Excess 11 Review

In this article we tell you why the Excess 11 sailing catamaran has become a leader in demand so sharply, we present its characteristics and distinctive properties, advantages and disadvantages. As always, the topRik team will issue their own independent review, complemented with assessments of well-known yachting journalism experts, photos, layout plans and video reviews.


Beneteau Group, part of the CNB concern, having released only the third model in the Excess 11 line, made a splash at Boot Düsseldorf 2019. Mostly due to the fact that most multihull cruiser manufacturers have traditionally introduced new items that start at 40 feet (12.2 m). And the 37-foot (11.3 m) catamaran became an event, that they did not even know how to evaluate at first.

review excess 11

But a very short period of time showed that the shipyard accurately identified all the pain points of the catamaran market. Of course, Beneteau Group was well aware that at that time the deadlines for deliveries of large catamarans had long exceeded 2020. Yet manufacturers also knew that there were increasing requests for small boats of 10-12 meters in length. Why can't it be a catamaran? And they took the risk...

The following years showed that the risk fully justified itself. Today, applications for large super-comfortable cats are already filled even for 2024, but the Excess 11 is quickly catching up in popularity. This boat is firmly in vogue in the "my first catamaran" category and is pushing towards charter sales records.

In 2021, the catamaran and its creators entered the history of yacht building forever. Excess 11 won “Cruising World's Overall Boat of the Year 2021”. It was also awarded with “Best Boat by SAIL Magazine for 2021” title.

review excess 11

 

FEATURES OF Excess 11

  • Brand: Excess
  • Hull type: Catamaran
  • Overall length, m: 11.42
  • Width, m: 6.59
  • Draft, m: 1.15
  • Displacement, t: 9
  • Air draft, m: 17.27
  • Water tanks, l: 300
  • Exterior design (Architect): VPLP design/Nauta/Patrick le Quément
  • CE Certification: A:8 - B:12 - C:16 - D:20
  • Mainsail type: Square top
  • Jib type: Self-tacking
  • Mainsail area, m²: 55
  • Jib area, m²: 22
  • Code 0 area, m²: 54
  • Engine, hp: 2x29
  • Fuel tanks, l: 400
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Excess 11 Review by TopRik Team

Just a couple of days ago, when rating yachts from 20 to 25 meters in length, topRik team experts wondered to what level of luxury and size manufacturers are able to bring catamaran models.

And today we have another mission. Following the needs of our customers for small, easy-to-handle boats that are not without comfort, after 10-meter monohull Dufour 32, we present the 11 m catamaran Excess 11.

Knowing it's a Beneteau Group’s child, we expected to see a small Lagoon. But the shipyard and its VPLP naval architects never cease to amaze. We saw an aggressive, dynamic cat, indeed looking like a feline before taking off.

review excess 11

No, we did not agree with those who consider the model 11 improved copy of the Lagoon 380. This is a fundamentally new boat. You just need to look at the ribbed surface of its hulls, those chines that expand towards the stern, the roof approaching the deck at a slight angle and the mast extension.

Wide steps from both sides lead to the cockpit - on the transom there is a place for davits for a motor dinghy. The platform is not provided, and the wide steps will quite cope with its role, just don’t forget to attach the boarding ladder.

We understood why the cat is compared with the Lagoon - here, too, there are two helms installed in the cockpit. It was immediately noted that it would be difficult to control the nose of the float opposite the used helm alone. Of course, the windows in the cabin provide good visibility, but in bright sunlight, glare can become a problem. At the same time, full visibility is usually necessary when mooring side-to, but that’s exactly the purpose of two helms. If you manage the cat alone, just go to the side you are mooring with, and there are no problems at all if you have an assistant.

I really liked the location of the steering panels and the supply of sheets and halyards to the winches. Everything is within reach, there is no need for extra effort.

The surprisingly large cockpit is another proof that the flybridge stairs takes up a lot of aft deck space. Here, in a 11-meter boat in the cockpit, there was a place for 3 large sofas, a large table, and the working area is not cramped at all, there is no danger of stumbling. The photo below clearly shows how the halyards and sheets are brought in - everything is very neat and thought out, nothing falls on the deck, does not get underfoot.

review excess 11

This opening roof over the cockpit is also an option, as is the bimini over the helms.

It constantly surprises how optimally problems with space and volumes are solved on such a small boat. In the photo above you see a sliding door from the cockpit to the saloon - there are several moving elements. You can open the window above the galley - and here you have an impromptu bar counter or table for serving dishes.

review excess 11

A surprisingly large L-shaped galley is housed in the saloon. After testing the Dufour 32 recently, it seemed huge to us. There is an oven, refrigerators, sinks. It seemed to us that there was not enough space for storing kitchen utensils though.

Of course, plenty of natural light and excellent visibility are amazing - the windows are not tinted to ensure good visibility of the boat’s bow from the control posts. By the way, in the cabin there is a full-fledged skipper’s desk with a small chartplotter, communications equipment, and equipment indicators displaying the operation of all systems and equipment of the Excess 11.

review excess 11

We went to test this cat as an incomplete crew, so we could not experimentally evaluate the declared capacity of the yacht at 8 people. But the six of us felt very free in the cockpit, especially when one of us took the helm and later sat at the chart table and in the saloon. We think that he and a couple of other people would have enough space at the tables.

Two people worked just fine at the galley - even though there were no plans for a departure, it was necessary to check the operation of at least the oven, without a full meal. After an hour, everyone got their portions of perfectly cooked meat, fish and vegetables.

By tradition, after dinner, it's time to take the cabins, although this time we were not tired and did not feel like sleeping.

"Wow!" – with such exclamation one of our experts, the one towering at 2 meters, left the occupied aft cabin. As he said - to make sure he was still on a 11-meter catamaran.

review excess 11

Well, our skipper was not surprised by the comfort of the master cabin - he had seen more luxurious ones, although he nevertheless admitted that he also did not expect such a high level of comfort and space below deck on a vessel of this size.

review excess 11

review excess 11

By the way, as it turned out, the bow cabin was even larger than the aft part of the float. For the sake of the treasured dozen centimeters, the developers specially placed the bed not in the direction of travel, but across. If you travel on this boat with a family, a couple of children will be perfectly accommodated here.

The developers have provided two options for the catamaran’s layouts - with 3 and 4 cabins. In the first case, one float below deck is completely given over to the owner’s cabin with a separate bathroom. In the other float there are two very spacious cabins with a shared bathroom.

review excess 11

In the 4-cabin version, both floats accommodate 2 cabins with a shared bathroom per float.

review excess 11

The size of the beds can be estimated even from the photo, as well as from the indelible impression that they made on our giant crewman. He was all the more impressed by the size of the cabins, bathrooms and berths, yet when leaving the cabin for the saloon, he nevertheless hit his head on the bulkhead and calmed down, making sure that the cat at least somewhat corresponds to his concepts of a 11-meter boat.

And now let's make a circle around the deck and once again be surprised at how low the boom is, the mats on the roof are quite surprising too - yes, you can arrange a fairly large sunbathing area here. Well, at the anchorage that is.

But in the bow, it will be completely safe even during movement. In the forepeak, by the way, there is enough space for the crew, if the catamaran is purchased for charter purposes.

review excess 11

We hope that soon we will be able to test the Excess 11 catamaran at sea - we will inform you in detail about the results.

 

Advantages of Excess 11

The main advantages of the Excess 11 catamaran were recognized by the topRik team as its maritime performance and surprisingly sufficient comfort for living and working on board:

  • high stability even in heavy seas;
  • excellent maneuverability when mooring, pushing off and tacking under sail;
  • perfect sensitivity of the steering wheels;
  • all ropes are brought to the helm, which ensures ease of management;
  • a lot of quite comfortable living space in the cockpit, saloon and below deck;
  • comfort for the helmsman and assistant - no need to reach for winches, boom, etc., simple sailing equipment.
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Of the shortcomings, the crew unanimously noted one point: this very comfortable seat in front of the helms should be converted into standard equipment. Although it is provided in the options, and this is rather a matter of additional purchase for this relatively inexpensive cat. By the way! Here is another important advantage - overall affordable price.

 

Reviews of Excess 11 From Professionals

This time we have included reviews of the Excess 11 from the most popular yachting magazines, whose teams took part in the testing of the first models, as well as individual yachtsmen, whose opinion the yachting community trusts.

In the preface to the video review, it was noted that the third model in the Excess 11 line is something completely new for 2020, as most manufacturers for several years have ignored the niche market that the new sub-40ft cruising catamaran is intended for.

It turned out to be a good thing that the developers did not use borrowings from the Lagoon line of cats, but presented a completely new concept.

Testers reported that this new vessel is a very interesting option for a sailing test, especially in such unsuitable weather, which is expected on the Atlantic coast of France, in La Rochelle in mid-March.

Visibility of less than 200 m is the price the team had to pay for the exclusive test.

review excess 11

The first glance from the pier confirmed that the new cat differs from other models of the line by the location of the mast, a more ribbed hull shape, and a shortened saloon roof.

The shipyard developers have done a lot to keep the catamaran's minimum weight - for this, the latest developments were applied, in particular, making the structural parts using injection molding (deck, deckhouse roof). Yet the weight is still significantly higher than that of the same Lagoon 380, which it is supposed to replace. New design solutions were used, which made it possible to abandon the duplication of panels of different modules of the boat. For example, the saloon fits into the hull and at the same time contains a wardrobe that is part of the master cabin.

It was noted that steering is comfortable and fun, especially in the Pulse Line version. Testers summarized that the relatively affordable new Excess 11 is becoming a real favorite.

Representing Excess 11 in the list of Best Boat 2021 winners, SAIL Magazine noted in an editorial that it was the smallest catamaran in the Excess line at the time. But one more of its features was not borrowed from other models, like the 12th and 15th, adding a completely new design solution for the shipyard's fleet of boats. To increase the internal volume, the developers from VPLP extended the double chines far aft. This created an entirely new aesthetic for the exterior. At the same time, the new catamaran was a confirmation of the Excess concept - a combination of living comfort and performance under sail.

Excess 11, like its older brothers, in the absence of a flybridge, has two helm stations, which are located closer to the transom. Prior to the release of the 11th model, this arrangement of the helms meant that, standing at one of them, you have an excellent view of the stern and the float in which the helm station is located, while the opposite float is hidden from the helmsman's view.

But standing at the helm of the Excess 11, the helmsman can see this opposite float bow through the upright cabin windows, which are untinted for maximum visibility.

The test participants noted the minimalistic and clean aesthetics of the interior. At the same time, the compact saloon and galley have everything you need - seating, table, refrigerators, storage space.

Cabin configuration is available in two versions: with three or four cabins and two bathrooms. In the first option, one bathroom is shared by two cabins, the other is located in the master cabin of the port float.

Z-Spar rig and Incidence sails showed good speed after the departure. A turbocharged option of the Pulse Line package is available - this adds 3 feet (0.9 m) to the mast and 59 feet (18m) to the sail area. The boat is easily steered by two crewmen, with a self-aligning staysail and code 0 flying from an additional sprit.

Effortlessly, the cat tacked and jibed during a vigorous test run in the Chesapeake Bay.

The summary from the team was: Excess 11 is a great performer for both beginners and veterans, it will perform well in a wide variety of conditions.

Kevin commented that the smallest boat on the catamaran market is a great option for beginners at an affordable price. The Gold Coast is a great place for testing because of the shallow waters, even during storms, but first the author had to cross a meandering river. Powered by 29 hp Yanmar engines, Excess 11 easily accelerated to six knots.

When approaching the mouth of the river, a strong wind arose, the sails were already raised, the speed went up to about 20 knots. Kevin decided to test how the catamaran would go through a narrow channel in a rip current. Excess 11 turned out to be much more agile than many bulky catamarans and maneuvered perfectly even with two reefs in the mainsail. At the same time, the author noted the lively feeling of the vessel and the responsiveness of the steering wheel.

review excess 11

While sailing through this area, Kevin came up with this summary: The Excess 11 is a receptive coastal cruising catamaran at an enticing price for anyone looking for the thrill of their first catamaran.

In December 2020, one of the most famous freelance yachtsmen Zuzana Prochazka published her review in Sail Magazine, and from the very first words in her usual manner, said that calling the Excess 11 small was silly at 37 feet long and almost 22 feet wide.

She recalled that this baby exceeded all expectations during the tests in the Chesapeake Bay, which were carried out by the SAIL Magazine team.

Zuzana noted that the ship architect of the Excess line is the VPLP team with the participation of Patrick Le Quement, who also handled the exterior. They have developed a completely new hull concept with a new aesthetic and significant internal volume. Two chines leading aft and a lower profile give the cat a slightly aggressive but dynamic look.

The interiors were handled by Nauta Group design.

The design of the new boat is a combination of three sections, which were manufactured using vacuum technology, and the deck and hull above the waterline are made in the form of a sandwich with a balsa core. One of the ways to save weight is the rigid bimini edge, which also distinguishes this Excess model.

Head of No-Frills Sailing Lars Reisberg knows Beneteau Group’s yachts very well, because he is constantly involved in their testing and delivery to the end user. This time he accompanied the new owners of Excess 11 on their first trip. In the full sense - the first, before that they had never sailed on a catamaran.

Lars reported that one of the brothers, who own the boat, unmoored by himself, which speaks not so much about his abilities as a skipper, but demonstrates how obedient the Excess 11's helms are and what excellent maneuverability the catamaran has.

It also turned out that the Excess 11 was indeed designed to handle a minimum crew. All cable management is limited in complexity, but demonstrates high efficiency.

Lars showed the brothers that the main helmsman's position was the starboard winch, from which the mainsail halyard, two reef lines, mainsail and working staysail were managed.

The start of the trip through the Bay of Biscay went in very light wind, from 8 to 10 knots - the cat sailed at a speed of about 4 knots. Accustomed to many surprises, Lars admits that he was amazed by the sailing properties of the catamaran, which some doubt.

By night the wind increased to 23 knots, and during the next day the wind went up to 28 knots, reaching 32 knots with gusts. “The catamaran turned 50-60 degrees and it was perfect!” - as stated by Lars. He was delighted with the performance of the Excess 11, which exceeded the author's expectations.

review excess 11

On these days, he had to abandon the 3-shift watch: one of the brothers suffered greatly from motion sickness. This way, only two active crewmen were left alone on the catamaran in the growing swell. But during these 20 hours, until the wind stopped subsiding, the team appreciated another property of the catamaran, even if it’s a small one - there is practically no roll, but the movements are short and sharp. A monohull boat in such weather conditions would go with a constant roll, but more smoothly.

So, the opinion that there is no risk of getting seasickness on cat is a myth that has been dispelled right away.

During the night, Lars was left alone at the helm, and during that time the boat achieved SOG of 8.8 knots in a wind speed of 28 knots with first reef in the main and full jib.

The author said that despite the weather conditions, he spent part of the night and morning duty in the cabin, watching the water area through large windows providing a 360-degree panoramic view. Through the Raymarine tablet, connected to the network, Lars received necessary information, and from the remote control he gave commands to the autopilot.

The skipper noted a serious flaw that they could only see in this weather. The cat’s stove does not have cardan suspension - it is rigidly fixed in place. This excludes hot meals and drinks during rough seas. The crew managed to get them only once in two days of passage from Les Sables d'Olonne to Santander.

 

Video Review of Excess 11

It’s much easier to understand how the yacht feels with informative videos.

The first one comes from BoatLife – it’s an extensive 42-minute guide on the boat with tons of details:

Professional review of Excess 11 by the Boat Show:

Very useful footage of testing the catamaran at the sea:

Another sailing test by Dan Jones:

And finally, the tour of the interior with insightful commentary:

 

Conclusion

All of the above leads us to a single conclusion: the Excess 11 catamaran is designed for a wide range of yachtsmen. It combines the possibilities for those who love the wind in the face under sail, and those who are not inclined to asceticism in terms of their cruising needs.

Therefore, it is already in demand among:

  • yachtsmen who want to learn how to sail a catamaran;
  • wishing to purchase their first cat at an affordable price;
  • those who prefer elements of sailing in boat management;
  • those who like to be alone with the waves and sails, since an experienced skipper will be able to manage the Excess 11 alone;
  • those who do not want to deprive themselves of the comfort of life under sail even on a small boat.

Such versatility and good capacity promise its successful use in charter industry, and recent sales confirm this.

 

Where to Buy Excess 11 at a Bargain Price

To buy Excess 11 at a bargain price, contact the team of topRik marketplace. We are always in touch with the leading manufacturers of yachts, as well as yacht equipment and accessories.

Our consultants will give comprehensive answers to all questions, since they are all practicing yachtsmen, who are well aware of all the nuances of yachting.

We will take care of all the problems associated with negotiations, paperwork, delivery of the vessel to the port of destination. Before that, we will find out in detail what you expect from your new Excess 11 catamaran and equip it exactly to your needs.

You just need to call, send an e-mail or contact our experts through the feedback system on the website.

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