Just launched: Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42

Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 at sea

Born of racing stock in 1975, Fountaine Pajot has since evolved into building seaworthy cruising catamarans.

It has just launched the Astréa 42, a replacement for the Lipari 41 and one that completes its line-up from 40ft to 67ft. She shares the design DNA of her sisters, namely a trademark positive sheer, slightly inverted bow, bulkhead helm station and ease of handling.

The Astréa is all about comfort. She features a good-sized cockpit, with armchair-style seating along the aft crossbeam. Between the skirts at deck level, there’s an optional ‘beach club’ – a teak slatted platform, to you and me. This can be lowered 25cm below the water or raised with the dinghy on it. There’s another social area in front of the coachroof by the trampoline.

Although she measures just 42ft overall, Fountaine Pajot and designer Berret Racoupeau have put much thought into the area around the helm. To keep the boom lower, they’ve stuck with their favoured bulkhead helming position, with all control lines running back to a double seat there. On the hard-top to port there is a sunpad and aft of the mainsheet track, optional solar panels.

The interior has also been designed for optimum communication: sliding doors connect the saloon and the cockpit into one big space. Configuration is highly modular, but there are plenty of options, including 12 shower/heads layouts and either three or four cabins. The show boat had a clever central shower area that is accessible from either forward or aft.

First impressions

This is the little sister to the Saona 47 that launched last year, and shares much of the styling. Fountaine Pajot sold 120 Saonas in a year. Now consider that it had already sold 130 of this new 42 before the first boat was launched. Such sales figures are driven by a market demanding as much space and comfort as possible 
in a smartly designed and 
easy-to-manage package.

The volume of the cabins is almost on a par with the Helia 44. It even boasts an island berth in the owner’s cabin. My chief concern is how such volume in the hulls and the low bridgedeck might affect her performance, particularly in waves. If you do opt for one, be wise that the 40- 50ft family cruiser cat market is truly booming, so you’d better be patient if you want a new boat.

At a glance…

LOA: 41ft 4in (12.58m)
Beam: 23ft 8in (7.20m)
Draught: 4ft 1in (1.25m)
Displacement: 11.5 tonnes
Price: from €345,000
Contact: Fountaine Pajot 

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