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Old 18-08-2010, 22:13   #1
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Hulls Issues on Fountaine Pajots

Hi all,

After a lot of looking and internet research we have decided on a small FP as we like their designs best.
The issue that I have is which one to buy out of the Athena 38, Lavezzi 40 or the Mah'e36.

We love the size and feel of the Mah'e but they are a bit more expensive as they are newer and I think will depreciate more.They also aren't available in 4 double 2 head layout which we would like but it isn't a must have.

The Lavezzi and the Athena feel smaller even though they are bigger.

The big issue I'm worried about is all the reports of gel coat blisters and some reports of oasmosis in FP hulls built after 2000.

With this in mind I am thinking of sticking to a pre 2000 Athena which is not nessearly the best design but a better build quality and has passed it's major depreciation point. Though replacent of major componets like engines, sails etc are starting to loom.

Is this the time that FP went from a wet layup to the infusion process?

Your thoughts please?
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Old 19-08-2010, 15:15   #2
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Have had a couple of gel coat blisters but they are easy to repair. No osmosis. My boat is a 2004.
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Old 19-08-2010, 15:36   #3
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No gel coat or osmosis problems on my 2003.
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Old 19-08-2010, 20:56   #4
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No gel coat or osmosis problems on my 2003.
Thanks is yours an infusion or wet layup build?
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Old 19-08-2010, 21:10   #5
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Great Choice on a Fountaine Pajot. I chartered a Lavezzi a few years ago and thought it was a great boat. But, if your going for a four cabin, I'd suggest you investigate how much more a Bahia would cost you. Granted there's no need for 4 heads but you can always convert two of them to other uses.
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Old 19-08-2010, 21:15   #6
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Thanks is yours an infusion or wet layup build?
It's a wet layup, vacuum bagged....I think infusion started with the Lavezzi.
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Old 19-08-2010, 21:59   #7
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Had bad gel coat blisters after 2 years, repaired under warrantee. No osmosis. My boat is 2006. Much prefer the Athena over the Mahee - my opinion, Lavezzi has more room than the Athena. If it hasn't had gel coat blisters or osmosis after several years then it probably never will.
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Old 30-08-2010, 07:11   #8
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Thanks Craig,

I really can't feel a lot of difference between the Lavezzi and the Athena, but the Mahe feels huge in comparison even though it's smaller.
Oh well I've got another 4 months to wait till I can buy so just I'll just keep watching the market.
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Old 30-08-2010, 07:37   #9
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I've delivered one of the first Mahe's. There's been noticeable improvement since the first ones. (good thing, I had a lot of complaints) Bigger always seems to be better until the repair and maintenance costs start revealing themselves. They grow exponentially with just a few extra feet added. If extra available money is no issue bigger would be better. I decided on an older Athena and have been very happy with her. No blistering problems, she's a breeze to work on, standard equipment is in the right price range for repair and maintenance. We sailed her comfortably with three to four people all the time. FP sails their boats over. We've seen some fairly rough seas in the Gulf stream and the Athena handles great. Bridge deck clearance is just about right to keep the slamming down to a minimum in such conditions. Now with our daughter off to college it's just the two of us and it's more than all the room we need and she'll take us anywhere the bigger Cats go. While at times I pine and suffer from two footitis when I see a bigger boat, I soon realize that our boat is just right for us. In my business I work on a lot of cruising Cats in the 40'+ range. I know the costs differences in keeping them. I still think dollar for dollar that the Athena is by far the better deal. Save the difference for the places you'll cruise to.
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Old 30-08-2010, 20:53   #10
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Thanks Tellie,

That sounds like good advise, I don't want to go above 40 ft and the Lavezzi doesn't feel much bigger than the Athena and the quality doesn't feel that good either so I'm fairly certain I won't go for one.
That just leaves the Mahe, they feel great and they seem to be a much roomier boat even though they are smaller.
The quality is what worries me even FP say it is a cheaper boat and the hull blistering is widely reported.
Most of the Mahe's on the market are priced too high but there is one which has just been reduced to 130 eur, either the owner is disparate or it has a problem.
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Old 31-08-2010, 11:12   #11
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One major factor to consider when deciding which FP to buy is the placement of the engines. The Athena has them under the aft cabin bunks, a serious detraction on the one we chartered in Belize in 2003 (stbd engine developed a small fuel leak that made the cabin nearly uninhabitable). Our Belize 43 has the engines in separate compartments.

One data point on hull problems: We had our boat in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, last summer and found only a few very small blisters in the gelcoat when we hauled out this past May for hurricane season.

Just my two cents.
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Old 31-08-2010, 12:12   #12
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Quote:
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One major factor to consider when deciding which FP to buy is the placement of the engines. The Athena has them under the aft cabin bunks, a serious detraction on the one we chartered in Belize in 2003 (stbd engine developed a small fuel leak that made the cabin nearly uninhabitable). Our Belize 43 has the engines in separate compartments.

One data point on hull problems: We had our boat in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, last summer and found only a few very small blisters in the gelcoat when we hauled out this past May for hurricane season.

Just my two cents.

Actually that's a valuble $.02. Personally I much prefer the engines under the bunk. After removing the cushions and split compartment covers there is a whole lot of room to work on these engines I can get to any part of the engine quite easy with room to spare, an important thing to consider when making emergency repairs on a hot engine. The Mahe used to come with a self locking latch on the rear engine covers, not sure that they still do. I single hand quite often. That would be the first thing I'd change on that model on day one of ownership. I don't like rear engine compartments in a rough or following sea. They're great for noise and keeping the smells out of the cabin. But I find them tight and more difficut to do the easy emergency repairs, especially on a hot engine.
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Old 31-08-2010, 12:44   #13
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Yeah, does that also mean that the engines are mounted further back?
So not as good for weight distribution which seems to be a critical issue in cats.
Nearly all monos seem to have their engines in the cabin zone and you should be able to seal the access covers for smells and noise so I'm not convinced that that's a deal breaker.
Is there a big diference between the 97 and 98 model Athenas?
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Old 31-08-2010, 13:05   #14
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Mahe 36 Engine Room

Tellie,

Actually the FP Mahe 36 has a large engine room with great lighting and the self locking mechanism is easily unlocked from inside the engine room. I know, I tested it myself to make sure.
You can get all around the engine with plenty of room even when the engine is hot. Inside under the bunk and separated stern engine rooms all have plusís and minusís. Itís just personal preference. Most new boats have just the separated stern engine rooms. I have no issues with it and it works well for us.

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Old 31-08-2010, 14:18   #15
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+1 on the separate engine room!

Obviously a personal preference! For me, the pluses are:

- Never a diesel smell in the living space. As we looked at used boats that was always easy to pick out when you stepped into a boat.
- Heat from the engine not in the living space.
- Any raw water leak contained to the engine room.
- Any spilled fluids stay in the engine room.

One minus on my boat, the genset sits above and port of the port drive engine, so working on the port side of the port drive engine requires a contortionist (but I've done it).

I lost a raw water impeller on the port engine motoring into 10kt winds one afternoon 70 miles offshore. I left the engine room open for 2 hours to let the engine cool, threw a piece of carpet over the engine and changed the impeller (all while motoring on the starboard engine at 5kts). Fortunately, the seas were only 2-3 feet, so there was no issue. I don't have experience in heavy seas working back there, and I hope I never do, but I believe it would be doable.

As far as the extra weight aft, I like to think the designer took that into consideration in the hull shape.

And yes, the engine hatch closed on me once, at the dock, with wife out of earshot. It was raining and I propped it partly open so I could work without getting wet, of course, the wood block I propped it with slid out. I took the lock apart from the inside and let myself out.
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