Catamaran builders have really focused on the 40ft “entry-level” catamaran models of late. It has a broader appeal for families and cruising couples because with these modern, more voluminous cats, you get a lot more boat at a very affordable price. The new range of 40ft catamaran models on the market today, has the same comfort and luxury appeal of that of a 50ft catamaran without the “luxury price tag”.
While the new 40-footers have the space and comfort of a much bigger boat and can easily and comfortably accommodate a family living aboard, the cost involved in maintenance, insurance, dockage etc. is still that of a 40-footer and the Fountaine Pajot’s new Lucia 40 is a great contender. With a base price around $290,000 ($450,000 fully loaded) the Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 puts a well equipped sailing catamaran within reach of a lot more cruising couples and families.
Fountaine Pajot designer, Berret-Racoupeau, has done a really good job of working within a small footprint and has created a cat that is not too beamy and is not top heavy like some of their competition. The new Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 has replaced the Lipari 41 and in terms of volume, the Lucia 40 is considerably larger than the Lipari 41 with more interior volume.
The small forward berths of the previous model were eliminated at the front of each hull in the Lucia 40 and they have incorporated large storage lockers in the chest instead. This gave them a lot more space to work with up forward and is allowed them to move everything forward. Moving these forward, allowed the interior accommodations to be moved forward and it enabled them to make the cockpit much larger, which the starring exterior feature of the Lucia 40.
The expansive 130-square-foot cockpit has the same floor plan and nearly the same space as the much larger FP Helia 44. The wide swim steps at the transoms are an easy boarding platform from the dinghy or dock, which is a big deal for cruisers with little kids or animals. The cockpit table seats eight comfortably while the transom seat and starboard lounge can accommodate even more people. A composite Bimini protects the whole aft cockpit from the elements with handholds everywhere. It is a really nice living area.
The emphasis of the Lucia 40 is its sailing performance. With just over 1,000 square feet of sail area between the genoa and the mainsail, the 20,000-pound cat performs well and even with the bigger sails, sailhandling is easy. The boom is low for easy access to the main. This is a big deal because in many of the newer boats with fly-bridges, the boom is impossibly high and difficult to operate. The Lucia is inter-coastal friendly with a mast height of under 64ft, another BIG request from cruisers!
This catamaran offers a luxurious interior similar to the larger models. The accommodations are extremely spacious with lots of storage and walk around island berths in the owner suite which is one of the most requested features for cruising catamarans. FP offers two interior configurations; Maestro and Quatuor with options of four layouts (three or four cabins, and two to four heads).
The master suite on an owner’s version takes up the entire starboard hull and includes a walk-around island berth aft and a small desk amidships. Large lockers provide ample storage and can accommodate an optional washer/dryer. The toilet and shower are separate is in its own compartment with an enormous shower. The one odd thing is the “doorless” head. There is no door to separate the head from the cabin. The port hull has two cabins and two heads with integrated (not separate) shower, not my favorite feature of this boat.
The salon is on the same level as the cockpit. There is no step down or up, making it a much safer boat and the salon is surprisingly spacious for a boat of only 40 feet. The L-shaped settee can seat 6 around a coffee table and the settee also creates a seat for the angled navigation station, eliminating the need for a separate nav seat.
The galley opens up to the cockpit, so its nice and airy but the countertop space and galley storage is limited. It comes with Vitifrigo refrigeration drawers, a very nice feature, and the separate counter-height oven is a nice touch.
LUCIA 40 SPECIFICATIONS
• Length: 11.73 m / 38.4’
• Beam: 6.63 m / 21.75’
• Draft: 1.2 m / 3.94’
• Air Draft: 19.3 m / 63.3’
• Displacement Unloaded: 8 900 kg /9.0T
• Genoa Area: 37 square meters
• Main Sail Area: 58 square meters
• Standard Engines: 2 x 20 cv
• Water Tank Capacity: 2 x 265 l / 140 Gal
• Diesel Tank Capacity: 300 l / 80 GaL
The FP40 has innovative features such as the very protected “semi fly steering” with perfect visibility of all four corners of the boat. The elevated helm has access from the deck as well as from the cockpit. The molded double seat is comfortable with easy access to the coachroof.
Visibility is somewhat compromised, which is typical of most cat designs. Visibility forward to starboard is good, the forward port corner is a challenge, and the hard bimini blocks the view of the transoms unless you bend down.
The foredeck has two lockers under a sun pad; one for the water tank and the other for the windlass and line stowage. The lounge is in addition to the much smaller trampoline, which has had the middle strut removed.
Twin 20 HP (30HP upgrades available and recommended) Volvo Penta diesels are standard and the engine rooms are quite spacious with good access to the machinery from the aft deck. Inside, there’s a shelf to hold batteries and the port engine room can accommodate an optional Northern Light genset. The cruising speed is around 6 knots at 2200 RPM.
The Lucia 40 is a very comfortable cruising catamaran for a couple with all the important features such as, comfortable cockpit, lots of interior volume, safe helm station and good performance. It is a great choice for couples with a tighter budget that wants a “bigger” cat to live aboard!
*Diagrams courtesy Fountain Pajot / Atlantic Cruising