Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 Sea Trial
We were able to be on a boat while the instruments were being calibrated. It wasn’t a sea trial really, more of a ride, but it was good to get on a Saona and see it in action!
It was a good opportunity to talk with the skipper who had done many trans-Atlantic deliveries on FP boats. It was a beautiful day with very light winds, we had a tiny puff and went to 10 knots lickety split - whut!?! in seconds so that is just a taste of what the boat is capable of. I wasn't fast enough with the camera, but there was literally no wind and the boat took off.
This was the first time we could see the mainsail and jib in action and look closely at all the winches, clutches and blocks. We were impressed by the standard sails and they hoisted and came down without issue but another new Saona that week had an issue getting the sail up because the lines weren’t properly rigged at the dock and it got twisted and they had to hoist someone up to the top to release it by hand. We were given advice to make sure the rigging is rechecked because FP assembles the boat but rigging needs to be fine-tuned.
We were able to see the back opened up behind the steering which is a chain system which pulls both ways, not hydraulic like on the pre-Saona FP boats. Also, the lifelines are no longer covered with the white plastic, just exposed due to rust created from covering them. The lifeline clips in the stern do retract into the holes but one took a little jiggle to get in. Portside top seems to have extra space for additional solar panels and a portlight into the cockpit area, neither I had noticed before.
We were initially underwhelmed by the clutches, especially the handles. We later visited a chandlery nearby and learned more about the brand Antal and spoke to an expert. It turns out, they are very high quality, made in Italy and they said they never keep replacement parts because they don’t break, we'll see. The concern about the trampoline fraying didn’t appear to be an issue since there was space and Vincent had said at the tour they made an adjustment on the Saona 47 to make it lie lower than on the Saba 50, which was a problem apparently.
Check out our video below! Don't laugh, it was our FIRST EVER video filmed, edited and posted entirely from my iPhone.