360 degrees of comfort for family, friends or chartering

Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42By Katherine Stone

On a beautiful summer morning in July, I hopped aboard a new-owner delivery from the Outer Harbour Marina in Toronto to the Port Credit Harbour Marina in Mississauga, with the President of Navy Point Yacht Sales, Steve McPherson. I don’t know if I have ever referred to a boat as pretty, but this adjective fits the Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 to a tee. The transitions and communication from interior to exterior spaces are seamless and well-thought-out with functional ergonomics. The design team of Berret-Racoupean have left behind the “traditional” layout style to move on to produce a beautiful “urban-chic” elegance that is truly luxurious and especially comfortable.

On Deck

The cockpit is exceptionally ample for a 42-footer, allowing a 360-degree view from the 12+ table seating using the optional deck chairs and teak pull-out table. This is where Fountaine-Pajot does their magic with interior design and liveable space that is very comfortable. The cushions are remarkably soft, springy and inviting for relaxed conversation during and after a meal. To be perfectly honest, this is where we all spend most of our time on a boat, and there is nothing nicer than al-fresco dining.

Dining OutsideDining outside with friends and family

The ample, hydraulic swim platform at the stern has a nice long swim ladder and is very convenient with standard davits so that a dinghy is able to drive straight up. However, it adds quite a bit of weight to the stern of the boat and is a costly option. Although our test model had the optional twin 50 HP Volvo Penta engines compared to the standard twin 40 HP (both with saildrives and folding props) you have unbelievable access, enabling your mechanic to hop down easily and with elbow room to spare for any repairs or servicing. The coolant level, water filter, saildrive, rudder tube and autopilot are also accessible without requiring contortions.

The helm station is most certainly one of the highlights of this model with incredible forward visibility, although not as great on the port quarter when backing up. All lines run back to the helm like any great catamaran, and they tail nicely into bins. The lines and helm can easily be worked by two people. Our test Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 was equipped with two electric winches. The nicely enclosed helm has charts, engine controls and navigation right at your fingertips, with the coach top sun lounge area right beside. On a long passage you can actually put your feet up and relax on the soft cushions with great communication between cabin, cockpit and helm stations. The hardtop Bimini sports windows so you can easily see the sails.

The Swim PlatformFun for the whole family off the swim platform

Although there are good handrails to move up and down stairs, moving up the side decks toward the forward lounge area, the lifelines are your only safety feature. The forward lounge area has lovely, comfortable cushions with ratchet backs and ample seating, offering another separate outdoor space. The foot-well easily drains away rainwater and spray. The boat is easily set up for jack lines, has a compartment for a generator and another compartment for the anchor/windlass system. The forward hatches can also be used for storage, or converted into cabins. There is also an optional bowsprit for a Code Zero. Blue lighting enhances the nighttime experience to make it even more special.

The Engine AreaThe engine area is a mechanic’s dream

Fountaine Pajot’s high-tech production methods create parts that require no retouching. The hull is a glass/balsa/polyester sandwich construction. Injection molding molds on PET foam (Airex) are used for the deck and coach roof. With three reefing points, full batons, a square topped main, great sail area and lower boom, the boat is designed for more performance. The extra-wide traveller does all the work for the mainsail. The bottom reef can easily be done while inside the helm station, but the top two require more help by moving to the coach-top to attach the sail’s tack.

Below Deck


The Master Stateroom HeadThis is the master stateroom head with elegant vanity and walk-in shower

Moving inside you are greeted by a beautiful U-shaped galley with double-bowled sinks, countertops and oodles of storage space. The abundance of natural light and under-cabinet lighting in the evening, allow this inside space to easily transition to the outside. Communication with the cockpit and helm station is seamless with large windows and great visibility in all directions. The refrigerator has four deep drawers that keep foods separated and easy to find. This is a true bonus in my book! The versatile oven is a propane/electric/convection unit. The traditional nav station has repeated Garmin instruments from the main helm that are compatible with Navionics and your iPad. The salon features more of those wonderfully soft cushions and three different table configurations for berth, cocktail and dinner usage.

The Convection OvenThe convection oven makes living aboard enjoyable

Accommodations have the option of two models – either a four cabin Quatuor model, or the Maestro version with two guest cabins and the elegant owner’s suite. All cabins have built in screens and shades in the overhead ports. Both guest cabins have queen-sized island beds with underbed storage and abundant lighting. Each has an en suite head with their own washbasin and toilet. The extra living space is gained by having a shared shower, accessible from either side; a brilliant idea!

The owner’s cabin immediately entices you with the large island bed with underbed storage, recessed shelving and abundant storage. The private master head is much more accommodating for two people and the elongated sink is aesthetically pleasing and very luxurious. The option for a washer/dryer system has already been pre-plumbed. The biggest surprise awaits you as you round the corner to discover the walk-in shower that is a dream-come-true on a sailboat!

The FridgeThe fridge has four easy to access drawers

The next surprise just might be how well the boat actually sails. With good balance and stability, the bows easily cut through big chop to deliver an incredibly smooth ride. The Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 is definitely a very comfortable boat that hides the sensation of speed. I had the opportunity to speak with the new owners after they had enjoyed several sails and I am thrilled to report that they are extremely pleased with the boat’s performance. They are easily able to achieve 70% of the wind speed and the boat is significantly faster than their previous Hunter 36, except when sailing upwind. Docking a catamaran was definitely a new experience for them, but after a few practices, they are now finding it much more maneuverable to dock than a monohull. The one thing they kept coming back to was how incredibly comfortable the boat is, especially the beds. The only downside in the Greater Toronto area was finding a dock that could accommodate the beam of their new boat.

Owner's Suite

 

 

Owner’s suite with working desk and island bed

Summing up, we are definitely in the era of booming production boats with a huge following. This model is packed with volume and will be great for either chartering or family use. Keep in mind that most production boats come with no amenities and there are a wide range of options and prices that go along with that. Although it is not the least expensive catamaran on the market, the Fountaine Pajot line is known for their comfort and aesthetics which, for many, far outweigh the price.

The Back Deck

 

The back deck features a grill, plenty of seating and a flip back support

This 3-cabin Maestro version landed in Montreal, Canada with generator, optional extendable teak table and chairs and cushions came in at $800,000 CAN including taxes and duty. Delivery is now available in 2024 with a 10% deposit. Your Fountaine-Pajot dealers:

Navy Point Yacht Sales in Toronto, ON and Sacket’s Harbor, NY

Marina Lennox in Montreal and Quebec City, PQ

Signature Yachts in Seattle, WA

Front Facing Lounge Area

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Architect and designer: Berret-Racoupeau
Builder: Fountaine-Pajot
Construction: Balsa / glass / anti-osmosis polyester resin
Length: 12.58 m / 41.3 ft
Beam: 7.20 m / 23.6 ft
Draft: 1.25 m / 4.1 ft
Light displacement: 11,580 kg /25,530 lbs
Maximum displacement: 15,600 kg / 34,392 lbs
Mainsail area: 66m²
Genoa: 40m²
Water: 2x350l
Fuel: 1x470l
Motors: Volvo Penta 2x40hp (2x50hp option)
Transmission: Saildrive
40hp motors + three-bladed folding propellers

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