Reviewed: Fountaine Pajot’s MY40 Powercat

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The cockpit, flybridge and foredeck create three distinct alfresco social zones.

The cockpit, flybridge and foredeck create three distinct alfresco social zones. (Courtesy Fountaine Pajot/)

Common wisdom says catamarans don’t like short, choppy seas, especially the kind of maelstrom created when a north-running Gulf Stream meets a leftover northerly breeze. “Washing-machine sea” doesn’t quite describe it.

But the Fountaine Pajot MY 40 power catamaran ate up the confused sea and then asked for more. Running bow on, beam to the lumps, this cat just licked her paws and seemingly smirked, “That’s all ya got?”

The MY 40 I got aboard will be a liveaboard cruiser for an experienced couple. Frankly, I envy them. French charter cats can lean toward easy maintenance at the expense of style, but the MY 40 surprised me with both. It has tactile fabrics, including on the settees in the salon, and lots of solid, light-oak joinerwork.

The salon is the living room for liveaboards, and it’s also home to the lower helm with a double-wide seat and a media room that has a pullout TV abaft the galley.

That galley is definitely liveaboard, with a full-height refrigerator/freezer, double sinks, a microwave/oven, a cooktop and an optional dishwasher. There’s also generous counter space and stowage.

While the convertible sun pad on the bridge becomes a helm companion seat, the foredeck of the MY 40 also has multiple uses, including wraparound seating with a removable table for a quiet lunch and a pair of lounges with tilting backrests for enjoying a breeze.

While the convertible sun pad on the bridge becomes a helm companion seat, the foredeck of the MY 40 also has multiple uses, including wraparound seating with a removable table for a quiet lunch and a pair of lounges with tilting backrests for enjoying a breeze. (Courtesy Fountaine Pajot/)

What makes this boat a particularly desirable liveaboard is the owners’ stateroom, which is full-length with 6-foot 7-inch headroom. Inside is an athwartship berth about 6 inches narrower than a king. It faces a hullside window for great views. Forward, the head has a walk-in stall shower opposite a hanging locker, and the electric toilet is in an enclosed compartment.

The starboard hull has guest staterooms fore and aft, although the owners of the MY 40 I got aboard chose to replace the double berth forward with upper-lower bunks for youngsters.

The flybridge is comfortable underway or at anchor, with the helm behind a Venturi windscreen. A companion seat folds into a sun pad, and just aft are a sink, grill, fridge and ice maker.

Standard power is a pair of 300 hp Volvo Penta IPS400 diesels; 370 hp IPS500 diesels are optional. On flat water, the MY 40 hit 24 knots.

After getting to a gunkhole of choice, owners can lower the hydraulic swim platform into the water, creating a teak beach. Owners can also launch the 10-foot-8-inch tender with room to spare on all sides.

Thoroughly likable and refined, the Fountaine Pajot MY 40 could make many yachtsmen cat lovers.

Take the next step: fountaine-pajot.com

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