The Making of Helios
Updated: Jan 21
A tour of the Lagoon production facilities in Bordeaux, France provided an impressive view of how Helios was built.
We toured the Lagoon factory that produces the 50-foot and 52-foot catamaran models. First the hulls and the deck and superstructure are molded in the fiberglass molding building. It's essentially a layering of fiberglass clothe over balsa wood, then infused by a vacuum system with resin.
Once the fiberglass is cured, the hull is removed from the mold and moved to the assembly building where it's placed on a giant conveyor belt in work station #1. From there it progresses through 12 stations in total, spending 2-3 days at each stop for work on various systems (e.g. plumbing, electrical, engines, cabinetry, attachment of the decks). The second floor of the factory backs up to the work stations, and contain all the parts and assembly that are moved across onto each passing hull.
The nearly completed boat is then moved outside for installation of the mast and rigging before being launched into the Garonne River. This video and subsequent photos give a sense of the production line where Lagoon turns out nearly 100 of these models each year - Helios being hull #217 of Lagoon's 52-foot model..
The final product feels:
=> small compared to home
=> large compared to what we expected
=> gigantic when it comes to trying to dock it in high winds
=> scary tall when climbing the mast (photo below), as was required at sea week #1 to untangle a halyard.