By: KEVIN GREEN, Photography by: SUPPLIED

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  • Trade-A-Boat


Outremer 5X

The Outremer 5X is a performance catamaran that is also a serious bluewater cruiser. I've enjoyed being aboard these in the past in Europe and have sailed this one – name Moana – when her owners cruised through Sydney in 2016. Along with their young family, they sailed from New Caledonia to East Coast Australia as part of a year-long break from their busy professions before putting Moana up for sale in Qld with Outremer dealers, Multihull Central.

The culmination of the French Outremer yard’s experience in multihull building, this 5X comes with a powerful rig and large daggerboards for good windward performance.

Outremer -5X-5

Outremers can be called niche market boats as output is relatively small with only 200 hulls produced, but these are discerning yachts. The 5X won European Yacht of the Year 2013, beating stiff competition from the major manufacturers including exotica-like Gunboat.


For the 5X, Outremer engaged designer Marc Van Peteghem, a prolific architect whose VPLP office has created the racing MOD 60 trimarans and production catamaran designs. Van Peteghem collaborated with legendary French sailor and two-time winner of the Vendee Globe, Michel Desjoyeaux, for the 5X. Adding yet more horsepower to the style mix was interior designer Franck Darnet's collaboration with ex-Renault head architect Patrick Le Quément for styling input. So the 5X comes with solid credentials, a good thing as most of the company's buyers are bluewater sailors. "About 80 per cent of our clients are cruising sailors travelling worldwide," manager Herve Leconte told me when I visited the yard in La Grande Motte a few years ago.

Outremer -5X-2

The 5X is a catamaran with tall and relatively narrow hulls ending in plumb bows and a low-profile coachroof. The bridgedeck is farther aft than many cats, which is intended to increase forward buoyancy, and the gull-wing underside has plenty of clearance from waves.

Outremer -5X-7

Infused GRP construction has produced a very light hull – only 13 tonnes (light compared with rival Catana 59's 18 tonnes and even compared with the 16-tonne carbon Gunboat 60). Twin tillers are an unusual feature and the 5X claimed the mantle as being the largest production multihull with tillers, which are fitted in addition to a single steering wheel. These tillers can be disengaged if required and twin wheels are another option. The swivel seats at each tiller looked just like the ORMA 60 Team Vodafone ones and felt comfortable with clear views along each gunwale, so ideal for race line starts; while sheet winches lay near my hands.

Having sailed both the Outremer 45, 51 and the 5X using these tillers, I find the setup comfortable for performance cruising or indeed sailing in Sydney Harbour where the need to steer from both sides is apparent. When offshore they are lifted back, the Furuno autopilot is engaged and the steering wheel is occasionally tweaked from the safety of the cockpit.

Outremer -5X-6

Like fellow French builder Lagoon, the 5X has vertical saloon bulkheads but these are softened by sloping mouldings leading out to the elongated trampolines.

As a performance boat daggerboards are used on the 5X which greatly improves upwind performance, compared with mini keels (its polars indicate that it will reach wind speed as pressure hits double digits; so she's fast). The rig is a rotating mast with an extensive sail wardrobe: self-tacker, gennaker, code zero on a sturdy triangular bowsprit and a fully battened mainsail.

The main track runs across the transom and the sheet winch doubles as a hoist for the dinghy which nestles on davits below a solar panel. Headsail controls even include barber haulers on the 5X to close the slot with the main or improve the sheet angle, which indicates the discerning nature of this boat. Twin sets of winches sit on each corner of the saloon to control the headsails.

Outremer -5X-9

Another good cruising essential the 5X has is a functional anchor arrangement: twin rollers with the rode running safely underneath the deck to the bows. My only gripe was the rather awkward placement of the vertical Lewmar windlass in the locker. Other good features up here are large sail and storage lockers behind the bows, but weight should be carefully monitored in these extremities.

The stern deck is enclosed with seating and is partially protected by a hardtop bimini, while aft-facing windows in the stern cabins add extra dimension below. Large deck hatches give good access to the twin 55hp Volvos (with folding props).


Outremer -5X-8

Saloon headroom is good thanks to vertical bulkheads that maximise volume and keep the tropical sun out. The single-level floor runs inside from the cockpit to where the topside galley sits to starboard, the navigation station forward of it and U-shaped couch central.

Outremer -5X-3

The use of curved wooden mouldings gives a lovely customised (rather than machine cut) feel to the interior. Other pluses include the previously mentioned full-sized navigation station. Moana came with the factory standard Furuno and NKE gear, AGM batteries and relies on 1500W solar panels and Volvo 55hp engine alternators – rather than a generator.

The 5X has four accommodation layouts – including three double cabins and a bunk arrangement. Ablutions are spacious with separate shower and two heads in each hull and an owner's desk in the middle of the port hull. Moana is clearly ready for another adventure with new owners. 


FOR SALE ¤1,170,000



LENGTH 17.98m

BEAM 8.58m

DRAFT 1.2m, 2.65m (dagger boards)

WEIGHT 13,100kg / 15,000kg loaded

ENGINE 2 x 55hp Volvo Penta (950 hours)

WATER 672lt

FUEL 672lt


Check out the full feature in issue #502 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration.


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