26 May, 2017
Fountaine Pajot MY 44
Yacht on skies
Generously spacious and attractively designed, with well-tailored interior spaces and extraordinary seaworthiness, this all-new motor yacht is a fine contribution to the motor-powered catamaran segment
Fountaine Pajot MY 44 attracted a lot of attention at the January Boot Düsseldorf and then we arranged for testing this attractive yacht off Palma de Mallorca, to get to know all the features that contribute to her listing in the yacht category. Before we even asked, her builder pointed out that this vessel hadn’t evolved from the usual catamaran sailing boat of similar dimensions, but designed on purpose for Fountaine Pajot to attain certain performances and accommodation characteristics expected from a semi-displacement motor-powered yacht. French naval architect Daniel Andrieu has therefore designed MY 44’s swift lines and blue hull with a structure fair above the waterline to suggest suitability for long cruises in full comfort thanks to impressive interior spaces. We entered the yacht via a large hydraulically operated aft platform hosting the tender, and reached the main deck in three steps, entering the aft cockpit salon with a sofa and a four-section foldable glass door that lead to the main interior salon. On the port side, a semicircular staircase leads to the fly-bridge, and on starboard the U-layout galley doubles – when the door is closed, that is folded toward portside – as a fully equipped bar with electric cooking plates and an oven (a large fridge with freezer is installed on the opposite side).
In a spacious, very broad salon, there is a small sofa starboard and a large one to the port, serving the foldable dining table that can also be (with one push of a button) lowered to club height. The main salon, same as other spaces, is decorated in light wood and grey fabrics, and has white leather panelled ceilings. The console, located starboard just behind the windshield, is slightly raised to provide good visibility. Instruments are an exercise in modern technological minimalism – instead of analogue indicators and switches, there are only two Garmin multifunction displays. Both commanding posts, the main one and the one on the fly-bridge, are equipped with classic steering wheels, electronic engine commands and joysticks to control Volvo IPS propulsion systems. The entrance to the master suite is on the port side, opposite the galley: a few steps lead to the large space in the centre of the port hull, with a king-size bed facing the windows, while the private bathroom (with separate shower cabin) is located toward the bow. For charter purposes, this extremely spacious area can be divided into two smaller guest cabins. In the owner’s version, two guest cabins are arranged inside the starboard side of the hull, with access behind the command post. In the VIP cabin, the bed is placed diagonally and the head is astern.
Another small cabin is built in the area between the two hulls; its head, accessible from the salon, serves as the day facility. All corridors and gangways are broad enough for two persons to pass each other. Two sofas with adjustable backs welcome sun worshippers on the foredeck. The designers have correctly assumed that guests will want to spend most of their time during the day on the fly-bridge. In its aft section, there’s a large teak dining table, adjacent bar, refrigerator and sink adjacent, while a spacious sundeck and another command post visually and ergonomically equal to the interior one are on the bow. The entire fly-bridge is protected by a hard top with foldable sections to spread over the sunbathing area and the helm station. The MY 44 has met our expectations at sea, on rather rough waves that welcomed us on the day of the test.
The unit we tested, powered by two Volvo Penta D6-435D-F (435 HP each), reached the 9-knot cruising speed at 2.000 rpm and with 40 l/h consumption (for both engines). Those who prefer greater speed can select to sail at 15 knots (2.700 rpm and 81 l/h), while the top speed of the yacht is 22 knots at 3.300 rpm. Decent off-shore performances and safety, as well as supreme seaworthiness, is what most buyers demand, and with this yacht it’s what they can expect, in addition to immaculate manoeuvring abilities in busy ports (even in windy conditions) thanks to the joystick-controlled Volvo IPS. Stylish and elegant, MY 44 yacht is very efficiently putting its foot in the market door – and keeping them open for her successors – also proving to be a solid investment. We are sure it won’t be long before Fountaine Pajot 44 is a common sight in many a port.