Fountaine Pajot’s stylish, sexy sedan
The French multihull builder has maintained a long commitment to powercats, but shook up the market with its sedan-style MY4.S, the new 36ft entry model for its four-model motor yacht range.
Words: Emmanuel Van Deth Photos: Fountaine Pajot
Below 1,400rpm, the range of the MY4.S is over 1,000nm
Fountaine Pajot’s introduction of the MY4.S coincided with the rebranding of its Motor Yachts range, with MY5 and MY6 becoming the new names for the MY40 and MY44 respectively. The idea was to give ‘monohull equivalent’ references in terms of surface area and volume, with the MY5 corresponding to a 50ft motorboat and the MY6 to a small 60ft motor yacht.
As for the 36ft MY4.S, it’s comparable to 40ft monohulls. And the S stands for sedan or ‘sportop’, as Fountaine Pajot describes it. The La Rochelle builder has opted for a racy design by sacrificing the flybridge, an option offered on the MY37 it succeeds while sharing its hulls.
With no flybridge, the MY4.S becomes a very elegant sedan
The manufacturer has done well. Daniel Andrieu’s design already offered excellent seakeeping qualities, with hulls characterised by particularly fine-entry bows and a chine so marked that it forms a deep recess on the bows. However, above the chine, everything is new.
And what stands out is the finesse of the coachroof. Without the flybridge, the 4.S becomes a very elegant sedan, capable of holding its own among the gleaming single-hulled weekenders.
POWER AND RANGE
Fountaine Pajot offers twin 150hp or 250hp Yanmar engines, the latter featuring on our test model. The MY37 was equipped with two 150hp Volvo engines as standard and 220hp versions as an option, and the extra 60hp on the MY4.S increases the top speed from 20 to 23 knots.
The cockpit bimini neatly extends the coachroof lines
The helm, without being hard, responds well and the trajectory is always precise. We find the same excellent behaviour as aboard the MY37: perfectly flat turns, smooth passage in short chop, absence of spray – it’s literally broken by the chine – and hulls optimised for cruising between 9-15 knots in open water.
The best illustration of the efficiency at these speeds is that the range is greater when motoring at 13 knots than at 11!
Due to the low-consumption engines, efficient hulls and fuel tanks totalling 1,200 litres, the range of the MY4.S is 1,600nm at five knots and even more than 1,000nm at six knots. The MY4.S lends itself to a programme of weekend boating, as well as semi-high-speed cruising, although the range is about 400nm at 18 knots or 265nm at full speed.
Strangely enough, it’s during low-speed sailing that the underside of the nacelle or the flat face of the chines are likely to slam a little. When manoeuvring in port, you can play with the twin engines to pivot at will, although a bow thruster is an option. Housed in large compartments at the stern, the engines are easy to access, while camera surveillance of the engine rooms is also an option.
CLEAN DECK PLAN
The increasing willingness of boat builders to install flybridges on all their boats has almost made us forget the charm and features of a sedan. In addition to a much more elegant silhouette, this configuration benefits from better weight distribution and frees up the cockpit or side decks from one or two stairways.
The 8ft 6in-wide cockpit sofa can be converted into a sunbathing area
The cockpit is equipped with a large bench seat spanning 8ft 6in (2.6m) that can be converted into a sunbathing area. Optional extras include a fixed or hydraulic platform, a galley and an outdoor table.
The side decks are 1ft 5in (43cm) wide at the cockpit end and relatively narrow compared to those of sailing multihulls. Yet this is not surprising when you consider the beam of the MY4.S is 16ft 9in (5.1m), which is 4ft 10in (1.5m) thinner than a similar-length sailing cat, for example.
The solid foredeck incorporates a large sunbathing area
Moving around on board is made safe by a stainless-steel rail and the small handrail near the cockpit deserves to be complemented by optional handholds on the coachroof. The solid foredeck offers large sunbathing areas. Ground tackle and other lockers are ready to use.
FINE FINISH, OPEN TOP
The aft bay window forms a nice, wide opening. In the interior by Pierangelo Andreani, the saloon has a similar layout to the MY37, with the galley on port side, dining area to starboard, and helm station forward. However, the overall finish seems much more flattering, in keeping with the builder’s increasingly sophisticated interiors.
The cockpit sofa backrests can fold down
The builder has set the bar very high, always with the aim of being a credible competitor to the single hulled weekenders, which are generally quite luxuriously finished. The headroom in the saloon is very comfortable, at 6ft 9in (2.07m). The galley countertop is a useful size, at 8ft 10in (2.71m) in length, and there’s a double sink, two-ring burner, refrigerator and numerous storage spaces.
The dining area is a bit more modest and features a kind of L-shaped sofa and a table measuring 2ft 4in by 2ft (70cm x 60cm), with the option of a foldout version. You can share a meal with five people, but not really any more, without using stools that would inevitably interfere with circulation.
The opening sunroof and fold-out dining table are appealing options
Up front, the helm station and companion seating occupy a central space under the windscreen. You can stand or sit at the twin helm seat, which can be raised a few inches for the shorter to medium-sized skipper. From the control helm to port of the centreline, you have an excellent view of the water, except for two small blind spots aft.
Natural light simply floods in: first of all, because the windows are an imposing size, up to almost 3ft high and quite clear. As for the coachroof uprights, they’re slender. Above your head is a car-like sunroof, but an extra-large version.
The Pierangelo Andreani interior includes an almost 9ft-long galley countertop with a TV
The control for this is a bit lazy, but you can sail as if with the top down or almost. The sunroof and electric awning add more than €24,000 (before tax) and an owner could pay almost €200,000 in options and a ‘Pack’ (Exclusive, Gold or Platinum) for a well specced model.
MAESTRO OR QUATUOR
On the Maestro version, the port hull is dedicated to the owner. There is a large semi-island bed with a width of 5ft 3in (1.6m), plenty of storage, an incredible sea view, two ventilation openings and a beautiful bathroom in the bow. Headroom is 6ft 3in (1.91 m), with the floor set four steps or 3ft 5in (1.03m) below the saloon.
On the Maestro version, the port hull is dedicated to the owner’s suite
The starboard hull houses two cabins and a shared central bathroom. The aft berth is as generous as that in the port hull, although the forward berth is a little less inviting, measuring 4ft 11in (1.5m) wide at the pillow end as you walk in, and just 2ft 4in (0.70m) at the forward end. This twin-cabin, one-head set-up is mirrored in the port side in the four-cabin Quatuor version.
Aft, the sound volume remains contained, even with the motors at higher rpm, although a few squeaks can sometimes be heard. Each cabin has two opening windows to ensure effective ventilation.
In the starboard hull, the aft guest cabin offers a wide semi-island bed
Even more convincing to former sailors, Fountaine Pajot’s challenge with its MY range is to shake up the supremacy of monohulls. By opting for a range – and model names – that highlight the surface area and volume provided by a catamaran, and now by offering a very elegant Sedan version, the manufacturer is widening its appeal.
And we can’t blame the builder for sharing the hulls of the former MY37. Firstly, because the design is proven, and secondly, because the previous model sold 72 units, which bodes well for the MY4.S.