Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 Review

This time we take a look at Astrea 42 – comfortable catamaran optimized for family getaway, a fun trip with a group of friends and in general for every lover of balanced approach to yachting with maximum comfort yet not fully automatic rigging. Our own review is supplemented by high-quality photos, other professional reviews, additional information about specs, advantages, recommendations and more.

Astrea 42 review

Let’s start with something pleasant – this yacht won a prestigious Multihull of the Year award in 2018, which is already quite a big deal. Yet the very next year it also receives another award at Boot Düsseldorf - 2019 European Yacht of the Year, like one was just not enough for it. Also, even before a single owner could step on the boat, back when this boat was just announced, the Fountain Pajot shipyard sold more than one hundred of these just based on customer’s trust that the brand will deliver once again.

We feel like the best way to explain exactly why the yacht received such recognition is to take a tour around it and show you all its features. As always, a good product is about those little details that together create the overall stellar impression.

Astrea 42 review

Features of Astrea 42

  • Brand: Fountaine Pajot
  • Hull type: Catamaran
  • Overall length, m: 12.58
  • Width, m: 7.2
  • Draft, m: 1.25
  • Displacement, t: 12.7
  • Air draft, m: 20.6
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 350
  • Exterior design (Architect): Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design
  • Interior design: Racoupeau Design
  • CE Certification: A
  • Mainsail type: Fully battened
  • Jib type: Furling genoa
  • Mainsail area, m²: 70
  • Jib area, m²: 41
  • Engines: 2x30 (2x50 opt.) Volvo Penta
  • Fuel tanks, l: 300 (+300 opt.)
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Virtual tour

Review of Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 by TopRik Team

There’s no better place to start the review other than the transom – that’s how you get on and off the boat and that’s usually one of the most potentially hazardous places on any boat, attracting all kinds of injuries. On Astrea 42 though, we didn’t see any hazards at all – the steps are wide enough and in the center of the transom you get real metal railing – not just a flimsy lifeline. If the swimming ladder is up, you can hold on to it also, securing your foothold when boarding. When moored side-to, it very convenient to board the vessel thanks to first step protruding forward.

Astrea 42 review

As you can see, the swimming platform is quite comfortable and if you look closely you can see vertical recesses in the hull next to it – that’s part of the mechanism, allowing you to lower the platform when needed. When not used for swimming, you can tie a dinghy to it. The only negative of this platform is that it doesn’t come in standard version, yet we think it’s quite worth a little extra, considering its quality.

Astrea 42 review

As we climb the steps, we immediately see the hatch to the engine compartment – we had an upgraded version of Volvo Penta 2x50 hp on our model, but 2x30 will do just fine if you are not in a hurry and will consume less fuel too. We also noticed that there are cables coming right out of the walls of the floats, used to secure the transom once everybody is already on board – very convenient solution to avoid a tangled mess under your feet.

Moving on Into the Cockpit

Inside the cockpit we immediately see what Berret Racoupeau was up to – we get and additional locker/bench so the sitting space at the table was expanded and now there’s more room to store halyards, rigging, baggage etc.

Astrea 42 review

Overall, the theme of the catamaran seems to be storage space as almost every single structure and surface has some kind of secret door – makes feel like you are a student at Hogwarts. As you know, the more people are on the boat, the more the baggage, so all of them are welcome. One of these doors is special – it reveals a freezer. That’s right, we have an additional freezer right at the cockpit – this way you don’t have to get to the saloon every time you want a cold drink or ice cream.

Astrea 42 review

Next to the freezer there’s small ladder and a life raft storage space underneath. One of our crewmen strongly opposed such decision, saying that now you will have to spend more time to access the safety equipment once someone falls overboard. Others argued that the ladder doesn’t really take much time to raise, but point taken.

That railing we talked about before completely protects whoever is sitting on a large sofa next to the table even during unexpected roll or even collision. Lots of surfaces can be made into similar sofas with poufs, allowing accommodation for around a dozen people at the stern.

Astrea 42 review

Overall, the cockpit of Astrea 42 seems like a great place to chill with your friend of family enjoying the views and fresh breeze, especially if you get optional integrated grill for barbeque – that way you don’t even have to go to the galley in the saloon if you want to get a meal.

The Control/Helm Station – Two in One

Our skipper was not overly impressed by some comfy seats though, he went from the cockpit straight to the helm station - his sacred spot. That where he saw the smile on his face – he commended the architect for upgrading it to a combined version of control station and helm station.

Astrea 42 review

Indeed, it’s very convenient since the winches are all here, next to the helm, as well as the control panel by Garmin and all necessary indicators. The view at the helm is great except for maybe the left float’s stern visibility – you need to bend down a little to see it.

Astrea 42 review

As you can see on the photo above, there’s not way you will fall out of the seat – again, safety concerns are well met. You can fit around three people at the wheel and not be worried about tacking or rolling launching people into water. And if you are more of a lone sea wolf, you can easily manage the boat on your own from here with appropriate experience.

Flybridge, Decks, Bow

It made sense to go to flybridge after this and so we did. The hard top impressed us with a huge sunbathing area – you can lay and stretch on it all you want as long as you watch out for the low boom.

Astrea 42 review

By the way, it becomes a trend lately to raise the boom very high for safety reasons, which makes it more difficult to reach and manage. On Astrea 42 a person with lower-than-average height can easily take care of it without problems. From here you can see the full-sized genoa without any automation – definitely scores you some points among traditional yachting afficionados. The mast is… just a mast. Nothing fancy there.

As I look down, I see a familiar face staring at me from the saloon though a hatch built into the rooftop – our crew member already infiltrated the saloon and was evaluating the sails right from there. This hatch is common for Fountaine Pajot yachts and it’s for sure a good trend established in their design. There are more hatches for air ventilation and solar panels on the rooftop as well.

Astrea 42 review

At the bow we see bunch of already familiar comfy grey seats with regulated back – there were 6 of us overall and somehow, we all found a place. Make sure that you consider including these heavenly seats in your purchase since they come as an optional package also. The trampoline is simple and elegant, not very spacious.

Astrea 42 review

The lockers are very spacious though – there are two of them inbuilt into the bow underneath the seats and they allow you to store a whole dinghy in deflated state if needed as well as bunch of other large pieces of marine equipment such as fenders. The anchor winch is right inside the starboard locker. The tech hatches to the side can be opened with a special wrench.

Astrea 42 review

In the Saloon

Alright, now let’s come back to the cockpit and looks at the entrance to the saloon of Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42. The door and the window on the left are sliding, allowing you to turn cockpit and saloon into one big living area or barricade yourself and your close ones from harsh weather and keep the saloon warm.

Astrea 42 review

As we enter the saloon, behind the window we see the galley with C-shaped table. The table made of artificial stone with rounded edges has a stove, sink and freezer built into it, has a lot of convenient surfaces for the cooking process. The access to the trash bin on the left allow you to save some time while at it. The oven is the same as in model 40. An important detail – there is a little hatch right over the stove, by opening it you can get rid of unwanted smoke and smells in the saloon during and after cooking.

Astrea 42 review

Opposite the galley we notice even more freezers - two of them on top of each other, 60 l each with some shelves for dishes instead of the freezer that was moved to the galley table. In some previous models you had a folding table in the center of the saloon and here we have a coffee table with huge sofas. Some can argue that a full-size folding table was a better option and others, who never used will disagree – it’s really a matter of preference in this case. It’s very clear that on this yacht the main dining area is supposed to be the cockpit table, hence additional sitting place there. This coffee table would be fine for a quick snack, but not the full meal for the entire group.

Also keep in mind, that this particular saloon that we describe right now is not set in stone - freezers can be replaced with a washing or dishwashing machine, the finish of the interior can be changed etc. Fountaine Pajot optional package and various layouts allow for quite some experimentation here.

Astrea 42 review

As you can see, there’s no shortage of light in the saloon – the glazing in the living area was always one of defining features of FP yachts. Also the situation with ventilation is good thanks to large hatches leading to the bow – the wind will burst in at full speed and cool even the hottest heads inside. For dusk and night, you get sufficient lighting in the roof above you.

The sofa can transform into a bed for two people – the table is lowered and the pouffs are put on it. Perfect solution for the guests who don’t mind spending a night on your yacht.

The color tones are very homelike – nothing screams at you and you feel like you are home. Actually, some pricy studio apartments look much worse than this.

Astrea 42 review

It’s not just about comfort – as skipper, you don’t always want to stand at the helm, no matter how heroic that sounds. You want to join the party – have a great meal, help your special other with cooking, spend some time with your kids or enjoy a drink with your friends in the saloon. At the same time, you need full control of the yacht at all times and such configuration provides 360° view of the yacht and also the sails through the already mentioned hatch.

The skipper’s table and the control panel are integrated into the relaxation area and is located right next to a big sofa, so while your kids are watching the on the left TV or playing videogames on their phone (why else go on a boat trip, right?) you can check for any route deviation, make sure that all the equipment runs smoothly and send important messages – for that you have a big chartplotter and a radio. You even have a little lamp to help you see everything perfectly.

Astrea 42 review

Right behind the control panel there is an electric panel – much more convenient placement than on some other yachts, where any passengers can bump into it pushing 10 switches at once during yacht rolling. Inverter and watermaker controls are accessible here, as well as a lot of electrics switches. Here you can also activate the Webasto system – heating/cooling solution for automatic temperature regulation on board. We pass these panels as we descend into the cabins of Astrea 42.


First, let’s talk about your options. Fountaine Pajot provides two layouts version: Maestro with three cabins and Quatour with four cabins. Here are the layout schematics:

Astrea 42 review

Astrea 42 review

In the Maestro option the entire starboard float is given to the owner with more tables, shelves and living area instead of an additional cabin. Obviously, for charters the second version looks more attractive.

As we climb down the stairs, we to the right we see a bow cabin that doesn’t look like a bow cabin at all – it has a double island bed! For lighting and ventilation there is glazing with a hatch, and even bigger hatch in the roof.

Astrea 42 review

Overall, the only criticism here would be a certain lack of storage space – passengers usually bring whatever they can on a trip and here there’s only one locker on the side and big one underneath. In most cases all the shirts, underwear and other necessary stuff will have to fight for available space.

That is not such a concern for stern cabins though – here you get more space, more light, more everything. There’s another window and the shelves are definitely more usable.

Astrea 42 review

If we are talking about a huge owner’s cabin, there are no problems whatsoever – you have space for a table, bunch of lockers, TV and a seat in front of the table. If you are buying Astrea 42 for personal use, choosing the version must be a no-brainer.

Astrea 42 review

What can we say about the overall design? Again – it feels like home. Apparently, the designer didn’t try to go for an extremely posh feel, instead trying to impress the passengers with minimalism and efficiency combined with warm beige colors and natural wood look. The corridors might feel a little cramped if you are a big man, but look at the picture below and see for yourself – the photo taken right next to the stairs. Here you can see an additional cupboard how fitting the color scheme is with darker stairs and floor contrasting nicely with the beige main tone. The emergency exit is traditionally located under the stairs instead of bathrooms.

Astrea 42 review

Astrea 42 review

The bathrooms are big enough for the catamaran of this size – you still should be careful with your elbows though. On photo above you can see the bathroom in the owner’s cabin.

There are also additional variations for bathrooms in other cabins accessible through optional packages, allowing you to make bathrooms the same size for each cabin or reduce the size of one of. You can you the price calculator on our website or send us a message if you are not sure with variation to choose. Usually the most popular choices are: equal-sized bathrooms for both cabins or one bathroom for two cabins.

Advantages of Astrea 42

After spending some time on the yacht, enjoying a delicious meal on board, trying to tinker with its sailing and checking out the sunbathing area, we can draw the line – there is a lot of pros and not much cons really considering the price of the Astrea 42. Let’s get cons out of the way – somewhat lacking space in the cabins (but not in the cockpit), safety raft under stairs and maybe laminated finish instead of actual natural wood.

Astrea 42 review

But the pros are much more overwhelming:

  • Optimized for both fun and family comfort. If you are looking to spend some quality time with your loved ones while also enjoying playing with the manual genoa, look no further – it’s not too sporty so you family feels constrained and not comfortable enough so you feel bored.
  • Multivariance – tons of optional equipment, layouts, tools and replacement possibilities. This boat is pretty much made of Lego pieces so you could assemble the yacht of your dreams without ever agreeing to a compromise.
  • Home feel. We checked out lots of yachts lately and we have to admit – some of them, especially sporty and hardcore ones, can get overwhelming with the lack of comfort. Here though we felt like we rented a hotel suite on the water surface.
  • Cooking. Everything is made so you or somebody you trust well enough with such an important task as making a meal can feel free in this ancient artform: bunch of freezers, great stove, hatch for ventilation, storage space, optional dishwashing machine or grill etc.
  • Price/quality ratio. It’s not the cheapest cat on the market. If you go much further, breaking into 1-million-euro yachts, you get diminishing returns and luxury for the sake of luxury. With Astrea 42 though, you strike the perfect balance between a good deal and a high-end boat that can proudly welcome even the really picky guests of yours.
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Reviews of Astrea 42 from Professionals

We are definitely not the only team that enjoyed a trip on Fountaine Pajot’s Astrea 42. Here’s some reviews from our colleagues.

Caroline titled her review “Simply Purrfect” showing her appreciation for this “cat” – she first admitted that the sales of the vessel are really impressive, with only Multihull Solutions themselves buying 21 of them. She was just as happy with the saloon and cabin solutions, calling the owner’s cabin something to die for.

And as for the test on the sea test, Caroline writes that tacking is simple enough so one person can manage the boat and under engines purring at 2500 rpm the yacht reaches 7 knots. She says that in order to tweak sails, you have to leave the helm at the control station but with the use of the autopilot it's not a problem at all.

Veteran of yachting journalism Herb McCormick points out right away, that Astrea 42 is well constructed and executed, has a lot of features and is also surprise at the fact that even before the launch Fountaine Pajot managed to sell over 150 of these vessels.

He says that over the years the design evolved away from traditional layouts by introducing double doors into the saloon, raised helm station, galley positioned away from the doors, saloon containing both dining places and nav station and one hull reserved for the owner. He certainly likes the trend and considers himself a fan of the brand – and he’s certainly not the only one out there considering all the attention this yacht received.

Video Reviews of Astrea 42

Here we provide useful YouTube links so you could see what we are talking about being filmed on camera.

First, the trailer from the shipyard – showcasing the exterior, interior and various family activities:

High-quality review by Yachting World with calm and helpful commentary:

Catamaran’s interior evaluation and scoring it against other yachts by Sailing Ruby Rose:

Tour of 2020 Astrea 42 – detailed descriptions of different interior elements:

At last, if you would like to see this engineering marvel in action, here’s the sea test by Boataround:


Some of the yachts are made to shock people with their sleek lines, single rudder and fully manual rigging – turning heads and making people ask how can even manage this thing completely on your own. Some yachts are trying to drown people in luxurious wood finish, tons of TVs in every corner and try to sell you an over-the-top jacuzzi on board.

Astrea 42 tries to avoid both of these radical approaches, giving you the freedom to choose your exact package, have fun with sailing and make sure that you family or friends don’t complain about ascetic conditions on board or the exorbitant amount of money that could be spent on something else other than a getaway yacht. If you don’t like extremes and prefer balance in life, this catamaran will surely serve you well.

Astrea 42 review

Price calculator

Where to Buy Astrea 42 at a Bargain Price

Good question indeed. If you are reading this, all you need to do is to find this yacht in our catalogue and look at the price – you will not find better deals everywhere else. Play with the price calculator and additional options, message our consultants and don’t be afraid to ask tricky questions since we spent years and years in this business and there’s not much left that can surprise us at this point.

Our team will:

  • take care of all the boring but necessary documents;
  • give you consultations free of charge;
  • provide all the warranties and certificates from the manufacturer;
  • deliver the boat to the specified location;
  • will be happy to help with additional purchases such as watermakers, rigging, fenders etc. – you can browse our website and see how much useful things for sailing we have available.

You can use the phone above or send us a text message through the feedback system. Thanks for reading and take care!

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