Sail World - by John Curnow
"Indeed, I was pretty aware of the adage, 'If only the young knew, and if only the old could.' Now today, whilst not over the hill by any means, I have a different appreciation for the words, and there are a lot of things behind the Groupe Beneteau brand, Excess, that resonate. Chiefly there was a bit of irony behind the name, and who doesn't like a giggle?
Of course there was nothing funny about the powerhouse Groupe creating another cat brand, but the notions of starting with a monohull, then splitting it and putting a platform in the middle, and not aim for a hull out and 20+ knots SOG, but to kill the Diesels quickly, had heaps of merit. Alas, here was a sailing cat, not a motor/sailer, and one that could put a smile on your dial whilst under way, and on all of your family and guests when at anchor. Gotcha...
To that end, I spoke at length with the father of Excess, Bruno Belmont, and chief of her commercial success, Thibaut de Montvalon, now that they are just over one year old in the public's eye.
"We sold a little over 60 boats in our first year, mostly Excess 12s, but also 11 and 15, and delivered nearly 40 so far." Sail area to Displacement (efficiency) has always been a key element of the Excess mix. The Excess is 5% better in standard form, and 10% with the taller Pulse Line rig, than her competitors. Interestingly, 95% of orders to date are choosing Pulse Line option, so why is this not standard? Equally, if the whole brand is predicated on the idea to sail faster, more often, for better cruising, and less diesel, then why is this not the USP?"
Read the rest of the article here.