Excess 12 Review

In this review, we will answer the questions why the Excess 12 catamaran became the Boat of the Year 2020, why Beneteau created a competitor to its Lagoon, does the 12th one really look like the Lagoon 40, how many Excess 12 layouts will the topRik marketplace can offer if you decide to buy this cat.

As usual, we draw our conclusions by seeing it with our own eyes and steering with our skipper's hands. In confirmation (or contradiction), we present the opinions of the best marine journalists, including those who were on the jury that tested the catamaran for the title of the Best Boat of the Year.

excess 12 review

Catamaran Excess 12 opened a line of new models from the French group Beneteau. Brand Excess Catamarans goes under the motto “Be immoderate”, and in many ways corresponds to it, especially considering that we are talking about a cat that is little less than 12 meters long and 6.7 meters wide. The team of naval architects and designers from VPLP design really didn't hold back when they reduced the weight of the Excess 12 by almost a ton compared to the Lagoon 40, which was taken as a basis, and which dimensions are identical to the 12th.

The same vacuum infusion technology and balsa core sandwiches were used to manufacture the structures. Using these methods, the deck and hull above the waterline were made. But even though the deck that is glued on top is completely identical to the Lagoon 40, the shape of the side floats is different – they have two more voluminous chines.

This is what allowed the designers to take advantage of this increased space and come up with a completely new interior design concept. When VPLP was working on lightening the catamaran, it was the designers who made a big contribution by redesigning the interior trim.

But the three-section design, on the principle of which the Excess 12 is built, was transferred from the Lagoon 40 - this is how the bridge is made, as well as deck and hull below the waterline.

That is, with the same dimensions as the Lagoon 40, the first Excess catamaran weighs much less and can offer its passengers more space to live on board. Read about the organization of this space, the change in seaworthiness and the control features of the Excess 12 below.

excess 12 review

Features of Excess 12

  • Brand: Excess
  • Hull type: Catamaran
  • Overall length, m: 11.8
  • Width, m: 6.73
  • Draft, m: 1.35
  • Displacement, t: 10.1
  • Air draft, m: 18.27
  • Water tanks, l: 300
  • Exterior design (Architect): VPLP design
  • CE Certification: A: 10 - B: 12 - C: 16 - D: 20
  • Mainsail type: Square top
  • Jib type: Self-tacking
  • Mainsail area, m²: 50
  • Jib area, m²: 32
  • Code 0 area, m²: 67
  • Engines, hp: 2x29 / 2x45
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 200
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Max. speed Excess 12

The maximum speed of the Excess 12 yacht depends on several factors, such as: wind conditions, sea state, and sail configuration. However, the manufacturer states that the Excess 12 has a maximum speed of approximately 17 knots (19.6 mph or 31.5 km/h) under ideal conditions.

Review Excess 12 by TopRik Team

“Somehow I don’t think that this is a copy of Lagoon 40, as they call it,” our skipper said thoughtfully, when the topRik team (not the full crew) approached the pier. As we got closer and looked at the Excess 12 from the transom, we realized what he was talking about.

excess 12 review

First Look

It was enough to see two helms spaced along the sides to understand that this boat is far from a complete copy of the Lagoon 40.

Therefore, we decided throughout the test, if possible, to draw parallels with this distinguished yacht in order to find out how the first model of the Excess brand differs from it with its “Be immoderate” motto. Apparently, an additional helm was added in accordance with this message.

But let's get back to the transom. We must admit that we are already familiar with these ladders with comfortable steps spaced along the sides, the lower of which is wide enough to serve as a swim platform. A special ladder is used to descend into the water and climb out.

excess 12 review

The middle part of the transom is given over to a large locker for life rafts, there are also davits on which an inflatable motor boat is attached. Davits are designed to hold a boat (or 1-2 local jet ski) weighing up to 150 kg.

Another common feature of the two compared catamarans is the lack of a flybridge, which is quite understandable for a vessel of this size.

We agreed that the float contours have been changed, and in the Excess 12 they are more ribbed and significantly expanded towards the bow, which gives hope for higher ceilings and more roomy spaces below deck. The shape of the side windows has been changed, but their number has remained the same, which promises enough natural light in the cabins.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, especially since our skipper has already run up the ladder to the stern of the yacht. Keep up!

In the Cockpit

While the team leader inspects the control posts, we place ourselves around the table in the cockpit. It has already been mentioned that we went to the exhibition with just half of our crewmen, so we could only approximate the accommodation characteristics of the cockpit. The four of us were comfortably seated at the table, and a couple more people could sit with us. Opposite the table and along the transom there are two more large sofas, so that only at the stern can all the 10 people declared by the manufacturer fit all at once – possibly, even more than that. To quench their thirst, there is a spacious freezer for cooling drinks and ice cream.

excess 12 review

And let's not forget that excellent seats for two people are provided in front of the helms. With sorrow and some surprise, we learn that these helmsman seats are actually an additional optional purchase.

excess 12 review

This sorrow was sweetened by the excellent organization of the helm station as a whole. Immediately behind the helm there is a panel with a compass, chart plotter, various indicators; to the right of the helmsman behind the starboard helm there is a throttle stick and another set of the indicators necessary to control the operation of yacht equipment.

excess 12 review

An identical helm station is also on the port side (pictured above), with the exception of some nuances, for example, the absence of a chartplotter.

In the two photos above and in the photo below, you can see how conveniently the winches are located, how well the sheets and halyards are wound, how they can be hidden in special bags so that they do not get under the feet of the helmsmen and do not create dangerous obstacles for the passage of passengers. Also check out the roof rails that provide safety while walking on the side decks of the Excess 12.

excess 12 review

Both helms offer excellent views of the entire catamaran. Moreover, the bow of the opposite float is visible through the cockpit door and large untinted saloon windows. At the same time, the helmsman has a full view of the deck along his side, the sails and, of course, the entire stern.

From the two photos below, you can appreciate how well all parts of the catamaran are viewed from the left and right helm stations.

excess 12 review

excess 12 review

Notice that the right post is the main one? And not only because there are more cables that control the sails and rigging. Devices on the panel on the left side - an option.

Well, it is understandable, although disappointing, that the cockpit roof does not extend to the helm stations, otherwise the helmsman will not be able to see the sails. In return, the helmsmen will save themselves from the sun and rain with the help of a bimini . By the way, the roof over the cockpit can be supplied with an opening part, as in the Lagoon , then a full view of the sails opens up.

excess 12 review

Speaking of sails... Excess 12 has two versions - Standard and Pulse. The Pulse version differs from the Standard in having additional sails of 5 m² and a mast that is almost 92 cm higher. The mast extending far aft is characteristic of both versions. This makes it easier to manage the mainsail when sailing alone or in pairs, as it allows you to reduce the area of the mainsail. A self-aligning boom and a square top mainsail are also featured in both versions.

For Pulse versions are provided with gray tri-radial laminate Incidence sails. Code Zero in this version is almost 8 m² more than in the Standard version.

We found out in practice that this is a universal sailing plan, with which the Excess 12 catamaran is perfectly controlled even by one experienced skipper, and for a pair of helmsmen it is not a problem at all.

On the Deck and the Bow

And now let's go along the deck to the bow of Excess 12. At first glance, this is an extensive sunbathing area with soft mattresses and sunbeds, hanging nets and even a ladder to the roof. But this frivolous spectacle is a disguise for serious engineering developments.

excess 12 review

Therefore, if circumstances permit, remind your friends, children or charter passengers that the nets are not a trampoline and are not strung here for entertainment at all. Firstly, they reduce the weight of the boat, secondly, they help to overcome wind resistance, and thirdly, they do not allow the catamaran to burrow into the wave and bounce with each shaft.

excess 12 review

And the ladder to the roof is not so much to make it easier for those who want to sunbathe, but to make it easier to work with sails. We saw this skeptical grin on the faces of entrepreneurs from the charter business, imagining how they explain all this to passengers. Well, use your imagination...

The anchor chain is recessed in the channel and fed to a vertical electric anchor winch. The anchor is extended to a safe distance from the hull, which eliminates damage when it is raised and lowered, as well as during pitching.

Fans of physical activity, speed under sail and maneuvering can order a bowsprit. A removable bowsprit allows you to shift the center of sail and increase the area of the rig.

excess 12 review

On the foredeck there are hatches into the bow compartments, which can be used as places for storing fenders, water toys, equipment for diving, hunting, fishing, etc.

excess 12 review

In the Saloon and the Cabins

It's time to go down to the cabins, and the way there runs through the saloon. A sliding door and sliding windows connect the cockpit and saloon spaces. And one of the tables in the galley, which is located under the window, can be turned into a bar counter or can be used for distribution of hot meals from the saloon to the cockpit.

excess 12 review

After looking around in the cabin, we decided that this boat could have a grand party somewhere in the marina, inviting passengers from neighboring yachts to visit, if, of course, they are not much larger than the Excess 12. See for yourself and figure out how many people will fit on the stern.

excess 12 review

In the corner you see another control post - the skipper's table, which is equipped with a chartplotter and indicators that show the status of the equipment and other parameters that the skipper has to constantly monitor. There is a comfortable seat in front of the table. On the same side there is a full-fledged galley.

excess 12 review

Here in the photo above you can clearly see that one of the surfaces of the L-shaped galley can serve as a bar or serving dishes, where you do not have to stand in line.

Large windows around the entire perimeter let in maximum natural light, and opening portholes and a large cockpit door provide maximum fresh air. Even passengers in the cabin have access to a 360-degree view and healing sea air.

You can see the entrance to the cabins in the previous photos. The manufacturer offers a choice of several versions of the configuration of the cabins. The layouts below show the location of the cabins in the catamaran hulls in different versions of their equipment.

excess 12 review

In the case of 3 cabins, the master cabin occupies the entire float. This space is divided into several zones - a conditional bedroom, a conditional office or living room and a bathroom. In the sleeping area there is a large island double bed, a shelf and a bedside table, in the living room there is a table that can be used for work, a wardrobe, a pouffe for sitting.

excess 12 review

The dressing room is quite large for a catamaran, not even up to 12 meters. In addition to a separate shower, washbasin and toilet, there are storage lockers. All this is illuminated and ventilated through skylights and side windows.

excess 12 review

The 4-cabin version is two double cabins in each hull with two bathrooms - one for each hull, or the same cabins, but each with a separate toilet.

It should be noted that we tested a catamaran with 3 cabins, and it seemed to us that even the shared bathroom for two cabins was cramped. But for charter flights, where complete strangers can meet, perhaps even tighter, but separate places of hygiene are justified.

Advantages of Excess 12

As usual, let's start with a disadvantage. For our experts, this was the lack of storage space. Even in the galley, where there are usually a lot of lockers, they turned out to be deplorably few. Although if there is a desire, the required number of lockers can be added. The main thing is not to get carried away so that the added storage spaces and their contents do not cancel out all the work of engineers to reduce the weight of the vessel.

The advantages of the Excess 12 sailing catamaran topRik team include:

  • Safety. The catamaran is stable when maneuvering and big waves. During the manufacturing process, the latest technologies are used. Optimally safe and reliable equipment has been selected that provides full control of the boat.
  • Quality. When making the deck and hulls of the boat, innovative materials were used. The interiors use natural fabrics, wood veneer, etc.
  • Multivariance. Thanks to the design, safety, quality equipment and sufficient comfort for life at sea, the yacht can be used for family cruises and charter flights, as well as for sailing alone or together with a special other.
  • By reducing the weight of the vessel, the seakeeping characteristics of the Excess 12 have been improved, in particular, tacking under sails in strong winds.
  • Affordable price of Excess 12 considering the high quality and safety.
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excess 12 review

Virtual tour

Reviews of Excess 12 from Professionals

Here are the ratings given to the catamaran Excess 12 by well-known journalists and yachtsmen Kevin Green and Mark Pillsbury. Mark participated in testing the boat for the title of Best Midsize Cruising Catamaran for 2020. And the very first review belongs to the yachtsman and freelancing writer for yachting magazines, Zuzana Prochazka.

The author of the review goes into detail about the idea of a new range of cats from Beneteau, which is aimed at those who want to feel at one with the boat and are constantly looking for something new in both monohull and multihull yachts. Zuzana believes that Excess 12 has exactly that to offer.

She liked the engine control knobs mounted on both sides of the helms, located at the level of the helmsman's hips so that she could reach them without looking, which is very important when mooring, since you need to control all parts of the vessel, although it is not so wide.

Zuzana doubted the ability to control the opposite bow of the catamaran through the cockpit and saloon windows, until she personally checked and made sure that the visibility was really excellent.

Zuzana tested a convertible catamaran with a manually opened cockpit canopy. On the one hand, as the author of the review noted, this opens up a view of the sails, but on the other hand, problems arise when you need to go to the mainsail bag.

The author noted that she was impressed with the testing at sea, despite the fact that there was a light breeze of only 7-10 knots. At the same time, the team managed to accelerate the cat to 5 knots in a 50-degree apparent wind, and increase it to 5.4 knots with a 75-degree AWA speed.

The reviewer immediately supported the idea of an open and fast catamaran, which does not look like a monster. As an experienced yachtsman, he noted the optional high sail layout, which is able to create some thrills and speed up the movement of huge hulls in lighter airs.

Kevin also noted the lack of a soft top cockpit roof - not enough room to reach the end of the boom, although the boat he was testing had a fiberglass roof.

He liked the reaction of the paddle rudders to the helms, as well as the organization of the control of the sails. Kevin concluded that this is a functional boat that does not require a large crew to operate.

The cat the team tested was equipped with a code 0 bowsprit, which, as the author noted with characteristic irony, is an excellent choice for those "who prefer the sound of rushing waves to the chugging of diesels in light winds."

As a result of testing, which Mark Pillsbury attended, Excess 12 received the title of Best Midsize Cruising Catamaran for 2020. This, as noted by the reviewer, was facilitated by “great weather”. It should be noted that the tests were going to be postponed due to the forecast, which predicted a storm, and subsequently the forecast came true. How assures Mark, "did we have one heck of a ride before gusts topped 40 knots".

He noted the enhanced sail plan of the Excess 12 compared to the Lagoon 40, which is provided by the Pulse version. It was this version that was installed on the tested boat.

The jury noted that it was easy to manage the catamaran even in severe pre-storm conditions. After setting the sails, excellent tacking was achieved with just a turn of the helm.

The boat raced at over 8 knots with winds ranging from 25 to 30 knots, while steering was very responsive.

Summing up the review, the author recalled a popular phrase from his college days "Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess". That's exactly what he did when he rode the Excess 12 on a very windy day, says Mark Pillsbury.

Video Reviews of Excess 12

If a picture is worth one thousand words, then a video is absolutely invaluable.

Let’s start with a big, in-depth, 30-minute review by BoatLife – almost all of your questions will be answered after watching this:

Interior overview with not commentary with pleasant music:

Another detailed review, this time by Sailing Ruby Rose:

NautiStyles surprised us with a thorough walkthrough of Excess 12 – lots of helpful information:

And if you still have doubts, here’s some drone footage of the yacht at the sea:


Thorough testing of the boat by various groups, as we were able to verify, shows that the Excess 12 catamaran has excellent seakeeping characteristics both under engines and under sails. The cat is maneuverable and easy to handle: having two helms, it can easily be steered by one experienced skipper.

Excessive luxury is not provided for on board, but comfort for a long stay on board is provided at an excellent level.

There are various options for completing cabins - for a couple, a family or a large company.

The Excess 12 is highly stable, reliable, allows up to 10 people to cruise safely, although the number of passengers, crew and guests can reach up to 20 people in the parking lot or in protected waters.

Based on this, we can conclude that the Excess 12 catamaran is perfect for:

  • yachtsmen who do not like unnecessary restrictions in comfort, but want to feel the power of sails and wind in their hair;
  • sailors who prefer solitude in the open sea;
  • caring parents who want to spend a lot of time with their children in natural conditions, but in safety and without asceticism;
  • couples who want to stay together in the middle of the ocean;
  • those who have many friends and do not want to part with them even on a cruise;
  • those who wish to buy their own fast and comfortable first catamaran at a bargain price.

Of course, Excess 12 is ideal for commercial use. It is quite comfortable and spacious for passengers of a charter.

And one more purpose of this small but cozy catamaran is a prestigious purchase for organizing corporate sea trips.

excess 12 review

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Where to Buy Excess 12 at a Bargain Price

If, after reading the material, you have a question where to buy Excess 12 at a bargain price, we have good news for you: you have already solved this problem for yourself by visiting our marketplace. We will do the rest ourselves:

  • find out in detail in which configuration you want to see your Excess 12;
  • we will negotiate with the manufacturer or dealers to select Excess 12 at a favorable price;
  • we will control the fulfillment of your requirements for the configuration of the cat;
  • we will issue all necessary documents, including customs;
  • we will deliver the yacht to the destination you specify;
  • we will provide all accessories and equipment that are not included in the standard and optional equipment: fenders, dishes, bed and table linen, rugs, towels, watermaker, tools, etc.

All consultations will be given free of charge by our employees by phone, through e-mail or through feedback on the website. Our specialists are practicing yachtsmen who are well aware of the features of single-hull and multi-hull sailing and motor yachts. They will not allow you to impose unnecessary equipment on you, but they will accurately indicate what you cannot do without at the sea.

excess 12 review

Beginning yachtsmen are invited to take IYT Yacht Training Course "International Bareboat Skipper" in our school SimpleSail, which is an official partner of IYT Worldwide. Bareboat Skipper qualification received at our school allows you to automatically receive International Certificate of Competency (ICC).

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