Comfort, room, good sailing qualities even in rough seas and a sizeable range. The French yard’s latest engine-powered boat has been designed for long cruises
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Nicolas Claris
THE SEA OUTSIDE THE SEA WALL AT THE PORT OF BARCELONA WAS FAIRLY ROUGH. There were waves of nearly a metre and a cross-sea. And the wind, while not excessive, got to fifteen knots and was gusting at twenty. The conditions were sufficiently demanding to test the qualities of an engine-powered catamaran.
It feels good when underway, even when the sea is rough, especially if you are content to go at lower cruising speeds. It is extremely manoeuvrable, and the visibility from the flybridge is excellent.
Let’s be honest about it, multi-hulls have a disadvantage: they roll and pitch in the rough sea. They are very stable, especially when anchored, but if there are waves when they are underway, having two hulls means things get complicated. They find it more difficult to push through the waves, especially in cross seas, than a single-hulled displacement boat for example. And that was precisely the kind of conditions that I found in Barcelona during the test.
The Lagoon Sixty 7 is extremely large. Length overall is more than twenty metres, and the maximum beam is ten. At 120cm, the width of the gangways is also very striking. I got out a tape measure and checked the distance from the end of the cockpit to the gangway rail, and it is a full 220 cm.
The feeling of having a lot of room is even stronger on the flybridge. The superstructure covers the whole cockpit area, but not the gangways. Looking down from up there you get even more of a sense of the size of the boat.
That is all good for on-board comfort, but what about when the sea is rough? Between thirteen and fourteen knots it is all very calm when underway. It didn’t rise up particularly. The spray from the waves that arrived on deck was a confirmation that, despite the feeling of being comfortable when underway, the sea was far from calm. In the stern area of the two hulls, for example, each time that we bounced over a wave, spray came on deck and completely soaked the external living area in the bow. The windscreen on the dinette also received some bucketfuls of water, and the wind played a part in making the spray reach as far as the cockpit. Despite that, it was calm underway. But it was different when we speeded up. At top speed, we got to 20.6 knots, and the feeling we got on a cross-sea with metre-high waves was not so pleasant, even though the boat always felt safe.
«The Sixty 7 is above all reasoned elegance. A form of elegance that derives from the purity of its lines. It is this type of beauty that presents harmonious contrasts: vast and concise, succeeding in Being while avoiding Appearing». Patrick le Quément
Lagoon Sixty 7 is made for long-distance cruises. You can tell that from the fuel tanks, that hold as much as 5,500 litres. And if you are happy with a cruising speed, so without opening the throttle right up, you can cope even when the sea is rough. So, it doesn’t suffer from the comparison with a navetta boat, and it is faster than a displacement-hull vessel. At minimum planing speed, or at least at mid-level revs, fuel consumption levels are surprising. At 15 knots it needed 135 litres per hour in total, and at 13.5 that fell below one hundred litres. Those figures tell us that the range easily surpasses the 700-mile level. And if you do ten knots, it goes up to as much as 1,800 nautical miles, which is enough to go up and down the Mediterranean and beyond. When underway you also appreciate how manoeuvrable it is.
«The interior of the Sixty 7 represents the latest step in an evolution defined by open and uninterrupted spaces that join the interior and exterior seamlessly offering amazing views onto the surrounding beauty». Massimo Gino
The electro-hydraulic steering has been designed by the yard. It is very well calibrated, so the boat turns very tightly, but without overdoing it. Although it is a catamaran, you get the feeling that you are moving in an agile way, whether going fast or slow. The steering system also has a safety feature, because every time you turn, if you take your hands off the wheel, it tends to quickly bring it back on course. So basically, you can’t do anything without hanging on to the wheel with both hands. And that is a relief when you have to handle a catamaran that is ten metres wide.
There are many different layouts available, that range from a more owner-oriented version – with eight berths – up to one suitable for chartering, sleeping twelve.
As well as its qualities when underway, some come from the amount of space onboard. There are many different layout options. The version that we tried out was the most owner-oriented one, and you can hardly avoid noticing how large the master cabin is. It is in the starboard hull and starts in the stern before reaching nearly the end of the bow. Nearly the end of the bow, because right in the bows there is another guest room. You can also get right from the master cabin straight to the stern bathing platform, which gives the feeling of having a terrace at water level.
«The smooth flow between interior and exterior creates a feeling of warmth and conviviality throughout the boat. Whether you’re sailing with family or with friends, we have thought about every moment of life on board and about the unique places and atmospheres that make each one special». Marc Van Peteghem
The amount of room available to the owner makes it feel more like a penthouse suite than a boat. In addition to guest rooms, the port hull also houses a kitchen in a completely separate area. The large dinette isn’t just very spacious, but also has direct access to the external living area on the foredeck. You can get there without having to use the gangways. Getting around on board is easy, not just because the access ways are wide, but also because there are grab handles just about everywhere. The one thing that I didn’t find very convincing is that there isn’t a locker set aside for mooring ropes close to the stern cleats and mooring winches. When moored in the harbour, you have to leave the extra ropes on deck, even though a special compartment for them could perhaps have been found.
There is a pair of 440 hp Yanmar motors in the engine room. That is a very balanced choice in terms of power: it produces the right amount of thrust, without using too much fuel.
PROJECT: VPLP Design (naval architecture) • Patrick le Quément (exterior design) • Nauta Design (interior design)
HULL: LOA 20.15m • Maximum beam 10.00m • Draft 1.90m • Unload displacement 48,300 kg • Water tank volume 1,000 l • Fuel tank volume 5,500 l • Berths from 8 to 12
MAIN PROPULSION: 2xYanmar 6LY440 • Outlet mechanical power 324 kW (440 hp) • 6 cylinders in line • Swept volume 5.8 l • Bore&Stroke 106mm x 110mm • Rotational speed 3300/min • Dry weight 585 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT A 14 people • CAT B 18 people • CAT C 24 people CAT D 40 people
(Lagoon Sixty 7, a perfect balance – Barchemagazine.com – September 2020)