Part one of a two part review of the Outbound 52 sailboat review

Beauty and brains – it’s a tough combination to come by in just about any situation.  But with the 52, it looks like Outbound Yachts has managed it – again.  The big sister to the 44/46, the Outbound 52 is gorgeous – that part is evident from just looking inside and out.   But it’s the smart design that makes this boat a true blue water passagemaker worth investigating. 

The Tim Kernan designed sleek center cockpit (not an oxymoron in this case) has a fine entry, moderate beam, long waterline and relatively low freeboard unlike the tiered cake look of many modern models.  She has clean lines, uncluttered open decks and moderate displacement even at 39,500 pounds.  

The hull is hand-laid solid fiberglass with a vacuum bagged Divinicel cored deck.  The no-liner interior construction provides direct access to the entire hull and all the furniture and bulkheads are bonded to the hull and deck for added strength and stiffness.  There are two watertight bulkheads - forward and aft – and there is additional hull reinforcement at the turn of the bilge and bow. 

On deck, there are lots of smart features.  Forward, is a divided, self-draining chain locker easily accessible from the forward gear locker which forms the watertight bulkhead and provides easy access to the anchor rode.   A vertical Maxwell 2200 windlass with remote control is standard as is the 88# Delta primary anchor.  A muck trough just aft of the double bow roller ensure that wash water will run overboard instead of down the deck.

For safe footing underway, there is a 1.5” bulwark topped by a teak caprail.  The cockpit is deep.  In fact, the sole is 16” closer to the waterline than most center cockpit designs and there are four pad eyes ready to go in case conditions require clipping in.  An emergency steering tiller is fitted to the rudder post above deck where anyone who had to use it could actually see where they were going.

The wide aft deck has two large lazarettes and leads to a great reverse transom which steps down for easy boarding.  The Outbound 52 has possibly one of the best designed and most appealing integrated hard dodgers I have ever seen – one that adds to the design as opposed to detracting from its lines.

The Outbound 52 comes with either standard cutter or double headstay configurations. The keel stepped mast and triple spreader rig comes with in-mast furling as standard, or with Leisurefurl in- boom furling as an option.  All the Lewmar winches are two speed and self-tailing and the main furling winch is electric.  A Selden rigid vang is also standard and all the sails are Hood Vectran with vertical battens in the furling main.

The Outbound performs too.  The 52 will easily motor 8-9 knots and sail at 8-10 knots with 14-18 knots of true wind.  That’s plenty of speed to get out of the way of an oncoming storm or get to a port in timely manner.

Tomorrow we'll discuss the Outbound 52 interior layout and why how it makes sense for offshore work.  Meanwhile - here are the specs that are impressive themselves.

Length overall   52’ 0”
Length of waterline  47’ 10”
Beam    15’ 4”
Draft standard   7’ 6” / 6’ 6”
Displacement   39,500 lbs
Ballast   14,000 lbs
Sail area  1312 sq. ft.
SA/D   18.35
D/L   160
Water capacity  225 gallons
Fuel capacity   250 gallons
Engine    Yanmar 100HP