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Fountaine Pajot technology

Experience and Reputation

Fountaine Pajot is a world leader in technological innovation with over 30 years of experience in construction, design and performance.

The Fountaine Pajot shipyard was founded in 1976, and is still led by the same management team. The company is listed on the Alternex market of the EURONEXT NYSE which ensures financial transparency, scrutinised by regulatory authorities. Shareholders’ equity doubled in 2007 to reach €14 million.

Fountaine Pajot is the only boatyard in the world to offer two broad ranges of catamarans, delivering excellent resale value. Its international distribution network, which includes VOLVO PENTA, guarantees exceptional customer service and reliable supply outlets.

With unrivalled experience, Fountaine Pajot has built 2100 power and sail cruising catamarans to date that are cruising the world over.

World leaders in technological innovation

Fountaine Pajot was a pioneer in the manufacture of composite power and sail cruising catamarans. The company developed and perfected sandwich construction technology, and all catamarans in the range feature a core of PVC foam laminated under vacuum and outer skins made of a laminate of fibreglass fabrics and powder binder mats applied by hand with an isophtalic polyester resin. The core of the sandwich is satisfied under vacuum leaving cross-linking at regular intervals between the two skins to ensure proper adhesion. To guarantee the protection of their boats against hydrolysis, for hulls and decks they use only isophtalic gel-coats applied extremely evenly by spray-gun. Like every other phase in manufacture, the quality of their application is strictly controlled.

Custom-made fabrics and CAD Design technology

Fountaine Pajot and Trawler Catamarans, in collaboration with their supplier of fibreglass fabrics, Chomarat, have designed their own fabrics with mono and multidirectional fibres in different weights in order to optimise the weight and structure of the boat.

In accordance with the quality control process, for every model, an exact sample of each fabric allocated to specific zones in the vessel is prepared on a trolley and recorded.

Fountaine Pajot’s engineering team utilises advanced design technology with ‘stress testing’ facilities to identify any potential areas of structural weakness in each catamaran’s structure. Computer software models the stresses and strains on the hull under extreme wave and weather conditions, so the engineers are able to ascertain where the boat design requires strengthening through additional fibreglass layers, and where it doesn’t need as much, therefore making the boats stronger and lighter.

The choice and composition of fabrics differs according to the zone orientation of the fibres takes into account the mechanical stresses. For zones subject to lower stresses, lighter fabrics are employed than for zones subject to higher stresses such as the structural partitions or the external girding in both, the forward beam end fittings and chain plates. In this way, they optimise fabric weights with respect to the stresses distributed throughout the boat.

RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) Eco and Infusion Processes:

One of the exclusive technologies that FP employ in the manufacture of all their range is the use of RTM or Resin Transfer Moulding to produce the whole deck and cabin top assembly in one single mould. This mould also has the added advantage of being two-sided, negating the need for heavy and complex roof linings, hull joins and bolts and allowing for a lighter end product, more consistent and with easy access to deck hardware etc. All catamarans are left in the mould while the bulkheads and other structural components are installed, ensuring there is little or no flex in the hull and consequently affording a perfect hull shape.

This new RTM Eco and Infusion Process technology is the result of several years of cutting-edge research to advance manufacturing techniques and improve working conditions. The entire structure of the boat is built up in layers of dry-bonded fabric. Under vacuum, the resin is able to penetrate into every empty space in a single operation. Both halves of the mould are sprayed with gelcoat, individually coded sections of fibreglass are laid and closed cell foam core is added, before the entire mould is sealed and the resin is injected while the mould is rotated.

The foam used in the core sections is closed-cell, eliminating the balsa core deck issues found in many other brands. This technique also provides the buoyancy to comply with the stringent EC rules regarding unsinkable certification through CE. Fountaine Pajot also places foam buoyancy well above the bridge deck so a catamaran will float high out of the water in the unlikely event of a capsize.

The advantages of this RTM Eco and Infusion process are:

  • a perfectly homogenous composite;
  • protection from the environment and consideration of future changes in legislation
  • governing solvents
  • better working conditions
  • reduced weight compared with manual injection.

The moulded deck and cabin top is then lowered down over the top of the hull and the chainplates are secured through both layers, providing an extremely strong joint with no weak points due to bolt holes etc.Unike many manufactured catamarans, the chainplates are not bolted to the hull, but are instead integrated into the composite
structure of the hull, making such a strong connection that the whole weight of the boat can be lifted on these chain plates.

 

Checks and Certification

Construction of a Fountaine Pajot power or sail catamaran includes checks at each stage of the manufacturing process in line with ISO 9001 V2000.

The strength of the composite is measured on each part after removal from the mould using the Barcol process, and a heat test is then used on samples of each boat to check gelcoats’ and laminates’ resistance to hydrolysis. Resistance of deck and panel glue to wear and tear and bad weather is also tested. Once complete, the boat is placed in the workshop pool for tests and checks. All equipment is tested and a system of soaking ensures the unit is completely watertight.

In anticipation of future developments, the boatyard’s technical department keeps an extensive file on each vessel; it references all materials and products used as well as all equipment installed. The exact position of certain specific items is also archived along with composite samples. There is complete traceability for each unit leaving the workshop, an essential aid to future maintenance

Perfectly equipped and tested, Fountaine Pajot catamarans are then ready to sail. Once in the water, they take to the sea to join their new home. Many cross the Atlantic or even the Pacific, guaranteed to be reliable and seaworthy.

I.C.N.N product certification
All Fountaine Pajot sail catamarans and Trawler power catamarans have EC certification in accordance with EU directive 94/25.

ISO 9001 V2000 Certification
Fountaine Pajot is the first French shipbuilder to have obtained ISO 9001 standard version 2000 for the entire manufacturing process of its boats. This certification is an international standard that aims to increase customer satisfaction, thus forcing the company to constantly improve its products and management processes.

ISO 9001 V2000 breaks down into several test levels

  1. Product quality from design to launch.
  2. Traceability: knowing components and the conditions under which items are manufactured throughout the production chain.

Quality control

  • During manufacture team leaders carry out informal checks throughout production;
  • At the end of the composite manufacture, the quality control department carries out aesthetic and structural checks, etc;
  • After assembly, the quality control department carries out checks on the completed vessel (aesthetic and functionality);
  • Before delivery/use.

Final tests

  • seals
  • plumbing
  • wiring
  • engines
  • refrigeration units
  • equipment

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