Second-hand test

Lagoon 500 One of the best choices for getting started. And with a flybridge as an added bonus!

Published on 01 august 2015 at 0h00

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The Lagoon 500 is typical of the “440 generation”, which succeeded the 410. The vertical panoramic windows remain, but the curves of the coachroof have given way to more angular lines. The 500 also brought us the concept of the flybridge, with its helm station raised up compared to that of its little brother. The debate began in 2006 with the 440 - for or against the flybridge. A debate which is still far from resolved… Lagoon remains a yard which is as provocative as it is innovative. Today’s catamaran sailors are more than aware of the well-founded principle, which leaves the cockpit entirely free for relaxation. The boom, however, is very high up, which can make stowing the main in the lazy bag a bit tricky, not to mention the issue of dealing with reefing lines. With an extra two meters of overall length compared to the 440, the 500 becomes a real ocean cruiser. And with that, even more ambitious projects can become a possibility. Maneuvering this model in harbor poses no difficulties: the visibility is good from the flybridge and the two motors (55 or 75 hp) set seven meters apart allow for tight turns with one motor ahead and the other astern. You get the same feeling when hoisting the sails: sure, an air draft the same length as a swimming pool is impressive, but in the end, sail handling maneuvers, cleverly concentrated around the three winches at the helm station, are easily managed. At the helm, perched on the flybridge, there’s little sensation... other than that of piloting an incredibly powerful machine: 160m² of sail area and 20 tonnes laden. Not inconsiderable.

Second-hand test Lagoon 500

The gullwing shape of the nacelle displaces waves very effectively: the boat remains comfortable upwind in a breeze.

Quite the athlete

The good news is that in light airs, the 500 isn’t averse to slipping along through the water. An experience which is improved if the boat is fitted with folding propellers. And from ten knots of wind, the 500 shows itself to be one of the fastest in the “in total comfort” category. With a Force 4 on the beam, it bowls along at 10 knots. This means great possibilities for an Atlantic crossing, where one often encounters moderate downwind conditions. Hard on the wind, the course is fairly limited, due to the skegs which are not terribly deep and windage resulting from the freeboard of the hulls and the nacelle: best not to expect to get higher than 50 to 55° off the wind. In choppy seas, however, the behavior of the 500 is surprising: there is relatively little pitching, movements are supple and the few slams that you experience are quite deadened. Actually it comes as a surprise from the calm of the nacelle to feel the wind strength and sea state outside. Comfort under way is one of the Lagoon 500’s best attributes for all those - and there are many - who want to head offshore. Downwind in heavy weather, it remains a very safe catamaran; the large volume of the ...

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