Like her older sister Saona 47, the 12.5m sailing yacht Astrea 42 has already become the pride of the French shipbuilder Fountaine Pajot. And the French undoubtedly know a lot about yachts. The novelty is distinguished by its spaciousness and well thought out design, as well as the placement of cabins, shower rooms and furniture. We can safely say that Astrea 42 will provide you with an unrivaled and comfortable stay on board.
Unlike monohulls, catamarans have always been prized by long sea voyagers for their impressive living space that ensures comfortable sailing. The 42ft Astrea catamaran fully meets all the requirements for a safe and enjoyable cruise.
Catamarans have more space for privacy if you feel like it at some point. And with a long voyage, you will want it anyway. Avoiding the captain's gaze on a monohull is much more difficult than on a spacious double-hulled yacht. Astrea 42 will give you the opportunity to retire just like enjoying a big noisy company.
The width of this yacht is 7.2 meters, which allows her to find a berth even in a rather crowded marina. Its dimensions are just perfect for sailing and resting at anchor. It is not too large and at the same time not very small, which guarantees a harmonious rest on board.
The cockpit, saloon and helm station are communicated, allowing all crew members and guests to communicate with ease. This gives the impression of a light, friendly atmosphere. The helm seat can accommodate 2-3 people in case guests want to accompany the skipper.
Steps help to descend from the helm station directly into the cockpit or, on the contrary, climb to the post if necessary. Thanks to the autopilot, it is possible to leave the control room and at the same time enjoy lunch or a joint pastime together.
If you want to sunbathe and retire, you should go to the foredeck, where there is not only a comfortable sofa with moderately soft pillows, but also a springboard - a net tightly stretched over the water. This feature of catamarans is especially popular among adults and children who travel by sea. While in this relaxation area, you can have a cool drink and enjoy the sun and sea breeze. On the starboard side there is a barbecue area - one of the favorite places of the team. And the cockpit has speakers that help turn this space into an area for noisy parties. Most importantly, remember to take off your shoes when entering the cockpit to protect the high quality teak that is stowed on deck. Trust me, there is nothing more enjoyable than walking barefoot on well-finished teak wood. You will appreciate this pleasure.
Thus, with all of the above, one can associate this catamaran with respectful moderation. Well, now let's move on to an overview of maneuvers on Astrea 42.
For those familiar with the larger Saona 47, sailing the Astrea 42 may seem a little confusing and complicated at first glance, but in practice you will quickly realize that here, like nowhere else, everything is very simple, logical and practical.
The key point is that the skipper cannot control the sails from the helm. In order to tune the sail, he needs to leave the helm and take a few steps forward towards the winches. However, in reality it only takes a few seconds and does not make the yacht harder to fly.
All these maneuvers are extremely fast and easy thanks to the autopilot button in the Garmin MFD Integrated Control System. Or you can ask one of your comrades to "work hard" a little by giving him the wheel or sending him to the winches.
Perhaps not all sailors will like this location of the helm and winches, but this is just a matter of habit. And, believe me, this is much better than having the cables blocking the passage at the helm.
The well-thought-out logical arrangement of the winches on board the Astrea 42 avoids the mess that often occurs on yachts with different helm positions and winches. Over time, you will be very grateful to the designers of this catamaran for the undeniable logic in its arrangement.
The sheet carriage, mounted on the cockpit roof, helps to shape the mainsail into an optimal shape. And the most important role on this catamaran is played by the convenient location of the boom. Compared to analogs, it is located very low on Astrea 42. Accordingly, it is very easy to remove it in Lazy run.
Most catamarans that are equipped with lacy jacks suggest that you have to be very tall or at least a gymnast in order to take the sails away. With age, these maneuvers become harder and harder. On Astrea, the boom is low enough for comfortable handling.
Please note that there is ample room aft for four solar panels.
One of the most delightful features of the 42ft catamaran from Fountaine Pajot is its extended bathing platform, which deserves a heartfelt applause. The electric platform allows it to be lowered to the level of easy immersion under the water, which ensures easy dragging of the dinghy aboard and convenient access for guests of the yacht to the water for swimming and any water activities: diving, kiting and others. Older guests of the yacht will also like the fact that the level of the bathing platform can be adjusted for their complete convenience, comfort and safety. This eliminates the need to climb telescopic ladders, which are not always comfortable and safe.
In addition, the wide bathing platform doubles the storage space of the boat and avoids lifting it onto davits, and in principle completely eliminates the need for such devices.
When the weather is fine, you will mainly navigate the cockpit and saloon, which are separated only by a glass sliding system. There is also a wide sliding window on the side of the galley.
All this creates a large and comfortable living space aboard this wonderful yacht. A great solution was the addition of a teak ladder in this area for swimmers who have not yet had time to completely dry, but already want to join the rest of the rest in the cockpit and salon.
Oh, and, of course, you cannot fail to appreciate the huge panoramic window in the cabin, which none of the competitors has, and gives an excellent view of the sea. On the port side, there is a navigation station, the seat of which is integrated into the L-shaped seat around the table.
The U-shaped galley has a fairly traditional layout. It has a three-burner hob, double washstand and refrigerator. A big plus for the galley on Astrea is that the oven is raised. From now on, you don't have to do yoga pose to make lasagna.
Like most Fountaine Pajot yachts, the 42-foot Astrea is available in a variety of configurations, including three-cabin and four-cabin versions. The photographs show a three-cabin master version in which the entire right-hand hull is for the owner. In the four-cabin version, the right hull houses two separate cabins. In this case, the starboard cabins are a complete reflection of the port hull cabins.
The owner's suite has a large double bed and a very spacious bathroom with separate shower. Directly the cabin and the bathroom are separated by a small dressing room, which can also serve as a study. The owner's cabin is made in a classic Euro-style and has a white and gray color scheme. A wide porthole window allows natural sunlight to illuminate this cozy space.
On the port side, the aft cabin has a double bed. The bow cabin is almost identical with one small difference: the bathroom is smaller.
Unfortunately, our test drive in Sydney Harbor turned out to be rather windless and I can't tell you much about the Astrea's specs. We had to use an "iron spinnaker" (ie engine) during our sailing in order to keep the sails full.
But I can safely confirm that the catamaran is well equipped with a square top mainsail, a Zero code to optimize light wind performance, and a backward bow arch to maximize the length of the waterline.
With two 40 horsepower engines installed, the yacht gets 2200 - 2300 rpm (cruising speed). The catamaran behaves superbly at 7.5 knots. Press down a little to 3000 rpm and the yacht's speed will increase to 8.7 knots.
What else to say, the Astrea 42 is a classy, elegant boat ideal for cruising with family or friends, and of course for fun parties in the dock or in the port. The spaciousness of this yacht and her special design are designed to facilitate easy communication of all passengers on board.
Translated from Boating New Zealand by Lawrence Schaffler.
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