With the long-awaited introduction of the new Excess 14, Excess Catamarans squarely hits the bullseye of the brand’s cruising DNA. It is performance catamaran sailing in a production catamaran. And it brings a new standard of performance to the catamaran community.
New from the ground up, much like her sistership, the Excess 11, the Excess 14 accommodates many of the thoughts and design ideas of the Excess team. They incorporated these and other trends and put them together in a production boat unlike most others on the market.
Building on the success of the 38-foot Excess 11, the 50-foot Excess 14 (52’5” with optional composite bowsprit) moves the initial Excess concept farther into advanced boat design, specifically in the use of asymmetrical hull shapes, and a rig best suited for performance sailing, if not racing.
The builder stopped short of deep daggerboards and interior compromises required for all-out performance, but there is more than enough of this technology to satisfy sailors interested in a brisk sailing experience rather than simply moving along to the next sun-drenched anchorage.
The Excess 14 is for those who have the need for speed…and whose crew demands comfortable accommodations.
In fact, the Excess builder specifically developed this boat to appeal to millennial, monohull sailors who want the monohull sailing experience with the space and comfort of a modern catamaran.
The hull length is 43’9” and the beam is 25’9”, dimensions that define a good-sized platform for comfortable living and offshore capability. The boat’s draft is 4’10”, a good compromise between shallow water boating where catamarans are known to excel, and upwind performance so often lacking in cruising catamarans. The Excess 14 will not disappoint when sailing to windward or running downwind.
The house on the Excess 14 sits farther back than other cruising cats, and the mast is stepped forward of the cabin house, much like the Excess 11.
One of the significant design elements of the Excess 14 are the asymmetrical hulls. That means the outboard surfaces of the hulls are rounded as one expects. But the interior sides of each hull are flat. While this may not be a really new design feature in the history of multihulls, its benefits are apparent for a performance catamaran. The hull’s asymmetrical shape moves the center of buoyancy to the outboard side of the hull, so the boat seems to have a wider beam and righting moment. The flat sides of the interior hulls also affect the waves produced by the hulls going through the water, which reduces interference drag.
Coupled with inverted bows (that are easily lifted out of the water) and a transom more fully immersed, the result is a better maneuvering boat that is also easier to steer.
While the standard Excess 14 may just make it under ICW bridges, most people will find the optional Pulse Line pack is the way to go: the heck with the ICW. The Pulse option includes a taller rig (over 70 feet) with square-topped main, greater upwind sail area (1453 sq ft), and a 926-sq-foot Code O on its own furler. And its exterior details and graphics do more than hint at its performance.
With a displacement of just over 28,000 lbs, the boat comes standard with twin 45hp diesels (57hp engines are optional), two 53-gallon fuel tanks, 79 standard gallons of water, and two 21-gallon holding tanks.
All Excess catamarans have aft twin cockpits, located so that forward visibility is unrestricted. The person at the helm can see the wind and waves ahead as if sailing a monohull. In addition, clear saloon windows allow one to see across the deck to the other side of the boat from either helm location. This allows the sailing experience enjoyed by monohull sailors but with the added safety and security of good visibility across the rest of the wide real estate of the catamaran. And the steering is further enhanced by a steering system using textile lines to provide a superior feel between the rudders and wheel at the helm, not possible with hydraulic systems.
There are those who argue that aft helms are a poor location for long distance sailing, especially offshore. However, those sailing offshore will no doubt engage the boat’s autopilot to steer the boat on passages, rather than having a person at these helms for long watches. This scenario clearly works, as an Excess 11 took first place in its division in the 2021 ARC across the Atlantic.
The Excess 14 has a CE rating of Class A Offshore, for those interested in going farther afield than simply fast cruising in local waters.
The three-cabin standard layout is ideal for most couples. The starboard hull is dedicated to the owners, with a large aft walk-around berth, with a private living area forward. This living module includes a private dry bath, a private dressing area near the bow, and plenty of clothes and personal storage kept separate from the rest of the boat.
The port hull includes two cabins with sizable berths with ensuite heads and separate showers. The days of the wet head are apparently over for modern catamaran cruisers. Camping is not a requirement on the Excess line of catamarans.
The bridgedeck saloon deck is up a few steps from either hull. In addition to full windows all around for great visibility, there is a bright and contemporary interior treatment that highlights an interior preferred by younger sailors who don’t care for dark, traditional finishes. There is a nice centerline settee and table, and an L-shaped galley on the port side. Everything, in fact, one needs on a cruising boat.
With the sliding door open to the cockpit, the living spaces on this boat are enormous and extremely livable.
The Excess 14 will be a hit. It has a niche audience waiting for what it has to offer, in a package that combines production efficiency and value with performance, something the cruising world has been asking for.
The wait is over.
|Length Overall:||45' 9" to 52' 5" (options vary)|
|Max Draft:||4' 10"|
|Horsepower (each):||2 x 45HP (57HP option)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity:||2 x 53 gallons|
|Water Tank Capacity:||79 gallons (option for additional 79)|
|Black Water Tank Capacity:||2 x 21 gallons|