Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Fountaine Pajot Tobago 35

The Thursday evening before the US Memorial Day weekend, on a whim, we decided to check out airfare to each of the locations where a Tobago was for sale.  Imagine our surprise when we found that we could get tickets to see one of the boats for as little as $68 each way(1).  So first thing Friday I call our broker to see if there was any chance that a broker could show us the boat last minute on a holiday weekend.  A broker would indeed be available so we quickly setup a trip and were off to see a Tobago.

Boarding the Tobago is via the familiar "sugar scoop" transom steps on each hull.  They are a tad steeper than the Lagoon 37, but very workable.  The cockpit is decently sized with wrap around seating and is covered by a fabric bimini. The helm is on the right side with a raised seat.  Visibility at the helm is a bit restricted due to the bimini height (or lack thereof). Access to the foredeck is excellent with wide walkways.  The anchor locker is divided into two spaces with a fair amount of storage for other items.  The boat does lack a separate dedicated propane locker (and shut off solenoid).
The salon has a curved table with wrap-around seating.  It is a galley up design, and the dedicated kitchen space is fairly small.  The salon table is close enough that it can effectively become part of the kitchen.  There is only a single basin sink but there is a recessed area moulded into the counter that contains a drain that might be usable  for some tasks if you can get water over to it.  The refrigerator is front-loading but more spacious than it appears from the door.  There is no freezer.  The views are very nice with wrap-around windows.  Ventilation seems adequate with two forward facing hatches, a small hatch over the oven, and the sliding door to the cockpit.

Down in the forward part of the port hull is the master berth and an optional single berth or additional storage space.  The bed sits across the hull and up on the bridge deck and is queen size on one end but does taper down to 3' 4" at the other end (and there is an overhang for a small part of that). The optional single berth is accessed through a door over the bed or via a hatch from outside and sits in the forward V of the hull.  There is a large storage cubby under the bed, otherwise there is not a lot of storage in the stateroom. While I've seen pictures of these boats with doors, this one actually had roll-up vinyl fabric for the doors.

In the back of the port hull is the primary head.  It lacks a separate shower, but is a decent size for an integrated shower head.  Behind the head is the engine room which contains the battery banks, a good amount of storage, and of course the engines with decent room to work.

This boat was the two head version, so the starboard hull was very similar except the double berth runs along the hull and sits down in the hull so the bed dimension 4' 6" at the larger end and tapers slightly down to 4' at the narrower end and the  optional single berth sits forward of that.  The head and engine room are the mirror image except there are no batteries in that engine room. In the 3 stateroom version, the head is replaced with a berth that sits over the engine.

So, we've now seen both the Lagoon 37 and the Tobago 35.  And...we're torn.  Both boats are nice and have good aspects and bad ones.  In general a 35 foot boat should be cheaper to maintain than the 37 (bottom paint, dock fees, etc.). The Lagoon staterooms are a bit larger with more hanging space. The Tobago is supposed to be a better performing boat than the Lagoon, especially in lighter air.  The galley space in the Lagoon is better with a built in freezer.  The Tobago is a newer boat and more expensive (my broker has proven that the asking price of the Tobago's currently on the market are all well above the comps). The list goes on.

What to do...what to do...

(1) Being a pilot and understanding the plight of the professional airline pilot, I really don't like to brag about cheap fares.  I'd much prefer a capable captain that knows what to do when things go wrong.  Of course these days does the money go to the pilot or the company.  Fortunately Southwest does pay it's pilots better than average so I guess I can live with that.


  1. Check out this Woods designed Flica professionally built by the Palamos yard.


    It is in Kemah, TX. Above average sailer. 35x19 means not too big, but still roomy inside. Cozy, ocean-going cockpit. Plenty of space to lounge too. Well kept boat with some aging, but functional, systems. Bulkhead in anchor locker needs replacement.

  2. This woods boat was for sale from Jersey England. Then went off the market. How did it get to Kemah, TX? Is it still for sale?

    1. Sorry, I have no idea on the boat in the above comment. Sounds blue-water capable if it made that trip though.

      I can tell you the Tobago in the original post had just completed a trip and the owners pretty much closed the doors and walked away from what I can tell.