2007 Lagoon 420 lying Florida
In association with The Multihull Company.
THE NORM is possibly the best Lagoon 420 on the market. The owners gave an open check book to many months of modifications to the stern, adding 5 ft to improve sailing performance and handling.
The modifications worked out so well that they decided to add 2 more feet to the bow.
The seaworthiness is now greatly improved.
These modifications where not done in a back yard discussion. The owners did mountains of research and discussions with naval architects to redesign this very popular and comfortable catamaran to make it very special.
Cruising Speed: 5 knots @ 2200 RPM
Maximum Speed: 8 knots
This catamaran is for Cruisers who want a Lagoon 420’s comfort, space, and great Helm-Cockpit-Galley Fung Shui (everyone is included!), but with the speed, safety, and comfort in a seaway that a 49′ waterline length and Axe Bows provide. This is a heavily customized Cruiser with 6 x 250 watt solar panels, 4 of which provide extra cockpit shading during those hot Bahamian – Caribbean Sundowners. Built into the aft solar davits are 2 swing- arm davits (each can lift ~300 lbs – ~137 kg) for raising or lower our 2 dinghy outboards, or in a crisis, even a MOB. We have 2 canvas chairs which we have sat in while hanging over the water during those lazy anchorages for our Sundowners!
For truly off-the-grid living, the 1500 watts of solar panels, whose energy is stored in 12.8 kWhr of ReLion Lithium batteries at 24 volts for greater solar conversion efficiencies and smaller wires. The 24 volt Lithium-Iron Phospate batteries power the 3500 watt Outback Inverter for the Lagoon’s legacy 120 Volt 15 Amp AC circuits, but we added an additional, separate 120 Volt 20 Amp AC circuit so we can use the our induction dual burner cooktop and toaster at the same time without blowing either breakers! While we still have the propane 3-burner ENO cooktop and oven, we have not purchased propane in over 2 years due to almost total electric cooking. We also use a bread machine, Instapot and a Ninja Foodie for much of our cooking. Not only are these electric appliances powered by the solar panels, they do not heat up the salon as much as the propane cooktop or oven do.
The 24 volt system also directly powers the separate Isotherm 130 Refrigerator and Isotherm 90 Freezer, and the Spectra 300 Mark II watermaker, and can directly power the electric hot water heater, if the sun is exceptionally good. The legacy (original 12 volt) Lagoon electric system is still intact but its only consumers are the all LED cabin lights, LED Navigation Lights / masthead Tricolor, navigation instruments, chartplotter, hydraulic-ram Raymaine autopilot, electric winch and anchor windlass. Except on rough passages, when the autopilot becomes the biggest energy consumer, there is very little energy drawn from the 12 volt system. The electric winch and anchor windlass use a lot of “power” (amps or current flow), but little energy (watts). This fact allowed me to reduce the original 12 volt house battery from 3 x 4D AGMs to a single, 100 Ah Lifeline AGM, powered / charged by 2 Victron Stepdown Converters (24 v –> 12 v). They supply up to 700 watts to the 12 volt system and legacy House Battery system and have been keeping the Lifeline AGM nicely charged for over a year now, allowing the windlass, winch, and all other 12 volt systems to function normally!
A Lagoon 420 catamaran is the roomiest and most comfortable 41.3 foot (12.6 m) catamaran I am aware of, as there is a lot of boat in under 42′! This makes it a great liveaboard for the majority of Cruisers; those who mainly stay at marinas and use the ICW for most of their travel along the USA’s East Coast. However, we found we make longer, direct passages while mainly sailing, and unfortunately like most cruising cats, the Lagoon 420 was prone to hobby-horsing (excessive pitching in short period waves, often common in inlets). She also sailed slower than I wanted. While we could have bought a longer waterline catamaran, we loved The Norm’s comfort, convenience and the unique modifications we had made and did not want to loose them. So, we extended the hull.
The first modification was to extend the transoms by 5 feet (1.5 m), as that brought the previously submerged transom’s stern waterline to the extended hull’s bottom (no submerged transom, so less drag & plenty of Reserve Aft Buoyancy to prevent hobby-horsing). This design was reached after extensive research and discussions with others who had extended their transoms (more common than thought, and even manufacturers have done so), and Naval Architects. I selected a fiberglass fabricator at Cracker Boy Boatworks (Riviera Beach, FL) with over 50 years of experience to do the actual construction. The basic construction was 1″ and 0.5″ (25 mm and 13 mm) Divinicell Foam sandwich construction with 3 layers of biaxial fiberglass and polyester resin. These transoms are just an extension of the original sailboat hull; it is still there!
The entire process was not only professionally done by a contractor and his helpers with over 60 years experience, but was periodically inspected by a Marine Surveyor (report availabl request) during the construction process.
The transom extension exceeded our expectations, by not only providing increased sailing / motoring speed and greatly reduced hobby-horsing due to the increased waterline length, especially aft, but made boarding the dinghy and swimming off the transom easier. It also provides nice sunbathing and far larger outside showering areas! The transom’s deck and stairs are covered with Plasdeck’s “Cool Teak”, a no maintenance faux teak, that is cooler on your feet than traditional teak in the tropic sun! The extra aft waterline length (5′ / 1.5 m) doubled our passage speed and leaving an inlet with waves against current was much smoother.
On our 2017 Salty Dawgs Rally to Antigua passage, we had very unusual winds, such that our 17 day passage (1983 nm) only provided 3 days of downwind sailing, with most of the other 14 days a bash into wind and waves. While we never had terrible weather (e.g., Gale) the constant 14 day bashing into the typical 6 – 8′ ocean waves eventually caused 3 of our 5 Main Sail Batten cars to fail, and I could only repair 1 of the 3, so we had to motor the remaining 400+ nm distance into the wind and waves to Antigua. Fortunately our Lagoon catamaran has 2 x 80 gallons of diesel and we brought another 4 x 5 gallons stored in jugs in the forward starboard locker (our defacto fuel jug locker). While we made it without incident, the success of modifying the transoms caused me to extend the bows to give them a finer (narrower) water and wave entry. Again, I researched bow design, and came across the Dutch 20 year R&D effort to create a Coast Guard patrol boat that could function 100% of the time in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. This effort involved computer modeling, scale models in a tank, and ultimately a full sized patrol boat that culminated their Axe Bow design. I copied aspects of that design, as I not only wanted a safe bow that would pentrate head waves and give a more comfortable motion, I liked the look! However, neither I nor the Dutch did much different than what the Polynesians or Old Norse already knew! Our Axe Bow was again fabricated at Crackerboy Boatworks by our previous contractor, and like the transoms, the original sailboat hulls are still there as the Bows are also just an exterior extension of the hull. While bashing into waves is still a bash, and we try to avoid them, we did have bashes in both the Long Island (NY) and Exuma (Bahamas) Sounds, and the new Axe Bows did not disappoint!
Modifications or additions we have made to SV The Norm:
– Custom Davits with 4 Solar Panels (1000 watts) and 2 swing-arm lifting davits
– 2 Solar Panels (500 watts) mounted on Bimini top (mainsail walkway preserved)
– Aft bench seat & kayak / SUP carrier
– 5′ (1.5 m) longer transoms with no-maintenance Teak (Plasdeck)
– Lagoon Bowsprit
– ~3′ (1 m) longer Axe Bow
– 24 volt 1500 watt solar system with 2 Outback 60 amp MPPT Solar Charge controllers
– 3500 watt Outback VFX3524 Inverter/Charger powers 2 x 120 V AC circuits – 2300 watt Outback VFX3524 Inverter/Charger charges 24 v ReLion Lithium 12.8 kW-hr battery bank
– Outback MATES network / device controller & data recorder (Inverter/Charger/MPPTs)
– 2 Blade Gori folding props sail efficiently and don’t snag
crab/lobster pot lines
– AB 10.5 aluminum dinghy (2017)
– 15 hp Yamaha 2-stroke outboard (2015) (w Edson transom holder)
– 6 hp Tohatsu 4-stroke outboard (2018) (w Edson transom holder)
– Replaced Yanmar SD-50 saildrives’ bronze thrust bearings (which wear) with non-wearing needle bearings in 2017
– Replaced Standing Rigging with Staylock / Norseman fittings (2017)
– Raymarine AIS Transceiver (2015)
– Steering Wheel lock via electric helm switch (locks autopilot
hydraulic valve) w indicator light
– Removed Owner’s Cabin ‘couch’ & replaced with matching wood shelving & watermaker location
– Helm Raymarine Axiom 12″ chartplotter (2020)
– Trinidad Pro bottom paint (2020)
– Full Cockpit enclosure