The Catamaran Concept
The catamaran concept has been around since before recorded history, so it has been pretty much proved by now. The islands in the Pacific were all populated by people in the last several millennia in large and small vessels with multiple hulls or outriggers. Indeed, Polynesians were the world’s first truly long-distance sailors, going nearly all the way across the Pacific (maybe all of the way?) in their multihulls-- long before the Portuguese or Spanish crossed the much smaller Atlantic (the Vikings notwithstanding) in their lumbering monohulls.
Catamarans are Really Stable.
Every week BoatTEST.com’s captains report on monohull sail and powerboats and talk about their “stability” and “comfort.” But we all know that when in a monohull in a seaway those terms are relative to other designs in the same class with different bottom shapes and specs. Likewise with monohull sailboats. However, when it comes to catamarans, there is no comparison in terms of stability compared to either a powerboat or a keel monohull sailboat in virtually any condition short of a named storm. No comparison.Catamarans get their stability from their wide beam and two buoyant hulls, instead of from the counter-weight effect of a lead keel and a long lever arm acting against the wind pressure on the sails. All sailboats heel, but catamarans not so much. And, because there are two hulls instead of one, boat roll is automatically dampened when it does exist.Stability offshore for most people equals comfort, so by definition catamarans are more comfortable.
Catamarans are Really Roomy.
At its widest point, a typical 39’ (11.89 m) monohull sailboat may have a beam of 12’ to 13’ (3.66 m to 3.96 m) and will be only that wide for a portion of its length, depending on the design. On the other hand, the Lagoon 39 has a beam of 22’3” (6.78 m) which is carried for most of its length. Within that beam is a lot of structure that provides a significant amount of extra room.
In the case of the Lagoon 39, she has about 20% more interior living square footage than typical conventionally-designed monohull sailboats the same lentgth.
The Lagoon 39
The Lagoon 39 was designed by Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prevost (VPLP) who are internationally known for being among the finest designers of catamarans. The 39 was actually first designed and built in 1996, but she has gone through a number of iterations since then. The latest model, vintage 2014, has some significant improvements made to the design which will be discussed below.
Hull and Super Structure
At 25,739 lbs. (11,673 kg), the Lagoon 39 is not particularly light for a boat this length compared to a monohull, even one with a keel. The reason is that there is so much more structure in this vessel -- two hulls, two fin keels, much more deck area, a large coach roof plus cockpit overhang, all of the fiberglass liners that go inside, the extra wood joinery work, plus two small engines and related equipment, most of it in duplicate.In fact, the Lagoon 39 is about 30% heavier than the hypothetical conventional monohull mentioned above.This is despite the fact that the boat's hull and deck are constructed with state-of-the-art techniques, including vacuum-bagged, infused lamination utilizing balsa core in both the hull above the waterline and in the deck. Below the waterline and in the twin fin keels, the boat is solid GRP.Her maximum EEC load displacement rating is 35,163 lbs. (15,950 kg) which makes her stout enough -- along with other aspects of her design and equipment -- to allow her to have an CE "A" rating for 10 people or less. This means she should be able to stand up to anything less than a names storm.
The forward edges of her twin plumb bows are now beveled and look cool to our eye. Her hulls are symmetrical so that the boat will cut through the water cleanly and insure identical flow over each side.
Important Twin Keels.
Each hull has a fiberglass fin keel that has been moved back from their location in previous models. This has been done in tandem with moving the mast aft (see below) and results in easier tacking and maneuvering. These keels are the lowest part of the boat so in case of grounding the twin rudders, which are a few inches higher, will get some measure of protection.The fin keels are solid glass so they are relatively heavy, but as far as we're concerned that is a very good thing. While they don't work like a lead keel in a monohull, because they can sheer off without damaging the hull, they are an added safety factor. Further, they act as a centerboard, enhancing the boat's performance to windward, providing lateral resistance to dampen leeward drifting.
Gull Wing Design.
Note that the boat's fiberglass center span bridge starts over 14' behind the twin bows. In the forward section are two larges hatches for lines, sails, fenders and the like and these compartments are not neatly as deep as the accommodations section further aft. Further, under the bridge span, the fiberglass is shapped like a gull wing. All of this is to virtually eliminate pounding and pitching a seaway, move the center of gravity aft, and make tacking smarter.
The Rig and Sail Plan
The builder has moved the mast back significantly, which moves the boat’s center of effort back and that combined with other changes makes the new 39 ride better and tack easier. It also enlarges the fore triangle, permitting a self-tacking headsail which, along with the smaller mainsail, makes sail handling about as easy as it can possibly be.
The standard sail plan includes a full batten mainsail of 409 sq. ft. (38 sq. m.) and a 344 sq. ft. (32 sq. m.) self tacking headsail. And optional square top main is available measuring 473 sq. ft. (44 sq. m.).For those who want more sail area for downwind work such as, say, a trip from California to the Hawaiian Islands, Lagoon offers an optional Code O gennaker kit, which includes a bow sprit, blocks and winches and a 732 sq. ft. (68 sq. m) gennaker. A star-cut spinnaker can also be set on the rig, as can be seen in some images on this page.
are located outboard of the cockpit and next to the helm on the coach roof for the main. The main traveler car can also be adjusted from the cockpit cut out.
Because the boat has no backstay, nor running backs, it must have swept-back spreaders and upper and lower shrouds that are affixed to chainplates outboard and abaft the cockpit. These stays limit the extension somewhat of the main boom which is constrained in a 40-degree arch.Eliminating the back stay has a number of advantages, which in this case includes an unencumbered mechanical davit for the ship's tender. In the pictures on this page, the boat's owner has placed solar cells on the davit. It also permits the optional square top mainsail with added roach and sail area.
5 Layout Plans.
The big story relative to the accommodations on the Lagoon 39 is that the builder offers five significantly different layouts, ranging from tow ensuite staterooms to four. So, while 8 people can be comfortably -- and privately -- ensconced below, seating 8 for meal around one table will provide a challenge. We suggest getting a second table so one can be set up in the cockpit and another in the salon.Because the coach roof extends totally over the cockpit to just above the boat's transom, this is not such a bad layout. In fact, with the addition of isinglass this cockpit can be fully enclosed and buttoned up on chilly evenings. Then, the aluminum and glass sliding door between the cockpit and salon can be left open.
Lagoon uses laminated Miliano oak on the interior deck surfaces. Bulkheads, sliding hatches and all cabinetry is made of Alpi wood with a grey oak finish and vertical wood grain. Please see the adjacent video on Alpi wood which explains what it is and how it is different from the wood treatment in most boats.
is 6'6" (2 m) at the entrance to the salon from the cockpit, dropping to 6'2" (1.90 m) over the galley and chart table.
The countertop is a grey resin material with wood fiddles. There are twin sinks, a three-burner gas stovetop with sea rails, and a gas oven with an enamel interior. The 12V refrigerator is front opening and is 34 gallons (130 L). A top loading second refrigerator or freezer is an option.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the interior space on the main deck is not the settee or navigation table or galley, but the 360-degree view to the seascape outside. Forward, the windows are rounded in the corners. This contrasts significantly with monohull sailboats which typically have a long companion stairway down into a dark salon that on some boats can seem like a dungeon. But even monohulls that have large side windows, nothing compares to the view that’s possible from a properly designed catamaran.
The layout drawing and images describe the Lagoon 39's interior better then we ever could. Keep in mind that there are privacy hatches to both sides of the boat, there are two steps down, and that there is 6'2" (1.90 m) headroom below.
Standard propulsion for the 39 is a pair of 21-hp Volvo Penta engines connected to saildrives with 3-bladed fixed props. A saildrive is in fact a "pod" that pre-dated the pod concept by about 30 years. Each engine is placed in the after section of each hull.Optional twin Yanmar 29-hp diesels are also available with saildrive as are folding props.No matter what engine is selected, one will go in each hull and be started by its own battery and be fed fuel from its own 53 gallon (200 L) fuel tank. This kind of redundancy is rarely seen on a monohull.
Major Attributes of the Lagoon 39
- 5 layout plans
- Panoramic views from the salon
- Lots of deck space
- Shaded cockpit that can be enclosed
- Easy to tack
- Engine redundancy
Depending on which layout is selected, the engines and optional equipment, the MSRP of the Lagoon 39 can vary from about $400,000 to nearly $600,000.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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