By Zuzana Prochazka
Fountaine Pajot Summerland 40: Trawler and Catamaran In One
Can a power cat serve as a slow-fast trawler? Fountaine Pajot says yes, with the new Summerland 40.
The term “trawler catamaran” seems like a bit of an oxymoron – as does slow-fast – but it’s an apt one to describe Fountaine Pajot’s three power models, the smallest of which is now the Summerland 40 (see our quick video tour here). The newest design delivers exceptional comfort and performance in a compact, fuel-sipping package with better speed than a traditional trawler, but still provides durability and comfort during offshore passages.
Livability on the Summerland 40 starts with a large flybridge that adds to the outdoor experience of the vessel. To port, and close to the helmsman, is a lounge that can accommodate a small table. Aft is a queen sized sunpad. The helm station to starboard is less extravagant than the inside station but includes steering, engine and autopilot controls, a basic Furuno display, a VHF, and a wide bench seat. The visibility forward is excellent and the whole area may be enclosed to create another room.
A gently-sloped, well-executed stairway leads down to the large aft cockpit that has a transom seat and plenty of room for a dining table and chairs. From here, you can also step up onto the generous side decks and move to the bow, which has significant space for anchoring work or even another sunpad on the fiberglass “trampoline.”
At the dock the boat looks tall and wide, and perhaps even a bit short for its other dimensions, but it offers quite a bit of space and comfort for which both sailing and power cats are known.
The Summerland 40 is the quintessential couple’s long-distance power cruiser with just enough room for visiting friends or family. The spacious aft cockpit is perfect for al fresco dining and the teak decking softens what would otherwise be a vast expanse of white gelcoat. The cockpit is on the same level as the saloon and galley so food service is easy, and the cabin house protects this aft space from the wind in a breezy anchorage.
Inside, a U-shaped dinette is to port and faces a compact but efficient galley to starboard. The chef is likely to be quite content here; there’s good stowage space, a small serving counter, dishwasher, large sink, four-burner stove, and full-sized oven. Refrigeration is a bit meager for long-distance cruising, but there is an option to add more.
At the head of the saloon is the interior helm station with a complete suite of Furuno electronics and various controls all within easy reach. The most striking element is the excellent visibility forward from the seat. A bit of redesign led Fountaine Pajot to add an outboard-facing companion seat and a large table for charts. Opening side windows and an overhead hatch keep the air moving, and the light is nice and bright throughout.
Between the helm station and the galley/settee are twin staircases which lead down either side to the sleeping suites. Their placement keeps the stairs unobtrusive in the saloon and there are good handholds nearby for safe transit down. The surfaces are wood, faux-wood and gelcoat finishes that are low-maintenance and durable, which is perfect because cruising is about fewer chores and more free time to enjoy the destinations.
The Summerland 40 has a three-cabin, two-head layout and the entire starboard hull is dedicated to the owner’s master suite with a head and separate shower. The athwartship queen sized berth is elevated to allow visibility through the hull ports and stowage is plentiful. An access panel in this head leads to a systems space that can house a genset, dive compressor, washer/dryer combo or even a small workshop, which can be specified at the time of purchase. On the port side, there’s a fore and aft double cabin and an athwartship cabin with twin berths. They share a head with a shower in between.
|Water capacity||150 gal.|
|Fuel capacity||370 gal.|
The Summerland 40 is powered by twin Volvo Penta diesels with straight shafts and four-bladed propellers. The standard is 160 hp but an upgrade to 190 hp is available. The larger engines will add about 1.5 knots at the top end, hitting 20 knots at wide-open-throttle. Both engine sizes deliver a cruising range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles at 7.5 knots, or 500 miles at a fast cruising speed of 13.5 knots. An additional choice is 220 hp engines, which will push the top up to 24 knots—but it’s unlikely long-distance cruisers will need that kind of speed or power.
At 13.5 knots of cruising speed, this cat is hardly a trawler in the traditional sense. It’s faster, lighter, and more fuel efficient than a monohull. And best of all, since it enjoys a power catamaran’s enhanced stability it will stay comfortable in a roiled anchorage.
Another Choice: A slow-fast trawler in this class which has just one hull is the Azimut Magellano 43.
For more information, visit Fountaine Pajot.
- Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site, TalkoftheDock.com.
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