Significant volume, tough build and a sail plan that is enough to sail even when the wind isn’t especially strong. Whatever kind of cruise you are looking for, this catamaran can deliver it
by Niccolò Volpati
There are people who like to go cruising but who suffer from claustrophobia. They fear the lack of room more than summer storms or squalls. We can’t really criticise them. A cruise means comfort and relaxation, and there shouldn’t be a lack of space on board. Anyone who suffers bad claustrophobia will get some benefit from being on a catamaran. The latest therapy from Fountaine Pajot is called Samana 59.
The Fountaine Pajot Samana 59, with its extensive living areas and a galley that opens up to the lounge, reflects a lifestyle that means all the enjoyment of sailing can be had while having fun with guests.
More than anything else it is the data that show what we are talking about: the hull is just over 18 metres long, the maximum beam is nearly nine-and-a-half metres, it displaces 28,000 kilos and the draught is just 1.65 metres. These factors combined produce a dinette of nearly fifty square metres, a fly bridge of 30 and a cockpit of 27 m2. The same holds for the accommodation area which, according to the version, can provide seven, ten or even twelve berths, with the latter one being most suitable for charters.
THE SAMANA 59 WAS CAREFULLY DESIGNED TO CREATE AREAS THAT
CAN BE USED FOR A LIVELY SOCIAL LIFE, BUT ALSO FOR THE MOST RELAXING MOMENTS OF SOLITUDE.
All those layouts also means that you are able to choose different solutions. Apart from the one with six cabins and six bathrooms, all the others mean you can put the galley on the lower deck, obviously in a separate room. There is considerable room for getting together with people: there’s the fly bridge which, in addition to the rigging, houses the sun pad and sofas, and in the aftmost part, the solar panels. In the lounge the space available is so large that you could organise a wedding banquet, but there is also a nice map table which looks forward, so is perfect when under way. The same luxury of space can be found in the cockpit, with the dining table, chairs, sofas and sun pad. Going forward there is another living area, which has the advantage of providing greater privacy when you are moored stern-to at the quay. While right in the stern, between the two hulls, there is the raisable bathing platform. And then you get the sailing figures: 117 square metres of mainsail, 87 m2 of genoa and a 170 m2 spinnaker.
There are two engines, each developing 110 horsepower in the standard version, or 150 as an optional. Unfailingly Volvo, and unfailingly with the V-drive transmission. And finally, the size of the tanks tells us that Samana 59 has been designed for long-range cruising: 1,200 litres capacity for fuel, and 1,150 for water. Those are stocks that are more than enough to ensure a lot of range, far from a harbour quay.
The Berret-Racoupeau design studio also spent a lot of time on the build. The hulls are in fibreglass, and the structural bulkheads are made with balsa cores, and carbon fibre strengthening. While the engine room, although it contains the motors, generators, desalination plant and electrical system, still has enough room to get around in. So, the feeling you get from that is that it would not be difficult to get standard maintenance done.
Samana 59 is a catamaran suited for people who want to focus on getting together with friends while at anchor, and who want to sail along the coast. But it is also suitable for people who intend to grind out a lot of miles. The square top mainsail, and the sizeable genoa, are not difficult to manoeuvre with the use of the electric winches that are on the fly bridge, and the two Volvo engines, which each develop 110 horsepower, and deliver high speeds when you using motor power. Furthermore, the presence of the bow thruster provides, together with the twin motors, excellent manoeuvrability. There is just one wheel, in the middle of the fly bridge, and it is located quite far forward, the best place to keep the situation under control. When it’s up, the genoa is the only thing that partly blocks the view of the sea.
The large (27.5 square metre) cockpit, with sun bathing places in the bows and the 30 square metre fly bridge provide the chance to get around freely or to relax in calmer areas.
The winches for the sheets and halyards are to hand, so one sailor on their own can handle helming without having to trouble another crew member or the guests on board. The genoa is large and overlaps, and there is also a furling jib, which is perfect the conditions with a strong wind. The double stay works as a conduit to simplify the passage of the genoa sheet when turning.
If we bear in mind that catamarans deliver good performance under sail even if the wind is not very strong, it is easy to work out that the Samana 59 isn’t one of those sailing multi-hulls that end up nearly always having to use their engines. At the same time, if we imagine ourselves in the Caribbean, where the wind can often be a constant 20 to 25 knots, thanks to some details that simplify manoeuvring and were adopted to avoid problems, the feeling is that the Samana 59 would always be alright even in more difficult conditions.
THE SAIL PLAN IS ENOUGH TO DELIVER GOOD PERFORMANCE UNDER SAIL, AND THE TWO 110 HORSEPOWER ENGINES HAVE ENOUGH POWER
TO CRUISE AT NINE KNOTS.
To sum up, the sail plan is faithful to the spirit of the way the deck and the interiors are set up: cruises, always and regardless of circumstances, in any condition and at any latitude.
LOA 18.78m • LWL 17.80m • Length 17.94m • Maximum beam 9.46m • Draft 1.65m • Displacement 28,200 kg • Water tank volume 1,150 l • Fuel tank volume 1,200 l • Main sail 117 m2 • Genoa 87 m2 • Gennaker 170 m2
2xVolvo Penta D3-110 • Outlet mechanical power 81 kW (110 hp) • 5 cylinders • Swept volume 2.4 l • Bore&Stroke 81mm x 93.2mm • Compression ratio 16.5:1 • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Dry weight 297 kg • Saildrive
(Fountaine Pajot Samana 59, multispace – Barchemagazine.com – August 2022)