An Entertaining Equation
Written by Lawrence Schaffler for Boating NZ Magazine
All boats – says the old adage – are something of
compromise. An inevitable trade-off between great,
OK and indifferent features. So it’s pleasing when the
pendulum swings to the ‘great’ side of the equation.
With its new Saona 47 catamaran (14m LOA), French builder Fountaine Pajot has crafted a luxurious cruiser that celebrates free-flowing space, style and comfort. There’s much to like about her, and for me the major attraction is her layout – specifically, her entertainment areas.
And it seems the international cat-cruiser market agrees: since the design was launched in April last year, Fountaine Pajot has secured
orders for 200 vessels. If you want one you’d better place the order soonish.
Our review boat – Yumi Zouma – is the first Saona 47 in the Southern Hemisphere. She belongs to Christchurch couple John and Jo Ryder, and she’s named after their son’s rock band. As someone on the wrong side of 60, I must confess I’d never heard of the band, and it’s unclear if the name means anything. But doing the ‘yumi zouma’ does sound like something a bunch of friends would enjoy immensely. It will surely involve plenty of wine and gyrating wildly on this cat’s spacious foredeck – or in her spacious cockpit, or in her spacious upper deck lounge. All three probably.
The Saona 47 is available in two versions – three-cabin (owner’s option) or five-cabin (geared to the charter market). This one’s the latter, and the major difference between them is the accommodation in the port hull. In this boat it’s divided into two large double-berth cabins, each with an en suite bathroom. With the three-cabin option, the area’s rearranged into a large, single owner’s suite stretching the entire length of the hull. Very nice. But if you suddenly need to accommodate guests who’ve over-indulged in yumi zoumaing, you’ll want the five-cabin version.