Best Boats 2012 Winner: Outremer 49

Deck and Cockpit

There are several different ways to set up the deck and cockpit on a modern cruising cat, particularly a performance cruiser, but after a few hundred miles sailing this boat we found nothing about its deck layout we wanted to change. Our favorite features were the three different steering stations—tillers outboard on each hull (each with a comfy carbon-fiber steering seat), plus a conventional bulkhead-mounted wheel. There’s very little friction in the unitary steering system, and it’s also very easy to move between stations. When you want to feel intimate with the boat while keeping it in a groove, you can get lost in the Zen of a sensitive tiller. When you need to make a lot of big course changes quickly, you’ll appreciate the power of the wheel. It truly is an ideal arrangement.

The working lines are led just the way we like. The only controls on the coachroof are for the rotating mast, the double-ended jib sheet and the mainsail’s halyard. Everything else—including the main traveler controls, daggerboard controls and spinnaker or screecher sheets—is handled at two dedicated winch pedestals just behind the two coachroof stations. One or two crew can manage the boat easily working within a confined, but not cramped space. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of room aft for guests to relax and dine without getting in the way.


Shelter over the cockpit is restrained but effective. There’s a hard targa walkway under the boom, right where you want it, plus canvas wings port and starboard to cover the table and cockpit seats. All steering stations have an unobstructed view of the rig. All deck surfaces, including all of the coachroof, are covered with effective anti-skid, and forward of the main crossbeam, it’s pretty much nothing but net, which is just the way it should be on any self-respecting performance cat.


LOA 49ft 2in
Beam 24ft 5in
Draft 3ft (up); 7ft 8in (down)?
Displacement 20,100 lb
Sail Area 1,426 ft2 (main and Solent jib)

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