We tried Fountaine Pajot ’s flagship offshore from Florida, near Miami. A catamaran measuring more thant wenty metres long and just under ten metres wide. Designed by Berret-Recoupeau Yacht Design
by Fabio Massimo Bonini – photo by Gilles Martin-Raget
WE’VE ARRANGED TO MEET AT 1 P.M. AT THE QUAY AT CRANDON MARINA IN KEY BISCAYNE,a little island connected by bridges, just a few kilometres from downtown Miami. I wake up and start looking forward to this sea test as I drink my coffee. I’m a sailor at heart and there’s a good breeze today. Perfect for trying out Fountain Pajot’ s new flagship, the Alegria 67.
As ever, I get there a bit early and from Crandon Boulevard I can already see the distant silhouette of this beautiful vessel approaching the marina. However, as I get nearer I notice a large number of people on the deck, the flying bridge and inside… I hope I’ve been invited to a sea test and not a party. There are twenty-seven people on board, all friends of the owner who recently took possession of this great prize and couldn’t wait to share his excitement with them.
Alessandro, the captain, welcomes me on board and we cast off straight away. Despite a large number of guests, we can’t see them or hear them asthe yacht is so big. I watch the proceedings in total relaxation. The sea is calm and the wind is blowing at between 14 and 17 knots.
Biscayne Bay, famous for its numerous regattas, including a number of international ones, is the area that has been picked for the test. Before departing, the yacht was topped up with 1000 litres of water and the fuel tanks contain 500 and 150 litres of diesel respectively. It has two Yanmar 160-HP engines. As we leave the marina and make our way through the channel, I start looking at the boat.
I’m particularly struck by the door that leads from the lounge to the outdoor spaces in the bow. This is really useful and makes all the areas of the yacht even more user-friendly, including the access to the super Jacuzzi immediately to the right of the left hull, but without taking space away from the large lounge created to the left of the right hull. There are lockers everywhere and as many cupboards as you could wish for.
The cabins are very spacious and comfortable… it’s a real 5-star hotel. We use the engines to take us along the channel and reach the bay at a speed of 7.1 knots, with the engine at 2000 r.p.m. I go back up to the flying bridge, while the captain and a sailor hoist the mainsail and unfurl the genoa, keeping itslightly short. The entire procedure takes just three minutes.
The deck is huge and it feels like being on a large motor yacht. All the controls are within easy reach, from the Antal electric winches to the pushbuttons for the mainsail traveller and the jib next to the GPS screens. The steering gear is duplicated, as are all the instruments, thereby ensuring great visibility at all speeds.
We’re close-hauled at once, close to the wind at a 45° angle, sailing at almost 8 knots with a true wind of 14 knots, 27 people on board and 2 knots against the current. It’s a real pleasure. Alessandro hands me the helm and the sensation is very soft as I bear away a little for a faster pace. Alessandro follows my moves by adjusting the sails… the genoa is now fully unfurled. Close reach 60°, 9 knots with a true wind at 16.5 knots. We put the boat about the bay for an hour and a half to my great joy, but above all to the joy of the owner and his friends.
On the way back, we test out the engine and the noise levels in the master cabin. Fountaine Pajot’s flagship really moved me. Berret Racoupeau has created a real gem once again.
FOUNTAINE PAJOT ALEGRIA 67
PROJECT: Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design
HULL: LOA 20.36 m • Maximum beam 9.84 m • Draft 1.70m • Displacement 35,000 kg • Water tank volume 1050 l • Fuel tank volume 1200 l • Total sailing surface 230 m2 • Main sail surface 130m2 • Genoa surface 100m2
LAYOUTS: Maestro an owner suite with private bathroom, 4 double cabins and 4 bathrooms • Six Cabins Version 6 double cabins and six bathrooms – Charter Version with the galley placed underdeck or in the main saloon.
MAIN PROPULSION: 2 Yanmar x 110 hp • option 2 Yanmar x 160 hp
Z.I. 17290 Aigrefeuille France
T. +33(0) 546 35 70 40
F. +33(0) 546 35 50 10
(Fountaine Pajot Alegria 67, a joy to sail – Barchemagazine.com – November 2019)