While the Fountaine Pajot brand has established itself as one of the world’s most innovative and successful sailing catamaran builders, it is also equally compatible when it comes to power cats. Once marketed under the Power Trawler name, the new breed of Fountaine Pajot power cats are much more versatile than just a simple
trawler. Plus they are not simply a regurgitated sailing cat sans mast. They are a purposely designed motor yacht from the board of Joubert-Nivelt, the French design powerhouse led by Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt. The Fountaine Pajot Power Range comprises four models; MY37, Summerland 40LR, Cumberland 47LR and the Queensland 55. All four portray the same unique styling that makes this French marque so recognisable and the same highly efficient hull form, that provides such an exceptional ride, performance and handling package. Fountaine Pajot launched the Cumberland 47 power trawler a few years ago, and while being quite successful was recently given a makeover and re-launched as the Cumberland 47 LC. As the name would suggest, the 47 LC (Long Cruise) is designed for long range cruising and hence has the power and tankage for serious sea miles. With her flawless hull lines coupled with the very latest technology to ensure ease of manoeuvrability, minimal fuel consumption and increased levels of comfort in operation, the Cumberland 47 LG is designed for life at sea. A catamaran with finely-balanced hull lines, the 47 LC displays excellent longitudinal and transverse stability at sea. With its 2400 litre fuel capacity and fuel consumption that is claimed to be up to 40% less than that of a single-hull craft of equivalent size, it offers a truly impressive range. This is a power cat that can be at sea for some time and offer the comfort for seriously long period cruising around the New Zealand or Australian coastline. Or for the more adventurous across to the Pacific Islands or PNG.
There are two power options, a pair of Volvo D4 225hp or Volvo D4 300hp. While the two engines are dimensionally the same size, there is obviously a difference in speed and accordingly fuel consumption. The D4 300 gains its extra horsepower through changes such as a more powerful turbo, different cylinder head and fuel mapping. At 1600 rpm @ 8 knots, the 225hp engines burn a total of 12 lph and given the fuel capacity of 2400 litres, gives the Cumberland 47 LC a range of around 1600nm. If you upgrade to the D4 300hp engines and cruise at 1500 rpm, the speed increases to 8.5 knots, for 11.4 lph and the range increases to 1790 nm. Interestingly the higher horsepower returns better fuel economy and range at the low cruise speed. When you increase the D4 225 to 2800 rpm, the speed jumps to 15 knots, for 45 lph and the range to 800nm. Conversely the D4 300 achieves the same speed at 2600 rpm, burns a slightly increased 48 lph and the range drops to 755 nm. And, if it’s top end you want then the D4 225s top out at 20.5 knots @ 3500 rpm/92 lph and a 535nm range, with the D4 300s running out to 23.5 knots @ 3650/115 lph and a 490 nm range. Overall I would go for the D4 300s as the difference between the two engine packages is marginal and for very similar speeds and fuel figures you can run at lower rpm, hence less stress on the engine. Fountaine Pajot also offers a concept they call ECO CRUISING, which is a design option incorporating renewable energy sources for greater efficiency and a reduced ecological footprint. This gives the Cumberland LC a positive energy generation balance so it is self-sufficient when at anchor, thanks to a series of solar panels on the bimini that supply power to the LED lighting on board as well as the extremely well-insulated refrigerators. All peripheral equipment have been selected for their low electricity consumption.
The Cumberland 47LC is based on a semi-displacement hull design, with a generous freeboard and high tunnel roof, which attributes to softening the ride and reducing stress on the hull from wave impact. Stability at rest is exceptional and underway the Cumberland 47LC presents a very soft and pleasing motion. In my trials off Mooloolaba in a short choppy sea, the 47LC was a pleasure to drive. There was no tunnel slap underway and when we stopped to anchor for lunch, the stability factor of the power cat design was clearly evident. . The lateral stability is a benefit to catamaran designs such as the 47 LC. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to try the hull in the rough water, I am convinced that it would be more than capable of maintaining excellent stability and comfort while underway. Also, the forward chine on each hull extends aft from the stem to just about amidships, helping to keep spray down. I was also very impressed with the quietness of the ride. Obviously, by placing the engines in the after portion of each hull, you’re going to realize a noise reduction, but they are assisted with “hush” boxes that serve as a lid over each engine, yet they still allow for service checks without being removed.
Access to the accommodation areas is either side of the main saloon, with the Cumberland 47LC available in two accommodation options. The three-cabin version (Maestro layout) has the owner’s cabin taking up the entire port hull, with a fore-and-aft island bed, large head, and separate stall shower. The cabins in the hulls have a
wide window allowing more daylight in and providing a nice view to the outside. Ahead of the shower bulkhead is another cabin, which is accessible via a foredeck hatch. It accommodates a crew of one, or can simply be used for additional stowage. To starboard, there are two double cabins with en suite and separate showers. The four cabin version (Quatuor) has four similar guests cabins each having its own bathroom. Each comes with a large double berth, plenty of storage options with hanging lockers, drawers and even under the beds. The fore and aft bathrooms have private access from the cabins. The sort of layout that is purpose designed for someone looking to put the boat into bareboat charter.
There is something seductive about the huge saloon of the Cumberland 47LC that invites you inside. The level of comfort is the result of generous living spaces and modern, light-filled and refined design, combining wood and leather trim. The main saloon has a nice social feel to it. A sliding glass door opens onto the aft cockpit, which has a built-in transom settee and teak table. The saloon is split into three distinctive zones, galley, internal helm and lounge, with all designed with long range cruising in mind and the functionality of each is very evident. The strait-line galley takes up the bulk of the port side and is huge with plenty of fridge and freezer capacity and stowage to allow several weeks between provisioning for the average cruising family. It’s also a great galley for entertaining, both for its generous bench space and proximity to cockpit, as well as a natural flow between the inside and outside spaces. Opposite is the low profile lounger that doesn’t inhibit your views through the large windows. The L-shaped settee comes with a cocktail table or an optional fold-out dining table. At the head of the main saloon is the interior helm station with plenty of room for navigation electronics and instruments. The helm seat is built for two, plus there’s a port-side lounge so the captain can have company. All this living and driving space is nicely integrated so everyone aboard can communicate easily and be a part of the social interaction aboard. A sliding glass door opens onto the aft cockpit, which has a built-in transom settee and teak table. The cockpit is welcoming for those evening cocktails, dinner or simply to relax and read on its sofas. Access to the twin boarding platforms is provided either side, with a drop down ladder to help the swimmers and divers. The easily accessible fly bridge doubles as lounge deck when moored. Helm station, sofas, sunbathing, teak table and the option of a small galley, complete the flybridge package. When cruising the windscreen also provides protection from strong winds. The helm station also benefits from the latest technology, with a touch screen and multiplexing of the various functions. The aft section of the flybridge is open to make room for chaise lounges or a couple of towels for sun worshiping.
If you thought the previous Cumberland 47 was a great boat, then you will love the new 47LC with its new refinements and innovations. Many of the improvements were focused on the interior, where new wood surfaces add a richness that gives the boat an upscale feel. Windows were added to increase light in both the main saloon and hull cabins, so nobody will feel cramped and out of touch with their surroundings, no matter where they cruise. However for me the Cumberland 47LC brings cruising power cats of this size back into vogue. Fountaine Pajot has produced a genuine small cruising power cat that delivers everything a cruising owner needs.