Hi Tel, thanks. As far as sailing, both are very similar and both very easy to sail single
handed. Everything can be handled from the helm
and the sail sizes are easy to handle on both. I feel the L400 performs better in most situations although it's hard to make real comparisons in different conditions on different days, but we tend to see a lot more regular sailing at around 8-9kn boat speed than we did on the L380, but then we have had much better consistent wind
in the Caribbean
than in the Med. We usually passage
plan at 6kn for both. The L400 feels like it drives through waves a bit more rather than hobbyhorse, but this isn't a big problem with the 380, just slightly different.
There were 3 main reasons we originally went for the L380 instead of the L400
First I was concerned with running costs, haul outs, marinas
, bottom paint
etc. These have turned out to be exactly the same costs as marinas
generally charge a rate for 11-12m so they're both in the same price
range. Occasionally a marina will charge at LxW area but that is rare. Same goes for haul outs, usually 11-12m is the same rate. Painting and storage
is about the same as well. One difference is insurance
which is around $1000/annum more expensive for the more expensive L400
Secondly I preferred the sliding helm hatch
on the L380 as a good quick way to keep out the rain and ascetics . After sailing both the L400 is much more practical with the fully enclosed Bimini
. Night sailing is warmer and dryer and safer, but I still don't particularly like the look of tents on top of catamarans. I also liked the fact that the L380 had been tried and tested and refined for over 15 years.
Thirdly, Jen preferred the L380, which finalised the decision between the two. Maybe the main reason was she liked the seat in the shower
of the owners version, or that it seemed like better access for our dog with lower freeboard... I'm pretty sure she prefers the L400 now for the additional storage and spaces and larger galley
Both models treated us very well and I would recommend either depending on your particular situation.
For myself, in point form, some of the things I prefer about the L400 are:
Walk around cockpit
, no need to walk on table and chairs
mounted main sheet
Additional living space, storage space and payload
Square furniture with inside and outside couches you can sleep on underway in more comfort
Slightly better performance and sea motion
storage and workspace
More modern design and construction, with headlining and timber throughout (less flow coat and gel coat interior
More space for guests
Para sailor in lue of gennaker
Standard hatches with sliding screens
I'm sure there's more things but that's the basics. Most are not major concerns and we would be happy living on and sailing either model.