Of all the tweaks and changes in the design and layout of large cruising catamarans, surely the most innovative has been the addition of the flybridge steering station and “upstairs” lounging space. To be perfectly honest, the feature took a while to grow on me. At first, it was a matter of aesthetics: What in the name of Herreshoff was that mainsail gooseneck doing a story or two up in the sky?
But as I sailed a few flybridge-equipped cats, particularly the Lagoon 620—the predecessor to the brand’s latest rangy cat, the Sixty 5—it dawned on me that my issue was a matter of perspective. The beauty of the flybridge isn’t obvious when you’re looking at it. The brilliance becomes clear when you’re experiencing the wide-open waters and 360-degree views of the horizon while perched upon it.
The 67-plus-foot Sixty 5 has a wide, well-reasoned platform high above the seas. Its commanding panoramas are just the beginning. Twin helms with comfy, upholstered bench seating, as well as the engine controls and chart plotters, flank a quartet of Harken winches, all of which are canopied by a solid overhead Bimini. The traditional mainsail is trimmed with the aid of a continuous-line traveler, also led to the Harkens. Unfortunately, our test sail was conducted in middling breeze, but we still made a solid 5 knots under the code-zero headsail in just 7 knots of wind.
Happily, there were other attractions to hold our attention, especially the “topside galley” with a fridge, a sink, an ice maker, a Kenyon grill, and enough seating to open your own waterborne cafe. As for steering, there’s a second indoor station in the saloon controlled by the B&G autopilot, negating the need to venture aloft for course adjustments.
Back at sea level, owners have many choices and options. There can be four, five or six staterooms; the galley can be up in the saloon or down in the hull; and there are numerous styles of Alpi wood finishes and upholstery—all of which you’d expect on a vessel with a price tag north of $3 million. The owner’s staterooms, in particular, are sumptuous.
Construction, as with the entire nine-model Lagoon line from 40 to 78 feet length overall, is straightforward: a balsa-cored laminate in both the hull and deck, with polyester and vinylester incorporated into the layup. The teak decks are a classy touch that you don’t usually encounter on a catamaran. There’s a pair of gensets, one of which addresses the overall house needs and a second dedicated to the individual air-conditioning units scattered hither and yon. A pair of 150 hp Yanmars is standard, though our test boat had been upgraded to twin 195 hp diesels coupled with Flexofold props.
The cat’s profile is striking, with a straight stem on the bow to maximize waterline length and the coach roof’s familiar turret-style brow—a signature Lagoon feature. There’s a cool forward cockpit for lounging and reading, offset by an aft cockpit with seating and a dining area. The integrated bowsprit is another sweet touch, allowing for a triple-headsail arrangement for easily shifting gears depending on wind strength and direction.
Lagoon is presently building about 20 boats a year. All have gone to private owners, not charter companies, though many owners are offering their boats with full crews from five to 10 weeks a year, to offset expenses. It’s a business model that’s tried-and-true with the superyacht set. The Sixty 5 is a lot of boat to handle, and nearly all owners will employ a hired captain, and chef and mate, who have their own dedicated quarters aboard.
But let’s return to that flybridge. I’ve always wanted to experience what it feels like to have the conn on a big freighter or cruise ship, with the long scans and endless ocean vistas. Since sailing the Lagoon Sixty 5, I think I know.
Herb McCormick is a CW editor-at-large.