Fountaine Pajot Mahé 36: Evolution Evolutionary Cat
She may be the smallest in the Fountaine Pajot line up but this cat is packed with great features for comfort, speed, and sail handling.
Even though it’s the smallest offering in Fountaine Pajot’s line of performance cruising catamarans, there’s a lot going on in the aptly named Mahé 36 Evolution, which replaces the company’s previous 36-footer while introducing a series of evolutionary changes. Fittingly, the most obvious and important ones are above deck and relate to comfort, speed, safety, and sail handling.
Last year, the entire Fountaine Pajot fleet, including the Mahé, upgraded their collective sail plans with the introduction of the square-topped mainsails prevalent aboard big racing multihulls and America’s Cup boats. It increases sail area where it provides the greatest benefit—aloft. In the case of the 36, the mainsail is stashed in a handy dedicated “stowaway” sail bag on the boom when doused or reefed.
But the biggest change to the Mahé 36 is the all-encompassing hard dodger that completely shades the cockpit and addresses several issues at once.
Incorporated into the design of the dodger is an innovative molded helmsman’s seat (with room for two) that provides the skipper with a clear view of the sails and surroundings and ready access to all sail controls. In addition to sheets and reefing lines, this includes the optional electric halyard winch and the revamped and at-hand traveler controls and clutches; the key component to mainsail trim on a cat, the wide traveler track is mounted well aft on the trailing edge of the dodger but cleverly led forward to within arm’s length of the driver.
The dual-purpose hardtop thus provides plenty of protection from the elements while at the same time offering a handy, comfortable seat—a neat trick carried out by a skilled design team.
While the hard dodger is certainly the most obvious new feature, there are lots of subtle additions as well. Topside, these include a couple of big hatches and also some lockers forward of the coachroof with enough room for an optional 4.5-kilowatt Panda generator. Down below in the galley, the fridge and oven have been repositioned, opening up a ton of storage space, and a useful island seat has been installed aft of the dining table in the central saloon. All in all, that’s a lot of evolved thinking.
LOA 36’ 2” (11.0 m.)
LWL 36’ 2” (16.5 m.)
Beam 19’ 4” (3.6 m.)
Draft 1’ 1” (3.6 m.)
Sail Area 784 sq. ft. (73 sq. m.)
Displacement 11,023 lb. (5,000 kg.)
Water 70 gal. (265 l.)
Fuel 53 gal. (200 l.)
Holding (per tank) 13 gal. (50 l.)
Mast Height 55’ 00” (17 m.)
Engine Twin 20-hp. diesels