When the Lagoon 440 was launched in 2004 it caused something of a stir with steering and all sail and motor controls being placed in a fly bridge above the cockpit and saloon. A lot of conservative yachtsmen were skeptical as to whether it would be successful in this market – and I have to confess to being one.
We were certainly wrong for not only has the 440 been extremely well received on both sides of the Atlantic, but its larger sister, the Lagoon 500 has also been successfully introduced with a similar layout. For a number of reasons neither Mark nor I have sailed her – my first introduction to the fly bridge was a few months ago when I tested the Lagoon 500 (Multihull Review issue 13).
Forty feet is popular size for a modern catamaran and the Lagoon has competition from both Fountaine Pajot’s Orana, which is reviewed by Mark elsewhere in this issue and the Nautitech 44 which was covered by me in issue 10.
First impression when stepping aboard the Lagoon 440 is the feeling of space achieved though the builder’s traditional use of a long flat coach roof and straight windows. The saloon is certainly voluminous with a ‘U’ shaped seating area for eight around a table. Unlike many other boats this one has seating on both sides doing away for the need to use folding director chairs.
There is a well equipped galley to starboard facing out towards the cockpit with a sliding window for passing food through. This has a stainless steel counter top with a double sink and mixer tap plus an integrated draining area for dishes. There is a three burner stove with oven and grill. A 12-volt 130 liter (34 US gallons) fridge is standard and there is a provision for an optional second fridge or freezer.
The navigation area is placed opposite this looking forward. There is a reasonable amount of room for electronic navigation equipment and an option to have duel engine controls here. Users of paper charts would have to bring the saloon table into use.
All of the major French catamaran manufacturers have adopted a much lighter “oak” type finish in recent months and Lagoon is no exception. I much prefer it to the older style but understand that some potential buyers have complained of the change.
To starboard on the owner’s version is an excellent suite with a large semi-island double berth and seating area where a flat screen television could be viewed. Forward is a compact desk and office space and then the utility area where a washer/dryer could be installed. On the test boat this area was replaced with cupboard.
Forward of this is the large heads with a full-sized wc, washbasin and separate shower area.
To port there are two double cabins each with their own ensuite facilities. All three berths are two meters long (6’7”) and 1.67 (5’2”) at their widest point. There is ample storage area throughout.
The charter version would have an identical layout to this in the starboard hull. It is possible to have two single cabins forward in the port and starboard hulls and the latter can be equipped with a toilet and shower.
Outside is a clutter free cockpit since all boat handling is done up on the fly bridge. There is ample seating here for eight people and the sensible thing to do would be to reject the coffee table supplied and spend an additional 38 pounds (50 or $75) for the large composite dining table. This can be hidden away and stored in the bimini roof when not required.
|Length on waterline
|Mast clearance (std mast)
|Mast clearance(short mast)
|Light displacement (EC regulations)
|Full displacement (EC regulations)
||approx 29762 lbs
|Full batten main
||796 sq. ft (std)/632 sq.ft (short)
||452 sq. ft (std) / 436 sq.ft (short)
||1560 sq. ft (std) / 1130 sq.ft (short)
||968 sq. ft (std) / 646 sq.ft (short)
||3 x 79 US Gal
|Water tank capacity
||2 x 86 US Gal
|Fuel tank capacity
||2 x 40 HP
|Engine upgrade (option)
||2 x 55 HP
||Light oak alpi and non skid laminated wenge for the wood floor
||Marc Van Peteghem & Vincent Lauriot Prévost
||A: 12 pers - B: 14 pers - C: 20 pers - D: 25 pers
There are two stairways up to the flybridge but the portside one provides the easiest access leading straight up from the cockpit. That on the starboard side either means clambering over seating or using a walkway at the stern in order to get to it.
Once up there the world is at your command. You can see all parts of the boat at a glance which makes berthing quite simple. The large cushioned bench seat can take four or five people comfortably.
There is a folding canvas bimini complete with transparent windscreen to protect the helmsman in inclement weather and hot weather shading can also be installed.
The large leather covered wheel is close at hand as are the engine controls with plenty of room for instruments, chart plotter and the rest. A total of four winches are located in this area. There is an electric 46.2 for hoisting the mainsail halyard and controlling the reefing lines; two 53.2 manual winches take care of the Genoa halyard and sheets as well as the optional genaker or spinnaker lines.
A further 53.2 behind the helmsman controls the mainsheet, main traveler and the Genoa furling lines.
One final winch is located below in the cockpit. This is a 32.2 which can be used as a safety release for the mainsheet as well as hoisting the optional davit lines.
There is an additional seating area forward with a relatively deep foot well which does raise a question about what happens when it fills with water? There are substantial drains and Lagoon say that they have had no problems in this regard.
A beefy 12 volt 1700 windlass is located in the anchor locker but neither chain nor anchor is supplied. Given the many improvements in anchor design over the past decade I think that this is a good thing since a manufacturer’s common denominator is likely to be at the bottom end of the price scale.
Our boat test day was cold, wet but with only an easterly force three blowing in the Solent. Coming out of the Lymington Yacht haven berth she handled well under the twin 53HP Yanmar engines, fitted instead of the standard 40HP, and proved easy to maneuver.
Once out I tested her under a single engine and found that she would do 5.8 knots at 1500 RPM; 6.3 knots at 2000 rpm; 7.3 knots at 2500 rpm and 8.2 knots at 3000 rpm.
Things improved once both engines were brought into play with 6.8 knots 1500 rpm; 8.4 knots at 2000 rpm; 9.1 knots at 2500 rpm and 9.4 knots at 3000 rpm.
Under sail she did surprisingly well considering the light winds and the fact that she displaces 12.15 knots (29,791 lbs) in light displacement mode. Given the amount of equipment on board our test boat was certainly heavier than this.
The wind was a consistent force three from the East. At 40 degrees to the apparent wind she made 6.4 knots which dropped to a fairly predictable 4.5 knots going down wind. Our best performance was 7.2 knots at 55 degrees apparent.
She tacked easily through 90 degrees apparent and the steering always felt quite positive. I certainly felt that while she sailed well under the circumstances she would have performed much better if fitted with a light airs sail such as the optional gennaker.
The Lagoon 440 is a well finished boat with a reasonable level of equipment. She is built from polyester and vinylester resins with a balsa core bridge deck and hull above the waterline and solid laminate below.