Fountaine Pajot’s design changes to their popular sailing catamarans heralds a new era for cruising sailors looking for more in style, comfort and value for money.
The Evolution range for the Mahe 36 and Salina 48 offers a rigid cockpit bimini, timber and leather finishes in the saloon, smart placement of storage cupboards, better ventilation, redesigned galley with Corian bench tops and additional refrigeration, and feature over-head lighting all of which has stepped up the quality of the classic Fountaine Pajot style. The reliable performance of the yachts has not changed with the hull, deck, construction and rigging remaining the same.
On board the Salina 48, alongside the new interior design and roomier hulls, improvements have also been made in the helm station with a redesigned, raised steering station, fully protected from the sun and seating for three people with direct access to the cockpit
These subtle changes in the finishes have delivered a much more classy boat and although the Evolution range are dearer to build, with the strong Australian dollar the package price has come down.
Multihull Solutions managing director, Mark Elkington, whose company is the Australian and New Zealand importer for Fountaine Pajot sailing and power catamarans, explained the history behind the decision to change the interior design.
'Back in 2007/08 Fountaine Pajot’s production was flat out and they couldn’t keep up with the orders. They took a stance back then to do a minimal fit-out. It was not a matter of making the boat cheap, but about making it a minimalist presentation in the interior with less timber and more mouldings therefore allowing for increased production. The whole boat was still beautiful to sail and great value for money. Really, the decision was made to help the company cope with demand in order numbers and demand for better value.
'There was no negative impact on our business from this decision of Fountaine Pajot. If anything it probably was a great decision for the multihull market because with the minimalist fit out and the value for money, we got a lot more people into the boats.
'But then Fountaine Pajot and the dealer network started receiving feedback that it was probably a bit too minimalist, a bit too ‘caravany’ let’s say. The market still wanted the hull and the layout, but with a bit more bling in it.
European-based, Coste Design, who worked on the interior design of the A380 aircraft first and business class cabins, were then charged by Fountaine Pajot with the job of achieving maximisation of space within a small area. The result has been an efficient, elegant and timeless design for the Evolution range.
Rob and Ann Campbell, and Geoff and Cheryl Wrigley took ownership of their new Mahe 36 Evolution, Purrgatory, in December 2010. Sitting on board the boat, at anchor in Geordie Bay off Rottnest Island, sipping Coronas and cooking freshly caught fish, the new owners can’t speak highly enough of the design and comfort afforded them on board their cruising catamaran.
Rob Campbell spent quite some time researching exactly what boat they should buy. 'We had a fair idea of what we were looking for in a boat. We had a look around at all the options; the Australian-made boat and others. We had a look at the older Mahe 36 design, but the recent changes made to the design were the deal maker for us. The change from the older model to a hard-top bimini was the greatest attraction for us. The other things were the flow-through ventilation and the finish just suited us perfectly.
'The French have done a good job and with the strong Aussie dollar, this boat is a winner for me. The price is excellent for a boat of this size. It is also a boat that sails well to windward. It is constructed relatively lightly; it is about four and half to five tons, which makes for quite good sailing performance.'
The friends bought the boat in partnership and have gone on to use it for family holidays. They have already taken the boat down the south coast before this week’s leisurely week-long visit to bays around Rottnest Island.
'Multihull Solutions have been excellent from start to finish. I wouldn’t have a word to fault them. Very professional and they made the whole process a pleasure. They stuck by their part of the deal, exactly to the agreed dollar. There weren’t any last minute extras,' Rob Campbell said.
Another recent and very happy purchaser of a Mahe 36 is 61-year-old Jock Shumack and his wife, Jo, from Lake Macquarie in NSW. 'We saw the old range at the boat show last year, but decided to order a new boat then rather than wait for the Evolution range. It has encompassed many of the modifications now seen in the Evolution Mahe 36.
'It is just fantastic. I have been around boats for a long time, but not big boats. This has just been wonderful. This is our first boat and my wife and I just adore it. It’s not a performance boat; you wouldn’t want to buy it if you wanted to win races. It is a comfortable cruising boat,' Jock Shumack said.
Elkington will have the Mahe 36 and Salina 48 on display at the Sanctuary Cove boat show and their headquarters at Mooloolaba in Queensland. 'If you really want to have a good look around, come to the boat show. It is the best catamaran show around.
'We encourage potential customers to have a look at the different designs. Then we encourage them to come back to us and tell us what they like about the other designs compared to our boats. That then helps us to understand what the customer likes and dislikes in a boat. However, if they are ready to buy now, then come to Mooloolaba where they can get quiet, personal service,' Elkington said.
Multihull Solutions sail and power catamarans will be on display at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, open 19th to 22nd May 2011.
Fountaine Pajot Salina48 Evolution roomy cockpit great for entertainng guests and a large family - Multihull Solutions: - Multihull Solutions?nid=81338
For more information http://www.multihullsolutions.com.au
or contact -
Multihull Solutions Australia, 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba QLD 4557.
Telephone Toll Free on 1300 855338, +61 (0)7 54525164 or by mobile +61 (0) 427 889910 or email info(at)multihullsolutions.com.au
Multihull Solutions New Zealand, 9 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven, Auckland 1010.
Telephone Toll Free on 0508 68 58 47, +64 (0)9 9031000 or by mobile +64 21 2777777 or email office(at)multihullsolutions.co.nz
Fountaine Pajot Salina48 Evolution sails beautifully along the coast and out on the wide blue ocean - Multihull Solutions: - Multihull Solutions?nid=81338