SAILAWAY IV: LAGOON 500

 
Lagoon 500 Catamaran Cruising Log
 

Stepping aboard the multihull Lagoon 500 one can only say "WOW" - 'what a boat!' it's big, luxurious & at first glance the all round visuals from inside the saloon looks and feels like being onboard the star ship "Enterprise". ---by Irene Bates

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The first 680 miles - from France to Lisbon

The Lagoon 500

Stepping aboard the multihull Lagoon 500 one can only say “WOW” - ‘what a boat!’ it’s big, luxurious & at first glance the all round visuals from inside the saloon looks and feels like being onboard the star ship “Enterprise”.

Purchased from Vicsail Sydney Sailaway IV is owned by Steve & Katrina Edmonson of Port Douglas. And, after exhaustive research Steve & Katrina chose and fitted the Lagoon 500 as a proud addition to their current charter fleet (www.sailawayportdouglas.com)

Sailaway IV’s length is 15.54 metre (51 feet) with a 8.3 metre beam ( 28 feet) and will safely accommodate up to 30 day trippers.

For longer charter or personal use this spacious multihull revolves around the easy circulation from the internal saloon area (with dinner seating capacity for up 10) and the aft covered cockpit for a more relaxed alfresco dining and/or entertainment environment. Each hull is fitted with 2 large separate cabins both of which have large comfortable queen size beds and individual en-suites.

Steering Stations


The Lagoon 500’s external steering and navigation station is ideal for Sailaway IV’s purpose however when considering the France to Australia (13, 500+ sea mile) delivery passage some repeater

The Skipper & Crew

Morrie Morgan—Skipper. Known as “Morrie from Macquarie” a professional Master V delivery skipper for over 18 years Morrie is well known for his seamanship ability and professional approach towards planning, preparing & delivering new boats.

Irene Bates— Crew. Irene describes herself as a ‘late sail starter’ with just 12 years shorthanded delivery experience on a variety of boats.

Apart from Irene’s 000’s of Australian sea mile deliveries Irene has also crewed for Morrie on previous International deliveries including : Singapore, Borneo, Thailand & Malaysia

Proposed Delivery Passage - Leg 1 Atlantic

Planning & Preparing

The hardworking preparation team from left:
Steve & Katrina Edmonson (owners) Irene Bates (Crew) Morrie Morgan (Skipper) Brendon Hunt (Vicsail Sydney) all grateful for their fleecy lined 'rock star' jackets.
Departure from La Rochelle for Australia came around midday on the 16/12/2006 after almost 2 weeks of preparation.
Hoping to ‘strike it lucky’ with a favorable pattern for the first 340 mile south west passage across the notorious Bay of Biscay and onto Spain weather became the focus - 2 trips per day to the internet café + information from the onboard satellite system. The Bay of Biscay is not unlike Australia’s infamous Bass Strait waters Atlantic swells roll into the Bay
“ I was very anxious about leaving behind the security and atmosphere of La Rochelle—even though, each morning the deck & wharf are covered in ice!” Irene explained. “However with a new boat & equipment to trial & test coupled with new waters & countries to discover I figure these challenges will soon compensate for La Rochelle features we leave behind. “

The final task included topping up the 2 large diesel fuel tanks + additional cans with 500+ litres @ 1.13 Euro a litre.


The background— La Rochelle’s outer marina with 3300 berths

When Sailaway IV arrives it will be the first Lagoon 500 in Australia and speaks volumes about the confidence Steve & Katrina have in the design & specifications for a boat they have yet to sail!!

“There was no opportunity to test sail or trial Sailaway IV before leaving La Rochelle.” Morrie Morgan explained. “Our first task is to become familiar with the safe and professional handling the boat in a variety of conditions. This includes the sounds, motions & general familiarization with sail handling, use of new technology, running all motors & generally managing, monitoring, practicing & continually improving our and the boat’s performance.” Morrie said.

Extracts from the log—the first 24 hours


Depart La Rochelle outer harbour 1300 hours 16/12/2006

Day 1 -1300 to 1530 hours


Weather is overcast, 100% cloud cover & very cold with showers as a front passes over .
Wind gusts to 21 knots from the SSW. Motoring low RPM. Cleared the outer islands.

1530 hours winds NW 15– 18 knots hoisted main with 2 reefs + 50% jib. Speed continually increasing 7– 8 knots

La Rochelle's inner harbour the day of departure - Ice on the wharf
1600 hours winds NNE 15-25 knots + 3 metre swell.

2330 hours: Honking along at 7-9 knots.
“It’s a very dark, cold rainy night which adds to the eeriness of a first sea night. “ Irene said. “ New sounds have us on alert most of the night—we keep checking sails, bilges, technology.”

“There’s little chance for a formalized watchkeeping system & it’s bitterly cold and wet on the bridge deck and we are both thankful for our new wet weather gear we purchased at the Paris Boat Show and our fleecy lined ’Sailaway IV ’ jackets. Irene said.

“Our track during the night takes us through and around shipping lanes and fishing grounds worked by large trawlers.

We both grab some sleep. Nights here are very long, the first breaking signs of daylight
Before 7.45 am. At 7 am we start the Gen-set to charge the batteries and take advantage od Sailiaway IV’s heating system. We boil the electric jug for tea & coffee, cook eggs and enjoy hot toast from the electric toaster.

The Bay of Biscay


Irene at the helm - a cold clear day crossing the Bay of Biscay
Our first 24 hours were slow just 140 nm with an average speed of 5.8 knts.
As we commenced day 2 we shook out the 2nd reef + a full jib. It’s a beautiful Bay of Biscay day! & can’t help but wonder about the scary stories for this part of the world!

We are both a little tired and take turns sleeping in the saloon covered with a very thick fleecy lined sleeping bag purchased in La Rochelle. With a SW course we needed to gybe as the winds turned more E—NE. This was not a making leg , but we needed to drop further south and get back on track .

At 1640 hours—no wind at all. What a disappointment as we really wanted to practice our sail handling.
Motor sailed all night and listened intently for the sounds of fish floats hitting the hull! At 1700 hours on the 18/12/2006 we departed the Bay of Biscay and headed South along the Spanish coast. The winds turned more E—NE. This was not a making leg , but we needed to drop further south and get back on track .
At 1640 hours—no wind at all. What a disappointment as we really wanted to practice our sail handling.

Motor sailed all night and listened intently for the sounds of fish floats hitting the hull! At 1700 hours on the 18/12/2006 we departed the Bay of Biscay and headed South along the Spanish coast.

Settling in and sailing well


With Cape Finistere (the most western part of Spain) behind us, things changed! Wind was now on our port back quarter – 20-25 knots and Sailaway IV ‘picked up the skirts’ and began to show us what a Lagoon 500 can really do! With full jib & reefed main we checked our speeds at 11-12 knots.

While crossing the Ria De Moris (river entrance) we practiced our sail handling and reefing skills in 25-30 knots. The single line reefing system is perfect and easily handled by 2 people. However, reducing the jib under these conditions proved a little more difficult.

We headed for Ria De Vigo for a short overnight stay and also to test the anchoring system. Anchored just outside the harbour along a suburban beach. Had 2 beers, a hot shower & fell into bed before dark.

"Honking along the NW coast of Spain"
The double cabins are so comfortable. They are fitted with warm cosy quilts & we snuggle into these when on anchor or in the marina (all other times when sailing we sleep in the saloon.) Anchor is up at daylight ( 9AM) & we’re headed for Lisbon.

From a woman’s viewpoint – to be read only by males


Without a doubt multihull sailing combines the males desire to conquer the oceans and the females desire to remain upright!

Here’s some selling tips you could pass along to your wife or partner next time you’re discussing your urge to sail the oceans blue:

  • Multi hulls rock (a little) and do not heel over!
  • The stove doesn’t need to be gimbaled
  • There’s plenty of ‘walk around space’
  • You can eat inside & out with a knife & fork at a table!
  • You can see lots from inside the saloon



For more additional information, please visit www.catamarans.com

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