Yacht Warriors

⛵The new Lagoon 51 should be on your radar

Published about 1 month ago • 5 min read

Hi Reader,

I recently returned from a week-long BVI bareboat charter aboard a brand new, Lagoon 51, christened the Golden Hind. Having previously chartered the underwhelming Lagoon 50 and Lagoon 52, I was eager to see what treasures this new model had in store.

The verdict? I was thoroughly impressed. For larger crews needing 5+ cabins, the Lagoon 51 should definitely be on your radar. If you're curious about why I prefer catamarans for our bareboat charter adventures, give my catamaran vs monohull comparison a read.

Let's dive into my Lagoon 51 review.

The Lagoon 51's hangout spaces

A much improved flybridge area

The Lagoon 51's flybridge is a marvel. As a connoisseur of lounging spaces, particularly the flybridge, I found the new layout impressive. The flybridge is one of the most important catamaran features worth upgrading for. This is where we spend most of our times, especially when underway.

My preference is for a large, covered area (preferably by a hardtop bimini) that incorporates the helm station. The visibility from the helm was stellar, offering panoramic views of the horizon.

In the older Lagoon 50, the flybridge space wasn't much of an upgrade from the Lagoon 46, but the Lagoon 51 has remedied this with redesign. It includes a three-sided seating arrangement with room for six. While the entire crew might not fit there, two additional lounge cushions in front of the helm provide extra seating. The helm station's convertible bench area comfortably seats at least three.

Our table looked to be a custom teak upgrade by the owner, and if I had to to it myself, I would have included cup holders or an edge to prevent spilled beverages during a sudden lee lurch. It happened to us once or twice!

The spacious saloon

The Lagoon 51 features an extendable outdoor table with room for the whole crew, as well as a large, raised indoor seating area. We often gathered around the indoor table during occasional rain squalls, enjoying hearty meals and lively banter. There’s even a TV that folds up for indoor viewing, although we didn’t use it on this trip.

Outdoor storage can be a challenge with all the fishing gear, flip flops, and snorkel equipment. We often ended up using the outdoor seating areas for storage, though we aim to improve our organization next time.

The doors separating the indoor outdoor space slid all the way out, allowing for decent airflow through the forward hatch.

Refrigeration and freezer space was very generous in our model, which included an extra freezer in the port hull.

Handling and performance of the Lagoon 51

Under power, the Lagoon 51 handled well, both while maneuvering for a mooring ball and in the marina. Docking was straightforward, even in tight quarters, and I had no complaints.

At 2,250 RPMs, the Lagoon 51 easily reached speeds of about 7-7.5 knots. On our sail from Anegada to Cane Garden Bay, we enjoyed a broad reach, making 7.5 to 8 knots under full sail with about 15 knots of wind. On shorter sails closer to the wind, she performed admirably, cruising at 7 knots with 10-15 knots of breeze.

Some squalls popped up one afternoon, and we first put in one reef, and then a second just to be safe. The multi-line system worked just fine, and we were able to get those reefs done in just a couple minutes. Shaking them out was no problem, either.

My only complaint with the sail system was related to the jib. On a port tack, if you wanted to furl in the jib, there was only one winch to work with if you didn't want to send someone forward to haul on the furling line. Not a big deal, but I don't remember ever having this issue on other catamarans.

Anchoring and mooring the Lagoon 51

Our Lagoon 51 had a chain counter up top, a handy feature. However, we encountered some issues with the anchoring system. Occasionally, the chain would pile up in the locker, interfering with the windlass operation. It even dislodged the chain once, requiring constant vigilance throughout our trip.

Our mooring lines were far too long, as was the anchor bridle - a recommendation we made to the base staff as an improvement for the next crew.

The Golden Hind only had forward cleats on the two hulls, whereas sometimes, you'll also see two cleats on the crossbeams. Some crews like to use this for one end of the mooring line or as a fairlead.

At few times, the mooring lines slipped between the crossbeam and hull, creating a rough edge that over time, could possibly cause the line to fail. We kept a close eye on this and made adjustments to the length of the line as best we could.

If we had those crossbeam cleats, we could have used them as fairleads to prevent this from happening.

Our Lagoon 51 cabin and head layout

Our model had 6 cabins. Four of them were normal-sized, and the other two were located inboard and had a slight bulkhead to deal with. With four heads, these two smaller cabins shared with the crews sleeping forward.

The cabins were just fine! I don't pay much attention to them as an owner might since we spend most of our time on deck during charter trips.

This layout would be excellent for families or other crews that don't mind sharing heads. The smaller cabins would also be great for any singles that you have in your crew.

Other points to consider with the Lagoon 51

  • The scoop areas on the stern were huge. This made boarding a breeze, and it was also helpful to have extra room for hauling fish aboard
  • Our model had an automated dinghy davit system - all you had to do was push a button up or down. We loved this; it made quick work of this sometimes arduous task
  • Dropping the tanks was a bit of an awkward job, as it usually is, given the location of the valve handles. I had to twist myself into a pretzel to reach them
  • Our model had a few nice upgrades from the owner, such as a fish finder and radar. I'm not sure it helped us catch any more fish, but it was fun to see all of the activity under the boat.
  • With some daily motoring and running the generator for the AC each night, we only burned about half of our fuel stock during the week.
  • The underwater blue lights are always a fun feature

The Lagoon 51 is an excellent choice for larger crews seeking a comfortable, well-designed catamaran. Its improved lounging areas, handling, and additional features make it a standout option for bareboat charters.

That's all for today, have a great week!

- Matt Weidert

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