Outremer Sailing on Sydney Harbour

Brent Vaughan from Multihull Central, invited Robin and I to go sailing on VAA NUI, Outremer 45 hull #1, which arrived recently in Australia after crossing the Atlantic and Pacific and a long stopover in Tahiti, so we jumped at the chance!

Sydney Harbour

We came to Sydney for a few days to catch up with the team at Multihull Central and do some sailing on Sydney Harbour. Spectacular view from our hotel at Circular Quay

It was my first opportunity to sail a new model Outremer 45, and I must say I was really impressed with how easy and fun she was to sail.

VAA NUI is currently for sale after crossing from the Mediterranean to Australia

VAA NUI is currently for sale after crossing from the Mediterranean to Australia

As with all the Outremer yachts, the sail handling design is pretty much the same, so it takes no time at all to transition between the different model boats. The 45 is just a scaled down version of the 51 and the 5X, so it feels like sailing our 5X in many ways. A bit slower, of course, but also easier to handle because the size of the lines, winches and sails are all smaller, so it’s just a really fun and forgiving boat to sail.

Heading out the "racecourse" for our Friday afternoon sail

Heading out to the “racecourse” for our Friday afternoon sail

We went out with some of the other boats in the Multihull Central Seawind fleet and sailed around their regular social racing course. The winds were perfect for us, because we had a southerly front starting to push in, so winds were westerly between 10 and 30 knots. Even in these gusty conditions, there was no need to reef, and VAA NUI was very comfortable, accelerating in the gusts, but always keeping neutral helm balance even when loaded up.

Brent on the tiller

Brent on the tiller

Seawind snuffing their spinnaker to get ready for the upwind leg

Seawind snuffing their spinnaker to get ready for the upwind leg

Our competition gained on us with their (“illegal?”) use of a spinnaker downwind!

Upwind leg

Upwind leg

But we took care of them on the upwind leg!

Sails furled and heading for home

Sails furled and heading for home

Robin doing a fine job as beverage manager!

Robin doing a fine job as beverage manager!

We had a really nice afternoon sailing. A big thanks to Brent for inviting us, and we’re hoping he gives us another call when the first Outremer 51 arrives down under!

12 thoughts on “Outremer Sailing on Sydney Harbour

    • Hi Robert,

      Good catch on the tiller chair. In fact Vaa Nui does have tillers and a tiller chair on each hull. The picture Robin took of Brent sailing with the tiller is indeed Vaa Nui taken last Friday. I realized when we had returned from sailing, that I didn’t have a good photo of Vaa Nui from a distance, so I added the photo of her under sail from the online sales brochure. That photo must have been taken quite a while ago, because there are no tiller chairs. I guess they had them fitted after delivery? In any case they are certainly on the boat today.

  1. Good to see you again Doug and Robin. we would be happy to give you a sail on our 51 if we bump into you (not literally) in the Med. Hope the oysters were good.
    James and Tracey

  2. Hi Antoine,

    We really enjoyed sailing aboard your boat! Whoever buys her is going to be very lucky indeed, she is beautiful inside and out! Thanks for the link to your website, I’m looking forward to reading all about your voyage!

  3. Hi Gary,

    The Outremer 45 is easier and more fun to sail than the Catana, but it is a lot smaller as well. They feel pretty similar in performance, but there is more room on the Catana for a family when long term cruising.

  4. Wildling, I found your channel on YouTube and just finished your blog. Outstanding job and what a beautiful boat! I’ve added the 5X to my lust for list, along with the St. Francis 50. Any idea how she compares to the SF 50? And seriously, I’ll say it again, you’ve both done a bang up job on this blog.


    • Hi Wakey,

      Thank you for your kind feedback on our blog!

      Regarding the St. Francis 50, I think it comes down to personal preference and what you value in the design. The St. Francis interior is styled very much like a traditional sailing yacht, which I think might be trying to appeal to the traditional mono-hull sailors. If you look at the dark shiny wood, dinette cushions, counter tops and nav station, they are very similar to the classic mono-hull interiors of the 80s and 90s. It’s beautiful craftsmanship, and luxurious, and a big difference to the modern minimalist catamaran designs. I imagine folks that really like the classic luxury yachts might be quite turned off by a lot of the modern cats.

      In more practical terms, there are two big issues for me with the St Francis, which rules it out. The first is the poor visibility in the salon. Our Catana 471 had the sloping salon windows like the St Francis, and I didn’t like it at all. It reduced the headroom, made the salon much hotter and had much less visibility than the 5X (or Outremer 51). The second is the enclosed cockpit design. You have to climb out of the cockpit in order to get anywhere, you also have to go up and down steps to get from the cockpit to the salon. I’ve sailed boats with both these issues and it gets old fast.

      The St. Francis and Outremer cats are so different, I think if you sailed on them both, you would pretty quickly form an opinion of which you prefer.

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