Fountaine Pajot has been building power catamarans for 20 years and while some yards have simply offered a sailing cat without a mast, with hulls that were not designed for power or blue water cruising, Fountaine Pajot has only ever built power catamarans designed for power only. Their power cats are highly functional and purpose built.
The early models formed the basis of the current range, which started with the release of the MY37 a few years ago and more recently the MY44 and the flagship model, MY55.
Australasian importer of Fountaine Pajot, Multihull Solutions, had their first MY44 on display at the recent Sydney International Boat Show and it attracted a lot of attention.
Daniel Andrieu, a world respected French naval architect, has been responsible for the hull design and the new look, s the work of Pierangelo Andreani, which portrays a modern style on a traditional concept. Powercats have been around for a long time and it is the French designers and builders, such as Fountaine Pajot that have pushed the design envelope and established new parameters in performance and style. For a power cat aficionado, the Fountaine Pajot MY44 is a look at the future of where powercat design is heading.
Power & Performance
One of the impressive features about the MY44 – and there are many – is that it’s built light, but without any compromise on strength. Light ship displacement is 14,000 kgs and with a pair of Volvo Penta IPS400, the boat is capable of around 24 knots.
“If you want a power cat to run to its performance and design criteria, it’s all about weight or the lack of it, so the MY44 is built with weight in mind in every area of the build”, says Mark Elkington, MD of Multihull Solutions.
The MY44 was driven down the coast to Sydney from Multihull Solutions base at Mooloolaba, Qld, at an average speed of 17 knots which took under 30 hours for a fuel burn of around 85 lph. At 7 knots the MY44 runs around 1 lpnm, which is an outstanding economy and good to know when you are cruising in places like the Whitsundays or Marlborough Sounds.
Mark says that the MY44 is designed as a blue water capable passage maker and offers an exceptionally smooth and dry ride in adverse sea conditions. The MY44 has been developed to deliver extraordinary offshore performance and outstanding fuel economy, affording more than 1800nm on one tank of fuel. With the addition of an optional fuel bladder that can be extended to around 2500nm. With 2000-litre fuel tanks and 700-litre water tanks, the MY44 is ideal for long-range cruising and can achieve top speeds of 30 knots with its optional IPS600 435HP engines.
Three or Four Cabins
One of the main differences between the MY37 and the MY44 is the interior styling and layout, which makes maximum use of the extra length and beam available, including a 20m2 saloon, 12m2 flybridge, and a decadent 15m2 master suite. Designed by Pierangelo Andreani, the famous Italian architect specialising in the luxury market, the MY44 boasts stylish lines and unique living spaces. The model has been fitted with sleek panoramic windows throughout, granting spectacular 360-degree views and beautiful levels of natural light. Powercats by their design offer massive areas in places like the saloon, cockpit and flybridge, but often when it comes to the accommodation in the hulls, things can get a little tight. Not so in the new MY44 which presents three generous cabins, which makes the best use of both the hulls and wing deck.
The MY44 has a revolutionary accommodation design with an expansive master suite, that takes up the entire port hull. It has great views from its panoramic windows and features a sea-facing island queen bed, optional wall-mounted television, ambient lighting, plus a sleek ensuite. The wide beam allows for the extra volume for walkaround beds, something not often seen in a boat of this size.
Friends can relax in comfort in the guest cabins, choosing from the 7m2 VIP cabin or a twin or double cabin set to starboard, both with exclusive ensuites and elegant fixtures. All cabins also have climate control air conditioning as standard and the entire boat is equipped with wireless lighting. The weight saving in wiring alone is substantial.
To get the larger cabins into the MY44, the beam has been taken out to 6.61m. The MY37 is 5.5m. Retaining the narrow semi displacement hulls was a prerequisite, so as not to change the boats handling and sea keeping ability and this has not been compromised with the new layout.
However, you still have the option of a fourth cabin by utilising the large storage space under the foredeck. This can be accessed from the saloon with a sliding door for privacy. When you drop in a ¾ double bed and fully line the bulkheads, you have a great cabin for kids or those extra overnight guests you didn’t expect. The extra cost is around $18000 and the modification has to be done at the factory. If you don’t go for the extra cabin, this space makes a great accessory/workshop room and is ideal for a dive compressor.
Cockpit & Saloon
Across the transom, you have the choice of a fixed or hydraulic platform or no platform at all. Access to the cockpit is either side of the transom lounge, where the roof overhang comes right back to the transom. If you are into your fishing, then you will need a platform.
The cockpit in the MY44 I looked over at the show was in its simplest form with no table, as Mark says he prefers to let the owners choose the table design, as it can be added after. There is a full-width cockpit settee aft, with a staircase on the port side to the flybridge and wide side decks for easy access forward. Teak decks are an option.
With the four full height glass panels slid out of the way the galley and saloon become very much an extension of the cockpit with a seamless blend of the indoor and outdoor spaces. If you close the doors when underway, the sound in the saloon is minimal.
The wide entranceway runs through the centre of the galley with fridge/freezer, wine cooler and storage to port and a U shape bench space opposite. Only the very best kitchen appliances have been used and the MY44 offers unprecedented storage areas. The entrance and galley flooring are a PVC based product which is hard wearing, durable and easily cleaned. Aft of the fridge/freezer unit is the private access to the master stateroom.
Another standard feature is the massive storage under the sole, with four huge voids, ideal for all that extra food and provisions you need to carry for the summer cruise. It also means all that extra weight is taken in the centre of the boat.
Like the rest of the layout, the look and design of the galley are in the modernist style, with hardly a rounded edge anywhere. Personally, I love it and it’s something we are seeing on more and more boats these days. Mark also pointed out that the MY44 is strictly a production boat and virtually the only way you can personalise it is with your choice of fabric colours.
With such a generous beam, the saloon has been configured with a settee to port, with a combination coffee/dining table, plus another shorter sofa opposite and aft of the lower helm and companionway to the starboard accommodation area.
The lower helm is set up with a full bench seat and there is plenty of real estate for the largest MFD screens. Being Volvo Penta powered, the MY44 was equipped with Garmin screens – 2 x GPS Map 15 – as all the software is compatible with the engine package. There was also a Garmin AIS, VHF, GPS and radar plus the MY44 uses a Volvo Penta IPS autopilot with a remote control.
If you prefer to do you driving outside, then upstairs has it all on the massive open flybridge with separate helm, lounges and dining table to truly enjoy the cruising experience. The hardtop –weighs just 230kg- is available with full clears if you want more weather protection. The starboard forward settee converts to a large day lounger and with the soft fabric sliding manually operated sunroof, you can control just how much UV you want. There is plenty of seating areas, provision for a small galley and wet bar. A very cool area to lay back and relax.
Another very cool area is the large foredeck cockpit with day sun lounges and seating for up to 10-12 people. There are generous storage lockers for fenders and ropes and access to the forward cabin/storage space.
I left SIBS very impressed at what I had seen and while powercats are not for everyone, the MY44 is certainly something to consider.
Fountaine-Pajot has been building sailing catamarans from its base in La Rochelle since 1976, yet the transition to building power cats has been a steep learning curve. They quickly discovered that the requirements of sailors and power boat customers are entirely different.
With close to 20 orders, the popularity of the MY44 is already determined and while it’s different in many ways from its competitors, it sets new standards for light weight, blue water power cats of this size.
Along with the smaller MY37 and the larger MY55, Fountaine Pajot has a great trio of power cats to pick from. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.
- Boat Design Name: Fountaine Pajot MY44
- Builder: Fountaine Pajot
- Year Launched: 2017
- Designer: Daniel Andrieu
- LOA: 13.4m
- Beam: 6.61m
- Draft: 1.30m
- Displacement (Light): 14000 kg
FUEL & PERFORMANCE DATA
Fountaine Pajot MY44/ 2 x IPS400