Fountaine Pajot

Fountaine Pajot, half a century of history, expertise and ambition

Inspired by a passion for sailing and a love of the oceans, Fountaine Pajot has been combining vision, know-how and mutual support for half a century to design the very best luxury catamarans.

Fountaine Pajot history


The Fountaine Pajot Group emerged from the shared love of three men who loved the sea, Jean François Fountaine, Yves Pajot, Daniel Givon and Rémi Tristan, and set out to conquer the cruising industry in 1976.

Inspired by a passion for sailing…

A human saga

Starting with a passion for regattas and the desire to invent innovative lightweight sailing boats (505, 470 and 420 dinghies), the company from La Rochelle quickly made a name for itself in ocean racing through designing IOR prototypes, then the first cruising catamarans, which demonstrated their excellence and reliability by winning some of the best races of the day. The arrival of the first range of catamaran cruisers in 1983 heralded the development of new construction techniques and the ambition to transform the yachting industry for the better. After taking over the legendary Dufour shipyard in 2018, the group is now one of the world leaders in the yachting sector. Committed to taking part in the ecological transition in the yachting world, Fountaine Pajot Group is continuing to write cruising history, with the same passionate sailing team at the helm: Claire Fountaine, Chair, Nicolas Gardies, Managing Director, Romain Motteau and Mathieu Fountaine, Deputy Managing Directors.


Passion for excellence

« Little by little, our boats have combined performance with more space, more comfort and more innovation. We’ve become cruising boat specialists, always bearing in mind that you shouldn’t expect anything from the sea, but you should expect everything from the boat »

Claire Fountaine, President

Our know-how

Unique and historic expertise

With almost half a century of know-how backed up by a capacity for forward thinking, Fountaine Pajot’s two design offices are constantly working to improve on performance and innovation. This insatiable desire to preserve the best of the present by combining it with cutting-edge research is helping to further optimise life on board Fountaine Pajot sailing catamarans and motor catamarans as well as their carbon footprint.


The human side

The love of sailing is shared by all 800 employees. Nearly 40 different professions all work together to build exceptional yachts. Joiners, electricians, and architects, to name just some of the vocations, have been working together since 1976 to build our luxury boats using a judicious balance of industrial processes and artisanal excellence.

Our teams are spread across our four production centres in: Aigrefeuille, the historic headquarters and factory responsible for Fountaine Pajot’s core range of boats; La Rochelle, specialising in the “flagship” models; Gujan Maeestra for motor yachts; and Perigny, Dufour’s historic headquarters and factory. Thanks to this expertise, the Fountaine Pajot crew has launched more than 4,000 boats on every ocean in the world.



The Fountaine Pajot group has made its mark on the sailing industry by inventing innovative, high-tech polyester application techniques: injection and infusion. This advanced technology gives our boats their robustness, making catamarans considerably lighter while maintaining consistent quality.

Injection moulding also enables us to meet the most stringent environmental requirements, in line with our corporate philosophy. These innovative, high-tech composite materials make up the bulk of the structure of our sailing catamarans and motor yachts, and is used for the hulls, flybridge, decks, bulkheads and more. The Fountaine Pajot teams also employ the best joiners to design and assemble the wooden parts that make their boats so unique.



Fountaine Pajot facilitates eco-friendly and autonomous sailing through an on-board renewable energy production and management system. The introduction of the Odyssea 24 plan in 2022 means the group will be able to realise its vision of zero-emission catamaran yachts by 2030.

The launch of the Smart Electric system in 2022 is the culmination of many years of research and commitment. Following on from this, the launch of the Samana 59 Smart Electric REXH2 in 2023 heralds a new era in the yachting industry, proving once again that the Group is still one step ahead


An ambitious vision

From the benches of the 1976 Olympics to the half tonner world championships, the Fountaine Pajot team has always looked to the future with the ambition of becoming a pioneer in its field. Among the first to produce production catamaran sailboats in the world, inventor of a revolutionary injection process, and precursor of eco-cruising, the Fountaine Pajot Group has stopped at nothing to offer the very best in cruising.

Operating across 80 countries, its Fountaine Pajot Sailing Catamarans, Fountaine Pajot motor yachts and Dufour brands offer a wide choice of models as luxurious as they are seaworthy. Its ambition is to become the leading manufacturer of green energy cruise ships, for comfortable cruising that is respectful towards the world’s oceans.


More than 40 years of passion

1976 – 1982

1983 – 1997

2002 – 2005


2009 – 2012

2013 – 2018

2018 – 2022

2022 – 2024

1976 – 1982


Dinghies and prototypes and the emergence of the Shipyard


Creation of FOUNTAINE PAJOT by Jean-François Fountaine, Yves Pajot, Daniel Givon and Rémi Tristan. Pierre Fountaine joined the team and in 1978 the new site in Aigrefeuille was set up to respond to the company’s success and produce the 505, 420 and 470 dinghies.


The success continues with Fontaine Pajot’s IOR prototypes, “Half Tonners” which were set to become World Champions and win the Solitaire du Figaro solo multi-stage sailing race. In 1981, the Royale trimaran (18m) and the Charente Maritime catamaran (21m), designed for open racing, were released by the Fountaine Pajot shipyards. Jean-François Fountaine and his friends had many wins on board.

1983 – 1997


New range released and new collaborations


Fountaine Pajot launched the concept of cruising catamarans with the Lousiane 37. Eric Bruneel then designed the Corneel 18, and after the launch of the Maldive 32 and Figji 39, Jean Berret Racoupeau worked with the Shipyard to design the Marquise 53.


Joubert Nivelt designed the Venezia 32 and O.Flahault designed the roof cap, the Fountaine Pajot range’s signature feature. Fountaine Pajot is stepping up its international expansion with 4 new models, from 35 to 46 feet. The Taïti 75 was launched in 1996 and revolutionised the Day Charter market.

2002 – 2005


New manufacturing processes, infusion and injection moulding


A technological revolution, Fountaine Pajot adopts infusion moulding for the hull and nacelle construction on the new Lavezzi 40. Undeniable environmental progress.


The Highland 35 sets a new standard in the powerboat market. The Mahé 36 is the first boat to be entirely vacuum moulded: infusion for the hulls and RTM eco for the deck, the largest part produced this way to date.



Initial public offering


Recognition of the shipyard’s financial solidarity and growth potential. The company is floated on Alternext, enabling it to finance the industrialisation and updating of its product ranges.

2009 – 2012


Innovations and Eco-Cruising Concept


Creation of the “FLAGSHIP” class, with the GALATHÉA 65, designed by Berret Racoupeau, and the QUEENSLAND 55, designed by Daniel Andrieu.


The Eco Cruising Concept is born, with the aim of sailing responsibly, using as many renewable energy sources as possible, right from the design stage.

2013 – 2018


New management and an ambitious business plan


Fountaine Pajot Trawlers stand out from the rest of the power catamaran market with a new brand and the beginning of a new chapter.


Jean-François Fountaine hands over management of the shipyard to Nicolas Gardies, who is appointed Managing Director, and Romain Motteau, Deputy Managing Director. The next generation is assured. Jean-François Fountaine is elected Mayor of La Rochelle.


For its 40th anniversary, Fountaine Pajot was to celebrate significant growth with lots of new models and recent successes such as the Saba 50, the new MY37, the Lucia 40 and the Ipanema 59.


To support its growth, Fountaine Pajot embarks on rebranding, looking to create a strong identity for each of its brands from the end of 2026. New catamaran boats and new motor yachts then joined the range with great success such as the Saoana 47, MY 40, Alegria 67…

2018 – 2022


Consolidation of the Group and new horizons for motor yachts


The Fountaine Pajot group became a major player in the yachting industry, if it wasn’t already, by finalising its merger with the Dufour Yachts shipyard. The Fountaine Pajot Group is now a big name in yacht building, with a total of 4 production units in the La Rochelle basin, offering a complete range of sailing yachts, sailing catamarans and motor yachts.


A new dimension for the Fountaine Pajot motor yachts brand, which has taken on board the superior space of its motor yachts compared to monohulls of the same size, making it easier to read its range. And a new model: the MY4.S. In order to continue its growth, Fountaine Pajot moved its production unit near Gujan Maestra, aiming to increase its production capacity.

2022 – 2024


The course is set towards carbon neutrality with Odysséa 24 and the ODSeaLab platform


Fountaine Pajot moved ahead with its business plan to decarbonise cruising through a host of innovations. A new lease of life that has been taking employees, owners, dealers and suppliers with it. The Group launched ODSeaLab, a collaborative platform, and developed its own electric motors. Launch of the Aura 51 Smart Electric.


Fountaine Pajot unveiled the world’s first hydrogen-powered catamaran. The Aura 51 Smart Electric is joined by the Astréa 42 and the Elba 45 Smart Electric. In September 2023, Fountaine Pajot will unveil the largest luxury sailing catamaran ever built by the shipyard: an 80-foot catamaran.

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