Sophie is a 2007 Lagoon 500 sailing catamaran that was manufactured in Bordeaux, France and arrived in Seattle just a few days after our daughter Hazel was born 2008. Her length overall is 51 feet, her beam is 28 feet, she draws 4 feet 7 inches and her mast towers 86 feet above the water. She is fractionally rigged with a large, fully-roached mainsail with three reef points along with a working jib on a permanent roller furler. She also has a furling code zero that deploys off of a small bow sprit and a full asymmetric spinnaker that we fly off each bow. Carol Hasse and the folks at Port Townsend Sails built our spinnaker, and we love that sail! We can manage all of the sails with electric winches from a sailing flying bridge that provides excellent visibility across all points of sail.
Sophie’s layout includes four staterooms, each with a queen-sized birth and private head with shower. Connecting the four staterooms is an 18 foot wide-salon featuring the trademark Lagoon vertical windows, a large galley, seating area, and forward facing nav station that also serves as an interior helm station during bad weather. It is quite simply the best living space we have ever seen on a boat and is the main reason we made the jump from monohulls to cats. A sliding glass door separates the salon from a covered aft cockpit with a table that seats eight along with a sink and outdoor refrigerator. In short, Sophie is a comfortable and roomy home for our family and guests for the next few years.
Our boat is powered by twin 75 HP Yanmar diesel engines that give us a cruising speed of 8.5 knots at 2800 RPM. We have Raymarine electronics, including the G Series multifunction displays on the flybridge and salon along with radar, autopilot, VHF, digital depth sounder, and AIS receiver/transceiver. For offshore communications we have an ICOM single sideband radio along with a Pactor modem so we can communicate via Sailmail and download weather grib files. We also have an Iridium Satphone.
Our power system centers around a 2200 amp hour 12 volt battery bank. Systems feeding into these batteries include a Victron Energy charger/inverter, an Onan 9kw genset, twin Superwind wind generators that can produce 25 amps in 20 knots of wind, 8 SunWare “step on” solar panels on our coach roof that produce up to 3 amps each in strong sunlight, and the standard alternators on our Yanmar diesels. We feel pretty good so far about this setup, although Sophie now sits a lot lower in the water than when she was delivered to us from the factory in 2008.
And we need that power, because Sophie’s living systems include two refrigerators, a freezer, air conditioning to all cabins, Webasto forced water heat to all cabins along with a second water heater, a Sea Recovery water maker, a Splendide washer-drier, stereo and flat screen TV.
Our friends at Yachtmasters Northwest installed most of these systems, and we are quite happy with their work.
There are a lot of people who take a minimalist approach to cruising, guided by a belief that if you have fewer systems on the boat, there is less chance that things will break and you can spend more time on the water.
We’ve covered over 15,000 sea miles since we left Seattle, and the only system we regret installing so far is the Sea Recovery water maker. We’ve written multiple stories in the blog so far about its problems. Otherwise, we are quite happy with the choices we have made so far about our home.
Updated March 2015