Eric Smith here. I took a group of new owners to visit the Fountaine Pajot factory and to sea-trial the first Saona 47 in France. The group was three new owner-couples, each with a boat on order that they hadn’t seen or sailed yet.
The result? They all enthusiastically agreed it was everything they thought it would be — and more — and they proceeded with their orders. Not only that, but we had a Helia 44 owner who joined us to see his boat in production and he decided the new Sona 47 had more features he was looking for in a live-aboard boat, at a more than fair price. So he moved up to the new 47 on the spot.
We all toured the factory and saw the brand new production facility, which will help achieve the goal of moving from 80 boats a year, just a few years ago, to 250 boats a year by 2018. Increased production helps keeps costs in check, and considering the volume and features found in the 47, the philosophy is working!
Here are some highlights. A more detailed walk through will follow.
What did these new owners find so exciting?
I’ll start with the highlights.
- The dinghy/swim platform. This is designed in, not added on. The anchor structure for the platform are molded in as an integral part of the hull structure. Now we can support a substantial dinghy.
- The chocks fold out so the deck is flush for sunning and diving, and when folded out, securely anchors the dinghy. The center of the chocks are off the end of the platform so the engine can stay on the dinghy when lifted and clear the platform and the hull.
- The platform lowers all the way below the water for easy swimming, or sits just above the water for comfortable lounging with feet in the water.
- There is a remote control for raising so you can drive the dinghy on and lift the dinghy to the hull platform, with everyone aboard, for easy on/off loading. (No more awkward climbing in and out while tethered off the transom–a boon to those less agile, or fearful of falling in.) When lifted, the entire apparatus with dinghy is well clear of the bridge deck so there is no drag or resistance to the water exiting the tunnel between the hulls.
- The owners Cabin. In a nutshell, tons of storage with a side order of comfort. Huge spaces with volume similar to the Saba 50. Drawers, cabinets and lockers everywhere. A huge shower big enough for two. Separate head in it’s own compartment with generous storage locker forward accessed from on deck or through the head. Dedicated washer/dryer locker big enough to accommodate a vented washer/dryer. (This becomes more and more important as many marinas and anchorages no longer allow drying clothes on the lifelines–if the unit isn’t vented, it takes hours to dry clothes. Fountaine Pajot is one of the few manufacturers that allow room for a vented unit.)
- Owners version with 3 island beds and an optional skippers cabin
Note the skippers cabin in the layout above. It’s forward, to starboard. It features an included head, with deck and interior access. From the starboard forward cabin, there is a full-sized door for access. This cabin can serve as an additional single cabin for guests or a skippers cabin which will prove invaluable for those wanting to offer charters with a captain. (He won’t have to take up a double cabin!) Note, picture (right) from a sister-ship, but similar.
- Main saloon and galley. Again, storage everywhere. The island offers more storage and counter-space than boats much larger. The large windows, skylights and indirect lighting make this a most convivial cabin with exceptional light and visibility out, sitting or standing. In addition, we offer 4 table arrangements, starting with the cocktail table, shown, but including high/low tables with optional hassocks so you don’t need to give up the storage found in the cocktail table. Our new electric, hi-low table revolves and expands so it’s close to the couch at table height or when lowered to make a berth, but when turned its off center pivot point moves it away from the couch so there’s walk around space when you’re using it as a cocktail table.
There’s so much more to talk about, but these are a few first impressions and highlights. We will offer a more detailed walk through in an up-coming video.
Tony and Marty’s boat will arrive late this summer and we will have the North American debut at the Annapolis Boat Show in October. She will be available for charter as will some of our other owner boats, joining our fleets South and in the Caribbean next winter.
I want to thank the owner’s who joined me for the factory tour and sea trial. We had a ball and I look forward to sharing what we learned, but also I invite you to join us for a future visit to our corner of the world around the Atlantic basin, or in France. To learn more about our scheduled (or individual) factory tours, (that often involve wine) check out this link.
If you want a boat as soon as possible, you can put a hold on a boat with a smaller deposit, arrange to see it in France, or when it arrives this summer, and, we’ll pay substantial interest on your downpayment investment. We can set your boat up for private ownership, or in our unique Business Yacht Ownership® program. Contact us to learn more about this exciting way to own for less–this is not a charter company program.
We have complete pricing and information available. Over 50 boats on order before anyone saw the first boat. Don’t miss out. contact us today.
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