Our New Boat: Songa

We’ve ordered a new boat, a Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42. It’s a catamaran and a big departure from our beloved Yamoya. Who would have thought I would buy a cat?

SV Songa:

BrandFountaine Pajot
ModelAstréa 42
Length12.58m (41.3′)
CabinsOwner’s suite (starboard hull), VIP guest cabin, additional guest cabin
Each cabin has it’s own ensuite
Est. completionDecember, 2023
Pickup fromLa Rochelle, France

But why?

Generally, because of the extra space. There are some things about Yamoya that could be better, as a full-time, live-aboard, cruising yacht. We like being in the wheelhouse where we can see around and feel more connected with the outside world. However, most of the time we end up in the main salon which is “down below” and all we can see is sky. Having visitors is nice, but having them stay overnight becomes inconvenient because our guest cabin is also our storage room. We only have one toilet, right next to the salon and galley (kitchen) which can be embarrassing and can causes issues with visitors. And we would really (really, really) like to have a washing machine.

What are we looking forward to?

  • The space: salon, cockpit, separate helm station, top deck lounge, foredeck lounge.
  • The view – not missing out on sunsets. The salon, galley and cockpit are all on the same level and you feel connected with the outside. If the outside becomes too much you can always retreat to the sleeping cabin down in the hull.
  • A straight, queen size bed that we can walk around. No more climbing over Sonja.
  • A dedicated guest cabin.
  • Guests have their own bathroom.
  • More fridge and freezer space.
  • The electric swim platform.
  • Deck lockers.
  • An inbuilt generator.
  • More solar power.
  • Air conditioning.
  • A washing machine.

Why are we picking the boat up in France?

We have always planned on going to the Mediterranean in Yamoya. If you’ve ever looked on a map it’s a long way, especially at 5 miles per hour. With the time dent caused by COVID we saw this as an opportunity to put us in the North Atlantic with easy access to the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the United Kingdom. And then it’s not a big trip (about 3 weeks) across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and then Latin and North America.

There are also tax advantages doing it this way. We save about 17%, not having to pay shipping, import duties and GST. If we ever bring the yacht back to Australia, we will have to pay these. Like wise if we ever settle in another country we will have to pay duty and tax for that country.

Why did we pick the Astréa 42?

We started thinking seriously about upgrading early-mid last year, and investigated everything on offer. We decided that we would look at the most popular brands for and easy, future resale; and, we decided on a new boat rather than 2nd hand. This was narrowed down to four brands in a size range of 40-45 feet: Bali, Fountaine Pajot, Lagoon and Leopard. We then decided 40′ was too small for us and 45′ was too big – so 42′ it was. The things we liked about the Astréa are:

  • The cockpit feels bigger and less cluttered.
  • It is better finished; apart from the Leopard which was probably on par.
  • The big swim platform.
  • The helm station feels secure & safe and can be accessed from the cockpit.
  • The height of the boom.

Now what?

We haven’t yet decided what to do with Yamoya, but we will probably sell her in the 2nd half of 2023. We’ll hate to see her go as the plan had been to sail her to Europe and travel the rivers and canals. But we can’t see that being able to happen, now.

For the next year and a bit we plan to keep cruising around Queensland, heading up to the reef as soon a the cyclone season passes. At some point in 2023 we’ll have to move off, pack and send our things to France and then send ourselves.

3 thoughts on “Our New Boat: Songa

  1. Peter Redmond January 17, 2022 / 6:44 am

    looks like you picked a wonderful Cat with all the comfort and features you would ever need – once you find a place for the washer Soooo much love to have one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephen Mitchell January 18, 2022 / 7:53 pm

    Oh Wow! Well done Sonja and Glenn. The “cat” looks impressive and we’re feeling very jealous at the moment! Would love to one day join you guys on Songa, drinking wine, eating cheese and watching the sunset/sunrise. Enjoy your travels you two. Love from Steve, Sam, Jack and Ruby. Xxxx


    • glenn January 19, 2022 / 8:21 am

      That would be a treat having you guys on board.


Comments are closed.