Dear Lagoon 450’s owners,
Over the last months, we were informed that some of you have encountered problems of forward bulkhead deformation.
Because quality and safety are at the heart of the design and manufacture of all Lagoon catamarans, we have taken every feedback brought to us by our dealers and yourselves on that matter very seriously. We started analyzing the cases reported to us by initiating several investigations and Finite Element Analysis, with 2 objectives:
• Understand if we could figure out these damages’ causes and consequences;
• See how we could support every Lagoon 450 owner who had questions about the condition of their boat‘s forward bulkhead as well as helping those facing a forward bulkhead deformation to fix it.
It took us some time to be able to come back to you with reliable information and to establish processes and methodologies to check, to reinforce and/or to fix your forward bulkhead.
Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic is slowing down our technical support teams’ travels and is making the supply and the shipping of the parts difficult, especially to the USA. We wanted to apologize for this delay, as we know that you have been waiting for our feedback for some time now.
We hope this page will answer all your questions on this matter and enable you to engage any action you feel necessary, to reassure you about your boat’s seaworthiness and its resale value. In a nutshell, to get the best out of your Lagoon 450.
Be sure our teams are fully dedicated to support you as they have always done,
Lagoon Brand Director
First of all, we want to reassure every owner of a Lagoon 450: we do guarantee you that safety and navigability of your boat are preserved whatever the state of your forward bulkhead be.
This guarantee is based on the results of the study we undertook in March 2021, after we realized that there were several Lagoon 450 affected by a forward bulkhead issue. We actually started analyzing the cases reported to us, with some new calculations based on latest available tools, to understand causes and potential impacts of deformed or broken forward bulkhead.
To ensure the reliability of this Finite Element Analysis, we asked VPLP, one of the most renowned international team of naval architects and designers, to review our calculations and results, which they did. They reached the same conclusions as us: there is no safety issue when navigating with a broken or deformed bulkhead. Potential damages on forward bulkhead could not lead to neither dismasting nor any risk for the crew.
How did we come to this conclusion? The forward bulkhead is located in front of the saloon area and is divided into two main areas with different roles:
• The most important one is the central area which withstands 100% of mast compression. This area is stiff and solid. Only this part of the bulkhead has these functions. It cannot be affected by a bulkhead deformation.
• The side parts of the front bulkhead support most of the sea twist effects causing, in a fair number of boats, buckling on its door side. This side part is less rigid to be able to react and guarantee a certain flexibility to the structure of the boat.
A bulkhead is also present in the aft of the boat. This is much less stressed, and it is also rather flexible so it can evolve through navigation time, like many other parts of the boat.
As you may know, at the dock, the mast compression is at least around 9 tons for Lagoon 450. When sailing, this compression increases. So, for the mast to come out of its mast foot would require that the whole boat flex above overall limit of materials: basically, it would mean that the boat breaks apart which has never been the case on cruising catamaran history.
Consequently, we can reassure you that forward bulkhead issue is not a safety issue. It still may become unpleasant if the reinforcement is made late, since bent or buckling bulkhead will only transfer the stress elsewhere.
Flexibility is inherent to the boat’s construction: reinforcing, straightening up or repairing the sides of the bulkhead will still contribute to preserve it and to get the most from your boat, this is why we recommend doing so. Reinforcement, however, will not (and should not), completely remove the flex, as wear naturally comes from boats’ use, just as flexibility: it is and will remain normal to make layout adjustments over time.
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