Our New Saba 50 Catamaran from Fountaine Pajot

Why We Are Upgrading

Whilst we loved La Mischief, our Lagoon 421 Catamaran, we decided to upgrade to a 50ft catamaran because:

  • We wanted more entertainment space, especially out the back cockpit.
  • We wanted a little bit more sailing performance
  • We wanted a little more living room, especially in the galley and in the master.
  • We wanted to buy a boat together – Dee and Steve’s forever boat.
  • We only live once

How Did We Go About It

After the show we took off driving to the south coast of Spain to see Greatcircle, a Lagoon 52 Sport, owned by Marijke and Mark, a lovely couple from the Nederlands. Unfortunately we didn’t like the Lagoon 52S so off we continued. We then drove all the way across Spain and up to La Rochelle to go for a sail on a Saba 50. Alas that was not to be as the French Captain wasn’t going out without an anchor!!!! Really?!? Whilst in La Rochelle we saw a Neel 50 Trimaran, which we really liked but not enough to change course to a third hull. Need really impressed us with their customer focus, something FP did not (although we have them covered with Miultihull Solutions who are a great company).

We started by looking at both new and used boats online, whilst at the same time planning a trip to the Cannes Boat Show, then around Europe and finally to Florida to make sure we saw a wide variety of boats. Cannes Boat Show was really illuminating, and very interesting for the fact in that we didn’t see one catamaran that said to us “I’m the one“. Dee thought she liked the Sunreef 50 and I thought I liked the Nautitech 541/2 but in the end there was not one boat that we really liked. Whilst we were there, Greg Boller from Multihull Solutions (Australia) took us on a delightful drive along the south coast of France to see a Fountaine Pajot Saba 50. We both went wow, this is the boat. But we weren’t done looking.

We then drove to a small village on the south coast of Spain to catch up with Greatcircle to see their Lagoon 52S (S for Sport – no flybridge). Whilst we love Marijke and Mark from Greatcircle, we passed on the Lagoon 52S. Not our boat with the third cabin only accessible from the back deck.

Then it was off to La Rochelle to catch up with Alain who showed us another Saba 50…and a Neel 51, which took our fancy. But a wide trim with only one engine and a deep draft was not for us.

Next stop was Malta to see if we liked a Leopard 58, which we had a great sail on. Lots of nice features but there was no back cockpit to speak of. It all happened upstairs. Not for us.

At this stage, I had to travel back to Australia to go to my Dad’s funeral and Dee flew to Florida to check out a used Saba 50 and a Leopard 58. The Saba 50 ended up under offer and to be honest a new one looked better value with its 2 year warranty.

So then we set about getting a new one. Greg suggested we write him a “nasty” letter critising him for not being able to find us a new boat and voila one was offered up with a June 2020 ex factory date. Perfect!

Why a Saba 50

The things we really liked about the Saba 50 were:

  • The brilliant back deck entertaining area ….this is where we spend the most time…especially when we have friends over.
  • The large galley that is separate and not a thorough fare.
  • The accomodation – we get our own bathrooms.
  • The sailing performance – not quite an Outremer but still pretty impressive.
  • No flybridge and the accessibility of the boom, even with the upstairs entertainment area.
  • The upstairs entertainment area
  • The helm position, with easy communication to the galley
  • Multihull Solutions – these are our agents and they are great to deal with…pre and post sale.

Videos

Reviews

Specifications

Here are many of the EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS & SPECIFICATIONS for another Saba 50:

LOA – 49.2 ft / 15.0 m
LWL – 46.9 ft / 14.3 m
Beam – 26.2 ft / 8.0 m
Draft – 4.1 ft / 1.25 m
Air Draft – 73.5 ft / 22.4 m (excluding antenna); ~76.5 ft / 23.3 m (with VHF antenna)

Light Displacement – 34114 lb / 15474 kg
CE Certification: A – 14 persons, 11442 lb / 5190 kg maximum load. B – 14, C – 24, D – 30

Sails
Main – 899 ft2 / 83.5 m2
Genoa – 619 ft2 / 57.5 m2
Asymmetric spinnaker (optional) – 1453 ft2 / 135 m2
Gennaker (optional ) – 1238 ft2 / 115 m2

Tankage
Water – 185 gal / 700 L (evenly split between two interconnected tanks)
Fuel – 2 x 124 gal / 470 L (tanks not interconnected)
Hot Water – 16 gal / 60 L
Holding Tanks – 4 x 12 gal / 45 L (1 per head)

Batteries
Stb engine – 1 x 50 Ah, 12v
Service / port engine – 5 x 150 Ah, 12v (we added optional 6th battery for 900 Ah capacity)

Dinghy
Max length – 12.5 ft / 3.80 m
Max load per davit – 220 lb / 100 kg
– We have a 3.5m West MarineRIB with Yamaha 15 hp, 2 stroke. Total weight with fuel and anchor is about 300 pounds. We observed no flexing of the davits. When hoisted, the dinghy bottom looks to be a foot higher than the bridgedeck.
– FP installed fairleads instead of turning blocks to guide the davit lines 90 degrees to the electric davit winch. These of course failed in quick order and have been replaced with Schaefer turning blocks. 

Flybridge/Sundeck
Height of Gooseneck from Waterline – 13.9 ft /4.25 m
Height of Gooseneck from Mast Foot – 4.1 ft / 1.24 m (at 6’5”, I had no problem zipping on the sail cover. A crew member who is 5’9” struggled a bit.)
Mast comes fitted with 3 mast steps

Boom clearance: 56” from flybridge deck; 46” from lounge seat (no clearance issues when sitting on rear cushions while sailing) 

Lounge seat: 100” wide x 49” deep (stb section), x 25” deep (middle section), x 73” deep (port section)
Deck lounge (stb): 72” long x 30” wide
Deck lounge (port): 72” long x 60” wide

Helm
Helm biminiheadroom: 76” (we had bimini raised 3″ to 79”)
Helm seat: 57” wide (seats 2-3)

Forward Sundeck
3-Position reclining lounge seats 
– Outer port & stb sections: Each 31” wide x 72” long when folded flat
– Inner port & stb sections: Each 31” wide x 36” long when folded flat

Trampoline: 74” deep x 144” wide (aft edge), x 184” wide (forward edge) (room for up to 8)

Bow seat at each pulpit

Anchor locker is very large. We have it filled with 5 BigB Taylor fenders (10″x26″), 8 Plastimo fenders (9″x22″), boat hook, docklines, primary chain rode, secondary Fortressanchor & rode, 50′ hose reel for saltwater flush, and 3 large bags filled with lifejackets. There was still plenty of room to store several large trash bags that we accumulated.

Cockpit
Table: 68” long x 47” wide (seats 8, or 10 with the included two teak folding chairs placed at open end)

Table seating
– L-shape settee: 88” long x 60” long x 19” deep (LPG locker underneath) 
– Island seat: 58” long x 23” wide (storage underneath)

Stb lounge seat: 58” long x 23” deep (storage underneath)

Aft cockpit couch: 144” long x 21” deep (storage underneath)

Cockpit Refrigerator/Freezer
Cockpit Icemaker
6-person liferaft canister stored under tilt-up steps to helm

Layouts

Owners Manuals