Lagoon 620 (2012)
Two are better than one, according to some – aside from the normal benefits of a catamaran, Tork Buckley finds some nice engineering aboard the new Lagoon 620, making her ideal for charter or private use in the tropics
There will always be those sailors that refuse to countenance the idea of a catamaran. The Lagoon 620 could change some of those minds though. We visited and enjoyed a brief sail out of Royal Phuket Marina in Phuket, Thailand aboard the Lagoon 620, Jyohana – one of a new breed of the yacht that seems to be getting a fair bit of attention by buyers in Southeast Asia. While we had almost perfect conditions in terms of weather, the wind gods did not smile upon us and a dead calm made it impossible to assess the sailing performance. However, this catamaran comes from the drawing boards (or screens) of Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) along with Lagoon’s R & D department – VPLP performance is renowned worldwide.
To ensure decent speed under sail, the standard sail area is 1496 square feet of main and 979 of genoa. One can opt for a flat top, deep roach, high-aspect main, pushing that area to 1571 square feet. A staysail, spinnaker and gennaker are also options. Obviously the yacht itself is 62 feet length overall, but the beam is substantial, and at over 32 feet, greater than half of its length. Given the vast interior volume, the draught is fairly slight at just over five feet.
Zanasi told me that Jyohana charters for €21,000 a week in the region, and the yacht is eminently suited to that role with all sail control and operation of the vessel carried out from the flybridge. There is the option to sail the vessel from a salon station, but on this particular version, only steering and navigation, since engine controls are not duplicated here as they are at flybridge steering stations on both port and starboard. Between the flybridge steering stations is a completely rotatable and angle and daylight viewable screen which displays all the data from the Raymarine charting and monitoring system. Sail handling is foot push-button electrical on four winches forward of the flybridge. The genoa is on an electric roller furler.
The yacht is capable of motoring comfortably at a cruising speed of eight knots with a maximum of ten knots, powered by two and Volvo D3 of 150 horsepower each. Both of the machinery spaces are easily accessible through hatches on either side on the aft deck.
As is de rigeur on a tropic-based catamaran, Jyohana is fully air-conditioned throughout as well as additionally – and usefully for slightly cooler days – fitted with small fans in the sleeping accommodation. There is a further machinery space in the hulls forward and just aft of the two crew cabins; one in each hull. Here, far from ears in guest accommodation, is the Onan genset of 17.5 Kva, along with battery banks and air conditioning plant. There is a two-generator option.
Finally, the operation and handling of the dinghy, a Caraibe 470 with four-stroke 50 horsepower outboard, is extremely notable and highly intelligent on a yacht that will normally operate with only two crew members. Rather than using conventional davits, the Lagoon 620 has a platform that raises and lowers electro-hydraulically to launch or recover the tender. Where it gets particularly clever is that is fully remotely controlled. Captain Poon, our local Phuket captain, demonstrated; driving the tender back to the yacht, he remotely lowers the platform, drives the tender above the submerged platform, presses “up” on the remote and up she rises. From the tender being 30 feet off the stern to stepping off the raised tender onto the aft deck takes much less than two minutes. I have seen many yachts, even from top custom builders, up to 45 metres, where the launch procedure is considerably more complicated and labour intensive; hats off to Lagoon for such a simple efficient system on a production yacht.
The flybridge, though the main crew operating centre of the yacht, will also prove popular with guests. Here, the yacht’s tropical location mandates shade, in this case provided by a fixed fibreglass hard top. This was not an option supplied by Lagoon, but one sourced locally from a composite and metal facility in Phuket. It’s nicely designed and finely engineered, and fits well into the look of the yacht, as though it were a piece of original equipment. Lagoon does offer fixed and demountable bimini options. The aft deck is almost completely shaded as the flybridge itself is above on an extension of the upper end of the superstructure. This is anyway highly desirable given the intolerable Southeast Asia sun that toasts normally sunshine-shy Asian owners. For those who do wish to sun themselves, the netting forward between the hulls is ideal.
Reverting to the “switch” opening comment, Mario tells us that this particular model is generating considerable interest among Asian motoryacht owners who wish a larger yacht. The Lagoon is perfectly capable of motoring and offers the space of an 80 feet motoryacht encouraging the “switch” to sail. It also offers sail-power so is much more environmentally friendly and smaller powerplants and genset (aided by all LED lighting throughout) sip rather than gulp diesel. They also make it significantly less costly to buy, (Euro 1.5 million, delivered to Southeast Asia) operate and maintain for owners willing to sacrifice the speed of a motor monohull. Equally of course it offers the opportunity for them to discover a whole new yachting pleasure; sailing. Its remarkably stable ride and anchor characteristics will also be particularly attractive to these ex-motoryacht-owners to be.
The 2012 interior was designed for Lagoon by independent designers Nauta. The vast (relative to LOA) accommodation is highly desirable and also represents fantastic value for money. The vessel is available in a variety of options up to five or even six cabins. In the latter version the salon space houses the galley; in all the other versions the galley is aft.
Despite the vessel being offered to charter Jyohana’s Malaysian owner decided on an owner’s layout. The galley is aft port and the master aft starboard. Both are significant features of this yacht. The owners cabin is large enough to provide an aft seating area with a couch. This offers private access directly onto the aft deck via companionway and sliding door. An identical arrangement on port serves the large galley. Both spaces benefit on both sides from portlights of generous dimension in the hull. All berths are athwartships, meaning you can lay in bed and peruse the anchorage through the hull ports before rising in the morning.
Again symmetrically, galley and master suite each access the salon by internal companionways. The salon is generous in size and lets in plenty of natural light. Windows surround it through 360-degrees, although the four ports looking forward can be from the salon sailing station can be opened, which means that are somewhat smaller than the others.
Aesthetically (and given full AC), I personally would prefer to see these identically sized to the others. Forward symmetrical companionways lead to a double each on port and starboard with and additional twin on port. All have ensuite facilities and there is also a salon-accessible dayhead to starboard.
The yacht is available with teak decks, although they bring weight, costs and comfort concerns. Mario commented that non-skid deck (although sun reflection makes sunglasses a must) is optimum not least because sun baked teak decks to 45° C plus temperatures make bare-footing impossible. Not having teak is environmentally responsible, though the political changes in Myanmar may soon allow international access to the highly sustainably managed teak forests there.
The environmental credentials of the yacht, being a sailboat with small powerplants, is already good. But I found them enhanced thanks to the use of an interesting product. While I was aboard, I was sure the interior was teak veneer. In fact, it was Alpi® is a reconstituted wood product manufactured by an Italian company headquartered in Modigliana in northeastern Italy. They produce both solid planks and veneers. They start with logs of Italian poplar from certified plantations and Ayous logs from equally controlled forests in Cameroon. The logs are peeled into sheets. The sheets are dyed in a variety of colours and then “re-assembled” by lamination into planks that resemble various wood types; Lagoon offer teak or light oak – it is visually effective, pleasing to the touch, and sustainable!
In conclusion, Jyohana specifically and the Lagoon 620 generally, are excellent and exciting cruising catamarans suitable for both the private owner and those who defray the cost of ownership by chartering. This is reflected in Jyohana being the fourth 620 sold in Asia, and the seventh yacht sold to Asia overall.
In Asia: www.simpsonmarine.com
Technical Specifications – Lagoon 620 (2012)
Mast Height (Over Water): 31m
Light displacement (EEC) 32.24t
Full batten main: 139 m2
Square top mainsail (opt.): 146 m2
Furling genoa: 91 m2
Furling staysail (opt.): 48 m2
Spinnaker (opt.): 300 m2
Gennaker (option) / Furling genoa (opt.): 190 m2
Water: 4 x 240 l
Fuel: 2 x 650 l
Standard engine: 2 x 110 CV / 2 x 110 Hp
Interior finish: Light oak alpi and laminated dark brown floor
Naval Architects: Marc Van peteghem & Vincent Lauriot prévost (VpLp)
Certification EC: A : 14 ; B : 14 ; C : 16 ; D : 30