Review: Lagoon 450 S

By: Kevin Green, Photography by: Kevin Green & Supplied

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Lagoon 450 Sport 10 Lagoon 450 Sport 10
Lagoon 450 Sport 12 Lagoon 450 Sport 12
Lagoon 450 Sport 04 Lagoon 450 Sport 04
Lagoon 450 Sport 05 Lagoon 450 Sport 05
Lagoon 450 Sport 06 Lagoon 450 Sport 06
Lagoon 450 Sport 11 Lagoon 450 Sport 11

The Lagoon 450S sailing cat proves that voluminous and comfortable cruising catamarans also sail competently.

 

  • The Lagoon 450S focuses on functional and user-friendly sail handling.

 

  • This sailing catamaran’s interior is very comfy.

 

  • There is a lot of useable space on three levels.

 

  • The Lagoon 450S is, however, relatively heavy. A foredeck saloon top step is needed, and there’s a small skylight in bimini for mainsail viewing.

 

Lagoon 450 S

Cruising catamarans are big business nowadays, which is good news for buyers as manufacturers jostle for your hard-earned dollars. The mid-40 foot range of sailing cats is a particularly competitive category with strong new offerings from Nautitech, Outremer, Fountain Pajot and several others. Lagoon knew it had to do something special to maintain its number one ranking, and that’s what it’s done with the Lagoon 450 Sport, launched in February. The first one was imported by the recently appointed Australian dealer, The Multihull Group (TMG), under the experienced eye of former Beneteau representative John Cowpe. TMG are part of the Windcraft Group, which until now lacked a brand in this burgeoning cruising sector, so the arrival of the Lagoon 450 Sport has set them on a new course.

 

Lagoon 450S cruising catamaran

Family on Lagoon 450 S catamaran

The Lagoon 450 Sport is a variation on the proven 450 hull that has a flybridge and a deck layout very similar to the Lagoon 39. Both these designs incorporate the single helm station into the elevated starboard side of the cockpit, thus the Sport-top branding. This design has the boom 70 cm lower than the flybridge version while retaining the same sail area, improving stability for these tall cats. The upgrade from the Lagoon 39 is the steps onto the hardtop bimini for easy access to the rig. There’s also an outboard guardrail arm for safety at the helm, which was not actually fitted on our review boat, hull #10. The binnacle layout sets all sail controls nearby, plus a dashboard for the B&G plotter and autopilot screen. The B&G sailing software provides lay lines and other course directions in an easy to use package. Also handy is the Simrad Joystick control in the saloon chart table. It works in conjunction with the autopilot and proved effective in the confines of Queensland’s Broadwater as we motored back to our berth. The large throttle levers and Yanmar engine controls complete a functional dashboard which is all nicely sheltered below the hard top dodger and has tracks for plastic screens – ideal for offshore.

 

 

Saloon

Saloon in Lagoon 450 S

Designers Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prévost said Lagoons are created from the inside out to prioritise living space but, as critics often add, comes at the cost of making a box-shaped exterior. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you can decide for yourself about whether functionality over aesthetics is important. Whatever way you look at it, this is a very functional catamaran. Stepping into the saloon reveals a huge space for a mid-sized catamaran and the benefits of the blunt exterior are apparent in the upright coachroof bulkheads. These not only add volume but also keep out the harsh Australian sun. Some critics would say the downside is windage, so at anchor you may tend to dodge around, but the benefits are plain to see when you consider the two metre-  plus headroom throughout. Amenities include a galley facing aft, navigation station forward and the dinette can seat a large family easily around its rectangular table. Regular collaborator Nauta Design has created a saloon with plenty of locker space, soft close drawers and overhead cupboards. The spacious navigation station on the Lagoon 450 Sport uses the forward portside corner well, giving the skipper bulkheads for electronics and a full size chart table. Behind, the U-shaped galley is now angled outwards for more space beside the twin stainless sinks. Cupboard space above and at waist height is good, with room for a dishwasher too.

 

Cabins

Cabin in Lagoon 450 Sport

Our review Lagoon 450 Sport came with an owner’s suite to starboard and twin cabins in the port hull, but an interesting variation can be twin owner suites. With Lagoon’s strong presence in the charter market there is also a four cabin en suite version, plus a crew berth option in the bows, so the 450 Sport should have wide appeal. Also well done is the spacious owner’s hull with its large bathroom forward.

Other good features on the Lagoon 450 Sport include slatted mattresses with memory-style foam and a good acreage of sleeping area around the island bed. The desk in the centre of the hull has lots of worktop and is opposite the glass escape hatches – an essential item on ocean-going cats and an EEC requirement. Large one-way windows add to the seclusion while giving plenty of light, plus large opening deck hatches and portlights.

 

Sail plan

Catamaran Lagoon 450 sailing

The alloy rig on the Lagoon 450 Sport is sturdy with large outboard chain plates on the angled wire shrouds and a roller furling genoa. The cockpit stairs take you to the chest height boom which stores a battened mainsail in lazyjacks and foot pegs give access to the luff, but a small saloon-top step would be welcome. The solid bimini underfoot is a safe platform and visits here can include sunbathing on the indented aft section. Large diameter lines, oversize winches and jammers all are welcome, especially in a blow. Further sail area can be added with a 1,000 square foot of Code 0 – advisable for this heavy cat during light airs by connecting the optional bowsprit that already has fixing. This also requires a pair of deck mounted sheet winches.

 

Hull

Lagoon 450S

The tall and wide hulls create lots of volume which is intended to retain buoyancy and water line as you load on the gear. Construction is infused polyester with balsa core above the water and solid GRP below. It’s a method I prefer for bluewater cruising, rather than foam throughout, and it’s another reason why the 450S is much heavier than her rivals, but arguably more solid. The tall topsides and blunt saloon top will create plenty windage, but that is the price you pay for a very comfortable interior. There are steps indented in the midships hull which I found very handy when mooring. At the transom, the stepped bulkheads ensure easy water access and the dinghy davits complete a good cruising layout. The foredeck has a sunken section with twin large drains and a comfy cockpit surrounded by lockers.

Our review Lagoon 450S came with twin 57hp saildrive Yanmars, accessed via the aft deck hatches. The optional folding propellers are welcome  – at 15 tons the 450S is about 30 per cent heavier than her rivals – so reducing drag wherever possible is good.

 

Sailing

Under sail in 8.5kt winds we  ghosted along at 5.8kt. Sitting comfortably on the three-person helm seat, I watched the telltales go horizontal on the genoa and by sliding the hardtop back I could also see the battened mainsail. Gybing round was easily done – we centred the boom by hauling it along the track before turning to sail out to sea. Once clear of the sandbanks I tacked over – done without easing the mainsail. On a port tack the mainsail is obscured but it’s easy enough to duck out on deck. Hardening up took little effort thanks to the optional Harken 60 electric winches – a single electric H60 comes as standard for the halyards – which pointed us at 45 degrees. Powering the 450S up nicely at this angle to 7.2kt until the heavy chop slammed between the hulls to halve our speed but the high bridgedeck clearance minimised the wave drag. Once through the chop we sped up nicely, the cable steering light and nimble to the touch.

As the breeze filled in to 13kt, I pushed the apparent up to 19kt as we climbed high to 30 degrees, reaching an impressive 11.2kt boat speed, which is good going for a family catamaran with mini keels. Back in the Broadwater and under engine power, the upgraded 57hp Yanmars pushed us to nearly 10kt before I throttled back in the 6kt zone. Docking in light winds caused little dramas once attuned to the lack of bite from the folding Yanmar propellers when going backwards. Overall, thanks to those outboard located propellers that can spin the 45-foot hull in its length, I found good manners generally throughout the handling of the 450S. It’s a good consideration for power boaters coming over to the rag and stick game.

Lagoon 450 Sport deck plan layout

 

Lagoon 450 S specs

Lagoon 450 S price A$889,000 (ex taxes and  shipping)

Priced from

 

Price as tested

POA

 

GENERAL

Length 13.96m (45ft 10in)

Beam 7.87m

Draft 1.30m

Displacement (light) 15,000kg

Engine (std) 2 x 45hp Yanmar 4JH45 (57hp option)

Fuel capacity 2 x 520L

Fresh water capacity 2 x 175L

Berths 6–2

 

SAILS

Sail area 130sqm

 

MORE INFORMATION

Martin Pettit, The Multihull Group Queensland

Web tmglagoon.com

Tel 0429 388 443

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #480, on sale July 14, 2016. Why not subscribe today?

 


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