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3 Things You Didn’t Know About The Excess 11 Catamaran

Marina Nazario | February 25, 2021

Learn how the new Excess 11 stands out in a crowded catamaran market.

The Excess brand confused many people when it launched in 2019. Why would Groupe Beneteau, the brand parent company, build another catamaran line when it already had Lagoon? Well, you can never have too many cats. The Excess range pushed past this confusion to stand uniquely on its own, making its mark as an award-winning catamaran line that includes the Excess 11, Excess 12, and Excess 15.

The Excess 11 recently won Cruising World’s Overall Boat of the Year 2021 and SAIL Magazine’s Best Boat 2021. Those are big awards for a simple, 37-foot boat. Cruising World’s Editor in Chief, Mark Pillsbury conducted a virtual Q&A with the Excess catamaran line builders and learned that simplicity is key to the success of the Excess 11. What were some other takeaways? Here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about the Excess 11.

The Beginning

The thought to add a new catamaran line to Groupe Beneteau began more than 5 years ago. The team studied the growing catamaran market and knew it was time to pounce. Groupe Beneteau was already present in the market with Lagoon, so the idea was to tap the market with an additional option that was uniquely different. The big question that Groupe Beneteau had to answer was how to position and differentiate this second catamaran option.

At the time, there were not many players in the market addressing the sailing experience and life on board. So Excess wanted to swoop in and take advantage of this gap in the market. The Excess brand focuses on superior sailing experience and comfort at anchor, while Lagoon is dedicated to comfort and life onboard. Excess catamarans are versatile for the owner, meaning if you want a simple sunset cruise, it’s comfortable enough for that purpose. If you’re going to sail at full speed with the wind and salt in your hair, it can do that too.

The Customer

The Lagoon and the Excess customer are entirely different, and Excess knew this from the start. Excess mainly targets monohull owners who have the sailing experience but lack the sailing pleasure they used to have on a monohull. Keywords: used to have.

The monohull crisis of 2008 showed that sailors who used to buy a monohull every year weren’t doing so anymore. These customers didn’t disappear; they were looking for an upgrade in performance and comfort. And that’s where Excess swooped in.

The Design

The builders of the Excess catamaran line dubbed the Excess 11 as “the lucky boat.” The XCS12 and XCS15 were designed and built first — through that process, they gained the experience and foresight to create an incredible XCS11. The designers looked at areas for improvement and noticed that the sail area over displacement ratio needed to be simplified.

The builders looked at the boat and asked, what can be removed? Instead of removing things, they honed in on efficiency and made small design changes to keep the boat’s weight down (such as adding a locker instead of a shelving unit). By doing this, it created a simple and easy-to-use boat.

The inspiration for the design of the XCS11 came from the monohull segment. The builders explain in the virtual Q&A that when you look at a monohull, split it in half, and put a platform between the two hulls. That’s an XCS11. It’s simple and in line with the target audience.

We may have overused the word “simple,” but it’s the best way to describe this award-winning catamaran. The Cruising World judges praise the thoughtful, pleasant, workable, and innovative design and layout of the 37-foot Excess 11. Its character, refined lines, elegant proportions, and perfect balance let this cat stand out from the crowd. Contact Denison yacht broker Matthew Morrison to schedule a showing of the new Excess 11.

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