ORC50 – a big brother to the ORC42

“Easy to handle, easy maintain, light, performant and still offering unique catamaran sailing pleasure … A big brother to the ORC 42.” 

Marsaudon Composites builds the world famous Ocean Rider Catamarans (ORC), the ORC50 is a prime example. The forerunner to the ORC50, the TS50, was a family cruising catamaran which clocked 400 miles in 24 hours sailing in French Polynesia.

It will surprise many to realise that Marsaudon Composites have only been building multihulls for a few years, this year celebrating their 20th anniversary. Despite this, these intriguing multihull designs have already become one of the mainstream trends that potential catamaran owners look for when buying their boat. With the increasing demand for a fast sailing boat with a comfortable and beautiful interior, Marsaudon Composites appear to have come up with a great compromise with the ORC50. The brand new ORC50, is a remodelled version of its predecessor, the TS50. The ORC50 became a hit before the first one was even built – there were a half a dozen boats that had been ordered and pre-sold. This really goes to show the reputation and trust built between the builder and designer of the ORC catamaran range in general and those who are interested in their multihull products. 

Marsaudon Composites aims to build all of their multihulls to be as fast as possible, well sailing wise at least. Many of these design features come directly at the behest from the world’s best racing skippers – which is what they want and deem appropriate for both racing and cruising catamarans. Some of these features involve multiple carbon-fibre options including: a rotating mast with Spectra standing rigging, daggerboards, forward crossbeam and even a carbon main bulkhead. The hull and deck are made of high-quality vinylester with foam sandwich core.

The designer, Christophe Barreau says that the ORC50 will sail 5 knots faster than the old TS50 – which was already a strong sailing catamaran. In a test sail, the ORC50 has already recorded 23 knots in 18 knots of wind whilst sailing on a reach. The fact that the ORC50 can sail faster than the wind speed is an incredible feat, one that very few sailing yachts can claim. 

The cockpit is relatively compact, offering a fixed table and seating for up to six people. One of the neat features in the main cabin is a daybed which comes handy if you are sailing shorthanded for long distances. The mainsheet runs along the back of the cockpit, which is good for performance, but encroaches a little on the space for socialising. Despite this social encroachment, the ability to react or act when something goes wrong is much easier to do with the mainsheet running where it does. The interior is simple yet incredibly functional, in which the space is designed for speed – utilising the latest in lightweight materials and practicality. The levels of luxury in the interior are lower than a Lagoon – however, you will always have what you need; if perhaps not always what you want. It is advised that you do not expect all the fineries of various modern catamarans. After all the reason for buying a catamaran such as ORC50 is speed and the function of speed is weight where less is more. Less weight on board the better performance is achieved, resulting in the ultimate satisfaction of the owner. 

When it comes to sailing, sailing at a fast pace is an incredible adrenaline rush. There are many other reasons for wanting the boat to sail fast. At the top of the list is personal satisfaction when racing, it is also a fun experience. Despite this, there are some who questions whether extra speed is necessary for sailing multihulls. It was fascinating to discover that safety is one of the most important reasons for wanting a fast sailing yacht. It ensures that you are able to reach your destination safely – to help avoid rapidly changing weather, then with less weight on your boat the more you can perform in versatile weather conditions. A lighter boat needs less auxiliary engine power, yet again saving weight. Lighter boat lends itself well for alternative electric power. To sum up, a faster sailing boat means you can avoid nasty weather, handle different weather conditions and have fun doing so. Speed also allows you to go further and see more in a given time. In today’s fast paced life, we all strive to maximise our time, to get more out of each day. Sailing faster can give us that bit of extra time to play with and if we can get an extra safety margin wraith that.

Another thing you will need to take into consideration with any Marsaudon designs are that they are not cheap boats. Despite this, there is some accommodation for design requests. Design wise, the ORC 50 shares similar aspects of the smaller ORC 42, but the extra length of said catamaran has made it possible for more concessions for comfort and extra gear if desired. The ORC 50 is 15.24 m long, with a beam of 8.6 m. The water draft is between 1.3 m – 3 m deep, depending on how much daggerboard is in the water. The minimum displacement is 8.6 tonnes; however, the maximum is 11 tonnes. The air draft is 23.05 m. Mast length is 20m, while the main sail area is 88 m2 and genoa is 60 m2. There are two saildrive diesel engines at 40 hp each onboard, each with 110 litres of fuel as well as two water tanks of 200 litres each.

Sailing onboard the ORC50 is an incredible joy and gives you great pleasure, especially when you arrive at your destination ahead of the fleet.  Some say, “winning is everything” and if yacht racing is your choice, ORC 50 ownership will bring you lots of pride.

When it comes to entertaining your party of family, friends or business associates on board, the ORC50 is like a magnet because of her concept purity wherever she goes. Everything on board has its place and purpose. Heavy weather or light winds, ocean crossings or just a day on the water to enjoy sunshine in company of people that matter, whatever your dream ORC50 is the catamaran worth of attention and every dollar invested.

Contact John Rich on 0412517424 or email johnrich@planetmultihull.com for more information.

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