YARD UPDATE '07: Outremer

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Nine to 10 cruising cats a year; new 60 planned… December 2006

Outremer is one of France’s mid-size sailing catamaran builders. It offers a semi-custom range that spans 12.2-19.5m (40—64ft). In all there are nine Outremer models available that are based upon half a dozen basic hull tools — there is the 40/43 Standard, the newest 42, which was shown for the first time at the ’05 Paris show, the 45, 50/55 Light, 50/55 Standard, the new 60, which is still at the concept stage, the 64 Light and 64 Standard.
Outremer’s Light models use the same hulls as the Standards, but have wider beams and taller rigs. All the models have daggerboards and feature solid FRP constructions with no cores and no glues. Everything inside is glassed. It is said that the reason for this ultra-strong approach is so these bluewater cruisers provide better impact resistance.
Certainly Outremer sees itself as a niche builder, believing its models don’t really compete with the mainstream market. As such its models are generally priced around 10-15 per cent more than the equivalent Lagoons or Fountaine Pajots. For instance, a basic specification 40 is priced at €280,000, excluding taxes. Similarly a 45 is around €430,000, the new 42 is €360,000, the 45 is 430,000, the 50/55 is 520,000/€636,000 and a 64 is €1.5 million. Virtually all are sold as private owner boats. The most popular model in ’06 was the new 42 and 55.

  For ’07 it should deliver one 64, one 55, three 45s and probably another five 42s... 

Based in of La Grand Motte, near Montpellier in the South of France, this company employs getting on for 50 people directly and consistently builds nine to 10 of its eight-model portfolio a year. For example, during calendar ’06 it completed five 42s, one 45 and three 55s. For ’07 it should deliver one 64, one 55, three 45s and probably another five 42s.
Outremer’s turnover for calendar 2006 was around €5 million, of which 50 per cent came from exports markets. Beyond one French dealer that serves the Atlantic coast, Outremer presently it has six international dealers — one for Germany, one for Italy, one for Spain, one for the Benelux countries, one for the UK and one for North America.
The past couple of years are said to have been difficult for the company, according to sales manager Chloé Makarof, not because of market problems, but rather because the company’s owner and president Gérard Danson died two years ago. The company is now owned by his daughter Clotilde Danson (23), but steered by general manager Bernard Guichard, who has been in the post since August ‘06.
Since it began some 25 years ago Outremer has delivered getting on for 180 catamarans.

© Phil Draper