MultiHulls World, the essentials for catamarans and trimarans
MultiHulls World, the essentials for catamarans and trimarans
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REVIEWS Lucia 40 Fountaine Pajot

Shipyard FOUNTAINE PAJOT

Shipyard : FOUNTAINE PAJOT / Length : 11.73m
Lucia 40
A luxury 40 footer catamaran for cruising

40 years and 40 different catamaran models! These two numbers neatly sum up the great adventure of the La Rochelle boatyard set up by sailing enthusiasts who went into business! Here we test the Lucia, the milestone 40 footer representing this vintage.

The La Rochelle story
During the 1970s, the development of cruising boats was in full swing, but it was a handful of champions from dinghy racing, and preparations for the Olympics, who made their mark on the future of the French multihull. Fountaine Pajot was founded in 1976 by Jean-François Fountaine (selected for the Olympics in the 470 class and Half-tonner world champion) and Yves Pajot (silver medalist at the 1972 Olympics). They were joined by Daniel Givon, Rémi Tristan and Pierre Fountaine. They started building 20s, 470s and 505s at Aigrefeuilles in 1978. There followed by the building of the trimaran Royale (One of the first foilers!) to Le Graal plans for Philippe Facque and Loïc Caradec, then the revolution of Charente Maritime I and II and the subsequent wins (Lorient - Bermuda - Lorient in ’83 and the La Rochelle - New Orleans race) of this extraordinary innovative catamaran designed by two others from La Rochelle: Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt. A whole cast of future players on the multihull stage gravitated towards this up-and-coming yard: Fred Charpail, Philippe Pallu de la Barrière, Pierre Follenfant, Jean Batiste le Vaillant and many more. The arrival of the Louisiane heralded the arrival of the first French production catamaran. This was to be an unprecedented success which propelled the builder to the forefront of the industry. The yard which also has a factory at La Rochelle (for large models) was floated on the stock exchange in 2007 and sailed trouble-free through the slump of 2008-2012 publishing double-figure growth rates in 2014 and 2015. This evolution has continued after the departure of J-F Fountaine (who became the Mayor of La Rochelle), showing far-sighted success. The executive management was entrusted to Nicolas Gardiès and Romain Motteau (Hobie 16 world champion) and the presidency of the group to Claire Fountaine (wife of Jean-François and former 47 world champion with Christine Briand in 1983). The financier Nextstage took a 35 per cent share in the business which today has 400 staff. The Fountaine family retains ownership of 54% of the shares in the yard.

TO FIND OUT MORE, DOWNLOAD THE LUCIA 40 BOAT REVIEW

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Specification sheet LUCIA 40 FOUNTAINE PAJOT

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