August 12, 2013
Interesting New Boats - Lagoon 39 Catamaran
By Robert Cross
Just when you thought yacht design had reached its pinnacle, a whole new set of boats hit the charter market with worthy features that deserve acknowledgement. I have not yet sailed the Lagoon 39, but I am impressed by what I see, and compelled to point the best features out.
The cabins are well-appointed with room to move, and easy access to the beds set across the boat for better use of space. The aft cabins offers slightly larger beds but the forward berths are perfectly adequate doubles.The two heads that service the four double cabins are well appointed,with separate shower cubicle separated from the toilet by the basin in between, meaning no more soggy toilet rolls. The companionway makes good use of hull space, and there is an impressive amount of storage for a small cat.
Overall, the Lagoon's new interior styling is very cool, with a layout made possible by a brief calling for spaces to be usable, rather than plentiful. The interior is finished with a light veneer made from Italian poplar that has undergone a printing process to produce an appealing oak-like colour and grain. This product is ideal for marine use. Its bonding and coating use the best glues and technology to produce the hardest wearing of natural surfaces, as good as solid timber and harvested sustainably.
In recent years, successive Lagoon designs have pushed the mast further forward for more space in the saloon. Inevitably, that has meant a trade-off in poorer sailing. Achieving performance and safety in yacht design is the science of balancing the centres of opposing forces. While the wind pushes the boat sideways (centre of effort), its underwater sections act against that movement (centre of lateral resistance). These forces shift when sailing. The centre of effort moves forward as the load goes on the sails, and force forward occurs as a result. At the same time the resistance of hull against water creates drag, pushing backwards.
When the balance of opposing forces is right, lift occurs and working loads reduce. When it's wrong the bows dig in, extra load is created, and the boat slows. Despite what many cruising people believe, performance is important to safety and necessary for comfort under sail.Placing the mast forward of or even on the static centre of the hull and adding a more efficient square-top mainsail is not in itself the answer. So moving the mast back will have made a positive difference, and one would expect to be sailing a well-balanced boat as a result.
With the new Lagoon 39, the yacht designer has wisely said "enough, let's bring the rig back to where it should be". The new rig position means a mast post in the saloon. That's an addition no doubt likely to be a regular feature in future designs. The boat's construction method is resin infusion, a process that uses less resin to create a lighter and stiffer boat. That's also good news on a catamaran, helping to make this model a great option for bareboat chartering.
Overall, the Lagoon 39 is a well-considered design made by people who know how to build great catamarans. If you are lucky enough to sail this boat before us, we would all love to read your comments.
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