Here is a timeline history of Fountaine Pajot, the Fountaine Pajot shipyard and Fountaine Pajot catamaran model evolution.
1976-1982, YACHTS AND PROTOTYPES !
Jean François Fountaine, CEO 1976 – Jean François Fountaine founds his company in a boatyard near La Rochelle with three partners. A well-known regatta competitor, recently returned from the Montreal Olympic Games, he sets out to make his name as a boat-builder starting with 505s, then 420s and 470s.
1978 – FountainePajot expands, moving into its new location in Aigrefeuille.
1980 – The boatyard changes dimension, launching production of IOR prototypes. The half-tonners go on to become world champions and win the Figaro solo. The reputation of the yard in the world of ocean racing is thus established.
1981 – The FountainePajot team takes up the open race challenge, building its first two multihulls. The Trimaran Royale (18 meters) and the catamaran Charente Maritime (21 meters) are built entirely from foam-core sandwich, a technology that opens up new horizons for the company.
1983-1989, BIRTH OF A RANGE !
Fountaine Pajot invests in a relatively uncompetitive niche in the yachting market, launching its first sail cruising catamaran, the Louisiane 37. Designed in collaboration with architects Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt, the boat is also made from foam core sandwich and benefits from the boatyard’s extensive experience with the technology. It is an instant commercial success.
1985 – Fountaine Pajot increases the size of its production facility and launches a new model, the Casamance 43. This highly innovative catamaran features solutions that subsequently became trademarks on all Fountaine Pajot yachts: fixed fins instead of pivoting centreboards that make for easier handling when sailing plus a vast, light and airy cabin interconnected with the hulls providing living space unheard of at the time.
1986 – Eric Bruneel joins the company bringing with him a small day-boat catamaran project, the Corneel 26. This boat, atypical of our range, goes on to be nominated Bateaux magazine’s “Boat of the Year”.
1988 – Two new models, the Maldives 32 and the Fidji 39, make their mark on the market, borrowing heavily on the philosophy of the Casamance 43.
1990-1997, INNOVATIONS GALORE !
The company commissions architect designer Olivier Flahault to overhaul its models, improving aesthetics and ergonomics, essential comfort features. In the same year and for the first time, Fountaine Pajot commissions architects Jean Berret and Olivier Racoupeau to design the Marquises 53, the range’s flagship sailing boat.
1992 – The Vénézia designed by JoubertNivelt causes a sensation by bringing the roof forward over its panoramic windows enabling the cabin area to remain bright but not excessively hot. This simple solution would become the hallmark of all Fountaine Pajot’s catamarans.
1993 – The Tobago 35, in 1994, the Athéna 38 and in 1996, the Bahia 46 and the new Marquises 56 are launched. Every year there are new additions to the catamaran range that are a hit with our clients who love the unparalleled quality of our boats and their new innovative approach to cruising or travelling. Designed with great attention to detail, FountainePajot catamarans are comfortable, high performance and simple to manoeuvre.
1996 – Launch of the first FountainePajot day charter catamaran. Today these professional models are produced on a production line and over 80 boats are currently sailing around the world. The success of the Bahia 46 wins over 180 clients becoming Fountaine Pajot’s hallmark of excellence.
1998-1999, TRAWLER CATAMARANS AND ISO STANDARD !
Greenland 34 1998 – FountainePajot rises to a new challenge by launching a range of power cruising “Trawler Catamarans”. The boats incorporate all the characteristics and qualities key to the success of its sail craft: comfort at sea and in the port, seaworthiness and high performances. Designed by JoubertNivelt the Maryland 37 and the Greenland 34 immediately make their mark on the international power boat market.
1999 – The company obtains 1994 version ISO 9002 certification. By adhering to the international standard, the company continually improves management, design and production processes for better products, ultimately enhancing client satisfaction.
2000-2005, INFUSION AND INJECTION !
The new millennium starts with the launch of the Belize 43 named by Bernard Giraudeau. The Belize 43 soon proves to be a hit successor to the much-loved Venezia 42. Ushering in a new generation of Fountaine Pajot craft, it comes in an owner’s version available on all models in the range. The Maestro version is particularly popular on the Bahia 46.2002 – FountainePajot makes a major technological “great leap forward” while adopting the vacuum resin infusion moulding technique on all boat hulls on the new Lavezzi 40. This lamination technique is free from solvent fumes, improves working conditions in the yards, limits raw material wastage and guarantees highly homogenous production from one boat to the next.
Unveiled in 2003, the Lavezzi 40 causes a stir with its new cabin configuration which facilitates movements between the different living spaces on the catamaran. Once again, Fountaine Pajot stands out through unequivocal flair!
2004 – The Fountaine Pajot Catamarans range gets a new flagship, the Eleuthéra 60, fruit of its new collaboration with boat architects Berret-Racoupeau.
The Trawler Catamaran range also has a new unit – the Cumberland 44: spacious, seaworthy, economical to use and particularly comfortable at sea, the ocean cruiser boasts extended cruising ranges that appeal to all long haul cruising fans.
2005 – The new Highland 35 is named by Sophie Duez at the Cannes boat show. It boasts impressive space for its size, a welcoming flybridge, vast sun lounge area and comfortable living space. Its appeal lies in sheer pleasurable cruising.
2006 – Mahé 36 becomes the new budget entry model in the Fountaine Pajot sail catamaran range. It is the company’s first boat whose hulls are built entirely using the vacuum resin infusion moulding technique and bridge in eco-friendly RTM. This last process involves moulding the piece out of two moulds using resin injection.
2007-2010, STOCK MARKET LAUNCH & “FLAGSHIP” CLASS !
QUEENSLAND 55 2007, June 27 – Fountaine Pajot floats on the Alternex stock market, a decisive move financing the company’s ambitious development. Major investments are made on its two production sites to incorporate eco RTM technology and make the catamaran production process fully industrialised. This is followed by a complete update of Fountaine Pajot’s sail and power ranges to enable it to consolidate market share and conquer new ones.Two new cruisers are launched in its sail catamaran range, the Lipari 41 and the Salina 48. Also a new Trawler Catamaran model: the Summerland 40.
2008 – The company creates a stir with its Flagship range for its largest sail and power boats. Customisable catamarans which are veritable small yachts allowing the company to tap into a new, highly-demanding international clientele. Launched in 2008, the Galathéa 65 is its first Flagship sail catamaran. It is also the first to feature its lounge deck design, a popular chill-out space on the roof.
2010 – The Trawler Catamaran range gets its own Flagship design in the form of the Queensland 55 power yacht designed in collaboration with architect Daniel Andrieu.
2011-2013, DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE : ECO CRUISING !
Fountaine Pajot continues to expand its catamaran ranges and grow its export business.
2012 – The Sanya 57 paves the way for future Fountaine Pajot models with its amazing, revolutionary indoor-outdoor living space, fluid movement between cockpit, foredeck and bridge. Always innovative and highly respectful of the environment, Fountaine Pajot finalizes our ECO CRUISING concept allowing renewable energy sources. Solar, wind or hydro-generator panels are incorporated into each model reducing their consumption.
2012 – The Hélia 44 showcases the concept in style, penetrating the market in the space of just a few months.
2013 – Fountaine Pajot is set to launch the CUMBERLAND 47 Long Cruise, a long distance power cruising catamaran /veritable motor yacht.
2013, September – The new Flagship VICTORIA 67 is the first catamaran in the range to feature a full-fledged, large flybridge.