Lagoon 42 Owner’s Review
Many thanks to Anas and Noëllie for helping with this owner’s review. They live and work all year round aboard their Lagoon 42: “Malaika”. If you have ever wondered about becoming a Digital Nomad in style, this is worth a read!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and “Malaika”. Just a quick summary. What are your plans on the boat? How did you get here? Is there a story behind the name?
Yes sure! We are Anas and Noëllie and live all year round aboard a 42 ft sailboat we named Malaika. We bought her back in August 2020 in Brittany, France and sailed all the way down the Mediterranean sea where we got to experience our very first WARM summer in the Balearics.
Our plan is to have no plans, and keep improvising as we go. Simple!
We work remotely on our laptop and travel where there is good food and warm waters. For now we’ll stay in the med, visiting Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece. The food and all the history here in Europe is just fascinating and we have plenty to explore before crossing to the other side!
What’s the best thing about her?
It has to be the living space and the large panoramic windows! Malaika isn’t just a home for us but is also our office. So having a lot of options to sit around and work while enjoying the beautiful view of our anchorage was very important and the Lagoon 42 is absolutely perfect for that. We can go as far as saying that we have the best office in the entire world and feel very fortunate!
What´s the worst thing?
The helm seat is very uncomfortable for long passages and also quite small. It’s not adjustable and set quite low so the visibility really isn’t great.
How has Malaika aged. Gracefully? Which part of the boat has suffered the most wear and tear if any?
We take great care of her and overall she’s aged pretty well. But if I had to point out one thing, it would be the quality of the veneer. It is so delicate and fragile that it’s almost impossible not to scratch it, particularly in the living room where we spend most of our time cooking, eating and working….
Would you make any changes to the basic design if anything? 3 main things, for example. What’s the headroom like, for example. Do you knock your head anywhere. Is she easy to get about on in a rolling sea?
I would probably change the layout of the guests’ bedrooms and merge the forward cabin’s wet room with the aft cabin’s bathroom to create a larger shared bathroom. This is an option that Fontaine Pajot offers on the 40 and 42 but is sadly not possible with Lagoon.
In rolling seas, she is mostly fine but we think the safety around the boat could be improved and a grab rail on either side should be added.
What are the essential options for this boat in your opinion? eg sail plan, watermaker, solar, engine upgrade, folding props etc. Just to help people who are looking at ordering a Lagoon 42
Our first advice would be to take your time choosing your options and not to order everything with Lagoon as you can easily find better alternatives for a fraction of the price.
If your plan is to live at anchor most of the time, then definitely include solar panels (minimum 1300W if you have a fridge and freezer), a watermaker (we have a 12v aquabase producing 105L/h) and a good inverter (minimum 2,000W).
If you are a full time liveaboard like us, then definitely consider ordering custom shades and outdoor covers. Not only will they protect you from the heat or rain but will also give you more privacy (which is no luxury on a boat!).
The last option that we would recommend would be to take the ‘comfort pack’ which includes an electric sea water and fresh water pump (essential at anchor) and a fresh water doc inlet (really practical in marinas).
What are the “Nice to Haves”?
I’d say the cabinet instead of the sofa is a nice to have but not essential. I don’t think anyone would really seat down below reading a book so you are better off with storage!
Are there any options you wouldn’t bother with, or would be better to source yourself after the purchase?
A lot of options offered by Lagoon are way overpriced and not competitive such as the solar panels, watermaker etc.. Not to mention the 2000 euro microwave…
Of course there are things you can only do with Lagoon like changing the sofa in the owner’s cabin to a cabinet (which we did and would recommend doing) but a lot of options can be done after purchase with your broker.
We personally feel like a generator and air conditioning aren’t necessary onboard. If you have a decent solar panel surface, you’ll be just fine and if you live at anchor, you always have the breeze coming in from the very large window in the saloon (the air flow really is fantastic on this boat).
How is the storage generally? Is there enough room for your all of your kit?
For a couple, definitely yes! There is a huge amount of space between the 3 rooms and the two forward peaks. We feel however that the cockpit lacks storage if you take the outdoor fridge as an option but we are looking at ways to improve that this winter!
Is she easy to sail short-handed? To shorten sail? Easy to reach the boom if there are problems with the reefing lines etc?
Yes reaching the boom is super easy and even more so with a hard top bimini (we walk on it with no issues)
How is the helm position. Is the visibility good/ How about access to the lines and so on
Not great when sailing… The visibility over the bow is very poor which was quite annoying in Portugal as we had to avoid a lot of fishing pots on the way. The helm seat isn’t comfortable either for longer passages but again we knew that from the start. I think Lagoon has changed it now but the visibility will be the same regardless.
Sailing this boat, however, is a breeze! Everything is conveniently placed and the self-tacking jib is a game changer for us. Sailing short-handed would definitely be possible.
Typically, what’s your average speed on passage?
I’d say we average about 6 knots. 15 knots of wind on a beam reach is our sweet spot.
Is she easy to dock, what’s the visibility like?
Yes, she definitely is easy to dock. We just have to be quite careful with the sugar scoops as they are wide and low but other than that the visibility is very good on either side.
What is she like at anchor? Is the anchor set up good? Any advice on anchors, I think you were looking at new options
The Lagoon 42 originally comes with a Delta 20kg which really isn’t enough for a boat of this size and this weight. We initially upgraded our anchor to a DELTA 25kg but testing it for a year in various conditions, we decided it was time for an upgrade and bought a ROCNA 33.
Our Delta anchor had a very poor holding power in soft mud and seaweed and failed to reset after a wind shift in Portugal which got us quite close to some rocks.
With the anchorage being too packed with boats in the high season, we also wanted an anchor that sets fast, even with a 3:1 scope which definitely wasn’t possible with our old Delta. We liked both the Spade and the Rocna, both seemed very good and are praised online.
Are you happy with the living space? Cabins/saloon/galley/heads.
We definitely are. We had plenty of guests visiting us the past year and the layout is just perfect for hosting. The galley is conveniently placed between the two tables (saloon and cockpit) meaning we are constantly part of the conversations and can interact with our friends while we cook.
Both tables comfortably sit 5 to 6 people and you have the perfect amount of space to relax during the day.
The rooms are spacious, the airflow is excellent and we definitely have plenty of storage inside (we could do with a little more on the deck).
Where’s your favourite spot on the boat?
Anas loves chilling in the cockpit and I prefer siting on the roof with the view. We also love having drinks on the trampoline when we have people, a great spot to watch the sunset.
How is the finish and layout of the interior? Does she creak under sail?
We are very happy with the round edges and much prefer that to the sharp edges that some other manufacturers offer. The stairs could be a bit safer with a handrail but overall it’s fine. On rare occasions the boat was a bit squeaky but mostly at the very beginning, now it’s actually a lot better.
The month following the delivery of our boat, we went to sleep at anchor for the first time and the wood around the bed was so loud that we didn’t sleep a wink. We recorded the sound and the following week, a guy from lagoon came and fixed it with a few screws. Since then, no problem!
Anything else you would add to help people thinking of buying a Lagoon 42, either new or 2nd hand?
Don’t rush it, test your boat and do your research! New boats will have flaws, especially production catamarans (tested fast and manufactured by agency staff) that will need to be fixed so you will have to test your equipment before setting off for your big adventure.
We see a lot of people picking up their new boat and leaving the dock after a couple of weeks straight to the canaries but you do really have to test and double check every single detail INCLUDING the work done by your broker.
Sailing skills are a fraction of what’s required to live on a boat and knowing your floating home (including the electrical system and plumbing) is crucial for your safety and the one of your crew. You will meet a lot of so-called experts along the way but educate yourself online and learn from other sailors.
Boating is a very old industry, most re-sellers do not even own or live on a boat and don’t even care about their customers as they never stick around for very long anyway.