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Designer Ted Fontaine has produced an innovative 48’ modern performance sailing yacht with as strong an emphasis on speed under sail as speed under power with the SURFARI 50.

Fontaine has applied his design expertise and market insight with the introduction of the new SURFARI 50. He believes that the primary appeals of the SURFARI 50 will be its racing yacht performance under sail, its motor yacht performance under power. The most innovative design feature is the clever implementation and practicality of the single level floor plan designed specifically for an active outdoors watersports lifestyle. The refreshing styling of the SURFARI 50 with its single level outdoor living / recreational space is unique to the sailboat market. Fontaine believes that these distinguishing features will attract the “baby boomer” racing sailors, a group that is known to live an active, athletic, water sports, family-oriented lifestyle. The SURFARI 50 has been created to provide a fast, fun and comfortable platform from which to enjoy family-oriented water sports activities.

The design concept for the new SURFARI 50 evolved while Fontaine was actively engaged in marketing the Friendship 40 and 53. It was during the direct marketing of these yachts that Fontaine met hundreds of yachting families. While most of these yachtsmen appreciated the extraordinary quality and classic styling of the Friendship 40 many admitted that the Friendship 40 was not the boat for them.

These yachtsmen explained that aesthetics, sailing performance and the quality of construction were of utmost importance to them. They wanted sun protection and ease of access to the water. They want exciting speeds under sail and power, they wanted a single level, indoor / outdoor floor plan with excellent protection from the sun. They wanted a boat that could get them to their favorite anchorages quickly, a boat from which they could carry and enjoy water sports activities like swimming, diving, surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking. They described a boat with wide open outdoor living spaces for dining and entertaining. They wanted a boat that the entire family would enjoy for either a day, a week or a month of extended cruising. The SURFARI 50 was created to address these specific needs.

The SURFARI 50 is differentiated from the semi-custom and / or production yachts in the same size range due to the following key features:

  • The SURFARI 50 is be built utilizing the latest in lightweight “grand prix race boat” construction techniques utilizing infused epoxy / carbon fiber composite materials aimed towards decreasing construction weight and improving performance under power and sail.
  • The “state of the art” lightweight carbon fiber mast, boom with “push button” sailing systems contribute to the yachts ease of handling and superior “race boat” sailing performance.
  • The unique, single level floor plan, from swim platform through the entire length of the cockpit and on through the deck salon creates an outdoor living space designed specifically for the active water sports-oriented lifestyle enthusiast.
  • 360-degree visibility is achieved through the large side windows and full-width windshield, enhancing the “open air” environment.
  • The SURFARI 50 is outfit with twin 80 HP auxiliary engines enabling speeds under power normally found on semi displacement motor yachts.
  • Purpose built storage space for assorted water craft such as kayaks, surf boards and paddleboards help to create a functional platform for the outdoor living and water sports activities.
  • At rest, with the 30 square foot transom platform lowered the outdoor living spaces are one continuous level, from swim platform to the inside steering position.
  • The combination of exceptional sailing and motoring speed, when matched with the single level living, creates the “get there fast, have fun and get home fast” lifestyle that most families’ shrinking leisure time allows.
  • Hydraulic and electric sail control systems for sheeting and furling the mainsail, self-tacking-genoa and bow sprit mounted code sails. The sail control systems developed for single-handed operation, perfected on the Friendship 40 and 53 will be utilized on the SURFARI 50.
  • The SURFARI 50.was designed to provide complete customization of the boat, fixed keel, lifting keel, one, two or three stateroom layouts and multiple cockpit arrangements will be available to each new owner, thereby creating a full custom designed yacht per each owner’s individual requirements.

The SURFARI 50’s overall styling, ergonomic design, its unique aesthetics and outstanding performance under sail or power set it apart from the competition in the same manner that the Friendship 40 did when it was introduced years ago. This is a yacht which until now did not exist.

The SURFARI 50 is a boldly styled yacht in appearance, with powerful sheer line and low-profile deckhouse. The SURFARI 50 is designed with variable between 5.5’ and 8.5’ with the hydraulically operated lifting bulb keel or a fixed draft of only 6’-7” the yacht has been designed to allow access to secluded anchorages and coastal waterfront homes.

No wind, no problem. The SURFARI 50 is designed to get the owner to their favorite surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding or diving location quickly and comfortable. To do so in speed the SURFARI 50 is outfitted with twin 80 HP Yanmar JH 80 diesel engines, each with a geared folding 4 blade propeller which will propel the hull at 10 kts.

“Getting there” fast, comfortably and in style is the primary design feature only found on this hybrid performance hull form. The Yanmar JH 85 engines are proven to be smooth running, fuel efficient and quiet. The expected speeds under power have been calculated to approach ten knots at cruising speed.

The SURFARI 50 was specifically designed to afford each owner the option to fully customize the interior and exterior accommodations plans. Each arrangement offered maintains the unique single level open cockpit plan that features a fully functional galley equipped with gas grill, two burner cook top, two drawer 12V refrigerator AND an under counter freezer. a deep oversized sink, a pull-out trash bin and ice maker complete the exterior galley-up concept.

The galley / cockpit is expected to be the primary living space onboard. Large UV protected, tinted safety glass windows and large opening overhead hatches are designed to provide exceptional ventilation, unobstructed visibility and a direct lines of sight between the interior piloting station and the exterior sports deck.

The forward helm station will have navigational repeaters for the radar and chart plotter, engine controls for the twin engines, sail control panels and autopilot. The unique center console control station is ideally positioned to promote a social operating atmosphere with full functionality.

The unique advantage of the SURFARI 50 is that the design does not compromise sailing performance for powering performance. The SURFARI 50 does not sacrifice aesthetics for function. The SURFARI 50 is a unique design, it is according to designer Ted Fontaine “a game changer, this is a boat people do not even know they want. Spend an hour on board and it all makes sense. He sails fast, powers fast, keeps you out of the sun, provides easy access to the water, can easily carry paddleboards and kayaks and you only go below to sleep on use the head or to sleep for the night. It is a water born floating home with a permanent dock.

If you are interested in discussing the first SURFARI 50’s, Ted Fontaine is available to answer your questions.  Please call Ted at (401)-682-9101 or email at