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Lagoon 60 Launch and Some History

We spent some time recently at the Lagoon shipyard in Bordeaux, where they build their bigger catamarans (over 50 feet). It was great to hear some of the history behind the yard and meet some of the team behind this successful multihull manufacturer.

lagoon 60

Here are some snippets from the day. With thanks to Thomas Gailly, LAGOON Brand Director, Clément Himily, CEO and Quentin Beraut, Lagoon Product Manager.

Celebrating 40 Years

2024 is going to be a big year for Lagoon Catamarans. This year they celebrate their fortieth anniversary and they’ve decided not to celebrate once but to celebrate all year long.

Two weeks ago in Miami, at the boat show they had a big party, had a great time and are now holding another one here in Bordeaux at their HQ.

Lagoon is the biggest catamaran producer in the world. For the first time, they are presenting the full range from 40 to 78 feet with the entire team. It’s a big challenge. They have been organising different boats at boat shows for 40 years, but doing it during the week in the shipyard with hundreds of clients visiting: that’s something different. They have people coming from all around the world Mexico, Norway, Thailand, Sweden, France, everywhere.

Lagoon Cares

One of the drivers for the company is a desire for responsible growth under the banner “Lagoon Cares“. Lagoon is on a mission to prove it cares about the environment, and it cares about the ways its boats are built and used.

In addition to a focus on using ever more sustainable materials, they have entered into a long-term partnership with Coral Guardian, a French NGO that aims to protect and restore coral reefs globally through the empowerment of local communities. They replant corals everywhere in the world. Lagoon is financing this NGO together with many of its clients.

Lagoon has more than 400 clients coming to see the new 60 and the whole range in Bordeaux. Some of them are Lagoon owners, some of them have their boat in build and some of them have a project of buying a boat. They want to have them talk together and get the alchemy working.

Boris Diaw, the NBA Connection

One of their SEVENTY 7 customers is Boris Diaw who won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Boris is a great ambassador because he’s a real Lagoon user with his SEVENTY 7. Right now the boat is in Auckland NZ.
He’s flying there in one or two weeks joining the boat to do the crossing to Tahiti.

Production & History

clement himily, Lagoon CEO

Clément Himily, CEO of Lagoon, then shared some fascinating history behind Lagoon and the shipyard.

“We have three shipyards, all in France. Two of them are in Vendee which are specialised in the production of the Lagoon 40 to 46.

Here in Bordeaux, we are focused on the production of Lagoon Catamrans above 50 feet, from the 51 to the Lagoon 78.”

“This shipyard is unique in the world for the production of catamarans of this size.”

A Strong Legacy

“There is more than 150 years of naval history here”.

“The shipyard specialised in the construction of Cruisers and tankers, but this ceased in 1985.”

“Two years after, two guys, Dieter Gust and Olivier Lafourcade, founded CNB which was initially specialised in the production of large aluminium monohulls. This led to the creation of 46 unique one-off yachts building the reputation of the site including the Mari-Cha II in 1989 (Philip Briand custom), and the 117’ Hamilton II.”

Photo Credit Nicolas Claris

“These boats were built here in Bordeaux with many of the team that is here today. That helped build the expertise of this site in the design and manufacture of large sailing yachts.”

“In the meantime, in Vendee, there was a department called JTA ( Jeanneau Technologies Avancees) a legendary workshop for the development of high-tech sailing yachts. Lagoon Catamarans were quickly recognised for their single-hull and multihull off-shore racing boats.”

“JTA was specialised in racing boats, and multihulls, building very famous ones with VPLP at the design helm.
Because this team was becoming very famous in the production of multihulls, Lagoon became involved in the Waterworld movie. Lagoon built the boat for the movie production team. The guy behind the wheel in the movie is not Kevin Costner!”

The First Lagoon 55

Lagoon 55-01

“Following our Hollywood and Hawaii episode, a lady came to us one day, a lady from Bordeaux. She wanted a one-off yacht, but not a racing boat, a cruising Multihull. She wanted to do some chartering on a big catamaran for cruising- 55 feet and in 1984 55 feet was a big catamaran.”

“We looked for a good architect, so naturally asked VPLP. Maybe they could also design a Cruising boat? This was how Lagoon built its first cruising Catamaran. The boat was a success, in charter as well and the lady decided to build another one.”

Napkin Contract
“So, we thought, maybe we can develop a brand, we can start a nice story? But we needed a name. One name came out on top of the others, and it was the name that the lady gave to her first boat: “Lagoon”. We came to an agreement on the corner of the table in a restaurant, a kind of small contract on a napkin to provide some royalties if we sell a few more of them.”

“Luckily, we make a limit on that. We said that after 10 years we stop. So, that was the history!”

“Today, years later, Lagoon is a world leader with dealers everywhere and seven thousand Lagoon yachts sailing worldwide. And that’s starting from our very passionate team.”