French catamaran builder Fountaine Pajot uses the term “flagship” to denote the largest and most luxurious sailboats in its line of multihulls. In the case of the newly launched Victoria, it’s a name that fits both figuratively and quite literally.
With a length overall of nearly 67 feet, and a little over 31 feet of beam, the Victoria replaces the Galathea 65 as queen of the FP cruising cat fleet. It’s a big boat, one that I suspect will be sailed by a captain and crew as often as by an owner with family and friends (layouts are available for both scenarios).
Stepping aboard during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, last fall, I was struck by the sensible use of interior and exterior space and the flow of the design, from cockpit and saloon to staterooms in each hull, and aloft to my favorite spot: atop the flybridge, where the work of sailing and the joy of voyaging can both be savored.
Did I mention that the view’s great sitting at the two-person helm seat that’s offset to starboard? Amidships on the forward edge of the flybridge is a bank of four Antal winches for handling main, traveler, reefing lines, and genoa and gennaker sheets (the latter sail is set on a flexible furler forward of the headsail). Though the sail plan is sized for power — more than 2,000 square feet with main and genoa set — there’s gear placed and sized correctly so that the boat is really fairly simple to sail.
For those who prefer lounging to sheet trimming, comfortable couches line the remainder of the flybridge, with two cocktail tables aft and a fridge and sink in the middle of everything. You reach the flybridge via stairs on either side.
In the cockpit below, a cushioned sun bed spans the transom, and two more lie in the shade of the flybridge to either side of a teak dining table that seats 10. The cockpit space flows smoothly into the “urban-chic” interior designed by Isabelle Racoupeau (Berret-Racoupeau and the FP design team were responsible for the overall boat).
There’s tons of room to entertain, cook or simply enjoy life at sea in the spacious saloon. I was smitten by the galley to starboard. It’s fitted out with a full-size fridge and freezer, glass-topped counters, four-burner stove, electric oven and dishwasher, and tons of storage spaces. And I could easily picture myself perched at the nav station in the forward port corner, ready for a night watch no matter the elements outdoors.
In the owner’s version (Maestro) that we visited, three cabins with queen berths, each with its own head and shower, fill the starboard hull; access is via two companionways. To port, a single companionway leads to an enormous owner’s suite aft and a forward cabin with two singles, a handy place to tuck kids or grandkids. A crewed layout is also available with three cabins in each hull, plus a double crew cabin forward to port.
Unfortunately, on the day of our sea trials, the breeze was quite light; still, in 6 or so knots of wind the speedo hovered around 5 knots. The boat responded smartly under the power of its two 110 horsepower Volvos with conventional shafts. The design, styling and construction of the Victoria — infused and cored hull, deck and bimini —are all top-notch. In a stiff breeze, say the tropical trades, my guess would be that this flagship would turn in some excellent days at sea.
Victoria 67 Specs:
LOA: 66′ 6″ (20.27 m.)
LWL: 61′ 4″ (18.69 m.)
Beam: 31′ 2″ (9.50 m.)
Draft: 5′ 1″ (1.55 m.)
Sail area: 2,171 sq. ft. (202 sq. m.)
Disp.: 57,319 lb. (26,000 kg.)
Water: 278 gal. (1,050 l.)
Fuel: 370 gal. (1,400 l.)
Holding: 73.5 gal. (280 l.)
Mast height: 83′ 11″ (25.6 m.)
Engine: (2) 110 hp Volvo
Designer: Berret-Racoupeau/Interior by Isabelle Racoupeau
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This article first appeared in Cruising World, June, 2014.