Sailboat Review: Lagoon Sixty 5

In a luxury catamaran with pleasures galore, the Lagoon Sixty 5's pièce de résistance is the flybridge perched high above the sea.

Lagoon Sixty 5 right side
The “Sky King” Lagoon Sixty 5 Jon Whittle

Of all the tweaks and changes in the ­design and layout of large cruising catamarans , ­surely the most innovative has been the addition of the flybridge steering station and “upstairs” lounging space. To be perfectly honest, the feature took a while to grow on me. At first, it was a matter of aesthetics: What in the name of Herreshoff was that mainsail ­gooseneck doing a story or two up in the sky?

But as I sailed a few flybridge-­equipped cats, ­particularly the Lagoon 620—the predecessor to the brand’s latest rangy cat, the Sixty 5—it dawned on me that my issue was a matter of perspective. The beauty of the flybridge isn’t obvious when you’re ­looking at it . The brilliance becomes clear when you’re experiencing the wide-open waters and 360-degree views of the horizon while perched upon it.

The 67-plus-foot Sixty 5 has a wide, well-reasoned ­platform high above the seas. Its commanding panoramas are just the beginning. Twin helms with comfy, upholstered bench seating, as well as the ­engine controls and chart plotters, flank a quartet of ­Harken ­winches, all of which are ­canopied by a solid ­overhead Bimini. The ­traditional mainsail is trimmed with the aid of a continuous-­line traveler, also led to the Harkens. Unfortunately, our test sail was ­conducted in middling breeze, but we still made a solid 5 knots under the code-zero headsail in just 7 knots of wind.

Happily, there were ­other attractions to hold our ­attention, especially the “topside ­galley” with a fridge, a sink, an ice maker, a Kenyon grill, and enough seating to open your own waterborne cafe. As for steering, there’s a second indoor station in the saloon controlled by the B&G autopilot, negating the need to venture aloft for course adjustments.

Back at sea level, owners have many choices and options. There can be four, five or six staterooms; the ­galley can be up in the saloon or down in the hull; and there are numerous styles of Alpi wood finishes and upholstery—all of which you’d expect on a ­vessel with a price tag north of $3 million. The owner’s ­staterooms, in particular, are sumptuous.

Construction, as with the entire nine-model Lagoon line from 40 to 78 feet length overall, is straightforward: a balsa-­cored laminate in both the hull and deck, with polyester and vinylester incorporated into the layup. The teak decks are a classy touch that you don’t usually encounter on a catamaran. There’s a pair of gensets, one of which addresses the ­overall house needs and a second ­dedicated to the ­individual air-­conditioning units ­scattered hither and yon. A pair of 150 hp Yanmars is standard, though our test boat had been upgraded to twin 195 hp diesels ­coupled with Flexofold props.

The cat’s profile is striking, with a straight stem on the bow to maximize waterline length and the coach roof’s familiar turret-style brow—a signature Lagoon feature. There’s a cool forward cockpit for lounging and reading, offset by an aft cockpit with seating and a dining area. The integrated bowsprit is another sweet touch, allowing for a triple-headsail arrangement for easily shifting gears depending on wind strength and direction.

Lagoon is presently building about 20 boats a year. All have gone to private owners, not charter companies, though many owners are offering their boats with full crews from five to 10 weeks a year, to offset expenses. It’s a business model that’s tried-and-true with the superyacht set. The ­Sixty 5 is a lot of boat to handle, and nearly all owners will employ a hired captain, and chef and mate, who have their own ­dedicated quarters aboard.

But let’s return to that flybridge. I’ve always wanted to experience what it feels like to have the conn on a big ­freighter or cruise ship, with the long scans and endless ocean vistas. Since sailing the Lagoon Sixty 5, I think I know.

Herb McCormick is a CW editor-at-large.

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