Off Key Biscayne, with 12 to 15 knots of wind, I got sold on this boat. Once the roachy main was hoisted on the 55-foot aluminum mast and the fractional overlapping jib was unfurled, the boat took off. I'd expected unexceptional performance, but the Mahé went to weather well and topped 9 knots on a close reach-this was on a 36-footer, remember. It handled the chop in the Gulf Stream like a much bigger boat, too. I found myself enjoying the sail in spite of my prejudices, and I was reluctant to head back into the marina at the end of the day.
With the Mahé 36, Fountaine-Pajot and its designers have created a fun, comfortable, entry-level cruising cat that's certain to lure more than a few monohull sailors into the grasp of its claws.