I hear ya, Seth.
And yes, I have enjoyed seeing you guys' website and videos too! AWESOME!
I really wish we had met "out there." I'll have to let you know the next time we are going to a boat show
and maybe we can hook up and "laugh and cry" about our Lagoons and trade
adventure stories too.
Let's face it, we are all brothers and sisters in a pretty cool club now!
BTW, I want to interject that I have never been over-protective of Lagoon
. They certainly have their isssues and many of your gripes are well-known amongst all us Lagoon
owners. I have grumbled about them openly too.
I am not interested in "puffing my wares" as far as Indigo Moon goes.
The very first person who looks at her and knows anything about boats and 380's will understand what I have done with this boat.
They will immediately appreciate her amazing condition and they will RUN to the bank to get a reasonable offer together and buy her.
So, it's just a matter of the right person coming to see her. We don't have to sell her. As such, I can relax and enjoy finding her a good home with another anal-retentive mechanically-savvy maniac like me who will pet on her and keep up all the blood, sweat and tears I have invested in her.
But back to Lagoon.
They have seemed arrogantly disconencted at times when it comes to factory support and it was not until I was lucky enough to become personally known by their warranty guy, David Farrington, that I was able to get reasonably quick answers that I wanted so badly when the boat was new to me and there were many mysteries.
He's an American and does not have that Lagoon "attitude."
The Lagoon guys (with David excepted) are very gracious when accepting compliments, but can be pretty arrogant at times when fielding legitimate criticisms.
For example, if you complain that the fuel tanks
should be twice as big on a 380, you will be quickly scolded for not being a sailor . . .
All you have to do is look under the floorboards and see a huge, wasted, empty space behind the smallish, existing fuel tanks
to really get MAD. "What were they thinking? All they had to do was buy a bigger tank and lay it right in there!" is always the type of fuming sentiment on such issues.
As any new boat owner, my first couple of years were nervous while servicing "this and that" and while all of the 380's mysteries unfolded in the process. I was happy to ultimately find that there were no terrible surprises . . . just niggling things.
Nowadays, there are no mysteries on my boat . . . NADA
I have touched, and either sorted out and been satisfied with, or completetly re-done, every single
thing on my boat . . . from the mast head
to the bottom of the keels and literally every single
thing in between.
I now get calls from people in the industry and owners from all over the world when they have a question about the 380.
My understanding is one that only comes with six and a half years of intensive hands-on servicing and re-engineering all focused on ONE single boat and that, of course, makes me a great source for those "what happens when" or "has this ever happened" questions about my generation 380.
I guess I'll have to write a series of books
or make a box set of DVDs explaining all the 380's innards and offering my "work smarter not harder" tricks of getting at various components and servicing them. I think that would be a great gift to my fellow man.
And make no mistake, I don't work for Lagoon and will "call a spade a spade." There were times when I wanted to give somebody at Lagoon a "good country ass-whipping" for cutting a corner that did NOT need to be cut, or for settling for a bolt-on component that just did not cut it and would only last long enough to get the boat out of warranty.
And sometimes it's not even the component, but the installation
, and that IS Lagoon's clear fault.
Take, for example, the aluminum windlass
mounted onto a stainless bracket, and no insulation
between those dissimilar metals. DUH! The proving ground "out here" uncovers all such sins in the fullness of time.
I have very good friends on other 380's and we often exchanged those unfortunate emails: "Has this happened to you yet?! LOOK OUT! It's coming!"
I got one of those "380 cruiser alerts" on the windlass
saying: "Buddy, has your windlass flown off and crashed into the front of the anchor locker
Luckily, the answer was "No!"
So, I took the windlass off and even had to wring-off the bolts . . . they were stainless bolts corroded into the alumimun base plate of the windlass. And sure enough, the aluminum
bottom plate of the windlass was cracking and on it's way to beaking loose!
So, I re-engineered the whole thing with a new plate from heavy stainless, and stainless studs that accept stainless nuts and washers from under the stainless mounting bracket insuring the windlass will be easy to take off if it is ever needed again.
From the looks of the innards of the windlass, it will outlast the boat. It was in perfect shape. So that problem was not with the windlass itslef but how it was mounted.
I did a complete report on it with pictures in the Venezuela
The new, very heavy duty plate was insulted from the aluminum case of the windlass with gasket
material, silicone and tef gel and the whole thing will be dependable and is totally and completely FIXED and done right.
It took time and effort to fix the windlass. The original setup got the boat past warranty, but from the git-go it was not going to last for the long haul.
I guess car makers do that too, but as consumers, I guess we all resent that mind set, despite planned-obsolecence being a well-accepted manufacturing practice.
On another note, it's my understanding that the bigger boats have the bulkhead problems.
The loads on the matrix skyrocket when hulls get longer and more spread-out.
I saw a brand new Lagoon 62 in Fort Lauderdale
this year getting a stress rip fixed in the hull
where it meets the bridgedeck . . . that's a 2.5 million dollar boat with what looked to me like a structural issue!!!!
I took a few pictures while cruising under her trampoline in the dinghy
I suspect Lagoon has perhaps intentionally walked close to the line of lightweight construction to keep performance up there, (obviously with vac-bagging in play) and they probably KNOW where lines are after all that violent, ocean racing
experience by their design team.
But they obviously get pretty dang close to that line and it results in some "cutting edge" problems.
One of the big gripes I saw with fellow cruisers, as Lagoon got bigger and bigger and pumped out more and more boats, is that it seemed like they started to try and meet increased demand by pushing the production line out into the field, letting the warranty department finish the boats . . . at least that's what a few fellow cruisers I sailed with on new Lagoons experienced and they were NOT happy about it.
All that said. Lagoon is not alone. All cats have a vulnerable "underbelly" somewhere. There are just too many tradeoffs not to give something up.
for example. They are beautiful boats I have always lusted after in some respects. But . . .
I have never seen any of this with my own eyes, but I have heard many complaints in the form of hearsay.
There is at least one yard that won't haul them because the hulls are so thin amd can be damaged so very easily.
One friend who owns a St. Francis tells everybody he meets how "ludicrously thin the bottoms of hulls of Catanas are" and that he saw one being repaired and saw how "paper-thin" the bottoms of the hulls were with his own eyes and that he would not go out of the sight of land on one. He calls them "the Bayliners" of Catamarans. Pretty harsh. I still think they are beautiful.
In Wilmington, NC I was at a marina and yard where a locally famous "fiberglass magician" spoke of having to "just about completely rebuild" a Catana
to beef it up and "finally make it a good strong boat."
Whether true or not, I don't know, but these harsh comments keep surfacing about Catanas.
The bottom of my 380 hulls are solid glass and plenty thick. So, at least that is not one of Lagoon's alleged problems. When you pick a cetain boat, you pick certain basket of problems too.
Want to hear about what's inherently wrong with Manta's? St. Francis? Leopard
? Voyage? Fontaine Pajot?
I've heard it all around pot lucks and campfires over the last five years from OWNERS of cruising cats, and ALL cats have their shortcomings.
Some of those shortcomings on certain brands CAN'T be fixed and you simply have to suck it up and live with them.
If I posted all the allgeations and remarks from both owners and others about all the various cats it would start a riot of ill-will, hurt feelings, and defensive flame wars that I care not to plow up, obviously. We all love our boats like they are our children
and I respect that.
But let's just say that what I know about the "dirty secrets" of most all the cats is, well, a LOT!
That is where my 380 has, despite some legitimate frustrations you expressed, Seth, has been a real winner.
There is not one single really, truly unacceptable and dissapointing attribute that I had to live with, or else literally rebuild
the whole boat in order to set right.
I was able to fix virtually all of my boat's shortcomings myself. As non-sensical as it might sound, that alone makes it an awesome boat in the grand scheme of things as far as I'm concerned and in light of what I know about all the other cat choices I could have made.
Well, I'm just rambling now . . . sorry.
Hey, let me say again . . . Thanks Seth! for taking the time to post such a thoughtful review and I hope you guys are living large!
Maybe we can start a fraternity of Lagoon live aboards and set up an annual charter
trip in the BVI every year to get together and keep the embers burning in our Lagoon cruising campfires. That would be fun!
We'll all rent Moorings Leopards instead of Lagoons, though, just to be contrary!
All the best and thanks again,