The ethos of EXCESS is simple – to break the codes and conventions of classic sailboats and create a catamaran that unites a sailor’s need for performance with the perfect on-water lifestyle. To achieve this, the designers worked on an overall 360° experience at sea.


Bruno Belmont, the lead designer on EXCESS, is Beneteau Groupe legend and renowned for his work with multihulls. In fact, he designed the trimarans featured in Kevin Costner’s futuristic epic, Waterworld. In this interview, he talks about the vision and key features of the new EXCESS catamaran range.



Inspired by racing for cruising pleasure, EXCESS is about uniting performance with lifestyle. It’s no secret that multihulls are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, undoubtedly due to their versatility and the supreme on-water lifestyle they offer. Today’s catamarans can be divided into two distinct groups – the cruising models that makeup 90% of the market and the expensive high-end performance models.

With EXCESS, Bruno Belmont and his team saw an opportunity to design a catamaran that filled a gap in the market.

“The growth of the catamaran market has been strong and steady for the last seven or eight years,” says Bruno. “We thought having only a single cruising offer was not enough. There was space for a different proposition in the market to design a catamaran that would provide a different program. The idea is to have a catamaran that provides as much pleasure when you go sailing as when you are anchoring.”



The sail area/displacement ratio is one of the ratios that enable the comparison of a sailing boat’s performance. The higher this ratio is, the more velocity the sailing boat has. It’s this formula that was the key to the enhanced performance of EXCESS and a major factor behind the sport’s characteristic of the range. As Bruno explains:

“On the EXCESS range, we have placed this ratio clearly above that of standard cruising catamarans. But we went further because it is possible to have an excellent sail area/displacement (SA/DSPL) ratio and lose some of this advantage due to a wrong sail plan, unbalanced hulls or non-optimized weight centering.

On EXCESS catamarans, we have worked on all of these parameters. We have significantly increased the slenderness ratio of the sail plan (called Aspect Ratio), which improves its aerodynamic finesse and thus the performance of the sail setting. Another advantage of Aspect Ratio rigging, with masts positioned far aft, is a decrease in the length of the boom and the self-tacking jib function, which enhances the efficiency of maneuvers.”



The twin aft helms, a key feature that asserts the sportiness of EXCESS catamarans, is inspired by modern yacht design such as Beneteau’s Oceanis FIRST LINE performance cruisers.

“The location of the steering stations was, of course, the first thing we worked on,” explains Bruno. “Our idea was to basically take a monohull of today that has two wheels, split it in half, spread it away and set a platform in between. The idea was that if you put the steering wheel where it is here, you have the best spot to see the sails, to see the sea and also to see the people in the cockpit. So, it’s the best spot on the boat.”

The positioning of the helm stations creates a closer relationship to the sea allowing for new sensations under sail.

“Being closer to the sea, aligned with a float (windward or leeward according to preferences and speeds) enables us to tackle waves in the best way,” says Bruno.

“Then, we have a shifted view of the sail plan, which allows us to trim sails better. Also, the distance between the helms and rudders is reduced to the minimum, which lowers the length of steering cables and gives much more direct responses. In fact, we chose to equip EXCESS catamarans with Dyneema ropes that are lighter and more direct than stainless steel cable ropes.

Unlike high helm stations, it also allows lowering the boom to the maximum,” says Bruno. “This position increases the mainsail’s efficiency as it comes along the bimini, and uses plate theory. Sure enough, the area of the bimini very close to the bottom of the sail improves the airflow in this strategic area. Also, the low boom makes access to the mainsail easier, when hauling it and when you want to put the sail away in the Lazy Bag.”



Simple and light were the keywords used in the design of EXCESS.

“The interior design was developed by Nauta design,” says Bruno. “Nauta’s keywords for designing were simple and light. They are probably the best in the world at achieving this brief. Light in terms of unheavy, but also in terms of brightness. Because we made the decision to have clear windows with no tint, we have a lot of light entering the boat.

We wanted this light to be part of the modernity of the interior. That’s why you see a lot of white panels – white light wood panels. And the wood is not dark – it gives a luxurious yet very simple feeling. Simple is also a keyword and we used it everywhere. Simplicity is the essence of good design.”

Experience the EXCESS ethos

EXCESS embodies the new vision of sailing, the perfect on-water experience. Sailing fast, dropping anchor, swimming, diving, surfing, reading, laughing, living for the moment and setting sail again… A 360° experience at sea.

Progressing in size from 11 – 15m, our EXCESS range are available in five sizes. The EXCESS 11, EXCESS 12EXCESS 14, and EXCESS 15 are the first models on offer.