Monday, May 6, 2013

New Option

So, what do you do when a boat survey goes bad, your broker is unavailable, and you have  another day before your flight home?  Well, after an unsuccessful attempt to change to an earlier flight, I started looking through the listings on Yachtworld and SailboatListings.  Maybe I could get lucky and there would be a boat or two in the area that I could go look at...I am in Ft. Lauderdale after all.

So, I do a little searching and find a couple different boats I could go see.  One is a Fountaine Pajot that I haven't seen in person and would like to.  Of course, it isn't in Ft Lauderdale, it's a couple hours away.  Oh well, the rental car has unlimited mileage right?  So, I give the listing agent a call and managed to get a time setup to see the boat later that day.  So off on a small road trip to see a Fountaine Pajot Athena 38.

Now my preconceptions of the Fountaine Pajot boats were that they are a typical French design that is aimed more at the charter market.  It's galley up and the galley seems small and even the smaller cats typically have 4 berths and two heads.  Instead of the beds being on the bridge deck, the Fountaine Pajot's typically have them down in the hulls.

What I found was that the galley up design allows the salon table to be effectively used as part of the kitchen so the less counter space shouldn't be as much of a concern.  They have a well designed cockpit with lots of space.  The berths are down in the hulls and seem large enough but the access from the end just feels a bit strange to me...however I guess either my wife or I could get up with less chance of disturbing the other.  I also liked how wood was used more as an accent than the main internal building structure.  It gives the boat a clean look and I bet it is easier to clean and maintain as well.  The one down side was that, while it had two heads, they are very small.

The Fountaine Pajot boats draw less than the Lagoon (for my non-sailing friends - it can handle shallower water) and are known to be a bit more of a "performance" sailing boat.  Overall I like the Athena and I think it puts Fountaine Pajot's back on the list...if I can get past the idea of living full time with a very small head.  So, even though the survey didn't result in a boat for us, it did lead us to another option that we need to seriously consider.

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