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Old 16-05-2019, 20:41   #1
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New to the size

Hello 42 Lagoon owners! I have the great fortune to charter a 42 Lagoon this June in the BVI. I've sailed for a long time (more years than I actually care to mention) and have owned sloops. I've sailed a cat before, but it was a smaller one - 35 ft (Gemini Legacy). Part of why we do cruise vacations is to test out the different kinds of boats.

I've sailed in the BVI for vacation for 5 years, so the navigation and sailing conditions are not new. This year I have new guests with me and my son (boaters and not sailors).

What I would like to know from this experienced group is what handling advice do you have for sailing conditions, anchoring, and mooring pickups. To narrow the scope of this question - specifically looking for difference in size handling between the smaller cat and the larger one. I've got the twin screws handling differences under power concepts, and similar sloop to cat concepts. It's more concerns around windage, sail handling, etc.

Thank you!
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Old 17-05-2019, 02:09   #2
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Re: New to the size

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ggsail.
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Old 17-05-2019, 09:55   #3
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Re: New to the size

My wife and I own a 2019 Lagoon 42, Ocean Song, in the TMM charter fleet. I think you will find the move up from a 35' catamaran to the 42 to be fairly straightforward. The props are very widely spaced and she will literally turn in her own footprint.

Although you will have to be attentive to the added windage, I think the beam of 25'3" is what may surprise you. The 42 is a wide girl, and you must adjust when maneuvering in tight quarters. Both transom steps are easily visible from the helm even with a full-size dinghy in the davits. The port bow is visible unless the helmsman is 5'6" or less. The starboard bow is difficult to see unless the helmsman is around 5'10" or taller. The helm seat is about 6" too low for folks under 6'. We had our's raised 6" and a fold-down platform added so my wife at 5'4" can either sit or stand and see both bows from the helm.

Sail handling is very easy. With at least one electric winch at the helm, the main is easy to hoist and the jib deploys even more easily. She is self-tacking and will easily track through the wind unless your boat speed is very low and/or there is significant wave or swell against you. We sailed a Catalina 30 for many years and Ocean Song is much easier to sail. Reefing is also simple and easy. It's hard to imagine a 42 boat that is easier to sail. "Easy" is the best way to describe sailing and sail handling on Ocean Song.

I don't know which anchor your charter boat will have. The factory anchor is a Delta (55lbs I think). We upgraded to a Rocna 33 (72 lbs) and with a scope of 5 to 1 we've had no trouble holding in winds of 30+ knots. We were anchored in sand. We tend to anchor or moor about 50/50. I can't say anchoring is any easier or more difficult than any other catamaran I've sailed, but all the Lagoons have the anchor coming off the crossbeam rather than under the trampoline like the Leopards, and I do think it's a better setup.

My wife and I usually handle mooring pickups and it's the same as with any catamaran. Beam, windage, current, etc. must all be factored in but in the BVI current is seldom an issue. We just point her into the wind and pick up the ball near the port hull. Since my wife and I often do the mooring pickup on our own, our method is not to pick up at the middle of the crossbeam. We try to pick the pendant up just inboard of the port hull at the crossbeam. That way my wife (she likes being the foredeck crew) can pull the pendant up, run a bow line from the port bow cleat through the pendant and back to the port bow cleat and tie it off tight so the pendant hangs at the crossbeam. Then she can leisurely step over, pick up the starboard bow line, run it through the pendant, tie it off loosely, then adjust the lines until we're centered on the mooring.

During maneuvering under power keep in mind the props are aft of the rudders on the Lagoon 42. So the props are not sending water past the rudders when going forward. You have to wait a couple of seconds for steerage if depending on the wheel. I often lock the helm with the rudders centered when motoring in close quarters. When reversing, the rush of water will easily overcome the wheel lock as it washes past the rudders so you have to keep the wheel centered manually. It's not hard, I keep the wheel locked and I just push my knee against a spoke. You will see and feel the wheel jerk but it's simple to keep centered. If you have folding props, remember it may take them a second or two to open up when either forward or reverse is first engaged.

If you have other questions I'm happy to try to help.
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Old 18-05-2019, 17:10   #4
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Re: New to the size

This is an AMAZING response and unbelievably helpful! I had hoped to get all of these topics covered, I just never imagined it would be from one poster!

Visibility was a concern for me. Both my sister and I are 5' 2". I had pretty much figured that my brother-in-law would need to be at the helm (at 5'11") for mooring, anchoring, and docking maneuvering. Thank you so much for the information and details here.

I'm looking forward to the sailing now! I understand the Catalina 30 comparison so that is a great reference point.

Your tips on mooring pickup are really helpful too. I'll have to think that through a few times once I'm on board to visualize how that would work. That's similar how I did the the mooring pickup on the last cat, but the location of the pickup is different. Thank you for those details!

I had read elsewhere about using the twin screws for maneuvering rather than the wheel, but it did not explain why, so again, thank you for the tips!

I'll be sure to take a look at Ocean Song when we're planning next year's trip!

This was really super helpful and I appreciate the time you took.

Fair winds!
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Old 21-05-2019, 08:26   #5
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Re: New to the size

Yep - Jim has it all right! I own Ocean Song’s sister ship Time Will Tell(also at TMM). The 42 really is a joy to sail and handle short handed. The only thing I would add about sight lines and height is that when coming up on the mooring ball, it is possible to stand at the winches and drive the boat, giving you an extra step up. The problem with this position is you can’t easily use your knee/leg to hold the wheel, but I found that at the point where I appreciate the added height I am in very slow speed mode and don’t reverse the engines enough to overwhelm the brake on the wheel.

Have fun on your trip! You’ll love the L42!

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Old 21-05-2019, 18:18   #6
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Re: New to the size

Fantastic! Thank you so much!

I'm excited to introduce my nieces to the joy of sailing!
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Old 25-05-2019, 07:16   #7
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Re: New to the size

Do not forget to lock the wheel in center position when reversing an engine. There is a lot of power on the aft edge of the rudders!
Lagoon 400S2 refit for cruising: LiFeYPO4, solar and electric galley...
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Old 26-05-2019, 06:51   #8
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Re: New to the size

Got it! Thank you! We ended up getting a skipper to go with us out on the first day which will help a lot. I really feel that maneuvering while under power will end up being the biggest challenge. I really appreciate the tips from this group!
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:13   #9
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Re: New to the size

Fantastic article thank you.
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Old 14-07-2019, 15:58   #10
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Re: New to the size

I wanted to report in to you all. You were so kind with your posts and words - we completed our trip and it was amazing. Jim - you were right - it is a MUCH easier boat to sail / handle than the sloops I have handled. I will definitely look into the Lagoons in more detail!
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