The Berret Racoupeau design has cruising comforts firmly in mind, as we found out during our test sail of this new boat from the leading French builder. At 42 feet it is an ideal entry-level catamaran for families yet has the space equivalent to a 55-foot monohull with up to four cabins with ensuites available.
The Astrea 42 has a flybridge sunpad and well-protected single helm station where all sail controls sit. Fountaine, along with their main competitor Lagoon, have gone to great efforts to improve the sailing performance of these cruisers but for Med sailing big headsails are necessary otherwise the twin 30 HP saildrive engines will get a lot of use.
At deck level, the aft cockpit is dedicated to alfresco dining or an easy stroll into the saloon where there’s a portside galley with navigation station forward as part of the lounge. Below deck the starboard hull on the review boat was designed as an owner’s ensuite –called the Maestro version– with a wide aft bed with copious free space around the central lounge and desk, while the forepeak houses an elongated bathroom.
The Astrea 42 is a comfortable cruising catamaran and an ideal introduction for sailors coming from a motorboat background.