(First published in 2001, revised in 2015)
A true pilothouse yacht, the Fantasi 44 offers an unobstructed view from the upstairs seating. This is a lovely place to hide from the sun or enjoy a book while listening to the rain, or for the watch-keeper.
But first of all, Fantasi 44 is a proper sailboat. The freeboard is lower than usual. The keel has a longish fin with the lead positioned very low, in a pronounced bulb. Therefore, in spite of the yacht being of moderate displacement, she has turned out just as stiff and powerful as you would expect from a ‘blue water cruiser’.
The result is a modern yacht with a slender, easily-driven hull shape. This has paid off: Fantasi 44 slices softly through waves, without pitching. Her long waterline gives good speed potential.
(This talk about performance is not just words. The Pilothouse version of Fantasi 44 is in itself 1000 kgs heavier than the Classic and Dawdle, F 44 Pilothouse #1, in particular does carry some extra weight. She has a 600 kg Selden rig with a roller-furling mainsail. She was crewed by three people in their sixties on her first September trip across the North Sea. Still, they averaged 7,4 knots in 24 hours – close-hauled! This is probably a knot more than you would normally expect for a 14-ton, 44’ Pilothouse cruising yacht in such conditions! We attribute her performance to the efficient hull shape and weight distribution.)
Most Fantasi 44:s have twin-headstay rigs, the inner forestay carrying a near-masthead self-tacking jib. Together with the swept spreaders, this gives good fore-and-aft support of the rig, without need for runners.
The 44:s rig and decks are kept as clean and simple as possible. The sheet for the self-tacker, the mainsail and the control lines can be run concealed to the electric main winches on the cockpit coamings. The only lines on deck which we have not managed to get rid of are the genoa sheets!
The cockpit seating is unusually comfortable. The helmsman’s seat, aft deck and central part of transom fold out in one piece, opening the cockpit aft and forming a boarding platform.
Maybe downstairs is a misleading term. With this boat, it is more a matter of going ‘in’ or going ‘out’. Being inside does definitely not give the impression of being downstairs.
When designing the Fantasi 44, I had no problems trying to imagine what she would be like inside the pilothouse, at anchor or in port. I could also imagine myself in the navigator’s seat during a watch, motoring along the coast on a cold November day.
What I failed to realise was the beauty of this layout at sea, under sail. With her toughened, double-glazed windows, and through her stiff GRP sandwich construction, she has turned out whisper silent down below also under sail. So what you have is an airy, secure, warm, dry & silent place to stay – in a cruising yacht with an unusually easy motion!
This also turns out to be a perfect layout for the watch-keeper, allowing not just the off-watch but in fact everybody to move about freely in the boat, making coffee, reading, working or listening to music. All you need to do is remind yourself to look out every five minutes or so.
The downstairs port-side galley is laid out with ample work surfaces surrounding the cook. This also means that everything is at hand and there is good support for offshore use. Being open towards the upstairs seating and the pilothouse front windows above, there is a tremendous sense of space.
Opposite the galley is a choice of two armchairs or a sofa with a table which folds out of the backrest. There is room for a TV/VCR, books and a hi-fi system. This is a more private place to relax but still light and airy.
The aft stateroom spans the beam of the yacht, has more than 1.96m standing headroom, a bureau, lockers and shelves. It has an asymmetric cabintop. The main entrance from the cockpit is thus offset to starboard and pushed a little forward.
LOA 14,12 m 46’ 4”
LOD 13,72 m 45’ 0”
LWL 11,82 m 38’ 9”
BEAM 4,04 m 13’ 3”
DRAFT 1,95 /2,17 m 6’5 / 7’ 1”
DISPLACEMENT 14000 kgs 30,000 lbs.
BALLAST 4400 kgs 9,700 lbs
SAIL AREA 108 sq.m. 1,160 sq.ft.
BRIDGE CLEARANCE 20 m 65’ 7”
Fantasi 44 #19, Zoe, cruising from the Pacific Northwest down to Baja California. Images courtesy of the owners.
All Fantasi 44s have different interior layouts; just showing one here