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Our New Cruising Catamaran: 2016 Lagoon 450 SporTop

lagoon 450 SporTop 2Why Did We Choose This Catamaran As Our Own New Cruising Boat?

While traveling from boat show to boat show in 2015, we conducted numerous seminars and consultations all around America with sailors searching for their “dream boat”. It resulted in the sales of numerous catamarans in 2015 (FYI catamarans prices are VERY affordable now). We helped people buy catamarans of every variety, from Fountaine Pajot, Lagoon, Bali and Catana to Voyage, Leopard and everything in between. While we had a blast helping all these "newbies" find their own dream boats, we also took a good hard look at all the brands of catamarans available on the market.

We learned a lot of new things and confirmed the things we already knew about all these catamarans (older and new models). There are a few things that are just a deal breaker for us i.e. low bridgedeck clearance or a galley down arrangement and safety. It would be hard for us to compromise on those things. Performance is also a consideration but the performance cats typically has smaller accommodations for obvious reasons, so we have to compromise. Armed with this knowledge and research, we sold our Prout 45 and bought a Lagoon 450S.

Our 2009 Prout 45 Catamaran Sold! - On To New Horizons 

As many of you know, we sold our Prout 45 catamaran last year. We thought when we bought her in 2009, that it would be the last boat we buy to live on, so we chose carefully. We loved this boat, not only because she was a great sailing boat, but we also spent many great times on this boat with family and friends. It was a hard decision to sell her but it made business sense and we forged ahead.

We followed our own advice for sellers, with the result that Zuri sold fairly quickly. It was sad to see her go and we were now sailors without a vessel for the first time in 23 years...a very disconcerting feeling! However, we did the research beforehand, as I mentioned and identified a Lagoon 450 SporTop (hull #5) as our next home on the water.

Zuni Prout 45 catamaran collage

Zuri, Prout 45: 2009 - 2015 / Zuri Christening / Sail Magazine "Best Boats 2010" / Aft deck on Zuri was awesome!

So, Why Did We Choose A Lagoon 450 SporTop?

We had a number of cats on our shortlist in the 44-46ft range, including Fountaine Pajot, Outremer, Catana and Bali and some custom catamarans from South Africa. We love the performance cats like the Outremer and Catana but not only was it out of our price range, the Outremer has a really small interior and is not suitable for our needs as long term live-aboards. The Bali was a good contender. We really like how this catamaran sails and handles, even in rough seas. We are excited about the fact that Bali pushes the limits with their innovative ideas and we believe that this range of cats will soon be one of the big names in cruising catamarans. However, the Bali was also out of our price range.

Read our post here: How Do The Most Popular 45ft Production Sailing Catamarans Compare?

 

Lagoon450S sailing

*Picture courtesy Lagoon Catamarans

The Lagoon seemed like a good compromise between live-ability and performance. (See the video here). We noticed that the Lagoon range has performed really well in rallies worldwide, consistently placing in the first four boats at the finish line. We plan to live aboard ourselves and do extended cruising, as we have on all our previous boats. But we also will do educational live-aboard charters. The Lagoon will deliver on all those requirements comfortably. The Lagoon 450 SporTop's overall quality, fit and finishes, performance and price in this size range of cats, is great for live-aboards. Among other things, here are some of the characteristics we like, or not:

  1. We obviously like the design but one of the deciding factors was price. Like most people, we are price concious and wanted to get the best bang for our buck. The new Lagoon 450 SporTop is well priced compared to most catamarans in that size range. Lagoon450s 3
  2. We prefer the raised helm (semi fly-bridge) as apposed to the full flybridge for offshore sailing. This is simply a personal preference, nothing more. The proximity of the helm station to the main living area is great for us so that we can always see the other person at the helm. The easy connection between the helm station, the cockpit and the top of the coachroof are great and safe, with numerous handholds. People with the flybridge version love it for the enjoyment of socializing there.
  3. The boom is lowered significantly (70cm) on the Sportop but the sail area stays the same as the Flybridge version. The lower boom makes access to the boom and main sail much easier. Also, because of the lower boom the mast height is lowered. This brings the center of gravity down lower, which is a stability issue and minimizes the potential for the vessel to hobbyhorse.
  4. The Lagoon has a high quality, luxuriously appointed interior. We chose the Alpi teak interior which is really warm and inviting and feels like a home without being heavy and dark.
  5. We also looked at all the production cats in charter and noticed that the Lagoon held up really well even after 5 years in high occupance charter service. Unlike some other productions cats, the gelcoat remained in great shape. It did not go chalky or yellowed over time. The hardware (hinges & fittings) is high quality and sturdy and did not rust.
  6. While the Lagoon 450 is a big luxury cruiser (maybe heavier that we would have liked), it is no slouch in the performance category. The Lagoon has a proven performance record, as we have seen in rallies all over the world, most recently the ARC Rally in December.
  7. We opted for a coffee table in the salon instead of a big table but the cockpit table is interchangeable, so we could put the big table inside, if neccessary. That was a big deal for me. The big table takes up too much space in the salon and does not allow for "lounging" on the sofas.
  8. The U-shaped, pass through galley is well appointed with lots of storage. The galley was situated the other way around in the Fly-bridge version which in my opinion, made the salon appear smaller. This is a great improvement. 
  9. Huge opening windows in the front for ventilation.
  10. The walk-around island beds are awesome.
  11. I am not totally thrilled with the cockpit. I prefer easy and open access to the scoops. 
  12. I will dearly miss the aft seating and swim platform of the Prout. It was our favourite place to socialize but I'm sure we will adjust and learn to love the forward cockpit on the Lagoon.
  13. The hard-top bimini over the helm is nice but does partially obscure the view of the mainsail (despite the plexiglass panel). The opening guardrail on the side of the helm station protects the crew in rough weather. It's a nice idea.

UPDATE: Click Here To Read Our Indepth Review of the Lagoon 450S: Exterior, Design, Construction & Sailing Ability

     

L450S salon   L450S cockpit2

*This picture courtesy Philippe Echelle / Nicolas Claris for Multihulls Magazine

Lagoon 450S Dimensions

Length: 45' 10" ( 13.97 m)
Maximum Draft: 4' 3" ( 1.30 m)
Beam: 25' 10" ( 7.87 m)
LWL: 43' 11" ( 13.39 m)
Mast Height Clearance: 73' 3" ( 22.33 m)
Sail area: 1399 sq.ft. (130 m²)
Draft: 4'3" (1.3m)
Square top mainsail: 872 sq.ft. (opt.) (81 m²)
Furling genoa: 549 sq.ft. (51 m²)

Lagoon450 cockpit    Lagoon 450S

*Courtesy Lagoon Catamarans

L450S review pics

*This picture courtesy Philippe Echelle / Nicolas Claris for Multihulls Magazine

The new Zuri was built in La Rochelle, France and we planned to take delivery of her in December 2015 and do the trans-atlantic trip ourselves and deliver her to her new home in Miami. While we were in France, we were elated to find out that Section 179 and bonus depreciation was reinstated late in December 2015. It made our new purchase even more attractive. We can now legitimately use these tax advantages for our small business, allowing us to pay a large portion of the boat through this program. Unfortunately the new Zuri came off the production line late and will now have to be delivered by ship to Guadeloupe, where we will take posession of her and sail off to new adventures! No real pictures yet, but stay tuned!

Comments   

+1 # Guest 2016-01-12 21:25
Regarding your statement on price, as I am in the market for a similar sized Cat and have been collecting pricing and comparing. Based on my analysis and the pricing I have received, the Nautitech Open 46 and FP 44 are at least $100K euro's less than the Lagoon 450S. Note this is based on how I would order the boats from the factory based on the available options, so there may be some delta's in "what you get".

Gary
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0 # Guest 2016-01-15 20:55
Hi Gary

We bought through DY who gets factory direct pricing in Euros and believe me, no matter what we spec'd, the Lagoon came out cheaper.
Estelle
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0 # Guest 2016-03-01 16:48
I also have been in the market for a cat in the 40'-46' range. I really liked the new FP40 and the Heila 44' too
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0 # Guest 2016-03-28 23:04
We are into a similar conclusion.
Wy did you prefer the Lagoon 450 S over the new Lagoon 42?
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0 # Guest 2016-08-02 05:42
Hi there. Is there a new 40 ft-ish Cat out there now that has twin outboards? I thought I read about it somewhere and cannot recall the place. I searched all over and am coming up with blanks. Maybe I dreamt it, but was wondering if anybody knows of such an animal. It was a 2016 model, I think, and I thought made is Australia. but even with those leads, I cannot seem to find it. the idea of two powerful outboards, able to be pulled up and the ease of maintenance intrigues me. Any leads on this?
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0 # Guest 2016-08-02 14:29
Quoting Guest:
Hi there. Is there a new 40 ft-ish Cat out there now that has twin outboards? I thought I read about it somewhere and cannot recall the place. I searched all over and am coming up with blanks. Maybe I dreamt it, but was wondering if anybody knows of such an animal. It was a 2016 model, I think, and I thought made is Australia. but even with those leads, I cannot seem to find it. the idea of two powerful outboards, able to be pulled up and the ease of maintenance intrigues me. Any leads on this?

There are the Seawind 1000XL (33ft Australia) , Gemini 3000 (30ft US), Maine Cat MC38 (US) and Schionning Arrow 1200 (39ft Australia) with outboards that spring to mind.
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0 # Thomas 2017-01-20 17:14
Hello

did you know the direct comparison of the Lagoon 42 and 450 S
https://www.12boat.com/de/yachtvergleich/Lagoon-42-zu-Lagoon-450-F-zu-Lagoon-450-S
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0 # Catamaran Guru 2017-01-20 19:50
Quoting Thomas:
Hello

did you know the direct comparison of the Lagoon 42 and 450 S
https://www.12boat.com/de/yachtvergleich/Lagoon-42-zu-Lagoon-450-F-zu-Lagoon-450-S

Thomas, thank you for that. A few of the specs are misleading, i.e. the capacity or number of water tanks depends on which package you choose.
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