I own a 2001 Lagoon 380
Owner's Version that is for sale
and I have written a lot about the comparisons of the 380 to other boats, including the 380 S2.
You can see it all here:
Indigo Moon - For Sale
Click on the links and you'll get a lot of information you seek in the "owner's persective" write up.
The short answer is that on the 380 S2 Owner's Version, Lagoon
1) greatly diminished engine access by building a shelf over the entire engine compartment . . . and like SailFastTri said, all it does is invite you to store a bunch of crap over the engine and make it even LESS likely you'll check the oil
. Also, by trying to create storage with a shelf, they actually destroyed it. Without the shelf system in the way, I can easily store a full size 26" Montague folding bike, in a bag, in each engine compartment. You can't do that on a 380 S2 now that Lagoon built a shelf over the whole compartment. So I guess they keep bikes in a bunk or on the deck
2) destroyed a terrific workshop/storage space in the forward starboard locker by moving the bulkhead of the shower
forward. This made the shower
dangerously big offshore
(in my opinion you will have trouble holding on in really rough seas). The shower on the 380 was already tremendous and perfect. Thus, the change offered no advantage and was a terrible move if the boat will be used for full time cruising. As a cruiser, you need ALL the storage and shop space you can get, not a shower so big you could have a boxing match in it and no storage space in the bargain.
3) large picture windows were added in the sides of the hulls. There are stickers that warn not to put fenders in these large areas. That is easier said than done. When two people (one at the helm
and one working lines) dock
these boats in currents and crosswinds, it is . . . well . . . ludicrous
to expect that the placement of fenders can be controlled. In my opinion, it was a bad plan to create hulls that have "no fender" areas. Also, the new picture windows in the hulls have a coating to reduce sunlight but that coating has proven to degrade in the sun/elements and has not worn well. And finally, even though I'm sure that the structural integrity of the picture windows has been thoughtout, I would personally would NOT want to be worried about a failure of one of those giant windows/components offshore
in really big seas on the beam, nor be trying to take a nap off watch and seeing seas pounding a picture window. The risks and hassles of the picture windows are not worth it for me. If I want to get a panoramic view, I go up to the salon
4) Lagoon added a sliding contraption of a "door" to close off the owner's hull
. . . this is NOT something I would want on my boat. The cabins close anyway and it is not worth the weight, complication, and yet another moving system to maintain to have this, especially offshore where things like that can be left unhooked for just a second and become a missle hazard that can cause personal injuries.
So, as far as I am concerned, the S2 may have made a move toward a much fancier calm weather
, easy docking
in the same old place (where there are no surprises to hit those picture windows in the hulls), and a nicer weekend or charter
boat where storage can be scarificed.
But the S2 is a strong departure from the best overall cruising model, the original 380 that has more storage, stronger hulls (note: there are no warning stickers on original 380 hulls), and a boat that is better suited for offshore work.
Things that are nice on the new 380 S2's is the better countertop for the sink and stove. That is nice.
Also, they finally, on later S2's, remolded the helm
station's dashboard to have a bigger footprint for electronics
and that is nice too. On the early S2's they simply added a big panel, like a dog-house on top of the old dash to increase electronics
space . . . it's too tall, obviously an afterthought, and looks totally out of place . . . but on the newer S2's they finally changed the design of the helm dash itself and it's really nice.
All in all, again IN MY OPINION (as a cruiser will 17,000 miles and over five years in the Caribbean
Fleet), the original 380 is a much better layout for fulltime liveaboard
cruising and real offshore work and the 380S2 is a better weekend and charter boat where storage, offshore integrity, and simplicity are not that important.
Of course, the 380 S2's are cool boats and their owners love them and I am sure many will go cruising. So, it's all good. You just have to decide what version suits your needs and what is most important to you.
Hope this helps and best of luck,