The Lagoon 400 is one of the French yard’s most successful models to date. Lagoon began building this model in 2009 and went through a refresh in 2012 (the 400 S2). Production finished in 2017, so a lengthy run of 8 years. See our Lagoon 400 For Sale page if you are interested in buying one of these boats second hand.
She’s Better with a Bowsprit
The 400 is one of Lagoon’s 3rd generation designs that evolved from their classic 410. Although Lagoon veered to more comfort over performance in this generation, the 400 is still a competent sailor in a breeze, but she’s no lightweight and struggles in lighter airs (under 10 knots) unless you have the bowsprit to fly the larger sails (genneaker, code 0 for example).
The innovation in the Lagoon 400 is the amount of living space that VPLP have managed to pack into this boat. The sales success of this catamaran has inspired all sorts later designs (read our Bali 4.8 review for an example of a yard targeting a similar market. It is interesting to see how things have evolved).
Easy to manouevre in the marina
Sails are well set up for short handed sailing – this is a forgiving boat for managing the mainsail
Plenty of living room – the leader in her class at launch
Safe, wide decks
Lots of storage space, particularly on the 400 S2 upgrade.
Lots of headroom if you are tall
That boxy design creates a fair bit of windage
Performance is not stellar upwind. It is acceptable when you take into account the living space (trade off).
The interior furnishings are not famous for wearing well
No self tacking jib (some might call this a Pro!), but she is not as easy to tack as a Lagoon 42.
The 400 is built using Lagoon’s tried and trusted method: : solid laminate below the waterline and balsa core above, including the decks. The hulls and decks are infused with polyester, and Lagoon adds vinylester resin to the hulls as an osmotic barrier.
Sailors won’t be disappointed with the Lagoon 400, especially off the wind. Sure, there is a trade off for all of that living space, but you should comfortably achieve 7 knots and over in a breeze, even upwind. She tacks well if you boost the speed before coming through the wind. The genoa is easy enough to handle (later Lagoons have a self tacking jib) and you have the option of a Code 0 if you have the bowsprit. But don’t pinch her too tight. Just like any keel cat, she’ll sail up to 45 degrees apparent, but you are best off bearing away 5 degrees or so to keep your speed up and minimise the leeway. If you head too close to the wind, you might see the leeway build up to 20°.
You may get some the odd slam going upwind in a seaway, but she is certainly not bad in this regard.
In a breeze, she’ll comfortably claw off a lee shore.
A Good Sailor in a Breeze, Especially Off the Wind
In moderate winds (10-20 kts), the Lagoon 400 sails well from 50° to 140° TWA. Like most cats, running directly downwind is not really an option unless you have a parasailor or spinnaker as the shrouds stop you from opening up the mainsail. You are better off “tacking” downwind and moving the apparent wind forward, especially if you have a gennaker to fly off the bowsprit. You can expect a SOG of around half of the apparent wind, up to 10 kts of boat speed.
Look for a Square Top Mainsail
There is an option for a square-headed mainsail for maximum power- this should be on the top of your options list if you are looking at 400s on the second hand market- the square top gives you an extra 4.5 sqm (48 square feet) of sail area. All the sail handling is done from the elevated helm station at the port main bulkhead which has become a Lagoon trademark for this sized boat.
Easy to Handle for Two
The running rigging is simple, all lines, sheets and halyards come back to the helm and all the work can be done on one of the two manual winches, or on the electric winch if you have that option. Raising and lowering the main and reefing works well from the helm unless you have to put in the third reef which is clipped in at the mast.
Getting about the boat feels safe, as the layout has been kept clean with wide flush decks with recessed hatches. The bow lockers will comfortably store all your lines, fenders,and sails, and they have a false floor giving you an additional lower section to store stuff.
This is where Lagoon have excelled on the 400 and the design has stood the test of time. There are various variants on the market: the 3 cabin owner’s and the 4 cabin charter version with various heads configurations. We prefer the owner’s version with two heads.
The 3 cabin 2 head version leaves room for 2 separate showers with doors, each in their own space.
Plenty of Living Space
The saloon and galley are very roomy for a boat this size, with plenty of storage under the saloon sofa. Add a fridge into the cockpit if you don’ have one and you have one fridge for food and one for drinks.
The saloon also includes a handy nav station.
Head down below, and you will also note the living space that you get on these boats versus some of the competition. The berths are not that far off a 450, and there is plenty of stowage space.
Lagoon 400 S2
Lagoon launched a refresh of the design in 2012 called the 400 S2 (following similar refreshes on the 380 S2 and the 410 S2). They made some changes to the saloon (extra cupboards aft and they moved the electrical panel to the nav station which made space for a freezer). They also moved the berths around a bit down below, but most of the changes were cosmetic interior changes: the furnishings, paneling, flooring, and cabinetry were modernised.
Sailing Ocean Fox Follow Carla and Simon as they travel around the world on Ocean Fox (Hull number 233: 2012)
Polar Diagram, Lagoon 400
If you are looking for an entry level cat on the second hand market, the Lagoon 400 should be on your shopping list. She won’t cost much more than a 380 in mooring fees, but you’ll get substantially more living room on these 3rd generation VPLP designs. The 450 feels like a big step up (especially the Flybridge version) when you are manoeuvering around the marina, but the 400 is a nice, compact design
How much is a Lagoon 400 Cost? What is the Price on the Second Hand Market?
Because the production run was so long for the 400 (8 years) with a face lift in 2012, there is quite a range in price. You should be looking at around €250,000 at the lower end of the range for older boats up to €350,000 at the top end.
Which design is better? The Lagoon 400 or the Lagoon 400 S2?
The S2 was really an upgrade to the interior. There is more storage space on the S2 and they moved the electronics panel making room for another fridge or freezer. There´s not much in it, but the S2 probably shades it
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