SAIL's Best Boats 2017: Lagoon 42

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Lagoon 42

Lagoon 42

Best Multihull Cruising Boat 40 to 50ft

The curvaceous Lagoon 42 replaces the iconic 420/421 and fills in the gap between the French builder’s 400 and 450 models. It’s not only a great addition to the product line in terms of length and price, it represents a fresh take on catamaran livability and ease of sailing, especially in light air.

Designer Patrick Le Quement teamed up with the naval architects of VPLP to draw the boat’s “swoopy” lines. These include curves on the underside of the gullwing bridgedeck to minimize pounding in rough seas, glazed vertical windows that bend around corners to cut down on heat inside, a composite bimini that angles up to provide the impression of movement, and a circular coachroof that forms a compound curve all around the cabinhouse with a nice handhold built right in.

Besides aesthetics, weight reduction and performance are another focus of the design. The VMG Soromap mast, for example, has been moved aft to open up the foretriangle and allow for more downwind sail choices. This aft position also keeps the weight centered to reduce pitching, and allows the boom to be shorter and the mast taller for a higher-aspect-ratio sailplan. Add to that a self-tacking jib that moves on a track forward of the mast, and easy singlehanding becomes a real possibility despite this cat’s size. During a light-air test sail on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, the boat proved remarkably nimble for a cruising cat, especially given the trouble larger cats can have in these kinds of conditions.

Helm ergonomics have also been optimized, as is evident in the centered window cut into the composite top, which provides a clear view of the mainsail, and the many handholds installed for anyone who doesn’t have a hand on the wheel. The B&G multifunction display is set high up on the console so the eye can stay near the horizon as well; an array of Spinlock rope clutches is within reach of the Goiot wheel, and there are even steps up to the coachroof for easy access to the mainsail—something that is overlooked aboard many cats and serves as yet more evidence of this boat’s exceptional design.

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