The Catamaran Company, which both sells and charters sailing catamarans, has a new flagship that will be sailing out of their base at Hodges Creek Marina on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The 2013 Lagoon 52 has a four-cabin and four-head layout, and will be available for charter in October.
The newly-introduced model, designed by naval architects Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prévost (VPLP), has quite a few innovative features including comfort and performance elements we’ve not seen before—but which certainly make sense. The mast has been set farther aft, like on racing cats, which has multiple advantages including less pitching, a smaller and therefore more manageable mainsail that’s easier to reef, and more room on the foredeck which now includes a second cockpit.
The shorter boom creates a higher aspect ratio main which is less susceptible to the effects of “dirty” or disturbed air from the headsail. It also allows for more versatile headsail configurations that now include a self-tacking jib or genoa, a Code 0, and a large spinnaker for blasting downwind even in light air. With the weight of the rig moved farther aft, the design of the hulls has changed as well, making them fuller in the aft sections but finer in the entry so the boat slices through chop and will theoretically point higher. Long fixed keels and elliptical rudders help the boat track well. According to Lagoon, a 20-percent increase in performance is expected over the 52’s predecessor, the Lagoon 500.
Control of the big cat is relatively intuitive from the helm station on the fly bridge, which is accessed on one side from the cockpit and on the other side from the deck. All lines are led to three winches positioned just aft of the mast. Because the winches are close to the mast, the lines are short, thereby reducing friction. A unique tilting pedestal swings the wheel right or left of center by about a foot and presumably affords the helmsman the choice to steer more from leeward or windward. However, the boat is wide and the visibility from the raised station is already good so it remains to be seen if this feature will be useful or just interesting.
What is very useful up here are the cushions that form the large settee behind the helm. Their Velcro attachments can be reconfigured so the backrests may be moved around for different lounging options. Even the cabin hatches serve a comfort purpose: when raised, each forms the back of an aft-facing chaise.
The cockpit is level with the salon and includes a fridge, an ice maker and a dinette, where the table can be either full sized or a cocktail sized and is exchangeable with the table at the interior dinette. Inside, the galley is to port and has plenty of countertop space and an island for better traffic flow and easier participation by multiple cooks. There are two additional refrigerators and freezers inside; one in the galley and one in the starboard hull. All the cabins have double beds and ensuite heads with separate stall showers. The port aft cabin is the master with a large desk and a separate entrance from the cockpit.
The price of a charter-equipped version of the 52 is $1.4 million but if you don’t have that kind of cash, you can go play on this model starting at just $16,400 per week during the high season. Requirements for bareboat charter on this model include having previous experience on a cat of at least 44 feet and bringing along a competent first mate to help.
For more information, contact the Catamaran Company.
|Sail area||1,829 sq.ft.|
|Fuel capacity||262 gal.|
|Water capacity||252 gal.|