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Privilège 51 - A Pullman for the high seas

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A big 50-footer – second-hand – for the price of a new 'little' 40-footer: admit that it's tempting! Especially as the two hulls were designed by Marc Lombard and the comfort is irreproachable. You're going to sign?

Does this catamaran remind you of another one? Well spotted, the Privilège 51 is the more successful version of the 48, launched in 1990. With two lengthened sugar scoops and more powerful engines, this version, which we think is even more appealing than the original, has to put up with a significantly higher displacement and a higher purchase price. On the pontoon at Nidri, on the island of Lefkas, in Greece, Nathan Kurton and his wife, Laura, welcomed us aboard 'Sensation'. The young couple, employees of an American charter company, have already spent two seasons aboard. "Despite its size, the Privilège 51 can easily be handled by two people, including during an Atlantic crossing," Nathan assures us, whilst we got our breath back after hoisting the 74m  mainsail. The overlapping genoa is classically fitted to roller reefing gear. But the sail area remains too modest to turn our catamaran into a fighter plane in light weather. Thus with less than a force 3, it is quickly tempting to start the engines. But on our test day, the sea breeze finally started to blow, and here we had a nice surprise: the 51 snorted and set off at a steady eight knots with 15 knots of wind. "One advant...

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