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.
The 560 has two layouts, a five-cabin version with a pair of bunks tucked in a cabin into the port hull amidships, between the two staterooms, and the four-cabin layout that I inspected.
In either version, the aft cabin to port is entered through a companionway from the terrace, which provides a great deal of privacy. The owner’s cabin has access to both the saloon and terrace, and there’s a shower located right next to its companionway, a convenient place to store wet foul-weather gear or to rinse off in private after a swim.
Both layouts include ample forward cabins and four heads.
Vertical windows—which give all Lagoon models their distinctive look—provide 360-degree visibility from the saloon and deliver plentiful natural light. Interior woodwork comes in a choice of three finishes; blonde oak, glossy teak, or matte teak. The boat I visited had the glossy teak and a light-colored sole, which created a very attractive living space. When opened, a large centerline sliding door allows the interior space to flow easily outdoors, where the crew can relax under a large bimini that shades a table and seating for eight or more. When you enter the saloon, there’s a large, U-shaped dining and lounging area to port. A nav station—loaded with Raymarine instrumentation mounted on retractable panels—is forward amidships. Thanks to autopilot controls on the desk, it could serve as an inside watch station on a stormy passage. An island to starboard provides additional galley storage and counter space and would be a convenient place to set down a cocktail or serving tray with guests aboard.
My choice for sailing, lounging, and entertaining, though, would be above, on the flybridge, under the Park Avenue carbon boom. Forward is a comfortable helm seat, surrounded by four electric winches and all the necessary sail-control lines. Aft, there are cushion-covered benches for sitting and lounging.
While grand and elegant, the 560 is very much a production boat, with a new model ready for delivery every two weeks. The resin-infused hull is solid glass to the waterline; topside, and in the deck, balsa coring is used to reduce weight. LED lighting is employed throughout the boat, both for interior and navigation lights.
Base price for the 560 is just over $1 million, although the boat we sailed was priced at $1.155 million with all its options.
A catamaran this size is probably not for the occasional sailor, but for someone looking to make long passages or to while away the days in secluded anchorages, this new Lagoon is definitely a sailboat that would make you feel right at home.
LOA 56′ 0″ (17.07 m.)
LWL 54′ 0″ (16.47 m.)
Beam 31′ 0″ (9.44 m.)
Draft 4′ 11″ (1.5 m.)
Sail Area 2,227 sq. ft. (206.9 sq. m.)
Displacement 66,812 lb. (30,306 kg.)
Water 252 gal. (954 l.)
Fuel 344 gal. (1,302 l.)
Holding (per head) 21 gal. (80 l.)
Mast Height 94′ 0″ (28.66 m.)
Engine Two 75-h.p. Yanmar/saildrives
Designer Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost, Nauta Yachts (interior)
Base Price (owner’s four-cabin version) $1.155 million