Back to articles

Helm Station Visibility Test

In order to view this video, first you have to authorize the use of web statistics cookies.


The back position of the helm stations is a real signature of the Excess DNA. It often raises questions about visibility compared to a central helm station.

We took our Excess 11 sailing to test visibility from the helm stations. With a GoPro we filmed the view in every situation: leaving the harbor, motoring, day sail, night sail. Our intention is to provide you with a true view of the range of vision and potential blind spots.

Watch the video to see the results!

What should we test next?

Please login to post a comment. Login / Register
Please login to post a comment. Login / Register
Sail Tahiti
January 21, 2022
I have now sailed for 700 miles on our Excess 11 Te Ava and I start to have a good feeling for the pros and cons of the helm positions. My expectations were that it would be nice to stir the Excess but I have been very very well surprised. It feels almost like a racing boat. When sailing upwind I don't sit on the seats but stand up on the side with my back against the side of the boat and my upper leg against the seat, and it feels exactly like steering a performance monohull and close to a sport catamaran. The other good thing is that you can move very quickly from one side to the other and with the Raymarine Upgrade option you have all the info and the auto pilot on both sides so you always control your boat and know what's happening, on top of seeing the sails from different angles. Also you see both bows quite well (despite the fact that I am very short at 1,63 m) so you know how your boat reacts with the waves, exactly like on a sport catamaran. The one negative thing which I discovered too late s that you should roll up the sides of the cockpit tent before doing marina maneuvers. They are transparent so you see through them but because they are in plastic they are not 100% straight so your vision is slightly distorted and it makes it harder to see how far your opposite bow is from the dock. Anyway as soon as we get a bit more south and the temperature increase we will roll them up all the times so it should not be a problem. Our next leg is from Cascais to Canary and we should have stronger wind and bigger waves so it will be a test to know wether the helm seats are protected enough. My thinking (having already sailed half way around the world on another cat and crossed a couple of oceans on monohulls) is that in bad weather you let the autopilot do the job and only get out of the cockpit (or dodger on a monohull) to maneuver. I tend to think that if you don't like getting wet you should not do sailing but of course there are various levels of getting wet... we will see!
December 22, 2021
Visibility is OK under normal circumstances. But in rough weather, not only you are exposed to the elements, but the water on the glass would make it impossible to see through. I love the XCSs, but this position is a major pitfall for me. Also, after a few days of sea water spraying the windshields, I bet the salt would make it very hard to see through. Besides, is spite of leaving more space on the cockpit, this position makes it harder to get to the stern. Aventura's and Leopard's positions are much more friendly, and I long for the day that XCS adopts it. I hope till then I have the money to buy one...