Multihulls Special 2021: Fountaine Pajot’s future vision
Builder of about 4,000 catamarans since 1976, the La Rochelle shipyard has launched three new models in the past year and is soon set to embark on a sustainability-focused evolution.
The Samana 59, Fountaine Pajot’s second-biggest sail cat, is among its new models
Fountaine Pajot will celebrate its 45th anniversary this July, having built in the region of 4,000 sailing catamarans since it was founded in 1976 by Jean-François Fountaine, Yves Pajot, Daniel Givon and Rémi Tristan.
Unlike fellow French builder Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot is active in the smaller powercat sector and is preparing to launch the MY4.S, its new entry-level motor yacht complementing the MY5 – one recently arrived in Hong Kong through Asia Yachting – and the MY6, models formerly known as the MY40 and MY44.
The MY4.S could debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival
The La Rochelle builder, which has over 1,000 employees, hopes to display the MY4.S at the Cannes Yachting Festival (September 7-12) and other boat shows in Europe and the US, with hopes to debut a unit in Asia as soon as possible. Late last year, it launched its first Power 67, a model based on the Alegria 67, its flagship sailing yacht.
“Fountaine Pajot Motor Yachts carved a real niche in the motor yacht market and is today challenging monohull power boats,” says Group Sales Director Steven Guedeu. “Motor yachts continue to make up about 20 per cent of our business, but that’s because our sailing catamaran sales are still growing, too!”
The Power 67 is based on the Alegria 67
The brand’s newest sailing yachts are the entry-level Isla 40 and Samana 59, both launched late last year. The Isla 40 is the smaller sister of the Astrea 42, Elba 45 and Saona 47, and two units are scheduled to arrive in Asia later in the year. The Samana 59 is more recognisable as the little sister of the Alegria 67 and has the largest flybridge in her category, according to the shipyard.
Fountaine Pajot has also spent much of the last year developing a new focus on sustainability and expects to make a formal announcement on its plans in September. Earlier this year, it offered a glimpse into this future with details of the ‘New 51’ sailing catamaran to be unveiled in early 2022.
The Isla 40 is the brand’s new entry-level sailing cat
Instead of offering solar panels as an option to be added on flat surfaces, the 51 will have the option of solar panels fully integrated into the hardtop – marking a first for the brand – and which will work in tandem with lithium batteries. The integrated solar-power system is expected to produce 2,000-2,200W of power, about four times as much as on previous Fountaine Pajot models of a similar size.
“We were surprised by the excitement around the New 51. Following the announcement, we had a lot of orders from people who love the concept and each one has taken the integrated solar-panels option. We are really honoured by the confidence shown by these future owners,” Guedeu says.
The French builder is developing a ‘New 51’ sailing cat with a fully integrated solar-power system, an illustration of what the yard promises will be a new sustainability-focused offering.
“For the past 12 months, Fountaine Pajot’s major objective has been to put environmental sustainability at the heart of the design and development of our new boats, so you can expect many innovations in the coming years.”
Fountaine Pajot has established a strong dealer network in Asia overseen by Hong Kong-based Kevin Corfa. However, the builder is aware there’s growing competition in the region and around the globe from established, fast-rising and even new catamaran builders.
An MY5 in Hong Kong, where Asia Yachting represents Fountaine Pajot Motor Yachts
“It’s good for the market to have a larger range of proposals. Fountaine Pajot is a historical, iconic brand and a worldwide reference in cruising catamarans market, and it has a high capacity to follow the trends and meet the new demands of the owners,” Guedeu says. “Even during the health crisis, we’ve been very active commercially and our customers have shown real loyalty, so have our dealers.”
Yacht Style’s annual Multihulls Issue highlights new models from the world’s leading cruising catamaran builders and features reviews of the Aquila 70, Lagoon 55 and Bali 4.8, as well as MCY 76 Skylounge and Ferretti Yachts 500, while Gulf Craft Chairman Mohammed Alshaali, Lee Marine and Water Revolution Foundation are also in the spotlight.