Posted: 26th April 2013.
Sydney couple Gordon and Louise Coates are currently in La Rochelle, France picking up their brand new Fountaine Pajot Hélia 44. Here is an update on their journey so far…
Here is a quick note, it has been hard to settle into writing with so much going on, but here it is. Thanks to you all there, it has, and continues to be such a lot of fun and thanks for the lone of Nod and Patrick – they have been great!
After the long journey from Sydney to La Rochelle, we were delighted (and extremely grateful) to be met at the train station by Nod. It was early evening so Nod delivered us to the Hotel St Nicholas for a very much needed rest. The next day we were up early, with much anticipation and excitement, for our first look at the new boat.
Wow! Gordon and I had only seen photos of the Hélia 44 and although it is the same length as our previous boat, the Hélia felt so much bigger. It has been very cleverly designed to create an open plan galley (that opens out to the dining area) with such a generous amount of storage, and extra refrigeration. The protected cockpit has a very comfortable large dining table and bench seating for 8 to 10 people and we chose to have clears fitted, which makes this area into another protected room when it is raining. Even the bathrooms felt big and roomy. The fittings are all of good quality and size. Our guests will be most comfortable too.
And the light – during the day there is a wonderful amount of natural light inside the salon, and then at night the concealed lighting around the roof and floor is really stylish!
And the owners side – omg, it is fabulous! And a washing machine, and again so much storage room!
We are thrilled! This will be a very comfortable home for us as we set out on our adventure around the Med, and eventually home to Australia.
Mark and the team advised us to go with a number of factory options when we were considering how to outfit the boat. It was good advice because they were in place for our arrival, and we are pleased to report, they were all of the highest quality and reasonably priced. These items included the clears, carpet in both hulls, microwave, extra refrigeration, watermaker etc. For other items that were not on the options list, we had them supplied and installed by Pierre at Uchimata in La Rochelle. Pierre and his staff were pleasant to deal with and extremely helpful. It was good to have someone you could converse with (since neither of us speaks French) and someone you felt you can trust. Again, good advice from the Multihull Solutions team!
This year there have been five boats being commissioned and delivered to Australian and New Zealand customers in La Rochelle during the month of April. For us it has been a lot of fun getting to know the other customers and sharing in the excitement as they too live their dream of sailing of into the Mediterranean in a beautiful new Fountaine Pajot catamaran.
For Nod, Patrick and the Multihull solutions team, it has been hard work, but they seem to have got it right. Everyone seems happy, and they have all been ready to set off from the marina around two weeks from their arrival date. We, like them, are looking forward to the time ahead as we settle into experiencing the cruising lifestyle. So already we have met some great people in a foreign port, we are experiencing some of the local culture and look forward to what’s to come.
Stay tuned for the next installment from ‘the Larrikin’ and ‘the Lady’!
Gordon and Louise Coates.
- As we prepare for a trip of a lifetime
- Ex-factory handovers increase in popularity
- More ex-factory handover updates