MY YACHT WORTH?
In 1976, Jean-Francois Fountaine and his partners, Yves Pajot, Daniel Givon, and Rémi Tristan created a new French boat manufacturer named Fountaine Pajot. Their goal was to use their collective sailing and racing experience, which included competition at the Olympic level, to create leading edge sailing catamarans for the developing pleasure boat industry in Europe and around the world.
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From its humble beginnings of just four people almost 50 years ago, the La Rochelle-based company is now a large complex of manufacturing that employs over 600 people. The company is in several locations and continues the development and creation of forward-thinking catamaran design for the sailing and power cruising worlds. Fountaine Pajot also increased its corporate diversity in recent years with the acquisition of Dufour Yachts, a French sailing monohull manufacturer that complements the steadily growing line of sailing and power catamarans.
With many new models of sailing catamarans introduced since it splashed its first production boats, each model has taken the multihull concept one step further. New models showcase the evolution of the catamaran within a growing market, with ever-changing designs that mirror the maturing of the sailing catamaran as a luxury yacht. From the flagship-sized Marquises, to the large to mid-sized Belize and Saba, and the ever-popular Helia and Bahia models, these yachts are but a few of the Fountaine Pajot catamarans that are on the oceans of the world today. Fountaine Pajot cats can be found in most every anchorage, as people grew to accept the catamaran as not only an accepted, but preferred cruising platform. The boats also helped the charter industry expand into more exotic and desirable cruising areas that could support charter operations to satisfy sailors who wanted to explore paradise in comfort and luxury.
Today, the current model lineup of the sailing brand includes the Isla 40, Astrea 42, Elba 45, recently-introduced Tanya 47, Aura 51, Samana 59, Algeria 67, and a new design 80-footer that will be the next flagship of the Fountaine Pajot sailing fleet.
All of these French sailing cats cater to couples and families that want a blend of contemporary design and accommodations with good sailing performance. Each model is intended for a specific customer segment that fits its design, size, and capabilities, while staying true to the overall performance and comfort image put forth by the company as the catamaran market continues to grow and mature.
The Astrea 42, for example, offers a modern, contemporary interior that has an open layout kept bright inside by large windows on the bridgedeck saloon. Such pleasant living spaces are found on all current sailing cats from the brand.
A large aft cockpit is typical of the modern sailing catamaran, with great lounge, eating, and social space for a group at anchor. The boat also features an optional hydraulically-lifted swim platform to make water access as easy and luxurious as possible. The gymnastics required on so many monohulls pale in comparison.
Most sailing models have several options in both cabin number and layout to fit owner preferences as well as charter operation use. Cabins are offered on some models with three, four, or five staterooms. The number and layout of heads are also configurable per the buyer needs.
Twin small diesels ensure close quarter maneuverability and superior motorsailing ability on all of the sailing models.
At Fountaine Pajot there is a sailing catamaran to fit every sailor’s desire and budget.
The brand’s power catamarans have also gone through an evolution, since first introduced in the late 1990s. Fountaine Pajot tested the waters with its early power catamaran models within the emerging trawler market by combining the trawler lifestyle with the advantages and benefits of the catamaran platform for cruising. The line of power cats included the Highland 35, Maryland 37, Cumberland series, Summerland 40, and its flagship, the Queensland 55.
As the company evaluated the world’s acceptance of its power catamaran platform as a yacht suited for cruising within the trawler yacht community, these models continued to be refined to offer luxury, efficiency, comfort, and practicality. Today, the company is proud to state its motor yacht division “rejuvenates its range each year to ensure its models continue to set the industry standards in style, performance, ease of handling, fuel efficiency, and environmental sustainability.”
The current lineup of cruising power cats includes the MY4.S, the MY5, the MY6, and the Power 67 Cat. The contemporary MY Series, from 36 to 46 feet, are from the design desks of naval architect Daniel Andreieux and Italian designer, PierAngelo Andreani. They are powered by Volvo Penta IPS drives for superior performance and efficiency. All showcase the latest characteristics of performance cruising on a catamaran platform.
The Power 67 Cat comes from the same designers responsible for the company’s sailing cats, Berret-Racoupeau. It is a long-distance cruising catamaran that is the current flagship of the Fountaine Pajot brand.
Fountaine Pajot has done a stellar job of presenting the world with catamaran solutions in both sailing and power versions to satisfy the demands of the yachting community. Each yacht is unique yet shares its lineage with those that came before it as we enjoy the continued evolution of the French company’s products and its place in the world of sailing and power cruising.
Never satisfied with the status quo, the designers and engineers at Fountaine Pajot, under the proven leadership of Jean-Francois Fountaine, will continue to push multihull design integral with new technology. From that, we all benefit.
Fountaine Pajot remains well positioned to continue as one of the major players in the world’s pleasure boating industries.
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