the hull and transom design.

Q: How does the Outremer 51’s performance compare to the Outremer 45?

Compared to the smaller Outremer 45, the 51-foot version boasts enhanced performance through its stretched hull, resulting in faster speeds and more stability. Moreover, the additional length provides a smoother ride with improved handling characteristics.

Q: What is the average price range for a used Outremer 51?

The price for a used Outremer 51 varies based on the year, condition, and equipment included. Market trends show that Outremer catamarans hold their value well due to demand, with prices often reflecting the high-quality construction and popularity among cruisers.

Q: What are common feedback points from owners about the Outremer 51’s livability and comfort?

Owners frequently praise the Outremer 51 for its comfortable living spaces, both inside and out. The boat’s design incorporates owner feedback, which has led to enhancements, including a more habitable interior, efficient use of space, and a cozy yet seaworthy layout for long passages.

Q: How does the sailing speed of the Outremer 51 compare to other catamarans in its class?

The Outremer 51 catamaran is recognized for its impressive sailing speeds, averaging 9-10 knots on long passages, with the potential to exceed these figures under optimal conditions. Its performance is frequently cited as competitive or superior to other catamarans in its class.

Q: Can you provide details on the construction and craftsmanship of the Outremer 51?

The construction of the Outremer 51 catamaran showcases high-quality craftsmanship with a focus on strength, durability, and weight optimization. The meticulous attention to detail in the design and build process ensures a robust, reliable vessel ready for extended bluewater cruising.

Final Words!

In selecting the Outremer 51, you’re not just choosing a vessel; you’re choosing a style of sailing that celebrates speed, sea-worthiness, and personalization. While contemplating your sailing dreams, consider the Outremer 51 as a companion that doesn’t just get you there but transforms the journey into an exhilarating adventure. Keep in mind the necessary trade-offs for performance, but rest assured, they are made without compromising the essence of a pleasurable sailing experience.

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