Boat Review Date: January 2011
Author: Mike Brown
The 240 Lagoon is called a LeisureCraft, even though renowned boat builder LeisureCat produces it: because it is not a cat. It is actually about as far as it could get from a cat, being a Pacific-style longboat or, in usual Australian parlance, a banana boat. There is a sizeable core of WA boaties who swear by this concept.
Boats with a 7m hull length are usually pretty weighty and bulky – not to say pricey – but not this one. A beam of only 2.1m and a coaming height below the knees takes care of that. Hull weight is a low 750kg and it is mounted on an aluminium trailer, so it is towable by a family-sized car, and price, with the 140hp of the review boat, is AUD $56,740. Opt for 115hp, and I am certain it would still perform well, and the price moves considerably lower still.
The review boat cost about AUD $12,000 more because the buyer had added a string of extras, all of them making excellent sense. Those low sides, for instance: tricky if you stand to fish. He opted to have rails all around the boat, taking the pivot point well up the thighs. And for good measure he had padded bolsters added to the top rails aft of the console, ensuring luxurious thigh contact.
An extra-long Bimini was another addition. Shade is so often lacking on centre consoles – frequently the driver is the only one on board to get any. Here, everyone on board could crowd below the awning.
And so often on these boats that emphasise open space there are few comfortable sitting spots. On the 240 Lagoon, the standard fit-out provides somewhere to park backsides for quite a complement, but the owner chose to add a pair of upholstered seats on the rear platform. With the reversible double seat at the console and the moulded seat at the console’s front, five people can get comfortable. And that is likely to be as many as you would have on board. There is certainly fishing space for five, or room and carrying capacity for four divers and a driver.
We did not have the numbers to check what effect five fishermen at one side would have, but with the two available light-heavyweights the result was impressive: for all the effect our movement had we could have been aground. Obviously, hull shape had much to do with this. The 240 is essentially flat bottomed, modified by a rounded centre section. It sounds like a recipe for a harsh ride, but that is not what it delivers. Long and narrow is a good starting point for a soft ride, and it teams with a sharp forefoot and that rounded section. On the significant chop of the review day it did a fine job of evening out the corrugations.
Long and narrow is also good for getting the most out of the available power. 140hp is not a lot by current standards for boats of this size, but it gave us all the performance we could ask for: 38 knots flat out. It also manoeuvred well at speed, turning tightly enough for us to need a tight grip on the handholds. At slow manoeuvring speeds the shallow draft made the boat sensitive to the fresh breeze and, coupled with the boat’s length, this meant care was needed when parking alongside the finger jetty.
Storage gets more attention than on most centre consoles. There are three top-loading lockers within the aft platform, vast volume in the forward platform, and a large locker below the driving seat. Naturally the console contains a locker and, besides having a rear door, its whole top hinges. This is purely to give service access to the electronics and wiring; a brilliant idea, as anyone who has worked on them from below through a normal door will attest.
The fishing gear fitted includes a bait tray matched by a bait tank aft of the transom, coaming rod sockets as well as a bank of them across the Bimini rear, and a Garmin 4008 plotter-sounder. No dedicated catch tank, but the top-loading locker under the main seat is an obvious container for ice slurry.
The 240 is no all-rounder – it is designed for active boating, and if your aim is catching fish or getting underwater with them it is definitely worth a look.Lowdown
Price as reviewed AUD $69,900
Price from AUD $56,740
Length overall 7.60m
Hull length 7.00m
Hull weight 750kg
Fuel capacity 120L
Motor fitted 140hp Suzuki four-stroke