Thanks all for the the informative feedback on the boat show
. Much appreciated
I have just finished a 16 day charter on a lagoon 450 fly (5 year old boat) in the Med. I chartered an owners version as our plans are to live aboard for 6 months a year (initially in the Med) and wanted to get a feel of this configuration. The owners version was great and storage was most impressive.
Positives of the yacht.
1. Great space for what is a charter boat. (although this was an owners version - i am referring to the port hull, cockpit and saloon
2. Good fridge space - two fridges and one deep freeze (all vertical - cant stand the pull out draw fridges or freezers) and an ice maker. Best I have seen from the "charter cats"
This is a big issue for me and the admiral as most "charter configurations have too little of either and changing this in most "charter"cats is a mission.
3. Fly bridge was great for socializing and awesome views when sailing or having cocktails
4. All staterooms were spacious and good ventilation. (this boat did not have aircon!)
5. Good sized cockpit and layout.
compartment had plywood
covers over the engines to create additional storage space - useful for snorkeling gear
etc. Not sure if this is standard or after market set up
7. Sailed reasonably well - Hired an asymetrical spinnaker
with a dousing sock which is a must have but would probably take a screecher if I had to choose one.
8. Great galley set up and layout.
Negatives (not in any order)
1. Not easy to sail single
handed with genoa
winches on the bridge being at least 2 meters from each other - only one is at the helm. Found the Leopard and X 5 way better to single hand.
2. With the props behind the rudders I had the helm ripped from me on a couple of occasions when reversing out of a dock
. I think props in front of rudders is a far better set up.
3. The height of the boom because of the fly bridge is an issue (for me) with the flat top main I had to climb the steps on the mast
every time I dropped the main to secure it properly and it was a mission and to tuck away all the reefing lines.
4. The sheet for the jib furler
went through so many blocks it was a mission to furl the genoa
(especially as we had to stop using the winches in electric
mode as one of the foot switches keep jamming (not a lagoon issue but a maintenance
issue) Even if this did not happen we still would have sweated the jib furler
5. There is basically zero visiblity of either stern hull (unless one remembers to open a huge hatch
in the cockpit roof which only improves the view to the port stern (this boat actually had a rear view camera
to help sort this problem)
6. Davit system was mediocre at best ..... It was easier and way faster to sweat the dinghy
up into the davits
than to use the dedicated winch
7. A big concern was three soft spots on the deck - all behind the cockpit even for a 5 year old boat this is not on IMHO. That said the rest of the build quality was good IMHO
8. The main was a mission to drop .... so much so that a down haul had been installed to help solve this problem.
9. The outside built in cooler box in the cockpit was simply useless and ice would last less than two hours once placed in there!
10. The bimini irritated me as I could not stand up under it at the helm ( I am 5:10) but what was worse (for me) it it obscured the main completely when at the helm. There was a fold away window in the roof of the canvas
bimini but this helped only marginally. The main halyard winch
is also to far from the helm to manage both (unless on auto pilot) besides one needs to stand at this winch to be able to see the main getting hoisted through the lazy jacks.
The boats that are currently on my short list
Knysna 500 SE ( have been on a few but not sailed any yet - next week hopefully
) So many positives on this boat and have been to the factory
New Leopard 45
- will be seeing it on Friday
New FP - the new 47 looks most impressive. Walked around a helia charter version when on the Lagoon charter last week. Was expecting more on the build quality, but still a nice boat.
The X5 - have been on one - could not sail it properly as not enough wind
. This pretty much ticks all the boxes (but the admiral has not seen it yet
) Most innovative designs I have seen on a 45 to 50 foot cat.
Just need to get my mind around the cockpit arch
Only looking up to 50ft as I reckon that is where I draw the line on sailing short handed.
Cats off my list for various reasons