on 11 Mar 2021
This seagoing SUV offers performance, comfort and handling in an impressive yacht, which can be enjoyed for family days out or for longer cruises
Lagoon 50 | Credit: Nicolas Claris
It’s one of those days that only Hong Kong can turn on: it’s sunny, T-shirt weather but just south of Repulse Bay it’s blowing at 25 knots and sometimes gusting up to 30 knots. In any kind of monohull, this would be a white-knuckle screamathon of tangled reef lines and short tempers.
But on the new Lagoon 50, it’s a cakewalk – almost the perfect kind of weather to test out one of Hong Kong’s most popular brands of catamaran.
At the helm, there’s no fight at all. The cat, like all catamarans, takes its own good time to respond to the gusts and lumpy seas. There’s none of the weather helm you get on a monohull – its twin hulls carve a steady, almost sedate path through the water.
The feel under helm is deceptive, however. A quick glance at the panel shows we’re doing a heady 10 knots. All of this while the kids are sometimes bouncing on the bow tramps, catching a few short blasts of seaspray.
The sea trial team, meanwhile, are getting their hair raked back by the stiff breeze.
“What else can I say but it’s the SUV of the seas,” says the skipper. As the gusts reach 28 knots, he momentarily gives the wheel to our onboard five-year-old, who, with a little help and encouragement, steadily takes the 48-foot catamaran in a tack that’s as smooth as silk.
The self-tacking jib and shorter boom make manoeuvring as simple as child’s play. It’s this kind of performance, this kind of safety and this kind of comfort that owners are queuing up for in this latest iteration of the ever-popular Lagoon series.
Cruising Hong Kong’s southside
What you get with a Lagoon 50 is a catamaran that’s designed for both family life aboard and for long cruises in superb comfort.
The legendary VPLP naval architecture firm – responsible for designing some of the world’s most innovative racing boats – moved the entire rig on the Lagoon 50 further aft to maximise comfort, efficiency and to increase space at the bow.
The Lagoon 50 is a generous platform on which to build
Frankly, where else would you rather be than at the business end of catamaran – right up the front, catching spray through the nets or taking in a 270-degree view at its versatile forward cockpit?
By moving the mast to the centre of the boat, pitching is limited, making for better performance and greater comfort.
At the helm, there’s no fight at all. The cat, like all catamarans, takes its own good time to respond to the gusts and lumpy seas
Aft and the space is a natural extension of the massive cockpit living space, with a bathing platform and transom skirts that make for a happy and peaceful relationship with the elements.
Bounded by the aft crossbeam and covered by the elegant flybridge, the cockpit is also a secure and comfortable haven from sea and sun.
Stylish, roomy and easy to handle, the Lagoon 50 has been a hit in Hong Kong | Nicolas Claris
An ultra-large table accommodating up to 12 guests, fully- fitted on-deck galley, the Lagoon 50’s cockpit maximises comfort. On the same level as the generously glazed saloon, it provides a panoramic view while affording maximum protection.
In the owner’s suite, the 1.6-metre wide queen-size island bed sets the tone of the fit-out, with a focus on style and functionality. In the 3-cabin version, there’s a massive walk-in wardrobe with sliding doors available for a luxurious on-board lifestyle.
Customised options can take accommodation up to 12-14, but most will take advantage of its size to capitalise on comfort
The extensive glazing is a feature of the Lagoon, and everywhere is maximised for luminosity and visibility. Sitting or standing, the crew of the Lagoon 50 can always see the horizon and the wide and welcoming helming station is on the centreline for perfect protection and all-round visibility.
All handling facilities are grouped together for ease of use, with the mainsheet on an electric captive winch for easier handling. Traffic flows between the saloon, helming station and deck are optimised with two accesses: one from the cockpit and another from the deck.
The self-tacking jib and shorter boom make maneuvering as simple as child’s play
On the technical side, there’s a single davit system or Tenderlift platform; the engine compartments are accessible and perfectly soundproofed, the propellers are aft of the rudder blades, which limits cavitation and leads to efficient manoeuvring, the generator is located away from cabins and on the centreline so that it balances the mass and the mooring davit is on the forward crossbeam so there’s no chafing of the chain on the hulls.
With such a generous platform on which to build, the Lagoon offers several customisation options. Ultimately you could set out with accommodation for 12, but as one of Hong Kong’s premier family boats, it’s hard to imagine that many would want to compromise the luxury afforded by such a fantastic amount of space.
Lagoon has bigger boats in its range, but they’re usually designed with a captain and crew in mind. The 50 is meant for the owner who has maybe moved on from a 45-footer but still wants to use the networked plotter and the autopilot to set out on their own to discover new anchorages and fresh adventures.
Technical specifications: Lagoon 50
Architects: VPLP Design
Exterior styling: Patrick Le Quément
Interior design: Nauta Design
Length overall: 14.75m
Beam overall: 8.10m
Air draught: 26.51m
Light displacement (EEC): 20,826 T
Engines: 2 x 57 hp
Fuel capacity: 2 x 520 l
Sail area: 158.1 m²
Square-top mainsail: 97.8 m²
Self-tacking jib: 60.3 m²
Code 0: 114 m²
Fresh water capacity: 2 x 240 l
No. of berths: 6 to 14