Lagoon 560: All the Comforts of Home
The French builder’s latest big cat has a creative layout designed for extended time aboard. Boat Review from our October 2011 issue.
When I climbed aboard the new Lagoon 560 catamaran at Strictly Sail Miami last winter, I couldn’t help but overhear the couple inspecting the boat at the same time, who were clearly serious customers. She was talking heatedly about the color of upholstery and who would get which bunk; he was sizing up the bulkheads and deciding what art would hang where in their new home (see our complete photo gallery here).
And a comfortable home it would be, I thought. With accommodations on three levels, an overall length of 56 feet, and a beam of 31 feet, this latest entry from the world’s largest catamaran builder was bigger than the house where my wife and I raised two children and a large dog. And with AC, a washer and dryer, a fridge, a freezer and icemaker, a built-in wine locker, and a master cabin complete with its own companionway, it looked to be a whole lot more comfortable.
Plus, I’d discover a couple of days later, this cat could sail.
With a handful of guests aboard, Lagoon’s sales director, Yann Masselot, stood at the wheel atop the flybridge and employed the pair of optional 110-horsepower Yanmars with conventional shafts and three-blade Flexofold props (75-horsepower Yanmar engines and saildrives are standard) to jockey us off the dock and into the channel against a beam-on crosswind. Honestly, it made me wonder why anyone would order the optional bow thrusters.
Soon enough, we were through Government Cut and in open water off Miami Beach, where the cat loped along at a little better than 7 knots under the staysail and main. We added a knot or more when we cracked off to a reach, furled the jib, and rolled out the gennaker situated on the outer stay of the three-headstay rig. Electric winches made sailhandling a fingertip exercise, and the helm felt smooth, even in the swells and occasional powerboat wakes. Longitudinal chines on the hulls and a gull-wing-shaped bridgedeck also helped tame the seas.
Designed by Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost, and with an interior by Nauta Yachts, the 56 is the largest family cruiser in the Lagoon line. Like its smaller siblings, it’s available in three versions—Essential, Cruising, and Comfort—to accommodate varying budgets. The boat we sailed (hull number two) was loaded with bells and whistles, including a Bose home theater, with independent sound systems for the saloon and what I’d call the cockpit (though Lagoon calls the area aft of the cabin house “the terrace”). A second cockpit is forward of the saloon and aft of the bow trampolines.