After almost 1,000 units sold, Lagoon is replacing their classic Lagoon 450 model with the new Lagoon 46. While the 450 may be a tough act to follow, the 46 will benefit from the yard’s innovative construction techniques and years of feedback from dealers and owners, and looks poised to take top place in the hearts of both owners and charter users.
Lagoon has been building catamarans for too long to make a false move. That’s why when the management felt that their tried-and-true 450 model, long a cruising favourite and winner of transatlantic events such as the ARC, was getting near retirement age, they went back to a team that has designed many successful models for them: Nauta Design for interiors and VPLP design with Patrick le Quément for naval architecture and exteriors.
We spoke with Nauta Design’s Massimo Gino about his work with Lagoon.
The helm on the bridge deck offers amazing and comfortable cruising spaces.
“Along with the many custom superyacht projects we do, we have been collaborating with Lagoon since 2009. When we were asked to do a new model to replace the best-selling 450 we at first thought - mission impossible. How can you improve on a legend? But then we asked ourselves: ‘What makes a catamaran a Lagoon?’ Thinking about market perception of the brand, we thought about its important heritage of style, function and dependability. These are also catamarans that are excellent for family use,” says Gino.
This is a view looking aft from the door of the head to the berth in the master stateroom on the threecabin layout.
“Our recent projects for Lagoon have introduced luxury and we thought that this was the direction the 46’ should move in, too. We wanted to introduce new comforts while leaving the best ‘Lagoon’ values intact,” he says. “VPLP’s stylish new exterior design added some spaces to work with and we used every centimetre to improve on a boat that was already perfect in many ways.
“We call the new look that we used aboard the 46 ‘homey minimalism.’ We used the same style and materials we used aboard the 50 where beauty and comfort meet space and light to create luxury. Walnut and larch woods set a chocolate brown and cream palette with warm, soft contrasts. We also used indirect lighting so that spaces have suffused, relaxing light that is balanced and even.”
Boarding the 46, the sense of openness is surprising. “We thought hard about the perception of available space,” says Gino. “Décor and style are important, but light and views are also key. Window size and height open up sightlines and let a space breathe.”
The aft guest cockpit and the salon can be lived as a continuous space thanks to windows and doors that slide open wide. The cockpit has a couch, a portside table with banquette seating, and a lounging area starboard. Add to these the living area in the salon with L-shaped couches and a pouf: More than room for a family, there’s room for a crowd.
“We designed the J-shaped galley next to the cooking station in the aft cockpit so that serving is fast and easy and everything that you need is close at hand,” continues Gino. “With the deck and the floor on the same level, the whole area becomes a unit where movement between indoors and outdoors flows easily.” There is even the option for an opening window fore in the salon, a clever touch that puts the large foredeck lounging area into easy communication with the rest of the boat.
If the foredeck aboard the Lagoon 46 is no longer an isolated spot, sometimes it is nice to have your own private refuge aboard. This is why the cabins aboard the 46 are all comfortable, with large island beds, excellent natural light and ventilation, and en-suite facilities with large showers.
“We designed different cabin layouts to offer a range of options. In the three-cabin version the owners have the luxury of the entire starboard hull for themselves with a double bed, lots of storage, and a toilet space that is separate from the shower. All cabins get lots of natural light and air through hatches and large hull windows with opening portholes. And since connectivity is a part of life that owners don’t want to give up even when they’re at sea, the owner’s cabin has an office space and the salon and all of the cabins have USB sockets,” concludes Gino.
While some Lagoon catamarans are used for easy-going island hopping with friends and family, there are also many owners who sail across oceans in them. Seeing how Lagoon catamarans are fixtures at events such as the ARC, in designing the 46, naval architects VPLP’s design concentrated on improving performance.
With some additional chairs, a big group could dine in comfort here, sheltered from sun and rain.
“We brought our years of experience in designing top racing boats to this project to find the perfect balance between performance, autonomy, reliability, and ease of use,” says Vincent Lauriot Prévost. “By positioning the mast a bit further aft, at 53% of the hull length, we created a good ratio of hull length to displacement speed that also reduces pitching.” The 140.1 square metre sail plan has a high aspect ratio mainsail mounted on a slightly shorter canoe boom for easier manoeuvring and owners can chose a square topped main and a FlatWinder powered block for the traveller. The furling jib is self-tacking for easy upwind sailing and the forward triangle is large to allow owners a choice of downwind sails. “We were aiming for a cruising speed of nine to fourteen knots and have been very happy with the results,” says Vincent Lauriot-Prévost.
With big forward windows all the way around and a glass aft bulkhead, the salon and galley area provides simply amazing accommodation.
Reaching the centrally placed flybridge helm station is easy with access points from the aft cockpit and the starboard deck. Visibility is excellent and the deck layout, with winches and locks that are all close at hand, is perfect for carefree, uncomplicated sailing. Even the windlass can be controlled remotely from the flybridge. But this area is something more than just a helm station: In keeping with the 46’s vocation for fun in comfort, the flybridge also has large sun pads that can be shaded by a spray hood or a rigid bimini and thoughtful touches like drinks holders.
Patrick le Quément, former head of design at Renault, designed the 46’s pure, linear look with vertical lines that combine strength and finesse.
This photo taken from the dinette looking aft, shows the large drawer refrigerators, abundant counter space and gracious layout of the galley.
“In association with VPLP, our desire was to increase the emotional impact of Lagoon catamarans, giving them greater charm to accompany the technological innovations that have made the brand an archetype. We worked to create an atmosphere that would be equally harmonious inside and out and I think that we have created the perfect link between interior and exterior.”
Excellent living spaces, top sailing performance, and easy connection between interior and exterior are all wonderful features, but what really makes a seafaring vacation special is safe and easy access to the water. This 46 has just three steps that lead down from the aft cockpit to the water. For the tender, owners have the option of choosing a conventional davit or a hydraulic Tenderlift platform, which adds an extra living space at the stern of the boat.
This wonderful fore deck seating space is made possible by the catamaran design.
Lagoon catamarans may be produced in series but, as the saying goes, they break the mould. Owners can be assured that they are buying a well-tested catamaran with top design features, excellent construction materials, and techniques that will be a joy to own and to sail. And when Lagoon decides that it is time to literally break the mould that has been used to produce almost 1,000 Lagoon 450s, they are ready with the 46, a catamaran that has everything it will take to make her extremely popular predecessor a thing of the past.
Length overall: 13.99m / 45’11’’
Beam overall: 7.96m / 25’10’’
Draft: 1.30m / 4’3’’
Mast clearance: 23.99 m / 78’8’’
Displacement (EC): 16.6 T / 36 603 Lbs
Standard engine: 2 x 45 hp Yanmar
Optional engine: 2 x 57 hp Yanmar
Fuel capacity: 2 x 520L / 2 x 137 US gal
Fresh water capacity: 2 x 300L / 2 x 79 US gal
Black water capacity: 2 x 120 L / 2 x 32 US gal
Hot water: 60L / 16 US gal
Batteries: 3 x 140 A (service) - 110A (start)
Number of berth: 6 to 12
Sail area: 140.1m² / 1507 sq.ft.
Fullbatten mainsail: 87m² / 936 sq.ft.
Furling genoa: 50.5m² / 543 sq.ft.
Code 0: 110m² / 1184 sq.ft.
Price: $650,000 USD moderately equipped
Price Quoted by: Anchor Yacht Sales http://anchoryachtsales.com. Visit: https://www.cata-lagoon.com
Boat Review: Lagoon 46
When developing its new 46-footer, Lagoon had two issues to contend with. First, the immense popularity of its recently introduced groundbreaking 50 set high expectations for the smaller design. The question, therefore, became how to pack all of the 50’s innovative features onto a more compact platform. Second, since the 46 replaces the immensely successful Lagoon 450, Lagoon couldn’t afford a misstep. With nearly 800 units of its predecessor having launched, it was imperative that it get the new design right.
Design & Construction
France’s VPLP designed the Lagoon 46 along with Patrick Le Quement, and you can see the resemblance to her bigger sister in both the angular transoms and the sloping hardtop that lifts up at the aft end, creating the perception of movement. At first, the wraparound glazed vertical windows look continuous, but in fact, they’re made up of a series of separate panels. Weight was kept low through the use of vacuum-infused balsa coring above the waterline and reconstituted Alpi wood interiors.
As in the exterior profile, the designers borrowed heavily from the Lagoon 50 when creating the 46’s deck layout. The two steps from the transoms, for example, are low and wide, making the transition to the cockpit a gradual, easy one. The hatches over the engine rooms also, once again, open aft, keeping you safely in the cockpit and not out on the transoms when checking the engines underway.
The cockpit table to port folds in for a quick family breakfast or opens up to seat as many as eight for dinner. The sliding seat forward also makes an encore performance. Underway, it moves aft to reveal steps up to the port side deck, thereby allowing you to move directly from inside the cockpit to the bow without having to go aft and around. Finally, to starboard, the outdoor galley from the bigger sister also made the cut, with a sink, a fridge, cutouts to hold bottles and a large countertop for food and cocktail prep all located there. A small hatch above the galley window was also added so you can pass drinks or other small items directly from the cockpit to the flybridge.
The foredeck still includes a lounge with of a settee behind the windlass cover, which does double duty as a cocktail table. This time, though, sunbeds were also added on either side. The forward window opens manually, so drinks can be passed to the lounge directly from the galley without having to scramble around the side decks. Polishing duties will be few, since there are no more stainless handrails leading to the foredeck. Instead, the coachroof has a handhold molded directly into the GRP for a cleaner, lighter aesthetic.
Up on the flybridge, a long bench seat accommodates the skipper and as many as three companions. The angled dash is comprehensive, with an angled MFD, wind instruments, autopilot, remote windlass control and light switches. The latter means you no longer have to duck below to turn on the running lights. The wheel is offset to port so, unlike on the 50, the driver isn’t staring directly into the back of the mast. Behind the bench seat is a triple-wide sun pad with movable back rests where companions can relax with a book, nap or even help keep watch.
The two aft supports for the hardtop also serve as ladders, allowing you to climb up and manage the mainsail into its bag. However, they’re as awkward and slick as on the 50, so using them will be limited to when the boat is in its slip or on the hook in a quiet anchorage. I’d dare not try it with wet feet and hands in any kind of seaway.
A recessed, electric Harken winch manages the continuous main traveler, leaving you with no excuse not to have a well-trimmed sail. The jib is on a self-tacking track, making singlehanding this big boat that much easier.
Inside and on the same level as the cockpit is the interior social space comprising the saloon and galley. To starboard are twin isotherm refrigeration drawers. Directly opposite is an under-counter fridge in the same area as the sink and stove. There’s good stowage all-around for things like provisions and galley tools, and the microwave has been nestled into a bulkhead near chest level so you won’t have to worry about hot beverages sloshing around over your head.
Also to port and forward is an angled nav desk with a B&G MFD, another fixed-mount VHF radio and autopilot controls, which will make for a great watch-standing stations on long passages or in inclement weather. On charter this is likely to serve as a drinks table, but serious cruisers will appreciate a space dedicated to ship’s business.
Our test boat came equipped with the three-cabin owner’s layout, with a truly posh master suite in the starboard hull. Aft in this space is a queen-sized island bed with access from both sides. Amidships is an elongated settee and desk, with racks to hold books and other small items. The head is forward and large enough for two people to use simultaneously, with the toilet in a separate compartment with a second washbasin. Blackwater tanks for all the heads are located under the sole rather than shoehorned in higher up in the hulls, providing that much more room for accommodations. For charter or large families, four cabins and four heads (each with a separate shower stall) are available.
The rectangular hull windows on the Lagoon 46 are even larger than aboard the 450, and in combination with recessed lighting both along the cabin sole and overhead create a feeling of light and space. Lagoon offers a choice of three wood finishes, including a darker shade of brown Alpi and the option of upmarket leather accents. Traditionalists like to say production cats have all the aesthetics of a plastic tub, but not this one.
The wind gods denied us any kind of a real test on the Chesapeake, and despite doing our best to put the 1,300ft2 sailplan to work, we never really got a chance to see what the boat is capable of. That said, there were still some hints as to what her performance would be like in a blow. The mast, for example, has been moved aft to minimize hobbyhorsing. The shorter boom is also more manageable, and the rig has a higher aspect ratio to better capture the winds aloft. Mast height is 76ft, so she won’t be a candidate for the ICW, but the higher SA/D ratio will undoubtedly be welcome offshore in light air. In 15 knots true wind on the beam, you can expect speeds of 9-10 knots in minimal chop. Unfurl the Code 0 in 18 knots true breeze, and you’ll be reeling off 11-12 knots.
The Lagoon 46 is nearly 12,000lb lighter than her 50ft sister—lightweight. If you can avoid the temptation to weigh her down by filling her cavernous stowage spaces, you’re sure to be pleased with her performance under sail.
Running back to the slip, the twin 57hp Yanmar diesels (standard power is 45hp) with saildrives, delivered 8.5 knots at 3,000 rpm (wide-open-throttle). Since you’re not likely to motor full out, a friendlier cruising speed can be found at 2,200 rpm and 7 knots.
Only time will tell if the popularity of this model will meet or exceed that of the 450. Since the company focused so much on the details and how to pack them into a smaller footprint, we’ll assume that Lagoon did, indeed, get it right and that the 46 will set new records as well.
LOA 45ft 11in LWL 45ft Beam 25ft 11in Draft 4ft 3in Displacement 34,773lb (light ship) Sail Area 1,323ft2Fuel/water (GAL) 274/158 Engines 2 x 45hp or 57hp Yanmar diesels SA/D Ratio 20 D/L Ratio 170 Designer VPLP Builder Lagoon, Belleville-sur-Vie, France, cata-lagoon.comPrice $745,000 (as tested)
MHS Winter 2021
Lagoon Yachts is the market leader when it comes to cruising catamarans and their new 46 sits plumb in the middle of the range. Claire Mahon takes it for a spin.
After almost 1,000 units sold, Lagoon is replacing their classic Lagoon 450 model with the new Lagoon 46. While the 450 may be a tough act to follow, the 46 benefits from the yard’s innovative construction techniques and years of feedback from dealers and owners. With a larger sail plan and updated design, the 46 looks poised to take top place in the hearts of both owners and charter users.
(Review continues below gallery – scroll down)
Lagoon has been building catamarans for too long to make a false move. That’s why when the management felt that their tried and true 450 model, long a cruising favourite and a winner of transatlantic events such as the ARC, was getting near retirement age they went back to a team that has designed many successful models for them: Nauta Design for interiors and VPLP Design with Patrick le Quément for naval architecture and exteriors. Why change the players when the team gets such good results?
We speak with Nauta Design’s Massimo Gino about his work with Lagoon: “Along with the many custom superyacht projects we do, we have been collaborating with the Beneteau Group since 2005. When we were asked to do a new Lagoon to replace the best selling 450 at first we thought- mission impossible. How can you improve on a legend? But then we asked ourselves: ‘What makes a catamaran a Lagoon?’ Thinking about market perception of the brand, we thought about its important heritage of style, function and dependability. Lagoon catamarans are known to be solid, seaworthy and excellent for family use. While these are the core values, technology never stays still and we knew that with recent advances in hull shapes and building techniques and materials we would be able to update and upgrade some features of the 450 to create a 46 that really would be an improvement on the legend.
“While family and friends are key ingredients of the Lagoon formula, our recent projects for them have upped the level of luxury. We thought that this was the direction the 46’ should move in too; we wanted to introduce new comforts while leaving the best ‘Lagoon’ values of solidity and saftey intact,” Gino says. “VPLP’s stylish new exterior design added some spaces to work with and we used every centimetre to improve on a boat, the 450, that was already perfect in many ways.
“When you think ‘Lagoon’ you think ‘family’ and you think ‘home,” Gino continues. “We call the look aboard the 46 ‘homely minimalism.’ To achieve it we used the same styling and materials we used aboard our recent Lagoon launches, the 50 and the 77: walnut and larch woods in a chocolate brown and cream palette with warm, soft contrasts. We also used indirect lighting so that spaces have suffused, relaxing light that is balanced and evenly distributed. In this interior beauty and comfort meet space and light to create luxury, it’s not about flashy materials.”
Boarding the 46 in La Rochelle, France, close to where Lagoon has is production lines, the sense of openness is surprising. “We thought hard about the perception of available space,” says Gino. “Décor and style are important, but light and views are also key. Window size and height open up sightlines and let a space breathe.”
The wraparound windows in the saloon make the space seem huge and the aft guest cockpit can be lived as a continuous unit with the saloon thanks to windows and doors that slide open wide. The cockpit has a couch, a foldout portside table with adjustable banquette seating and a lounging area starboard. Add to these the living area in the saloon with L shaped couches and a pouf and more than room for a family, you’ll find there’s room for a crowd. ”We designed the “J” shaped galley next to the cooking station in the aft cockpit so that serving is fast and easy and everything that you need is close at hand,” continues Gino. “With the deck and the floor on the same level the whole area becomes a unit where movement between indoors and outdoors flows easily.” Passing food and dishes between the cockpit and the galley is easy thanks to slide back windows at counter top level and there is even the option for an opening window fore in the saloon, a clever touch that puts the large foredeck lounging area into easy communication with the galley and the rest of the boat.
If the foredeck aboard the Lagoon 46 is no longer an isolated spot, sometimes it is nice to have your own private refuge aboard. This is why the cabins aboard the 46 are all comfortable, with large island beds, excellent natural light and ventilation and en suite facilities with large showers. “We designed different cabin layouts to offer a range of options. In the three-cabin version the owners have the luxury of the entire starboard hull for themselves with a double bed, lots of storage and a toilet space that is separate from the shower. All cabins get lots of natural light and air through hatches and large hull windows with opening portholes. And since connectivity is a part of life that owners don’t want to give up even when they’re at sea, the owner’s cabin has an office space and the saloon and all of the cabins have USB connections,” concludes Gino. Which is a nice touch, but it might make it a bit harder to convince children that a sailing vacation is a necessary digital detox.
Liveability is an important element of a catamaran-based experience, but it’s only part of the picture; while some Lagoons are used for easy-going island hopping, there are also many owners who want performance. Seeing how Lagoon cats are fixtures at events such as the ARC, naval architects VPLP Design concentrated on improving performance when designing the 46. “The challenge was to create a ‘better boat’ than the 450, so we concentrated on performance and seaworthiness. We brought our years of experience in designing top racing boats to this project to find the perfect balance between speed, autonomy, reliability and ease of use,” says Vincent Lauriot Prèvost, co-founder of VPLP. “By positioning the mast a bit further aft, at 53% of the hull length, we created a good ratio of hull length to displacement speed that also reduces pitching. This was a structural challenge because the mast doesn’t rest on a partition wall.” In fact, it rests on a slender mirrored column that aligns with a side of the dining table at the centre of the saloon, a solution that leaves the space wide open and airy and offers some performance advantages too as Prèvost explains: “When we designed boats with masts resting on a partition wall, self-tacking jibs were actually too small and very difficult to operate. By moving the mast further back and increasing the headsail’s LP, we get more a powerful headsail, especially when combined with a self-tacking jib. We are confident that this new sail structure performs better than the rigging arrangement we used in the past.”
The Lagoon 46’s 140.1 square meter sail plan sees the mainsail mounted on a shorter canoe boom for easier manoeuvring. “The mainsail’s aspect ratio is slightly better than that of Lagoon 450 but the performance gain is much higher,” adds Prèvost. Owners can chose a square topped main and a FlatWinder powered block for the traveller. The furling jib is self-tacking for easy upwind sailing and the forward triangle is large to allow owners a choice of downwind sails. “We were aiming for a cruising speed of nine to fourteen knots and have been very happy with the results,” says Prèvost. “Thanks to improvements in construction techniques we have also been able to keep the 46’s weight down: it’s only slightly more heavy that the 450 even though the sail plan is larger.” But now it’s time to put the cat to the test.
While a comfortably outfitted catamaran has a way of calling sun and fun to mind, the day’s conditions aren’t exactly Caribbean. We leave port under a chilly Atlantic drizzle and just eight knots of breeze. Even though these conditions are not ideal for a good run on the water, we get the sails up easily and tack at the press of a button. It’s easy to imagine two couples or even a couple with children handling the boat in perfect safety. Our performance is not bad at all; if anything it’s the weather that could use a little improvement. For those used to a monohull’s heel, sailing a cruising catamaran at almost any speed will feel a bit flat footed, but there is something to say for stability, especially if you’re vacationing and want to chill more than to be challenged.
Uncomplicated sail handling
Moving around the 46 is as easy as it is to get her sailing. The centrally placed flybridge helming station has access points both from the aft cockpit and from the starboard deck. Even in the cloud, visibility is excellent and the deck layout, with winches and locks that are all close at hand, is perfect for carefree, uncomplicated sail handling. Even the windlass can be controlled remotely from the flybridge.
But this area is something more than just a helm station: in keeping with the 46’s vocation for fun in company the flybridge also has large sun pads aft of the helm seat meaning that helming won’t necessarily be a lonely experience. The whole area can be shaded by a spray hood or a rigid bimini and there are even thoughtful touches like drinks holders close at hand.
Patrick le Quément, former head of design at Renault, designed the 46’s pure, linear look with vertical lines that combine strength and finesse. “In association with VPLP our desire was to increase the emotional impact of Lagoon catamarans, giving them greater charm to accompany the technological innovations that have made the brand an archetype. We worked to create an atmosphere that would be equally harmonious indoors and out and I think that we have created the perfect link between interior and exterior,” he says.
Excellent living spaces, secure solidity, sailing performance and easy connection between interior and exterior are all wonderful features, but what really makes a seafaring vacation special is safe and easy access to the water. This the 46 provides: there are just three wide and easy to use steps that lead down from the aft cockpit to the water and for the tender, owners have the option of choosing a conventional davit or a hydraulic Tenderlift platform. Those that chose the platform option have the added advantage of an extra living space at the stern when the tender is launched on top of the already generous aft cockpit space.
Lagoon catamarans may be produced in series but, as the saying goes, they break the mould. Potential owners can rest assured that in the 46 they are buying a well-tested and carefully thought out catamaran that benefits from the experience gained in building the 450 while adding technological and design features that make it the evolution of the species. With subtle tweaks like USB connectivity and more luxurious styling, the 46 has what it takes to accommodate the needs of a modern family. And with a more powerful sail plan and lighter construction techniques, the 46 will be a joy to sail whether you chose to island hop or to cross an ocean.
When you decide that it’s time to pack it in and take the family out to sea, the Lagoon 46 is a cat that will give you the freedom you want. And when Lagoon decides that it is time to literally break the mould that has been used to produce almost 1,000 Lagoon 450’s they are ready with the 46, a catamaran that has everything it will take to make her extremely popular predecessor a fond memory from the past.
The difference between being at sea and at anchor require catamarans to fulfil two contrary roles. Succeeding in both makes a winning formula, as Lagoon found out by selling over 1,000 units of its 450, which has been succeeded by the 46 in 2019.
The Lagoon 46 succeeds the 450, which sold over 1,000 units; Photos: Nicolas Claris
Catamarans of this size also fulfil the role of floating apartments by offering lots of living space, and I’ve enjoyed staying aboard smaller Lagoons for weeks at a time over the years. To do this comfortably, sun protection and ventilation are key points when at rest, while at sea, a reasonable level of sailing performance is required to avoid the constant drone of diesel engines.
“We are constantly renewing the designs and performance is always a factor,” said naval architect Marc Van Peteghem, before VPLP Design partner Vincent Lauriot-Prevost explains how the rig has been moved back in the boat to balance the sail area across the entire hull.
Aesthetics are a personal choice, but getting to first base in this competitive market – where the likes of Fountaine Pajot, Leopard and Bali also jostle for your hard-earned dollar – is looking modern, and Patrick le Quement is again responsible for exterior design.
The comfortable, sheltered aft deck benefits from discreet forward-facing hatches that offer flow through, and features a wetbar that adjoins the galley
Many car designers are producing rounded, aerodynamic shapes and so it is with catamarans. Sporting smooth, rounded gunwales, indented topsides with large rectangular windows and plumb bows to increase buoyancy, the Lagoon 46 is the incarnation of an ultra-modern catamaran.
However, given that those wily designers at VPLP have long created Lagoons from the inside out to prioritise living space, the rectangular upright saloon continues to dominate the overall shape while a flybridge is smoothly incorporated for that third level of living space and also navigation.
The downside of the flybridge is the elevation of the high-aspect rig and boom, thus compromising some stability for comfort – a well-established approach by several builders. As such, when reviewing any boat, I always have to recall the phrase “fit for purpose” in order to do so fairly.
The flybridge successfully combines relaxation and navigation
As with the Lagoon 450, the Lagoon 46 is very much fit for purpose, as I found out by sailing it along the Mediterranean coast, an ideal cruising ground for such a vessel.
Standing alongside its towering hulls on a pontoon in the south of France, the first feature noted was the open flybridge that has dual access – something Lagoon’s smaller versions don’t – and when I climbed aboard and up to it, a well laid out area was revealed.
Double sunpads behind and a mainsheet track well clear of them at the back ensure this area really is dual purpose – for relaxation and navigation.
The navigation area is dominated by the centralised single binnacle layout, which has all sail controls nearby plus a dashboard for the B&G plotter and autopilot screen. The user-friendly B&G sailing software gave lay lines and other course directions in an easy-to-use package.
Bob Moore, the owner of hull one, and his wife Alice (left), who’s from Hong Kong
It was also much appreciated by Switzerland-based owners Bob and his wife Alice, who’s from Hong Kong. “We are new to sailing, so I love this kind of simple technology that helps me steer,” Bob said, as the couple joined me for the test sail.
Also handy is the joystick control in the saloon chart table, which works in conjunction with the autopilot. The large throttle leavers and Yanmar engine controls completed a functional dashboard, all fairly sheltered below the canvas bimini, although there’s also a composite option more suited to the tropics.
VPLP’s remit has always been to put practicality ahead of aesthetics, which some buyers may object to, especially when confronted by the mast compression post planted in the middle of the saloon. However, seagoing folk will know it’s an ideal handhold as well as allowing the centre of effort to be moved aft in the hull.
Around the compression post is the galley to port and lounge area on the starboard quarter, which is nicely shaded due to those signature upright bulkheads that are softened externally by a fibreglass lip that not only gives sun protection but adds volume.
The Nauta-designed saloon has lots of seating, a large table, U-shaped galley and substantial navigation area
Critics say the downside of upright bulkheads is windage, so at anchor you may tend to dodge around, but the benefits are plain to see when you consider the 2m-plus headroom throughout. Other features include the dinette, which can easily seat a large family around its rectangular table.
Nauta Design is again responsible for the interior and has created a saloon with plenty of locker space, soft-close drawers and overhead cupboards. The spacious navigation station uses the forward portside corner well, giving the skipper bulkheads for electronics and a full-sized chart table.
Behind, the U-shaped galley’s amenities include a stainless sink sunk into the composite worktops, three burner stove-oven with microwave above, plentiful cupboard space and room for a dishwasher. Perishables go into twin-drawer stainless fridges, plus a front-opening one, and food can be conveniently served through the window to the cockpit diners.
Alternative view of the voluminous saloon
The Alpi Walnut woodwork is smart, although it perhaps lends less light than the blonde version. The CNC machine finishing is smooth, with no gaps spotted during my walk-through, while I was impressed with the solid metal fixings on doors and gas struts on cabinetry, something I feel earlier Lagoons were lacking.
FANTASTIC OWNER’S SUITE
Hull number one has an owner’s suite to starboard and twin cabins in the port hull. With Lagoon’s strong presence in the charter market, there is also a four-cabin en-suite version, plus a crew berth option in the bows.
The spacious owner’s cabin is really well done, due in large to the space provided by the wide hulls and the rectangular portlights lightening up the area. I declared this area ‘best in category’ and the new owners Bob and Alice concurred, having viewed several brands. “This really did it for us,” Alice said.
The owner’s suite is truly luxurious, with a large bed, double couch, central desk area, lots of storage, stylish Walnut finish and elongated bathroom
The owner’s suite has a large elongated bathroom forward, central desk area with double couch and island bed aft. There’s ample storage, while one locker contained the main electrical panel with cut-offs, offering quick access for the owner.
Other good features included slatted mattresses with memory-style foam and generous space around the island bed. The desk in the centre has lots of worktop area and is opposite the glass escape hatch, an essential safety item on a Category A oceangoing cat.
For privacy in the cabin, simply slide the door across the entry at night, as stuffiness is prevented by the large portlights, including an aft-facing one, and opening deck hatches.
The bow guest cabin benefits from large portlights
In the port hull, guests are well taken care of, having a bathroom each and benefiting from the wide hulls that have beam running forward – where some other marques do not – so it’s even spacious in the forward berth.
SIMPLE SAIL PLAN
The redesigned rig has put the mast on the coachroof and created a larger fore-triangle allowing bigger headsails. Our review boat came with a cutter rig – self-tacking jib and large screecher on the bowsprit. The alloy rig is a sturdy arrangement, with large outboard chain plates on the wire shrouds, and sails are all controlled from the flybridge, including the screecher’s sheets that run there via deck blocks.
Climbing the cockpit stairs takes you to the shoulder-high boom – so not a job for a medium-statured sailor – which has the fully battened square-top mainsail in lazyjacks, and requires the canvas bimini to be dropped before accessing it fully. Mast foot pegs give access to the luff, but a small saloon- top step would be welcome here.
An evolution of the 450, also designed by VPLP, the Lagoon 46 has much sleeker hulls with volume right to their plumb ends to improve stability
Furthest aft is the wide main track, which is effectively controlled by a Harken FlatWinder electric winch, making the sail plan ideal for short-handed sailing. The mainsheet runs to the pair of nearby Harken 50 winches at the binnacle with another single one starboardside.
Similarly, the halyards have a short run from the cabin-stepped mast to the banks of jammers within arm’s length of the wheel. Large diameter lines, oversized winches and jammers all are welcome, especially in heavy weather.
The tall, wide hulls create lots of volume, which is intended to retain buoyancy and waterline as you increase the load. Construction is infused polyester with balsa core above the water and below the water, the latter a weight-saving change from solid GRP on previous models. It still makes for a fairly heavy boat, although Lagoon states that it includes items such as mooring gear and other essentials in its light displacement figure while some competitors do not.
At the transom, the stepped bulkheads ensure easy water access, and the dinghy davits controlled by a discreet FlatWinder allow effortless hoisting, which completes a good cruising layout. There’s even room on the guardrail for a barbecue.
The foredeck cockpit has a large C-shaped sofa and a drinks area
The smart design continues as you walk to the bow along the flat decks, with indented handrails on the coachroof for support. The foredeck has a sunken section with twin drains and is a comfy small cockpit, surrounded by lockers.
Two of these can house extra tankage, an 11kva generator and cruising gear including large outboard motors, while one hatch accesses the rode. The sizeable Quick capstan-windless runs the chain out to the bow and a second roller is nearby as well.
Engines are accessed via the aft-deck hatches. Given the wide hulls, ample space is around them for servicing the gearbox oil, filters and impeller. The optional folding propellers are welcome, given the drag created by this large vessel.
The world’s most popular cruising ground has one major drawback, fickle winds, so sailing a heavily loaded cruising catamaran can be frustrating. Wise to this, Lagoon supplied our review boat with upgraded engines (57hp Yanmar saildrives), which quickly propelled us clear of the busy marina at La Grande Motte, reaching nearly nine knots at 3,000rpm before I throttled back to a more sedate, economical cruising speed of 71⁄2 knots.
Sailing the Lagoon 46 in the Mediterranean
The other prerequisite for warm-water sailing is a substantial sail plan, so we hoisted the optional screecher in the 16-knot breeze, then unfurled it easily. Our crew of four had already hoisted the square-topped mainsail using the electric Harken winch, so with full sail I turned the big cat off the wind and watched our speed rise to 8.8 knots as the B&G screen showed a 90-degree apparent wind angle.
Comfortably perched on the double helm seat with steering wheel in hand, we gracefully sailed down the coast towards the beautiful town of Sete, known as the ‘Venice of the west’ for its canal systems. Overhead, a strong sun fuelled the shore breeze until it was time to use the first of our three reefs in the mainsail – a job done fairly easily with single line reefing – before we gybed for home.
Upwind in chop is where cruising catamarans struggle with their stubby mini keels, so we rolled up the screecher and unfurled the jib to point the Lagoon 46 higher, reaching 40 degrees on the wind, with a respectable 7 1⁄2 knots showing on the gauges. Handing over the wheel to new owner Bob, his smile said it all, as he and Alice talked about their cruising plans for their ‘dream boat’.
The original article appears in Yacht Style Issue 49. Email [email protected] for print subscription enquiries or subscribe to the Magzter version at:www.magzter.com/SG/Lux-Inc-Media/Yacht-Style/Fashion/
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Review lagoon 46
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