Established in a small seaside town off the coast of France, Lagoon originated as an extension of the competition department of Jeanneau Technologies Avancees (JTA). Fueled by unusual requests such as the construction of trimarans for the film Waterworld, this period laid the groundwork for our ever-evolving innovation.
"I wished for Lagoon!" Dieter Gust's heartfelt words truly express the passion that then, and now, more than ever, still inspires the teams.
A global history of superior performance, quality and comfort.
While modern Lagoons were born in the 1990s, the company’s roots reach back much further, to 1983, when Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, and Jean-Francois de Premorel met on the water and later sealed a sailor’s friendship deal to design and build a racing trimaran.
Each man, however, went their own way: Jean-Francois sailed with Philippe Poupon, who entrusted him with the building of his Fleury Michons at Jeanneau, while Vincent went to design winning Formula 40s and established a long list of victories in multihulls.
It was a random request, however, that brought the team back together: A woman who loved beautiful yachts and cruising in the sun asked the team for a catamaran that melded the highest standards of luxury, performance, and beauty.
The Lagoon 55 was born, and since the customer ordered not one but two, a mold had to be made. The result? A captivating, classic profile that mimics a sailboat yet has a panoramic deckhouse and long transoms inviting you to swim.
The Lagoon 55 melded many elements of advanced design, including sandwich and epoxy resin construction, with Kevlar and carbon wherever needed. Soon, a third order arrives, and then more. The group of individuals forms a team to meet growing demand: R&D, composite manager, warehouse manager, and foreman, creating a smaller shipyard inside a larger one.
When Bruno Belmont arrived at the project headquarters on Jan. 2, 1989, the pace of work was frenetic, with stressful conditions and long days. On top of that, not everyone is a fan. The Lagoon 55's headroom and salon sizes are criticized. Vincent pressed on to create the Lagoon 57, and then Lagoon went international.
Primarily intended for the American charter market, the Lagoon 37 and Lagoon 42 are developed in a joint venture with TPI in the U.S., while in Nantes a factory opens dedicated to the Lagoon 57 and the Lagoon 47.
The dynamic team is led by three: Jean-Luc Bonte adapts each boat to each client, Frederic Morvant sells the boats, and Yves Bulor, the first skipper of the first Lagoon, handles the final handover of the boats to customers around the world, doing so speaking almost no English but demonstrating impeccable professionalism.
Setbacks in the 1990s are tempered by the welcome arrival of the Beneteau Group, and in particular Francois Chalain, now the CEO in charge of new products, and Dieter Gust, whose CNB superyachts serve as a blueprint for future models. Dieter sees promise in Lagoon and adopts it as a challenge.
The modern history of Lagoon catamarans began in 1996, when the first meeting between the two teams took place — Bruno Belmont and Frederic Morvant for Lagoon, and Olivier Lafourcade and Dieter Gust for CNB). The two teams would then work together to create a new class of powerful, technically advanced, luxurious catamarans for sale.
The Lagoon and CNB teams felt they would be stronger together than within one of the main Beneteau and Jeanneau brands. With approval from the group’s management team, the two smaller units combined and commenced catamaran sailboat design and construction operations in both Vendee and Bordeaux.
The Bordeaux team introduced composite technology and Lagoon catamaran’s trademark infusion technique, which today has become the material and core expertise for CNB's monohulls.
While the Lagoon catamaran boat teams had exceptional technical ability and unbridled passion, the market for catamaran sailboats and power catamarans was not fully developed, and especially lagging was a belief in the industry that cruising catamarans could be employed as charter boats. In fact, simply proving that catamarans could compete with monohulls was already a challenge.
The Lagoon catamarans team forged ahead, developing numerous advancements that help to test the standard for today’s high-performance catamaran yachts. They created:
● Epoxy resin techniques in favor of infusions
● The first catamaran sailing with a helming position on the flybridge (Lagoon 440)
● The first hybrid sailing catamaran (Lagoon 420)
● A new pushed back rig (Lagoon 39, Lagoon 52)
● And the first catamaran global distribution network
Soon, Fred and Bruno were creating new boats as fast as possible and opting for radical changes to meet demands from the U.S., which soon makes up half of Lagoon’s orders. The 1997 Paris boat show cements the team’s commitment to new designs and future growth.
Francois Chalain helped the team to have faith in their convictions and Dieter gave them the keys to an organization that remains, to this day, light, mobile, responsive, and united.
Marc Van Peteghem and his team helped imagine a boat capable of changing how a catamaran should be seen and used, with the creation of new living, working, and relaxing areas. A large-scale model of the Lagoon 440 was presented to Francois, Dieter, and Roux and Bruno Cathelinais, who gave enthusiastic approval and a new impetus to work harder.
In the early 2000s, Yann Masselot took over the sales and marketing departments, and although the talks on new designs are animated, two convictions always remain unchanged: the need to meet current customer demands and anticipate future expectations of a catamaran for sale.
Over the last 37 years, CNB has developed strategically: The company’s 100,000 m² site includes six buildings and a 300 m wharf. The shipyard is now connected to the heart of Bordeaux by the Chaban-Delmas Bridge and has nearly 1,000 employees. It is now the city’s largest private employer!
Today, Lagoon continues its tradition as a premier sailing catamaran and power catamaran manufacturer, employing industry-leading techniques and dynamic customization abilities to constantly redefine what is a catamaran.