Private Premiere
Yacht Style|Issue 59
Yacht Style attended the Lagoon 55 preview at Groupe Beneteau’s CNB shipyard in Bordeaux, where the brand’s third-biggest sailing cat cruised along the Garonne river before showing off her feature-packed outdoor zones and colourful, detailed interior.
Geoffroy Langlade

After a restricted year with few boat shows and sea trials, we were excited to be invited to the CNB shipyard in Bordeaux to see the first hull of the Lagoon 55, which is set to cause quite a stir this year as further units are unveiled and are distributed around the world.

The 55 is Lagoon’s third-biggest sailing model and follows last year’s release of the Sixty 5, which completed the brand’s new ‘big four’. This lofty quartet began with the Seventy 7 in 2016 and includes the Seventy 8 and Sixty 7 powercats released in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

The 55 project began two years ago, revealed Thomas Gailly, Lagoon’s Brand Director, who says it’s targeted at owners of models from 45ft upwards who aren’t quite ready to make the leap to the Sixty 5 or Seventy 7 but want to enjoy the upgrade in space and finishing that the ‘big four’ have added to the brand.

“We will be carrying out technical tests and sea trials before a world tour, which will start this summer,” says Gailly, a regular visitor to Asia, at least before Covid. “In this context of the pandemic, we'll continue all the local initiatives of Lagoon around the world, including in the Asia-Pacific, which remains one of our key markets.”

The 55 also holds special significance for the brand as it’s the same name as the first-ever Lagoon catamaran, launched in 1987 when the brand was an offshoot of Jeanneau. Since then, with Groupe Beneteau buying Jeanneau and its other brands in 1996, Lagoon has built an astonishing 6,000 units, having established itself as the world leader in cruising catamarans.

LINK TO THE ‘BIG FOUR’

Today’s 55 not only provides a link to the new ‘big four’ but also provides a significant upgrade from the Lagoon 52, which will be phased out of production after a hugely successful run since its own launch in 2012.

And this is no superficial upgrade. At 54ft 4in in length, the 55 is over 2ft longer than the model it’s succeeding but remarkably, its 29ft 6in beam makes it almost 6ft or 25 per cent wider.

Furthermore, the 55 has a fully developed flybridge, which when combined with a significantly bigger rig and the overall increase in volume, means it’s over 23 per cent heavier than the 52.

As well as naval architecture by the world-famous VPLP design team founded by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, the 55 features an exterior design by Patrick Le Quément and an interior by Italy’s Nauta Design, which has been handling the brand’s interiors for over a decade.

Le Quément’s handiwork is the first we see when approaching the model, which is tied up on the Garonne river that flows in front of the CNB shipyard.

“The Lagoon 55 reveals a carefully created exterior design. All around, the deck bulwark lends the boat an elegant and refined profile, plus a protected promenade around the deck,” says Le Quément, who spent most of his career as a renowned car designer for the likes of Ford and Renault.

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