The Lagoon 450 replaced the earlier 440 and the production line only stopped in 2020, as this model has a newer sister on the block: the 46. In terms of units sold, this catamaran, designed by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) is one of Lagoon’s most successful boats with over 800 built. “Squid Attack” launched in 2020, for example, is hull #856.
The Big Seller
Only the 380, 400, 40 and 42 have sold more I believe. We were lucky enough to charter a flybridge version called “Ludmilla” in Mallorca for a week. This is a review of how we found the boat. We had two families (7) on board.
She comes in two versions, the 450F with a flybridge and the later 450S (Sport) with a more traditional Lagoon helm at the bulkhead. Many competitors have copied the flybridge idea (read our Bali 4.3 review for example), but it has been Lagoon who have developed this configuration most successfully over the years.
This catamaran continues to be a very popular charter boat (particularly the fly version) and it’s one of the most popular mid-sized catamarans on the second hand market. She’s not a performance boat (check out our Slyder 49 review if that is more what you are after) and doesn’t pretend to be: the 450 is all about space and comfort at a reasonable speed.
This is a large yacht with plenty of space for two families. With plenty of different zones on the boat like the forward cockpit, the fly helm, a big saloon and the aft cockpit area, it’s easy to find a bit of private space or to find somewhere to hang out. We’d recommend a read of Colin’s Lagoon 450F Owner´s Review. He bought a 2012 L450 called Parlay that had been damaged by Hurricane Irma and fixed her up, so he knows his way around these catamarans.
- The forward cockpit area
- The flybridge at anchor
- She’s very manoeuvrable under power helped by good visibility from the flybridge
- Anchoring is easy as the helmsman and whoever is on the windlass are close… so it’s easy to communicate.
- She’s comfortable on the hook with a bridle set nicely
- She was surprisingly good upwind. We weren’t trying to win any style points, sticking the leeward engine on in lower winds got us to where we wanted to go quickly.
- Off the wind was great fun especially with the gennaker up and she felt safe. We were reefing early to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves and still hit 8.5 knots at one point
- Very comfortable. This boat had all the kit. A/C (great in marinas), water maker, genny. She’s heavy though.
- All reefing lines came back to the helm.
- Comfortable cabins, plenty of space to sleep outside under the stars on warmer nights.
- There has been some pretty high profile issues with bulkheads raised by Parlay Revival. I am not going into the details here, but my impression is that Lagoon responded to this pretty well enabling owners to fix any defects.
- That flybridge means that the boom is very high. If you have a problem (which we did with reefing lines) it’s not that easy to get to the sail without climbing up the mast steps.
- I must have hit my head ten times on the flybridge bimini and ended up with a Loony Tunes style bump on my head.
- The flybridge floor is another hazard if you are tall moving about in the cockpit below.
- The winches are next to throttles and there is a big drop down the steps from the flybridge, .. you really have to watch your footing.
- The ventilation in the saloon could be better, with only two forward facing hatches and no hatches in the coach roof. Things got hot and stuffy fast.
- It’s stressful keeping an eye on everyone with the flybridge. Five minutes was all we could manage without wondering “where’s so and so?” etc.
- The galley felt cramped considering the size of the saloon, although the sliding window which opens up to connect to the aft cockpit is handy.
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Going forward, you´ll notice she has wide side decks all the way up to the forward cockpit with hand rails along the coachroof -so she’s nice and safe to move about on in waves. The forward area is a great spot to hang out in at anchor or when conditions are calm.
Helm from High
All the control lines lead back to the helm with some meaty Harken winches to help you manage the sails. The 450 comes in two flavours: the 450F which has an off-centre Flybridge helm (this is the boat that we chartered in the Med) and the 450S with a more traditional Lagoon bulkhead helming position.
The Flybridge helm is pretty exposed, but the view is great up here when the weather is good.
You can see all four corners of the boat from up here when you are docking and anchoring, and it´s easy to communicate with the person at the windlass. One thing I found though, was that the boom is pretty high on the 450F. If you have problems with the reefing lines for example (we did), then it´s not so easy to sort out without climbing up the mast steps which can be pretty scary in a seaway.
Another thing that annoyed me about the helm on the boat that we chartered is that I kept hitting my head on the bimini. Some boats have a sturdier looking hard top over the flybridge which is worth looking out for if you are looking for a second hand 450. Read our Fountaine Pajot Alegria 67 Review to get an idea of how cool these flybridge hard tops are- they give you an extra living space on these flybridge cats.
One Hand for the Boat
You have to watch your footing up here if you are working at the winches. If you step back the wrong way you are down the steps into the aft cockpit.
But it is a fantastic place to hang out when you are on the hook or when the weather is calm -there´s no doubt about it. We spent a lot of time up here. I even slept up here on warmer nights, and there´s even a sunbathing area, directly forward of the helm on the upper deck.
On balance, I would go for the bulkhead helm though (450S), but that´s a personal preference. If you have kids onboard, you lose sight of them up here if you are helming. It´s not so easy to keep an eye on everybody while you are underway.
Stepping down from the helm brings you down into the aft cockpit which, while not as big as some Open concept boats, has plenty of space. The cockpit has a wraparound sofa and dining table to port, and a day bed to starboard. I found I had to watch my head when moving between the cockpit and saloon though.
The corners of the galley’s overhead lockers are very sharp and just at forehead height for me: you need to watch yourself around them.
We had a big drinks fridge out here on Ludmilla and a good system for storing rubbish.
Move inside and you will start to appreciate the space that this boat has with its characteristic Lagoon rounded corners and big vertical windows. Let´s face it, this is what Lagoon do very well – space and comfort, and it’s one of the main reasons behind the success of the brand.
Big Safe Galley
There´s an ample U-Shaped galley facing aft on the port side which you can wedge yourself into if it´s getting rough. Forward of that, there’s a big nav station with a roomy L- shaped sofa and dining table to starboard. The saloon has a pair of big seat lockers, one of which can house an optional 11-kilowatt generator. This can also go in one of the forward lockers in the forward cockpit – probably a better spot for it to be honest.
The boat can carry up to 1000-litres of fuel and 800 litres of water.
Head into the hulls and you will either find 3 cabins in the Owner´s version or 4 cabins in the charter version. Because the 450 has been such a successful charter boat, many examples that are on the market are 4 cabin.
Wide Roomy Hulls
The Owner´s set up has the entire starboard hull dedicated to the skipper´s living area, with a big wide berth aft and a separate head and shower forward. There´s plenty of storage space down here, plus a writing desk and small sofa. There´s a sliding door on the Owner´s boats for privacy.
The other hull (or both hulls in the four cabin version) has two cabins – one aft and one in the bow. There are two heads with separate showers in the middle. We had no complaints about the sleeping arrangements, there is oodles of space down here thanks to those wide hulls.
The forepeaks can also be converted into cabins (4+2 configuration).
For such a big, comfortable boat, the 450 sails well. She’s no performance cat, but she holds her own. With a big, 75-foot, double-spreader rig and square-topped mainsail (that’s an option), there´s plenty of power to head upwind at 6 to 7 knots in a decent breeze. Come off the wind and you should see 8 knots and up to double figures, especially if you are flying a gennaker set off the bowsprit.
We were playing safe and reefing early on Ludmilla, and still hit 8.5 knots.
Well Organised Running Rigging
The mainsheet and traveler are aft of the helm on the coachroof and all of the sheets and reefing lines are forward; everything is set up tidily with electric winches, clutches and big pockets for your lines. You can sail her solo theoretically (we’d recommend at least one decent crew member though: she’s well set up for 2). Just watch yourself around those steps and duck under that bimini if you have one.
The boat we chartered had added a downhaul to help get the sail down. With a well lubricated mast track, you shouldn´t need it, but it´s as well to have the option as the boom is high, especially on the 450F.
The 450F is powered by 2x 54 HP Yanmars. With one engine at 2400 rpm you will get around 5-6 knots as long as you are not heading into wind. With both engines at 2800 you will get 8-9 knots out of her in calm conditions.
It’s pretty easy to see why the Lagoon 450F and 450S are such hot sellers. They hit the sweet spot for the charter market (2+ families on board), and they have managed to appeal to owner-operator cruisers as well. Many disparagingly refer to the Lagoon 450 as a “condomaran”, but you can’t knock ’em.
This is one of the most successful catamaran models of all time and has wide appeal. The 450 delivers high comfort and solid performance in a great value package.
Lagoon 450 Brochure
View the Lagoon 450F Brochure
Is the Lagoon 450 the French Manufacturer´s best selling boat?
No, that would be the 380, although that catamaran is no longer in production. The 450 is probably the best selling current model.
How many Lagoon 450s have been built?
Lagoon have built over 700 units of this model
What is the top speed of the Lagoon 450?
Well, if you are surfing down a wave on a reach you might see speed in the low to mid teens, but this is a boat built primarily for comfort and to get you to your destination safely. You will probably average 7- 8 knots.
How close can a 450 Lagoon sail to the wind?
She will sail at 45° to apparent which will give you a COG of around 55°. Stick the leeward engine on to point higher or sail with the Trades!
Do Lagoon still manufacture the 450?
The 450F is no longer in production, having been replaced by the 46. At the time of publishing, the 450S is still featured as available.