New 51 models launch green era for sailing cat giants
The new Fountaine Pajot Aura 51 and Lagoon 51 are fronting a move by the global catamaran giants into a new era of sustainability, in the first chapter of the ‘Multihulls Sail’ feature in Yacht Style Issue 65.
The Lagoon 51 world premiere in late April
When Lagoon staged the world premiere of the Lagoon 51 at a wet, overcast edition of the International Multihull Show at La Grande Motte in late April, it completed a recent upgrade of its mid-size models among a portfolio ranging up to the flagship Seventy 7.
Following the launch of the Lagoon 55 last year, the addition of the 51 offers a second new-generation model to succeed the former 560 and 52, with the last unit of the latter leaving the Bordeaux shipyard in March.
In September, Lagoon plans to show the 51 as part of a strong display at the Cannes Yachting Festival alongside the 42, 46, 55, Sixty 5 and Seventy 7 models in Port Canto, with a Sixty 7 powercat over in Vieux Port with the motor yachts.
“With over 6,000 Lagoons sailing all over the world, Lagoon is the leader of the sailing catamaran market and we want to keep this position, so have recently come up with two very innovative models that answer customer demands in terms of modernity, comfort and space,” says Thomas Gailly, Lagoon’s Brand Director.
The Lagoon 51 shown with hard top and solar panels; Photo: Francois Tregouet
“There’s a great demand on the market for mid-sized catamarans like the 51 and 55. In addition, with the commercial success of the Lagoon 42 and 46, we also see a lot of our owners looking to upgrade to larger models.”
However, the Lagoon 51 is more than a new model. It’s Lagoon’s first catamaran to embody the brand’s global strategy entitled ‘Sailing for Change’, which comprises five segments: shipyard certifications, eco-sourced raw materials, eco-responsible equipment onboard, hybrid propulsion and partnerships with green projects.
“The Lagoon 51 is a great example of the direction we’re steeringtoward,” Gailly says. “It’s part of a global strategy we started years ago to work on new solutions, not only on new materials but also on the way to build our boats. It’s not about promises; it’s about real, concrete results.”
Solar panels on the Lagoon 51’s hard top and flybridge; Photo: Francois Tregouet
Already, two of Lagoon’s production facilities are certified ISO 9001 (quality processes), ISO 14001 (environmental control) and ISO 50001 (energy management), while the brand aims for the third to be similarly certified by the end of next year. Part of the ISO 14001 certification is the life-cycle management of boats, from selection of materials and suppliers to the end-of-life process.
In terms of eco-sourced raw materials, the 51 is the first Lagoon model to have panels with eco-sourced fibres (hemp), while the aim is to reach 40 per cent bio-resin on the panels. Wood is sourced from FSC forests only, while the Lagoon 51 offers upholstery in a choice of recycled fabrics.
Eco-responsible equipment includes solar panels and water treatment, while every Lagoon now includes ecological, biodegradable cleaning and maintenance products. And for hybrid propulsion, Lagoon’s R&D department is working on electric solutions that don’t compromise safety or seakeeping in challenging weather and sea conditions.
Meanwhile, the brand’s recent partnerships include working with the Escape to Nature documentary team in Melanesia and AnimaMundi, the not-for-profit organisation creating a global database of plastic waste along coastlines.
The Lagoon 55’s ‘open terrace on the sea’
In terms of design, the 51 features a more traditional aft cockpit than the 55’s ‘open terrace on the sea’. However, the new era is evident in the potential for custom-fitted solar panels on the flybridge andoptional hardtop, with the ‘XXL solution’ providing over 3,400W to power all systems except for air-conditioning.
Other notable features include extended transoms that double as swim platforms and a more spacious foredeck that can be sheltered by a canopy. And with the mast stepped further forward, the saloon seating area has increased so up to eight people can comfortably dine inside.
The 51 is also the first Lagoon to be fitted with Groupe Beneteau’s new Seanapps technology as standard, allowing owners greater connectivity to their boat, its systems and maintenance schedule.
Lagoon sales remain strong in Asia, where big cats include units of the Sixty 5 in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The flagship Seventy 7 continues to sell well, with hulls in the Philippines, China and one cruising the Pacific having been sold to a Singapore client by Simpson Marine, a long-time Lagoon dealer.
The Sixty 5 is Lagoon’s second-biggest sail cat
Gailly is also proud about a new Seventy 7 soon set to arrive in Japan, where it will be the biggest sailing yacht in the country and an upgrade for an owner who seven years ago sailed his Lagoon 620 all the way from France to Japan.
“Like many of our clients, the owner is part of the Lagoon family and this loyalty towards the brand is the best reward we can get,” Gailly says. “It not only shows how much people enjoy their boat but also how happy they are with the level of service they get. There’s no better investment than making our customers happy and proud of their boat.”
FOUNTAINE PAJOT’S ODYSSEY
Fountaine Pajot’s new Aura 51, which will officially premiere at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, leads a new generation of models from the La Rochelle builder as part its Odysséa 2024 strategic plan focused on ‘innovation for building the sustainable boat of tomorrow’.
Fountaine Pajot’s new Aura 51
In immediately visible terms, the Aura 51 features four-five times as much surface area for solar panels as its predecessor, resulting in output of 2,000W. Furthermore, as part of the brand’s ongoing pursuit of eco-friendly technology, electric engines are being introduced and will feature on the Aura 51 on show at Cannes.
“Putting environmental sustainability at the heart of the design of this boat and those that will follow from our shipyard was a major objective for the Aura 51,” says Romain Motteau, Fountaine Pajot’s Deputy CEO.
The Aura 51 kicks off the Odysséa 2024 plan
“By adding other components that favour sustainable development, such as hybrid engines or batteries that can be recharged by the sun, we’ve envisaged a boat with negative consumption, capable of producing more energy than it consumes without resorting to fossil fuels in normal use.
“In the same vein, electricity generated by renewable energy makes it possible to produce drinking water and run the refrigerator or the air-conditioning needed on board.”
In its stated quest to “become leaders in the environmental transition of yachting”, Fountaine Pajot says its mission is two-fold: to build its boats using the least amount of non-renewable energy possible and reducing clients’ carbon emissions while cruising to zero.
The Aura 51 has a huge opening between cockpit and saloon
To achieve the latter, the La Rochelle shipyard is focusing on energy and propulsion, equipment and the impact of waste, and sustainable material. The ODSea Lab – which stands for observe, design and save – is the company’s in-house innovation hub, engaging the yard’s engineering office, suppliers and other partners in the pursuit of decarbonised boating.
The Aura 51 is not only the flagbearer of Fountaine Pajot’s new commitment to sustainable development. The third-biggest of seven sailing models ranging from the Isla 40 to the Alegria 67, the Aura 51 is the brand’s first 51-footer to offer six en-suite double cabins.
Fountaine Pajot’s new Isla 40
Also for the first time, the builder has created three owner versions. The five-cabin Maestro features the master and a double in the port hull, and three doubles to starboard. The four-cabin Double Maestro features a master and a guest cabin in each hull, while the four-cabin Full Maestro has the master occupying the whole port hull and three cabins to starboard.
The major innovation on the main deck features a 10ft-wide opening between the aft cockpit and the indoor area, which features an aft galley, island bar, a long saloon to starboard and a huge skylight.
The Alegria 67 is Fountaine Pajot’s flagship sailing cat
“This opening creates an almost unique volume between saloon, galley and aft cockpit,” Motteau says. “The area for entertaining is truly immense, inside and out. This makes the Aura 51 a sailing yacht that’s both pleasurable to live on and respectful of nature.”