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85 JFA Catamaran Walkthrough [Boat Review + Video]

Denison Yachting | June 18, 2022



Take an extensive tour of the 85 JFA Catamaran [NDSE] in Charleston, SC with David Johnson.

This article is a transcription of the 85 JFA video from Denison’s Youtube Channel. Tune in daily to discover the latest yacht video walkthroughs from the world’s largest yacht video collection. Watch the full video below:


My name is David Johnson from Denison Yachting. I am currently on board the 85 foot JFA named NDSE, here in Charleston South Carolina. Yesterday I was very fortunate and I had the opportunity to take the NDSE out sailing yesterday with the captain and crew. Perfect conditions here. The boat is not only a performance boat, we were easily sailing at 10 knots in a light breeze, I was able to notice obviously how well the boat was constructed. The owner chose aluminum because of the reliability and the strength. This boat was built to go around the world specifically to Antarctica. The owner chose aluminum because of the strength, the light weight and the comfort under sail and JFA has done an incredible job building this hull. I have to say that the seams are flawless when you look at the paint. No question about it, this really is the nicest large Catamaran for sale in the world right now.

Throughout the course of today’s walkthrough, we’re going to have captain Duarte Maitiero Di Silva with us. My name is Dwight Monter De Silva. I come from the Azores Islands part of Portugal and are located in the middle of the North Atlantic. Long before the owner built the NDSE, he already completed his circumnavigation on another boat. You knew that it was a dream of his to take a boat to Antarctica and you wanted to be there with him when he did that. Since the beginning I was always dreaming, I hope when he gets there that I will be invited. And then I was lucky to be invited actually to be the captain on board for the trip. In the beginning, I was a little bit concerned because it’s a big responsibility to take to this kind of latitude and was a place that I never sailed. And then accepted and we did it and we did very well.

JFA is a shipyard in Concoreau in the northern region in France, famous for building Pedigree Catamarans. They built two of these 86 long island sailing Catamarans. They’re both built out of aluminum. These guys launched the boat at the JFA shipyard in north of France. Did a quick shakedown cruise in the Med Caribbean season, back to the shipyard and then all the way down to Antarctica in the first year of this vessel being launched. Right now standing here in the main salon, this one is a great use of space. Fully operational lower helm here. We’ve got 4 guest cabins, on-deck master cabin that is full beam, it’s got a ford view and down on the lower levels. We’ve got two large VIP cabins and another cabin that’s got 3 beds in it that’s for the children and this boat’s all about family travel and adventure.  

We’ll start today’s tour here on the flybridge where the guests will be hanging out most of the time. A couple things that jump out at me right away, first we’ve got the clotheslines here which obviously that you need something like this it’s really nice. So why not have them. This is a great place.  Something that you don’t see on a lot of Catamarans is a really well designed drainage system and I see right there where you’re standing, what is like kind of like a channel that’s cut into the off section works its way around and then it gets quite deep there and you have a really good drain rather than the water just running down the stairs. And I’d like to point out also that you have a little door here that’ll flip over and you can cover that whole area right there. Really sectioning that off. So obviously multiple areas on board the boat for dining. This is the one that has the best view I would say and also the nicest breeze. Great seating up here, got storage under all this area here and under the settee up here we’ve also got two refrigerator drawers. And one final thing while we’re standing back here, I’m looking at this hardtop. This is a substantial part of the boat I see that it’s you know. You’ve got the frames coming down supports, it’s built in solid fiberglass.  It’s quite good because it’s also quite useful when you’re dropping the mainsail. So you can work on the boom easily, you feel safe. You can work and walk. And then that’s where we have all the solar panels for the electricity.  Walking forward on the flybridge we’re getting up to the helm area. I see a really nice complement of Harken winches and Furuno and B&G equipment. I think this boat is very well equipped to handle every condition. For instance, on the way up here you guys hit 16 knots under sail coming up from Fort Lauderdale recently. Is that the top speed you’ve seen?  Yeah, mostly it’s been around that at the top speed 16-18. 18 is very impressive for an 85-foot Catamaran. What were the conditions? We were selling with 30 knots downwind so that would help also with a bit nice swell pushing us along. But the boat sails easily and very comfortable around 10 to 12 knots and you don’t feel that you are pushing the boat ever. You have a good balance always between the sails and the sea conditions. It’s quite a good thing to be so high up also helps to have a good visibility through the horizons.  As you can see here we have B&G and two Furuno displays. They are completely independent systems that means they have their own GPS antenna, radar and wind indicators. Also we have two independent autopilots. We also have a FLIR camera. Over here we have a ODS. It’s a Ocean Data System that records all the values of tensions on the masts.

Now that we’ve finished up here on the flybridge. We’re going to jump down to the water line and take a look at the swim platform. One of the first things I noticed coming down is that we’ve got the shorepower, running out to the dock over here 50 hertz single phase with a shorepower converter. And then we have this beautiful shower right here. This might be one of the nicest I’ve seen. Beautiful control right here. Hot water hooked up to this.  Is there a ladder or just a railing? This is a swimming leather that fits on these two holes. This one is for a small platform and then we have a long one that can go from there that it’s almost 3 meters long. Passarelle go up to the dock. And this is a very very nice idea right here. This is a full-size sink. You can store your shampoo, soaps anything you need for the shower. But it’s also a full-size sink that you can have a little hose here and rinse off your snorkels, masts, fins, fish if you’re going to catch some fish along the way. Also hot water.  

Walking back up to the aft deck can’t help but notice the AB 16 foot tender right here when you were back at the shipyard a couple months ago. You enhanced the lifting capacity. So now these arms are bigger, so we were able to go up in sizes in tender. So now we have this 16 feet tender. There’s a smaller tender that you were able to move the iceberg. Yes, there’s a smaller one. So outboard of the tender, port and starboard are two access hatches for the engine rooms which we’re going to check out next.  On these boats we have two different engine rooms, one on starboard, one on port. Currently we are on the starboard one. Over here we have our electrical boards. We have two 20s and 24 volt systems. Here is the show power converter. It always converts to what the boat needs. Over here we have our two water makers. We have our Onan generator of 19 kilowatts and the Yanmar 400 horsepower engine.  So the main difference from this engine room on starboard to the port side, it’s exactly where we have our two water makers. We have the two air conditioning compressors and the fuel heater that can warm up the boat very quickly, very good in cold climates.  This is a really nice aft deck with a sizeable dining area here. It’s a nice table that you can fit easily 6 people very comfortable around here. I notice there’s a nice little daybed over on the side over there as well. There’s that nice Windsereen right there protecting anybody that wants to read a book, it just keeps them protected from the elements.  We have a daily use toilet. We are just coming from a swim, you don’t need to go inside you can use that one. And then of course this whole aft deck can be enclosed, if you wanted with sunshade or the eisenglass which is a really nice option.  As you can see here we have the this long seats that is very functional because you can open you have a storage that you can access from the other side. We have the diving bottles, we have a spare border and a few jericons for fuel for the dinghy. It’s a really nice place to store the dive tanks because it’s really easy to just load them up into the tender, lower the tender and take off on a dive. I’d like to talk a little bit about what we have underfoot here. We’ve got a few deck hatches that are opened up showing a wide variety of safety equipment storage. We can launch the live rafts we have our [10:00] and all that safety stuff. On this side from the fishing gear to the cleaning products, over here we have a small another fridge unit that we sometimes use more for a long crossing. That’s like a mobile fridge. Yes. It’s a really really nice unit. And on that one we have a lot of our heavy spares from different pumps and they’re big volume spaces.  

So the next area that we’re going to look at is the foredeck. I’d like to point out that the NDSE has got a really nice Leumar windlass here. This one’s got 120 meters of chain. Got a nice sail layout. Here first we have a stay sail, then Genoa and then we have all the way forward on that boss split that’s where we attach our code zero. That has a good feature because it’s also hydraulic power, in less than a minute we can fill the code zero in, it’s very practical to use.  NDSE actually has a proper workshop down here in the forward bilge. This one has access to the dive compressor, bow thruster and it’s got a really nice workbench and all the spares are also stored down here. Do you even have a vise down there? Everything. On our starboard side forepeak, we find all our ropes for the different sails plus the diving gear is also underneath. On this central forward area we have 3 lockers. On this one we have all the toys and the two spinaker sails the code zero and the symmetrical spinacre. And on the third one that’s where we keep the gangways plus our fenders.  Right now we’re standing on top of the master cabin. This is a really nice place to relax. You’re obviously going to be dry up here. Owner can come out here. There is a full bimini that covers this area. You’ve got a set of poles that go in there and also right here, this whole area can be shaded. One of my favorite things it’s how easy is to get out behind the wheel and I just come down easily, I can be on the ball to look at the sails to be able to transmit any information to the people that are on the cockpit and that’s a very easy maneuver to do. So now that we’ve finished up on the exterior, let’s head on inside and have a look at the salon.

So one thing I noticed in here right away is the beam. Obviously we’ve got a boat that’s almost 40 feet wide, you’re going to have a really large salon. This one has ample volume and lots of storage. Over here on the starboard side, we’ve got a very large drinks bar, not to be confused with the full-size galley that’s down on the lower deck. We’ve got an ice machine full-size drinks, refrigerator, sink here that’s actually got a nice feature which is a filtered water right there so you can fill your water bottles from this tap if you want to. On the inboard side of the wet bar we’ve got a very nice storage area. So this is for all your wine glasses. The first of two seating areas here in the salon is just forward area on the starboard side. This is a nice L-shaped settee. It’s got storage underneath all the cushions here. This area is just for a general relaxing. But it also makes a great place to sit if you’re watching a movie on the TV that’s going to pop up over there on the outboard side of the dining table. So this TV controlled by this remote that I have right here. It’s going to pop up on the outboard side. Here you’ve got a dining table that’s for 8 people. No matter where you’re sitting in the main salon, it’s very obvious that you’ve got large windows all around you flooding this area with natural light. Down here we can find almost the same instruments that above but we don’t hear we use more to plan the trip. So over here we have our main computer that it’s connect to the satellite communications. Over here we have our PLC that controls all the alarms that can come up, we can see it on this page. Just a few feet away from the NAV station over here, we have some additional controls on this cupboard like the generator starter and stop, the IES and the fire central system. And then as you’re going to find on just about every other yacht in the world on the main distribution panel, we’re going to have all the breakers for all the main systems on board, the water maker controls and a variety of other options here as well.

The next space that we’re going to show you is the master cabin. I’m just a few steps forward of the main salon. It’s a wonderful space, easy access up to the foredeck and a wonderful seating area over here. The largest item you’re going to find here in the master cabin is the bed. It’s a king-sized bed. It’s got a beautiful view looking out forward across the foredeck and you can also watch a movie. The TV is going to pop up right in front of you. Moving over the starboard side like to point out that there’s a settee over here, large enough for 3 people lots of room underneath. The owner also has his nice workstation right here and the boat has an amazing sound system. Just in this room right here alone you’re going to find 4 Bang and Olufsen speakers and you’ll find those speakers throughout the rest of the boat.

Walking over to the port side I’d like to point out that there’s a large amount of wall storage and of course you’ve got the stairs right here they’re going to bring you right up to your private balcony on the foredeck. A really nice setup right here, watertight door and then as we transition over to the port a little bit more storage space and stairs are going to bring you right down to the ensuite.  Stepping into the ensuite you’ll first notice the two his and her vanities and also just a lot of storage underneath the vanity area. Not only is there a separate stall for the head adjacent to that there’s another stall for a rainfall shower. So now that I’ve shown you the master, there are 3 other guest accommodations that I’d like to show you and we’ll start over here on the port side. Turning aft at the base of the stairwell, we walk into the VIP cabin. First thing you’re going to notice is the queen size bed with storage underneath. You see some more of those beautiful Bang and Olufsen speakers down here.  Forward of the desk that we see here on the port side, you’ll find the entrance to the head with a very nice fully enclosed shower. Walking forward from this VIP we’re going to head into what is traditionally known as the twin cabin but this one is oversized and it actually has 3 twin beds in here. This is an area that was used by the current owners for their children when they were doing long passages. It’s much larger than a typical cabin. You could put bunk beds in here if you wanted to or you could just turn this into more receding area. I’d like to point out how quiet these cabins are. Once the door is closed here it’s like in your own little zone now.

This little desk right here works out really nice if the kids are doing some school work or something. Another area here where you’ve got multiple USB and HDMI outlets here power outlets you, got a nice TV right here that will fold out for the kids or any guests that are watching any movies at night.  All the way forward in here is another private ensuite head and shower. Now that I’ve shown you the port side accommodations, there’s one more cabin I’d like to point out which is over on the starboard side of the boat. So this cabin is the second VIP. We’re now on the starboard side and this cabin actually mirrors the one that we just showed you on the port side, it’s identical to that one.

Wrapping up in here we’re next going to check out the galley. So over here we have a galley. It’s a chef’s dream space. There’s a lot of room to help preparing all the dishes over here. We have the microwave oven as well as the gas cooktop. And then on this side we have a double sink and the dishwasher machine over this side. Directly across from a dinette we’ve got two nice refrigerators/freezers, each one has 4 drawers and then a full-size refrigerator. Right here you’re going to have a nice pocket door so you can close the galley off from the rest of the guest accommodations. Another nice feature that you’re going to find here is under foot you’ve got two very large storage bins underneath the sole here in the galley. And last but not least we’ve got a really nice bilge down here that accommodates all the tanks throughout the boat and a lot of the technical features found on board.  We have two boilers, one on each in each compartment plus the diesel tank, water tank, fresh water pump. And on starboard side we still have the black water treatment plants and on the port side we have instead of having the treatment plant we have air compressor.

A cool structural feature about the NDSE is that you’ve got a clear line of sight all the way through from the aft guest accommodation right through the galley walking forward into the first crew accommodation. We have a TV like all the cabins have. We have two washing and drying machines, plenty of room for the cleaning products and forwards we have the captain cabin. So these two cabins both share a toilet and the shower. It’s nice to have them separated that way if a crew member can get ready while the other one’s brushing his teeth or whatever you need to do. And then working your way forward a little bit more, we get into the captain’s cabin.

Here in the cabin’s cabin you’ve got 3 hanging lockers, full-sized bed with storage underneath and a large TV on the forward bulkhead. Another thing that I wanted to point out down here in the captain’s cabin is that he’s got a couple repeaters here from the wheelhouse, letting him know what the wind speed is, what their heading is, if there’s any anchor dragging and he can just keep it overall sight on everything that’s going on on board the monitoring system.

Thank you for joining captain Dwight De, myself this afternoon onboard the NDSE. If you have any questions, please contact me directly. Thank you.


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