The Fountaine-Pajot MY44 comes at a good time because anybody who doesn’t believe the powercat market (and catamaran market in general) is on the up needs to take a closer look at what is currently going on in the industry.

Bavaria has bought the Nautitech brand and is building power and sailing catamarans at a facility in Rochefort. Just last month, Aurelius Group (owner of Hanse, Sealine and Fjord among others) acquired
a majority stake in another French catamaran builder, Privilege Marine, to expand its impressive portfolio of yachts and motor boats.

Meanwhile, Bénéteau Group’s popular catamaran brand, Lagoon, is building the largest powercat it has ever made, the monstrous Seventy 8. From stopping production of the 43/44 a few years ago, Lagoon is now producing two of the largest production powercats on the market. How times change.

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Why the surge in popularity for twin-hulled craft? Certainly, in the motor boat arena, customers’ attitudes are changing and interior volume, slow-speed stability, efficiency and comfortable seakeeping are starting to occupy the top of many people’s wish lists.

Powercats tick a lot of these boxes from the start, and though their shape erects a few hurdles for those in charge of styling, this is bringing them into closer focus for a lot of boat buyers.

Fountaine-Pajot has been building sailing catamarans from its base in La Rochelle since 1976 so is nicely poised on the crest of this particular wave. Yet the transition to building powercats has been a steep learning curve for the yard and it has quickly discovered that the tastes and needs of sailors and motor boat customers are open to a vast amount of variation.

Simply lopping off the mast of a sailing cat and calling it a power catamaran will not cut it, so when the MY44 was launched last year, Fountaine-Pajot made quite the fanfare about the boat being designed from the outset as a powercat.

Read the full report in the August 2017 issue of MBY.