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Fountaine Pajot unveils flagship 80

French cat builder Fountaine Pajot reveals a new 24-metre model, complete with side terraces and solar panel shades.

22 November 2022

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There’s no question that catamarans – with their extensive deck spaces and prodigious, apartment-like interiors – are one of the hot trends at the moment both in the sailing and motor communities.

It is against this background that Fountaine Pajot, the French multihull builder that was founded in 1976 and which launched its first catamaran in 1983, has unveiled a new 24-metre sailing cat that is sure to turn heads.

Currently touted only as the Fountaine Pajot 80 – with the model name to be decided – the new model combines decades of catamaran experience with the design smarts of Berret-Racoupeau and a host of innovative features.

There are, says the builder, multiple layout versions available in several choices of materials, with a “truly modular” design that can adapt to clients’ preferences.

“The boat has been conceived as a superyacht, with top-of-the-range quality and a very fine selection of materials,” says Isabelle Racoupeau. “We have paid particular attention with the Fountaine Pajot design office to the finishes.”

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With 11 metres of beam to play with, the Fountaine Pajot 80 offers excellent guest areas both inside and out. Key for the deck areas is a generous front cockpit that offers its own bar, and an expansive sunbed which covers a spa pool. There are also two large storage lockers forward which provide enough space to take fully inflated paddleboards, windurfers and scuba and snorkel gear. A sea-tight door gives direct access to the saloon.

Up top, the flybridge features two fully equipped helm stations under the hardtop bimini with all control lines leading back to a central winch and two lateral sheet winches. Aft, a wraparound sofa invites easy living, served by a full fridge, wet bar and grill. One deck down, the aft cockpit offers a very large alfresco dining area and entertaining space, with a hydraulic bathing platform between the hulls creating a full-beam beach club on the water.

Of note are the integrated, semi-transparent solar panels on the flybridge hardtop and sidedeck overhangs which create both an intriguing dappled shade effect while also providing enough power on a summer’s day to manage the yacht’s hotel loads. The panels were integrated into the design by Berret-Racoupeau. “Being semi-translucent, the solar panels provide a half-shade, like sitting under a tree,” says Olivier Racoupeau.

“We believe it’s the first time this has been used on a sailing yacht. As much as it is clearly a Fountaine Pajot yacht, the 80 hides a lot of new elements.”

The deck areas are also notable for the two drop-down bulwark balconies either side of the cockpit. The 3-metre-long terraces not only further extend the feeling of space – as well as inviting guests to take a plunge off the side – but complementary outboard-facing coaming sofas help create two entirely new areas for guests.

For the interior, the main saloon offers deep sofas to starboard and freestanding seating to port with cocktail tables to enjoy the views out to sea through the wraparound windows. A cabinet in teak and hand-stitched leather hides a pop-up television, while the nav area offers full screens and a chart table.

The first Fountaine Pajot 80 will feature a galley-up design, which takes over the port side of the saloon. Top-quality appliances and plenty of cold storage are complemented by an island unit with a bar.

Although the 80 is designed for crew – two plus skipper, with crew quarters located in the port hull with separate saloon access – the first hull has been conceived around sociable cooking for owner and guests.

“There is conviviality, but with their large cabins and multiple relaxing areas, there’s also intimacy,” offers Isabelle Racoupeau.

The owner’s suite takes pride of place in the port hull and on the first model will feature a desk and sofa as well as a separate twin sink ensuite with shower, plus a bathtub.

The 80 has been designed to offer solid sailing performance and, drawing on the naval architecture nous of Berret-Racoupeau and the slender hulls, the 80 is expected to cruise easily at 8–9 knots on passage, with the 200-square-metre main and large gennaker offering the chance for exhilarating top speeds off the wind.

“It is in the brand’s DNA to sail well,” Olivier Racoupeau concludes. “Even though she is closer to a superyacht in some respects, this boat is designed from the same hydrodynamic and ergonomic principles as every other Fountaine Pajot sailboat.”

 

catamarans-fountaine-pajot.com

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