Domenico Furci, who heads up Fountaine Pajot for Italy, tells us about the positive move that the French brand has made into the Italian market with motor catamarans, especially the FP 44
by Angelo Colombo
Fountaine Pajot is a very well known yard, especially internationally. What about in Italy?
The growth of the Italian market is clear, I believe that is because of various different factors, but one of the most important is definitely how unique our motor-powered range is. There aren’t any yards that offer catamarans from 37 to 55 feet, made by a genuinely industrial company. We don’t have competitors in this segment, and even the Italian public is beginning to understand the advantages of a catamaran. That puts us in a favourable position, especially given the construction quality that is normal at Fountaine Pajot. The first motor-powered 44-footer was actually sold in Italy, where we have orders for other models. That is a reflection of the fact that things are changing. With regards to sailing, we also have a very wide, and widely-appreciated, range, even though it is in the world of motors that the greatest differences on the market can be seen. The yard continues to invest a lot of resources in research and development, and the market recognises the difference between our products and others.
So you are growing both in the motor-powered and sailing market.
Yes, we are showing a growth in interest in our catamarans, especially in Italy, because more time was needed here to make the qualities of this kind of vessel be understood, and to make their presence more suitable for harbours and marinas. There are now more and more ports that charge reduced rates to catamarans, or ones that are even the same as those for mono-hulls and are only based on overall length. That helps owners understand the great financial advantage that a catamaran can mean in terms of running costs, which are a lot lower than for a similarly-sized planing boat, but with interior space and living areas, including external ones, that are much larger and more comfortable. You just have to consider that when our owners are on a cruise, they almost never go into a harbour, because a catamaran at anchor offers everything that you need, from the stability of the platform to room to transport toys, from space outside and below decks which mean that everyone can have their own privacy and the right amount of comfort. Added to that is the fact that at 24 knots our 44’ burns a total of 100 litres an hour, about a quarter of what is used by a single-hull yacht with a similar amount of usable space. These are factors in the success of the catamarans. All this means that in two years we have gone from selling five units a year to fifteen units.
Is charter a good promotional vehicle?
It has certainly meant that a lot of people have discovered catamarans, but the real promotion is done by owners. It is them, more than anyone else, who understand and know how to explain the advantages, especially financial advantages, of this kind of vessel.
If you were to give our readers a definition of Fountaine Pajot, what would you choose?
A yard which is the product of the passion of a group of competitive sailors with a lot of experience, which since 1976 has continued with the same enthusiasm to study to create boats which are unique in performance and quality. Just to give you a bit of history, in 1983 the yard presented its first sailing catamaran, after having produced a lot of other boats and having undertaken research on multi-hulls. Then, in 1998, we presented our first motor-powered project. One of the things that I like to draw attention to is that the Fountaine Pajot team is very sensitive to protecting the environment, and with their reduced fuel consumption levels and great efficiency, catamarans satisfy that sensitivity. More than a definition, I think that the people should accept an invitation to try out a catamaran before deciding which boat to buy. I am convinced that even people who haven’t yet thought of them as a possibility for the future, will do so when they see how much space and comfort they have to offer, and how low the running costs are.
(Fountaine Pajot, multi-opportunities – Barchemagazine.com – September 2017)