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Old 04-02-2010, 17:22   #1
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Thumbs up Lagoon 380 User Review (15,500 Mile Review)

Having just completed a 15,500 nautical mile trip on our 2004 Lagoon 380 Catamaran, I thought it might be useful to this forum for me to write a user review on the boat. What follows is my personal opinion and is meant to help those considering purchasing this particular boat. This review and many more unwarranted opinions can be found on our blog. Hope this helps - happy sailing everyone!

15,500 Mile User Review: Lagoon 380, Hull #279, Year 2004, Owner's Ver.

A question I got asked a lot was, "how do you like your Lagoon." My quick reply was always, "I love it." While that general sentiment may have been true, the reality is that there is no perfect boat and the Lagoon has shortcomings that have always bothered me. So for this reason, I felt it might be helpful (and cathartic) for me to try my best to provide you with an honest user's review of our 2004 Lagoon 380 Catamaran. So without a further adieu, here is the whole truth and nothing but the truth about our boat (presented in classic MBA format, the bullet point...):

In general, Lagoon has created an economically priced cat that delivers more than average amounts of luxury and acceptable performance. It's a comfortable cruiser with more than enough amenities in it to look nice upon inspection, but it is NOT meant to be a racy performer with the highest-end fit and finish. In short, Lagoon is the Toyota of the Catamaran world (where Gun Boat is the Austin Martin, Antares/PDQ is the Lexus and Foutain Pajot is the Hyundai). You can buy cheaper or faster or stronger or prettier boats, but given what Lagoon set out to achieve, it is safe to say they have succeeded and we have been happy with the result.

1) Excellent Interior Design: Lagoon must love it when male buyers bring their wives to boat shows, because the interior design of the Lagoon is its greatest selling point. The layout is simple and efficient, yet inviting and comfortable. You buy a Lagoon because of the comfort it offers, and here are the details (and pictures):
- Dual Sliding Doors: Why all cats don't mimic this design is unknown, but it certainly creates a comfortable and airy environment inside that feels more spacious than it is.
- Vertical Salon Windows: Much like the Volkswagen Beetle, you either love it or hate it, but its window design makes a ton of sense:
• allows more headroom (6'7"!) and a greater sense of space inside
• shades the windows from the mid-day sun without the ubiquitous catamaran greenhouse effect from slanted windows
• allows for unmatched visibility, 360 degree viewing from inside the salon
- Galley up: While some may prefer the galley down as it increases sofa space in the salon, we liked it up for the following reasons:
• cooking and cleaning dishes with views outside is more pleasant
• cook remains social when having guests over for dinner
• serving to either table requires no stairs
• cooking near the door keeps the boat cooler in warm temps
- Cockpit Seating: The "U" shaped design of the cockpit table and seating area balances two important things:
• uses outdoor space well and fits 6 adults comfortably
• creates a very secure and enclosed cockpit area (good for safety)
- Cabins/Staterooms: Somehow the designers at Lagoon were able to create a spacious bedroom without raising the deck too high or extending the bed across the bridgedeck. The result:
• excellent headroom continues at 6'4" throughout
• nearly queen sized beds in a boat (just a little shorter in length)
- Heads & Shower Design:
• owner's version separates the shower from the head and sink area (a slam dunk with woman boaters). Why the Catana 41 kept the head in the shower area is that boat's biggest downfall.

2) Excellent Exterior Design: Similar to the interior design, the exterior of the boat has been well thought out and appears to draw on decades of experience Lagoon has had in making this particular type of boat.
- Bridgedeck Clearance: is high in comparison to the competition. This greatly reduces slamming and improves hull longevity. The trade off is a higher cockpit floor and smaller cabins, but high bridgedeck clearance is mandatory for anything other than lake boat use.
- Sail Plan: the sail area is more than adequate for the displacement, sailing well in anything from 9 to 35 knots. Less wind than that and the mainsail flogs as you go over waves. And more wind than that and the fully reefed mainsail starts to get overpowered and you might want to reduce sail to bare poles or motor. But the boat easily gets to 7 knots in most conditions, making for daily distance planning of 150 nautical miles, more than adequate for an off-shore boat.
- Lines: are of adequate thickness and are routed out of the way of walkways and above decks, allowing for easy inspection and replacement.
- Electric Winch: is a Lewmar 40 2-speed winch and is more than powerful enough to manage all needs. If you can afford it, install a second one, but be sure to have a battery bank that matches the power needs.
- Rigging: is of high quality stainless steel and is beefier than it needs to be. This is an area Lagoon did not skimp on and it shows.
- Stanchions & Lifelines: are also of similar quality and the use of a teak toe rail avoids the corrosion seen on some boats with aluminum rails.
- Deck Layout:
• deck design is clean and remains uncluttered by unnecessary slopes, lines and other obstacles found on some other cats.
• non-skid is excellent and does not peel off like the sticker non-skid used on competitive boats trying to save on construction costs.
• cleats are beefy and located where you need them (they passed the ultimate test when we transited the Panama Canal).

3) Good Engine Room Design: Although an afterthought on most boats, the Lagoon 380 has an excellent engine room design, which any owner will learn to appreciate. Located aft of the staterooms, the engine room is:
- Easy to access (although maybe not desirable in an emergency in rough seas, for regular maintenance this is a god send).
- Room: Offers enormous amount of room inside, providing excellent access to all engine components that might need repair
- Quiet: engines remain quiet when in use due to separate location in the hull.

4) Good Engine Performance and Control: Our boat featured the Volvo Penta MD2030s.
- Power/Speed: was more than adequate (as tested repeatedly in strong currents). Cruising speed with one engine is 5.5 knots, using .6 gallons per hour. Two engines will easily hit 7.5 knots, and 8 knots full out (*we had slipstream folding 2-blade props).
- Control: of the boat was outstanding with the two engines, despite the windage associated with the cat design. Two props makes docking so much easier you start to get an ego!
- Reliability: we had no problems with our engines (and regular maintenance was easy).

5) Safety: was a top priority for us and the Lagoon is as safe as most cats. Particular features that we liked included:
- Crash Lockers: in both bows could be sealed off from the rest of the hull with the twist of a ball valve. Excellent design concept.
- Through Hulls: are bronze adding additional safety and dependability (some cats have plastic ones!).
- Steering Cables: are easy to access and maintain, despite being routed behind walls and other spaces.

As mentioned above, the Lagoon is meant to be a moderately priced cruiser. As a result, some of its negatives are associated with the builder's efforts to reduce cost while others are performance oriented tradeoffs. However, some of the negatives are inexcusable mistakes. Here are the cons as I saw them, broken into all three categories:

1) Interior Fit & Finish: is not of high quality.
- Wood: Floorboards creak and the wood throughout the boat is covered in an extremely cheap and easily damaged veneer. The boat might look good in the show room, but after a few years of use the wood is inevitably chipped throughout and there is no way to properly touch up the damaged areas. I am not certain why Lagoon chose to use this method, but it must be a cost or weight savings issue. Any way you look at it, it was a tragic and shortsighted decision and it perpetuates the image of catamaran's being "plastic" in comparison to most monohulls.
- Seat Cushions: and fabrics are also of substandard quality. Compared to other boats, the standard Lagoon fabric is uncomfortable and wears quickly with use. Seat cushions creak when you sit on them and slide out of place. It is easy to live with, but unfortunate indeed.

2) Soft-top Bimini Cover: is outdated for catamarans, where the standard hard top is becoming the norm. Although an option from Lagoon, who would pay the $15,000 USD asking price for this feature that should come standard.

3) Bilge Pumps are Missing: The standard installation by Lagoon shares the hull bilge pump with the shower drain. In an emergency you would want dedicated bilge pumps in the hull, and the redundancy would also be nice. This is easy enough to install, so it is surprising that Lagoon does not do this as standard practice, but again it probably has to do with increased cost.

1) Windward Performance: is not very good, but it was never supposed to be. If you want a boat that sails to windward, get one with dagger boards. The Lagoon worked fine for our needs as we traveled the world using downwind trades. But if you are going back and forth to a particular port, get used to motoring as part of the experience (or buy a Catana, Dolphin, Atlantic and be ready to trade off interior space to make room for the dagger boards and narrower hull design).

2) Single Helm Station: makes it difficult to see the main sail shape on a Starboard tack. We got over it, but this is a part of life on a Lagoon that you will have to get used to.

3) Hobby Horse Motion: is apparent when sailing. This is a catamaran trademark and is not just an issue with the Lagoon 38, but I would never recommend buying a shorter catamaran as this issue would only get worse. Additionally, the Lagoon has a related design flaw as the boat weight lists forward toward the bow and is not a balanced design once loaded with cruising gear. Once you install a generator, spare anchor, second water tank and crash locker equipment, the Lagoon tends to list forward into the water line. This is precisely what you do not want to have happen on a cat as it pronounces the hobby-horsing effect while sailing. Again, it works great in the showroom or while on charter, but for a cruising cat this was a constant weight battle. To combat this we had to move our secondary anchor to the stern stanchion and would remove the primary anchor from the bow roller when on long passages (and would try to run with low water in the tanks if possible). The hobby horsing was not terrible, but was again something that took some getting used to.

1) Hull Construction, durability: While all fiberglass boats can become victims of delamination and osmosis, there have been an inordinate number of reports of Lagoons with hull construction and bulkhead separation issues. We've personally met several ex-Lagoon owner's that bought brand new boats, only to have so many issues with them they traded them in for something else. If you are going to buy a Lagoon (new or used!), please ensure that your surveyor thoroughly checks for these issues. Although not specific to just Lagoon, it is terrible to see these issues appearing in many of today's "production" cats and new cat buyers should be aware.
- If Lagoon offers a hull warranty, check to ensure that it covers these types of issues for a minimum of 5 years and is transferable to new owners. And don't take the warranty as proof of good construction - hire a surveyor to review new boats as well as used ones.

2) Fiberglass Thickness: is not acceptable on all Lagoon hatches. Our boat had crazing and spider cracks on the Lazzarette hatches over the engines and we had to reinforce them to fix the issue (similar with forward doors). I'm not certain why Lagoon does not address this issue, but it is cheap and will not wear well. We've even seen pictures of Lagoon owner's putting yellow and black tape down to alert users not to stand there!

3) Missing Winch: Although addressed on the S2 version, the older L380 cats are missing a winch at the helm station. Without it, furling the Genoa on a starboard tack is a painful process as both lines share the same winch. Some owners have installed a second winch, but for a boat so thought out it should have been there in the first place.

4) Electrical Wiring is a Mess: While the quality of wire used was industry standard, the way the wires were organized by Lagoon is a total mess. And without a detailed wiring schematic or labeled wires, fixing any sort of electrical issue would require complete rewiring. Shame on Lagoon for taking the lazy way out.

5) Customer Service Lacking: Lagoon references all customer service issues to their dealer network, which never seem to have the answers you need. Apparently after sale support is not part of the Lagoon product.

6) Poor Windlass Design: The windlass is powerful enough, but the gypsy design only allows for three links to be held at any one time. As a result, occasionally the anchor line will come off completely, at which point you better hope you have tied off the bitter end. We have learned to use a two-foot section of a 2x4 to help hold the links on, which is not a very glamorous way to drop anchor, but it works!

Design Improvement Ideas:
Although this gets into the nitty gritty details, the following improvements should have been made years ago:
- A separate freezer is required (and why not add a coffin cooler fridge door on top of the current fridge to improve access and keep cool air in?)
- Helm access should be allowed from inside the cockpit (it's dangerous to go outside of the cockpit to get to the helm seat as is)
- Longer handholds are required on the salon rooftop to safely get users to the mast. The current handholds are too short.
- Head plumbing hoses are nearly impossible to replace (which they all need eventually). A removable wall should be added to make this easier.
- Fuel fill stations should be located on the port side of the boat, not on the transom steps.
- Larger fuel tanks should be an option for the Owner's Version that might be used in off-shore cruising. We found the 2x25 gallon tanks a little small and using jerry cans got old.
- Push button door knobs on outside hatches corrode over time. Lagoon should look to use better quality components or a different design.
- Hull windows in the S2 model lose their paint. We met many owners that say this is a quality issue and that deck soap seems to erode the paint (not fenders as once believed).

So how did we like our Lagoon? We liked it, and would definitely consider buying another one should we ever go cruising again (although dagger boards would be nice). For us, the Lagoon was the right combination of comfort, price and performance (and in that order). Although designed primarily for coastal cruising or local charter work, the Lagoon did well as a blue-water cruiser following the trade winds in the lower latitudes. Should you need a more sturdy boat for cruising in the higher latitudes (where the weather gets more severe) or plan to sail up wind, this might not be the right boat for you. But if you are looking for a good value catamaran with adequate build quality and outstanding comfort, the Lagoon 380 fits the bill perfectly.

Before commenting, please remember this was just my opinion and was not meant to be read as "fact." Comments, questions?

s/v Honeymoon
Lagoon 380, Hull 279
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:58   #2
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Interesting and well thought out, 3Eagles.

We too just sold our Lagoon 380 S2 after 2 years of ownership. Sadly we did not manage your mileage and full time living but we did stay on board and often sail for approximately 80 days each year. However, we only sailed about 2500 miles in total!

We purchased our boat brand new and so had some experience of the after sales service which you mention. On this particular subject, Lagoon do leave most of the decision making and action-taking to the supplying dealer, and our experience was generally pretty good. We had more issues with electronic kit that the dealer fitted than Lagoon manufacturing faults. In fact, every Lagoon warranty issue we had was resolved fully and promptly by the UK Lagoon dealer. I would say that if one buys a new boat, get in as early as possible with any warranty issues, because some areas such as the fibreglass warranty seems to decrease after the first year.

As for the liveability, we felt that full time living on a 380 would have been very possible. We often stayed on the boat for weeks on end and never had any need to race back to our housee. However, we did make the decision to go with inverter, generator, heating etc, so that we had most home comforts.

Sailability? We sailed about the same proportion of the time that we would have done with our previous monohull (probably 60%). But the big advantage that the Lagoon 380 has is that when required, she makes a very comfortable and economical motor boat. Best of both worlds with some minor sacrifice of speed? Well worth it in our opinion.

As for design issues, we had a few thoughts too. The living space is fantastic and for those of us who came from a monohull, very civilised and airy since it's all on the same level, and light just fills the saloon......even on rainy days. Owners toilet and shower is spacious and very comfortable for extended use. We found that Lagoon could have given us more info on aspects of plumbing and wiring, as we only discovered how the yacht was put together when we added kit or fixed things.

Would I buy one again? We have new 400 on order and so I guess that shows that we have no problem with the brand. But you get what you pay for. Lagoon deliver exactly what they promise, and not an ounce more. Since the boats are built to a reasonable price, I think that any owner who buys an ex-charter vessel needs to have a budget for replacing many of the basic items and maybe some other kit that may not stand up to prolonged heavy use. The boats are easily able to stand up to regular private use but one does need to keep on top of the 'job list' which may include broken catches, loose jubilee clips, 'end of life' kit noises etc.

I think that most 380 private owners have a good experience, but like most boat owners, with prolonged exposure to any boat, we arrive at design improvements. The mass manufacturers however, have to homogenize their product to appeal enough to most of the people most of the time so they can sell enough boats. The 380 achieves this, most of the time without offending any of us who have been lucky enough to own one!


Ps As we prepare for our own long distance cruise (2-3 years time), we are avidly reading any cat blogs past or present. And my wife identified entirely with your wife's views on cruising for girls when reading your blog a few evenings ago. So thanks to the two of you for recording your experiences, and good luck getting back into normal life.

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Old 05-02-2010, 04:33   #3
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At 6:30, does that plastic skin fitting drain above the waterline?
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:55   #4
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Hi Garold, thanks for reading (both the post and our blog).

I would agree with you completely and am happy that you added your views on the Lagoon Customer Service. I should have said more about how well our lagoon held up during rough conditions as we never had any standing or running rigging problems or other issues with the boat itself, although I have heard from other owners with just such issues. Like you, we were unfortunately not very lucky with other equipment added on after the boat left Lagoon, like our generator, watermaker, etc.

So all said and done, we too were happy with our Lagoon and would look seriously again at a new one. In fact, we toured the 400 in Sydney and found that many of my concerns had been addressed with this new boat and it will likely serve you well (beefier windlass, all lines to helm, two winches on port, can enter the helm from cockpit, second freezer, weight shifted aft, hard top bimini, etc). I'm sure that boat will serve you well.

Thanks for adding your thoughts!
s/v Honeymoon
Lagoon 380, Hull 279
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:21   #5
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Thanks Seth for a very thoughtful, thorough and fair review.

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:20   #6
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Thanks Seth!
We followed your blog since day 1.

I have 10.000 miles on our Lagoon 380S2 #348 and agree to what you say.
-Additionally the seats on the bow are a nightmare when using a spinnaker or Parasailor since they prevent clean movement of the lines.
Also there is shortage of a winch and jammer for these lines.

-The Dinghy rocked like crazy and this put some wear on the Dinghy.

-The small clips on the Lewmar hatches jump off after a while.

-On many boats there is water coming in at the escape hatches. Now Lagoon has installed a breakable glass window on newer boats. (we clean the seals often and lubricate them)

-The Hella fans are noisy

-Squeeking of wood is annoying

But we still love the boat



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Old 06-02-2010, 13:58   #7
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New 380 S2

Folks, this thread has been very helpful for me as my wife and I are considering buying a 2009 380 S2. We have a Beneteau 361 mono and loved it, but my we're new to this and my wife really liked the cats at this years boat shows. We'll pretty much use it as mid-atlantic coastal cruiser, primarily out of Lewes, DE and the Chesapeake. Couple questions:

How well did they hold their value?

Id' like to add AC & Generator. Do you know of good marina to do this either on east coast of FL or near Annapolis?

Would you advise getting the Genaker setup?

How do these compare to the Leopard 40?

Any advice would be welcome!


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Old 07-02-2010, 04:34   #8
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How well do they hold value?

We sold our 380 S2 in December 2009 after approx 2 years ownership. We bought the boat new just before the Southampton Boat Show 2007. We had fitted an inverter, heating and generator.

I had every item on board regularly serviced and so the boat was in the best condition possible, even freshly polished. When we sold our boat, we aimed for perfect survey.......... some hope. However, we were as close to it as a new boat would be.

As a background to our sale, the UK is in the depths of a severe recession and 'boat-buying' is not an obvious weekend activity.

However, with the help of a very business-like broker (Ancasta), and maybe an element of luck,we sold our boat to the first person who viewed it. We did have other viewers, and we did have nearly 2 months of negotiations. But we sold to a happy purchaser.

Our boat sold for approximately 70-75% % of the new list price with all the kit. We were not disappointed since this is about what we expected, and it is a much smaller percentage loss than I suffered on a 1 year old Mercedes last year.

If you are concerned about depreciation, find a nice tidy well kept boat, buying from someone who has taken the initial depreciation (like me), and keep the boat for as long as possible. Cheap boats usually turn out to have some hidden history which always costs money, and dodgy brokers sometimes promise a lot but deliver little. French boats are pretty common currency, but they are sound, sea worthy, and because there are a lot of them, there is always a market for them and people can compare prices and condition. Go for a low volume, one-off catamaran at your peril. I have seen them for sale for years. Forget what everyone says they are worth, because if they fail to sell you are stuck with it.

Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:22   #9
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Thank You Garold

This is very helpful. As background, I am 55 and bought my first large sailboat last year (Beneteau 361). I hadn't sailed in almost 25 years... seems like when the kids arrived my days of Hobie sailing came to an end and I dove into raising the family and working for a living and loved every (almost) second of that stage of life. With the kids raised and healthy and descent success in my work life, I turned back to sailing about 2 years ago and jumped in last May with the purchase of the Beneteau.

I bought that boat without my wife ever having seen it... she just was not interested. I took a gamble that she would like sailing and after a month of learning how to sale and dock it, I introduced her to it and she loved it as well. But she does not like the heeling and she is a very fair weather cruiser which is fine by me as long as we're out on the water and feeling the wind in our faces.

We attended both the Newport and Annapolis boat shows this fall and were taken by the catamarans. At that time, we liked the Leopard 40 the most but I was not willing to spend $400K for a new one. We then looked at a 2009 used/demo Lagoon 380 S2 and we really liked it. Turns out there are a few "leftovers" on the market right now and I think we can get a for around $325K as the dealers want to move them.

As we are both still working full time (my wife is off during the summer as a teacher), we will primarily use it on weekends and vacations cruising the Chesapeake and mid-atlantic coasts. We're thinking that we would keep this boat for 10 years or even more but of course who knows.

So, we've done our homework, we have the funds and financing, we've pretty much narrowed it down to one of the 2009 Lagoon 380 S2's that have hardly been used and we're ready to take the plunge. My only hesitancy is taking a huge depreciation hit on resale (plus sailing performance to a lesser degree). My 2001 Beneteau is fetching slightly more than what I paid for it last year which is great. So it is a good time to buy up to the Cat. I've looked at a few recent sales of 380s (there haven't been many). Two 2005 S2's recently sold for $240 & $265. My guess is that these were around $300-$325 new so that rate of depreciation over 5 years is very acceptable.

So that's the story and that's why these forums are so valuable. Thanks again for your input.

Happy sailing!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:46   #10
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Switch to 2 hulls?

Yes, we switched to two hulls from a monohull because my wife hated the heeling. I was a bit reluctant to change because of the increase in purchase and maint cost, and also the extra hassle of berthing something that was close to 25 foot wide.

However, the compromises were well worth it. In fact, I didn't realise that I don't like the heeling either until we changed! I am now happy in two hulls and we currently have a new Lagoon 400 on order.

I have a suspicion that the 380 is close to the end of its production life so if I were you, I would be bidding pretty low on the new or nearly new 380s. Notwithstanding this sentiment, they are great boats and they do offer great value for money. As for cruising speed, it's a small difference and well worth the sacrifice. My wife is even keen to go off cruising full time now so long as its on a catamaran ............ got to be worth the money!

Let us all know how your story unfolds.

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Old 07-02-2010, 10:12   #11
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Hi Bnort3. Glad our review helped you.

To answer your questions, I too was a monohull sailor/racer and the move to a cat was a big decision. However, if you plan on spending a lot of time aboard there is no question that the extra space is nice. And the trade offs are not all that bad.

You could write a book about the pros and cons of mono vs multi, but I tried to summarize our purchasing decision on our For Sale Website that you can read by clicking here. In general, we thought it was safer, had a good demand (resale value), and was the most comfortable way to enjoy cruising. Read on to see the details.

Regarding resale value and the L380, I have talked to a lot of recent buyers that have found good condition used L380s for around $250k. The cheapest was one for $230k and was actually in great condition, but the norm would be $250k or higher. I would not think you would need to go over $290k here in the US, regardless of year, gear or condition. Certain markets are more expensive due to demand (like Australia), but here in the US the boat market has been hit hard and you should find a good deal. Should you need a broker, I would highly recommend George Coggeshall at the Catamaran Company in Florida (he helped us find our boat and became a friend along the way). Just be sure to get a good surveyor and have them check the things I mentioned above in my review.

Lastly, think long and hard before you install a generator. Do you really need air-conditioning? We had it on our boat and found we only used it while in the marina (on shore power) as listening to the genset run was never fun. Additionally, we (and most cruisers) have experienced problems keeping our generator running as they require a lot of maintenance. My next boat might have Aircon, but will not have a generator. I will install loads of solar with additional alternators, but no generator since we had so many problems (click here for a sample).

Db8us: Thanks for your input, much appreciated. Couple thoughts:
- Try running the spinnaker downhaul through a block on the bow pad-eye. This moved the downhaul away from the seats and we could use the bow cleat to seize the line. Never had a problem.
- With your dingy, add two lines to act as spring lines and tie them off to the davits (right where the block re-directs the line). This held our dingy very rigidly in off shore passages.
- Agree, those Lewmar hatch clips love to jump overboard!
- Escape hatches are bad - I agree. We never opened ours and never had a leak. But agree the newer models have fixed this.
- Those fans are noisy. I wish we had replaced ours. Easy fix, but just never got around to it. West Marine sold a great fan with a suction cup that many other boaters had. I'll get those next time.

Good luck everyone!
s/v Honeymoon
Lagoon 380, Hull 279
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:33   #12
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Oh, one thing I forgot to say above, the above prices I mentioned were for Non-Chartered cats. A charter cat will be far cheaper (up to $50k cheaper). It's up to you if you want to go that route, but I would not recommend it.

Happy boat hunting!
s/v Honeymoon
Lagoon 380, Hull 279
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:19   #13
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Fabulous advice and input, 3Eagles and Garold! I really appreciate you taking the time to share. We live just outside of Philadelpia and are headed to Puerto Rico for a long weekend and will look at one of the new 380s there. There is also one offered by the Catamaran Company and I'm working through Tommy out of their Annapolis office on that one.

Thanks much for the generator feedback. I read your blog (nice job) and will research the issue to see what other's experiences are. AC in the Chesapeake and mid-Atlantic coast is VERY nice in those humid and hot summers. The generator would give us AC on the hook which is what we want.

Gotta go. I'm traveling on business this week.

Thanks again!
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Old 16-02-2010, 17:54   #14
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Hi 3Eagles and the gang here,

Just thought I would chime in on your 380 review considering I have been around a while too on mine.

We have 17,000 miles, five years of full-time live aboard experience, and six and a half years of ownership of Hull #66 Owner's Version "Indigo Moon."

She was completed in December of 2001.

I am always interested in other's experiences and wonder sometimes if we have the same boats.

For example, my wiring is perfectly numbered, my owner's manual has a clear and concise wiring diagram for the whole boat that matches the numbers on the individual wires, and the wiring itself is as neat as is found on any mass-production yacht I've ever seen.

So, we do not have a "wiring mess." Luckily, I have had zero wiring issues, but if any had ever occured it would have been a simple matter to troubleshoot if you have any electrical skills and the Lagoon manual's diagram.

And as for replacing (or removing to clean) the head hoses in the owner's head, there is an area behind a bulkhead that prevents total access, but by simply tying lines on the ends of the hoses when they are removed provides lines in place to pull the new hoses (or cleaned hoses) back through the same blind spot with no trouble whatsoever.

Not picking on you 3Eagles, so please don't be offended, but there are always blind spots where hoses or lines or wires are run in all boats (like halyards and wires in the mast for example) and you can make super-easy work of it by using telegraph lines tied to the things removed to have that same line ready to run things right back through those same blind spots with no trouble whatsoever, etc. It's not a Lagoon problem.

As for the spinnaker, I have never, not once had any trouble with sheets or the sail catching on the bow seats.

I have a "flying tack" setup with the tack's shackle on two lightweight racing blocks with lines back to camcleat blocks on the bows' jackline padeyes.

The tack of the spinnaker can be moved anywhere between the hulls and at any height and the spinnaker has been very reliable and simple to fly with no problems or headaches whatsoever, ever.

As for the generator comments, again, it depends on what you had/have and your personal experience.

When we bought our boat it already had a three cylinder 9.5 KW Phasor generator with marinized Kubota diesel and it has been AWESOME.

It purrs at only 1800 rpm, is housed in a soft side soundshield and uses VERY small amounts of fuel.

It has never once had one single problem in 5,000 hours and daily use for five years. I personally would not have a boat without one exactly like it.

While all my friends fought their small, high rpm genset units all the way around the Caribbean and lost their minds with frustration in the process, I simply turned a key, enjoyed my generator and loved all it's advantages.

For example, instead of using a noisy 12 volt small output watermaker that grinds away all day, we have a 33 gallon per hour Village Marine "No Frills 800" unit that runs on 110 volts.

So, in a little over two hours we have a full water tank (and have the second water tank for backup water too).

If we don't need water that day, in only one hour we have 800 amp hours back in the Lifeline AGM battery bank by using the Heart 2000 watt inverter 100 amp charger unit, and a batch of hot water for showering to boot.

If it is hotter than hell (or freezing cold) on any particular evening, we can turn on 30,000 BTU of AC or Heat and make the boat 70 degrees within the evening genset run and have a very comfy evening, using the inverter for all 110 volt needs thereafter (like tv and movies).

And all that for about a gallon of fuel per day.

So, we have found our generator-driven ancillary equipment array to be a fantastic, dependable, troublefree, and cost effective. That setup that has made life a carefree joy and I would not consider any other way.

The trick is to buy the right brand of generator to begin with and Phasor units are just plain awesome and we have had perfect, absolutely perfect, luck with ours.

Also, on another note, our interior wood looks brand new and has not suffered any gouges or problems. Of course, our boat has never been chartered, and I know that folks have different styles of use and I guess we are just not hard on stuff.

Anyway, I agree that the wood veneer is thin and of mere cheap, production quality, but at least Lagoon did not TOTALLY cheap-out by simply gel coating the interior of the whole boat, or, God forbid, glueing carpet on walls and bulkheads (known derogatorily in the industry as "Mouse Fur"). I do give them credit for that.

I'd rather have a few sqeaky panels than have carpet glued on things to quiet them down.

And that brings things full circle: in light of the price for what you get, I still think my Lagoon is a stellar value, "cheap production boat" attributes and all.

My boat has not had any structural problems, or hatch problems, nor "no walk" areas, although I did reglass the stiffiner under the anchor locker hatch and add a second stiffiner to boot there, because that's where I always jump down from the coachroof after dealing with the sailbag.

There are some things that are not cheap. The rig is bulletproof. They used the same shroud and turnbuckle sizes from the 410 and bigger boats in the line.

Could the fit and finish be better? Absolutely.

Do you shake your head when you pull off a panel and see it would have been easy for that Frenchman to be neater with fiberglass work that is bristling up at you, ready to take meat off your knuckles? Yep!

Do you gripe when you realize that you have to remove one floor panel to remove the adjacent one, because they were too lazy to put a finger hole in each sole panel?

No doubt!

It finally drove me to neatly chisel out each and every sole panel and install pretty Perko recessed pull rings in each panel. It's all "purty" now, but I did that, not Lagoon.

Could Lagoon have done that and much more? I guess so, but what would it have done to the price? So, I did it ALL myself. Anything and everything that needed to be done on my boat has now been done beautifully. It has been a five year labor of love.

In fact, I had no way to determine what to ask for my boat, so I hired a surveyor the last time we hauled out.

He said it was by far the nicest Lagoon 380 he had ever surveyed and due to the extensive list of equipment, and the unusually fabulous condition of the boat, and he valued it at $300,000.

Replacement value is now estimated at $500,000 with all the additional equipment we have on board.

Anyway, we have just put our boat up for sale as of February 2010 and will entertain all reasonable offers, of course.

All said, things like hatches, pumps and heads, engines, saildrives, Z spars, winches, breaker panels, refrigeration, and yada yada . . . ALL those are things made by others, not Lagoon, or Leopard, or Catana . . . the more you look at other cats, you see a lot of the SAME stuff bolted on all of them.

And ALL of that stuff made by other suppliers breaks or wears out or needs service eventually.

When all of that bolt-on equipment is stripped away, it is obvious that all the catamarans show up in the exact same form: rolls of glass mat and 55 gallon drums of epoxy.

Lagoon and other catamaran manufacturers show their main expertise by designing the layout of space, the shape of the hulls, and creating the bare boat to which all that other stuff is bolted to.

Viewed from that perspective, I still consider the Lagoon 380 to be "lightning in a bottle" in design: the breakthrough in wider hulls aft; engines outside the living quarters; and, a simply amazing vessel in terms of space, storage, performance, seaworthiness and comfort for its size and price.

Again, there is a reason there are almost 600 of them scattered around the globe.

In short, if I decide to go cruising again, I want MY BOAT back, hands down. Warts and all, we have loved owning her and I hope that everyone finds that "just right" boat too, no matter what it is.

I hope everybody is just as happy with their choice too.

There are many other great boats out there too that's for sure! We just got VERY lucky and bought the most perfect boat in the world for us.

All the best and happy sailing,

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mudbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2010, 22:49   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 47
Hi Buddy,

Thanks for chiming in and providing your input. I wish we could have met out there because I have occasionally checked in on your blog and found it very useful. In fact, you're one of the reasons we bought a Lagoon, so thanks for your input once again.

I'm not taking anything personal, so don't worry about that. These are just my personal opinions and you have the right to yours. I was trying to provide the absolute truth about the pros and the cons, which I hope I accomplished in a fair way. I have also sold my boat already so readers know that I have no reason to hide my complaints. I agree that you can customize certain things about your Lagoon once you own them (like leading lines or creating electrical diagrams), but my review was meant to be about how I found the boat when I bought it, and for this reason listed some of those concerns. In fact, I addressed many of the issues on our boat for the new owner (like reinforcing the hatches, reupholstering the cushions, labeling all switches, running lead lines, etc). I also stayed away from genset and watermaker discussions as this was meant to be more about the Lagoon, not incremental cruising equipment performance. Hopefully future Lagoon owners will find this candid review helpful since I know it didn't exist when I was looking...

Anyway, congratulations on your amazing experience and hopefully we'll get to meet some day at a boat show. I'd love to talk in person about this as I am sure we share many thoughts on not only Lagoons but on cruising in general.

Good luck selling your boat. I'm sure with the care you put in, it will be worth more than the average Lagoon 380...

s/v Honeymoon
Lagoon 380, Hull 279
3Eagles is offline   Reply With Quote

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