Why consider Catamaran Motor yachts?

Fountaine-PajotLearning Center

factoryaerialA little background…

Over 17 years ago, Fountaine Pajot decided to build commercial catamaran ferry boats–in fiberglass. They struck a deal with the city of La Rochelle to lease the old WWII Seaplane factory down on the water.

Fountaine Pajot brought jobs and opportunity to the city in exchange for a dollar a year lease of the facility. It was brilliant and it worked. (Today, Jean Francois, the founder of Fountaine Pajot, is the Mayor of LaRochelle and FP continues to enjoy an excellent rapport with the city.)

The design team has applied their engineering and design expertise from commercial boats to true catamaran motor yachts. This expertise just isn’t generally available to traditional manufactures of non-commercial yachts.

This new facility allowed for building of the new Ferry boats, and as FP was experiencing growing pains at their main factory, inland–they moved some of the large boat production over to the new facility, and the design and engineering offices as well. Eventually they moved all Motor Yacht manufacturing here as well.

After the project (Isis boats) was started, some of the young engineers who were really excited with the new opportunities suggested that FP consider designing and building “pleasure, yacht“Power Catamarans in this new facility. At the sailboat show that year, Jean Francois, at the dealer meeting, proposed the idea. All of the other dealers turned up their nose at the idea. I embraced it and after the show, Jean Francois and I went around to the yards in Annapolis and took pictures and made notes about trawler and power boat ideas that we liked. We looked at cockpits. Flybridges. Styling and everything else.

Jean Francois left and I didn’t hear anything for about 6 months, and then one day, a thick package arrived at my door. It was a completed design, specs and a fait accompli for a new 37′ Trawler Yacht that could do 18K. It was named the “Maryland 37“–the first of the new Power Yacht line. Fountaine Pajot names all of their boats after famous, beautiful cruising areas, and I was flattered to have this one named after mine.

Since then The boats have been updated and, are now, even more performance oriented than they were back then. Faster, sleeker with true motor yacht performance.  But, from the beginning, and still, they were designed by Motor Yacht people to be motor yachts, not sailing boats with big engines. Below is a more detailed description of what they did, and you will see what’s needed to do it right.

The latest boat is the new 40 and 67′. They will blow you away! Several already sold–you can reserve one with a refundable deposit now. We are taking orders now.

Eric Smith, Senior consultant/partner Atlantic Cruising Yachts.

11/22/2018–the new complete brochure just came out. Jam packed with information, engine and technical specs and more. Contact us for your copy, and/or a quote.

One vs two hulls…

Powercat catamaran design and performance–what’s the difference?

Greater stability, greater capacity, and greater efficiency–Less expensive to operate with greater range…

For thousands of years, fishermen have known that nothing beats a twin hull in rough water. Here are just a few reasons why the twin-hulled power catamaran design offers numerous advantages over traditional monohulls:

  • Because it doesn’t pivot on the center-line like a monohull, stability is much greater in a catamaran. As It rises out of the water on plane, it remains stable.
  • The wider footprint of the cat negates the effect of rolling seas.
  • Driving a cat is more like driving a sports car than a motorcycle: turns are flatter and more stable than the
    leaning action of a monohull.
  • No-wake zones are not a problem for cats: their long, slender hulls produce minimum wake at all speeds.
  • The catamaran design allows the boat to drift sideways, so you can fish off the side. And when fish off one side, there’s no worry about the extreme listing of a monohull.
  • Get access to areas that conventional hulls can’t reach, thanks to the shallow draft of the catamaran design provides.
  • The twin-hull design of a cat means there’s less rocking and rolling than a monohull–especially at anchor or in a beam sea.
  • The relatively rectangular design of the cat’s expanded deck area allows for more room and greater load capacity. You have the volume below, and deck space of a monohull several feet larger, in a more compact, easier to handle package.
  • Unlike a monohull’s deck, a catamaran’s deck is parallel to the water at all speeds, allowing you to maintain your line of sight and giving you greater fuel efficiency.
  • Monohulls are designed to plane at a particular speed and weight distribution. As weight increases and/or speed decreases, the stern settles, creating untrimmed conditions. It is vital that the hulls be designed from the ground up as a power cat. You can’t just take a sailing cat, and add bigger engines. Years ago, I sold a 46′ sailing cat to a race car driver who wanted it to do 20 knots. He had his design team use their computers to make the calculations, and installed two 350 HP engines (instead of the standard 40’s). The boat did, in fact get to 19 K. At one point, I took it up to New England from Annapolis. When you throttled up, the bow rose. The boats stern sunk down and it pushed a wall of water in front of her. It was awful, fuel inefficient, and defeated the purpose. Some sailing catamaran manufacturers are taking off the mast, and adding power. Don’t fall for it.  Our Fountaine Pajot catamarans can do up to 20-30 knots and ride flat. They’re designed from the ground up as Motor Yachts and have the area aft to provide the required planing surface.
  • As the boat pushes forwards, it creates a “hill” of water. In this bow-high position visibility is limited and the hull bottom is pounded. However, a cat avoids this condition, rising and falling evenly in the water as speed and/or weight distribution adjusts.

Contact us for the electronic brochure with all models or a quote.


Eric Smith

Senior Sales Consultant, Partner
More from Eric

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