As mentioned above by someone else, my wife and I just crossed the South Pacific
on our Lagoon 380
and have kept a sailing blog
. I have a very detailed blog page regarding this post topic, so click here to read our thoughts.
Why This Boat?
In summary, this is a more than adequate boat for off-shore sailing, but there are always trade
offs. Sure you could find a better boat for riding out a hurricane
, but if you plan to stay out of hurricane
zones and only expect to sail only in coastal waters or cruise
off-shore in the lower latitudes then a Lagoon
or comparable cat would do you just fine.
was the most important purchase
criteria for us. If we were to sail around the world and expose ourselves to situations where we would be outside of coast guard rescue
range, we would need to be in a boat that we were confident was safe. Initially, this lead me to look at monohulls as tradition dictates that a monohull
is the safest boat. They have a long history
of crossing oceans and weathering bad storms. However, the more I looked into it the more I realized they also have a long history
of losing a keel
, sinking or running aground.
I am sure this is going to upset many monohull
readers, but I truly believe a modern catamaran
is safer than a monohull in anything but the worst weather
imaginable. This is mostly due to the fact that it will not sink and the inherent redundancies of a catamaran
As cruising catamarans came of age, their design moved away from speed and became much beamier with heavier and thicker hulls, nearly eliminating the early problems with flipping. Additionally, fiberglass
and wood floats, and without the ballast of a keel
, most catamarans will continue to float for weeks after wrecking. By comparison, a monohull will head
to the bottom within minutes if the hull
is breached. After learning
this, I decided that I would rather be inside a flipped over catamaran than in an inflatable
life-raft from the deck
of a monohull.
Lastly, a catamaran has so many back-ups I find it hard to believe that all sailors donít look into cats more seriously. By having two engines instead of one you are far less concerned about engine
problems (one of the more likely problems you will encounter while cruising). There are also two rudders, so if one breaks you can still steer your boat (another major concern for Monohulls). Again, two props, so if one falls off, you have a back up. Two hulls, so if one springs a leak, the other stays floating. It also goes without saying that a catamaran has a much shallower draft
, thus reducing the chances of running aground. Itís no wonder insurance
companies gave us coverage for our Lagoon
(despite our lack of boat owner history, official certifications and arguably crazy itinerary).
The negatives of our Lagoon are that a that a catamaran has a lot of glass, and should you find yourself in extreme weather
conditions (hurricanes) and are regulatory getting pooped, you might have some concerns with having sliding glass doors that could break and take on water
. Again, you won't sink so this is not as much of a concern as it would be for a monohull, but it is something to worry about. Additionally, I do not like the fact that we have to go outside of the cockpit
to get to the helm
seat to adjust the lines, which requires us to clip into a harness and jack-line when we do night watches or are in bad weather. And lastly, the L380s prior to the S2 are missing a second winch
at the helm
which allows you to furl the genoa
while you ease the sheet. And reefing is a two person procedure since the reefing lines are not near the halyard
lines, something that they also changed on the S2.
In summary, we strongly believe that a catamaran makes for a safe ocean cruising vessel and even has some advantages over a monohull. But ultimately, if we were planning to sail in the higher latitudes where storms are more likely and are often more dangerous (or were to sail in hurricane zones), then I would look for a steel
Ultimately there is no perfect sailboat and you will need to decide the level of risk you are willing to take in order to be more comfortable or have more room on board. For us, this meant our Lagoon 380
was more than safe and provided the best combination of safety and comfort.