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Old 20-05-2010, 11:53   #31
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When we were kids learing to park cars some guys had a couple of tricks you may have seen, that may be good on a boat.
One was a bit of wire stuck out the side of the car near the wheel rims so you could hear them scraping on the kerb.
the other was a verticle bit of wire on the fore and aft corners of the car. Couldnt see the corners of the car, but could see the top of the bit of wire.

dunno if the last could help
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Old 20-05-2010, 14:44   #32
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Mike, sorry for my loose use of language, but I thought that the 'hydronic' tag was brand-specific (we had an Eberspacher hydronic system last time). I didn't realise that it was a generic term. This time we are going for Webasto because our earlier experience with the Eber wasn't as good as we expected.

As for hi-tech, the engineers who repeatedly had to fix our last system seemed to use hammers and screwdrivers mainly so certainly not all high tech. Or maybe that's why our's was bit unreliable!

Mark, thanks for the parking tips. I will consider if maybe some of your ideas will be useful.

Funnily enough, we have had a number of boats over the years, up to about 50 foot, and done lots of close quarters manoevres, and never so far damaged anything. It's just that I like to make the whole thing as stress and damage free as possible and the blind spots on this boat are more sizeable than other boats that I have been on. And so I just thought that the camers on the cross trees would be helpful. I hope to be able to see either or both flanks of the boat whenever I want, but mainly for moving in marinas. Having said that, it may be handy picking buoys up too if I have some view over the front of the boat. We'll see. Probably never use them after the first few months!

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Old 20-05-2010, 15:05   #33
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Garold, I can feel your nervous excitement from here, and I envy you! I am getting close/closer to buying a used Lagoon 380. Since you are the proud owner of a new Lagoon 400, you obviously like the brand. Any words of wisdom on the 380? I realized this is off-topic, but I was hoping to catch you while I could.

Thank you in advance, and good luck with your boat. Please keep the reports coming it!

Ty
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Old 21-05-2010, 05:03   #34
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Ty, happy to give you few thoughts but obviously each individual may have a differing view of the same yacht.

The 380 we had was purchased new about October 2008. We had lots of kit installed including heating, electronics, generator etc so that we were largely self sufficient. And this boat was great to just anchor out for a few days and feel independent. There were usually only two of us and so we had plenty of space. The boat was also a great platform for everything from entertaining to dinghy launching.

As for quality issues, you get what you pay for. If you look for Mercedes quality at Ford prices you are bound to be disappointed but Beneteau know how to deliver great value-for-money product which pleases most. We only sailed about 1,000 miles in two years and so others can probably give you better feedback on sailing performance, but the boat was great creek crawling, and offshore crossing from UK to France. We spent probably 80 to 100 days per year on board, sometimes weekends and maybe 6 full weeks.

So, why did we decide to upgrade? After writing the above, it's not easy to remember, but the 400 just seems to offer everything that the 380 did and then bit more space, and maybe refinement.

A good survey is recommended because these boats tend to be loved and well used by owners but they are surprisingly rugged and the interior fittings and decor do wear well.

Our main issues were with some of the aftermarket kit some of which we had to have upgraded or refitted. But it was all fine in the end. We went back to the same UK dealer to buy our new boat, and I am a bit more informed this time round.

We managed to use our boat successfully in and out of South coast UK harbours, spending maybe 50% time in marinas or harbours, the rest on visitor buoys or anchored (latter proved much easier for us).

This will be the fourth Beneteau sailing boat that we have owned so we are obviously fine with their quality.

There is a good second hand market for the 380 so at least if you make a huge mistake and it doesn't meet your expectations, you will have an exit route. I always consider this before I buy anything because some boats are especially difficult to sell at the end of your period of useage.

Hope this broadens your info bank. Keep asking anyone for their view because you will be better armed for your big decision.

Cheers

Garold

PS Yes I am excited about our new Lagoon 400 because we have had 8 months with no sailing and there's a gap in my life. And only being on a boat fills it.
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:07   #35
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Out of curiosity, which configuration did you choose for your L400? Wife and I are very intrigued by the 3 cabin/2 head version.
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:16   #36
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We have the 3 cabin 2 bathroom version.

One bathroom each, one bedroom for sleeping, one for clothes, and the third to hide extra non-essentials that I purchase from the chandlers!

No guests. Our teenage sons have already informed us that they have too many obligations to visit us, for the rest of their lives. Don't you just love them?

Cheers

Garold
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Old 21-05-2010, 12:14   #37
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Can you tell me what the motoring performance is like on the L400 with the 40hp motors, as well as what props and what sze you have?

Thanks
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Old 21-05-2010, 12:32   #38
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So far we have just motored from the handover marina to the boatyard for our fitting out session (about 20 miles total journey including a stopover for lunch). So limited motoring to reflect on.

However, thoughts so far..............

We test sailed the L400 with folding props and the reverse gear was very slow to engage. Not sure how the folding props work but they made me feel a bit uneasy about close quarter monoeuvering. So we ordered ours with the fixed blade props. Size of props? Not sure I'm afraid, so whatever Lagoon build with boat with.

The fixed blade props seem to give a bit more boat top speed than we had in the 380 and they seem to make the boat stop and start just as quickly. Given the increase in size and weight, this is fairly impressive to me. So far I feel happy with my choice.

The engines and the drives are located much closer to the stern of each hull than the 380 so this may improve the action of the engine when close quarter manoeuvering but may increase noise when cruising because the props are closer to the surface especially evident in any kind of swell.

However, the rest of the season will tell me more.

One thing that we did notice was that at the helm, the engine noise was less than on the 380 but in the cockpit (ie sat at the outside table) the engine noise seemed louder. Maybe the noise bounces off the roof and the other surfaces. I checked the insulation and layout of the engine rooms and it seems similarly insulated to the 380.

And that's it so far.

Hope this is fills out the picture for you.

Cheers

Garold
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Old 21-05-2010, 13:03   #39
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Great to hear those first impressions. As a rank novice I had the same issue with not being able to judge the gap on the non-helm side. After a couple of 'Jump onto the pontoon' gestures, and 'No' responses, a couple of very cheap tiny VHF radios sorted it out. Clear and easy to pass instructions and receive the 'ten foot, five foot, two foot, I'm on the pontoon. OK, Secure at the bow.' A lorry mirror might also help, even make single handing possible, if not actually preferable.
When you get to sailing I'd like to hear how you get on with halyard loads? Are they higher, getting unmanageable?
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Old 21-05-2010, 23:43   #40
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Eleven, you are local to us. Maybe we will bump into each other some time. Not literally I hope!

On our 380 we had a retrofit electric winch installed at the helm half way through our ownership. We did this in spite of the cost. My wife wasn't strong enough to operate the manual winches and found that she had to rely on me for the winching. Since she is bit of an independent woman she insisted that we try at least one electric winch.

And............. hey presto. It was a pleasure, and I was very pleased that she had been so insistent. It just transformed the sailing experience because we could then both do everything at the helm.

So, on our new L400 I bit the bullet at the ordering stage and we have three electric winches at the helm. This was a standard Lagoon fit with the pack that we selected and may be overkill, but I would guess that many people who have the opportunity to try electric winches will be reluctant to go back to manual ones. I will obviously know more as the season goes by.

However, this decision then means that one has to reassess the DC power needs, and probably make additions to the batteries etc. So it can get a bit expensive and may not be decision to take lightly.

Cheers

Garold
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Old 21-05-2010, 23:56   #41
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Money always makes life easier, especially hauling the Main. We have an electric Anchor Hoist for the same reason by previous owner.
We've been largely grounded lately by this high that seems to rob us of any wind, usually half way there or half way back. Motoring in the sunshine is quite pleasant but lacks that edge somehow. Just been to Malta on a short break and the wind seemed to be f6 most days. And no boat! Typical.
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Old 22-05-2010, 01:21   #42
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Money..... now that's a topic to discuss.

But it doesn't make everything right.

I have one close friend who is comfortably wealthy, could retire if he wanted to ......... at 45. But having become so self absorbed in earning money, drove his partner away with his only child, and now lives a bit of a lonesome life. Seems to spend a lot of time on dating websites looking for his next conquest but is often alone late at night when I call him. Sometimes his evenings are punctuated by a woman who charges for the visit.

I don't have his funds and occasionally feel that I should have been a bit more 'financially driven' especially when we've juggled so much to afford this latest boat, but on the whole, I wouldn't swop many aspects of my life for his money.

And importantly, sailing is a bit of a leveller. We all try to anchor in the same creek, tie up to the same buoy, and lassoe (spelling?) the same piles. When the wind comes, we can all have a fair crack at capturing our bit of it. Some may be lucky enough to have bigger or newer kit than others, but money-spent has a very loose correlation to enjoyment.

Once you are out on the water one already has most of the satisfaction and enjoyment. Have you seen those guys that fish in the middle of Southampton Water from a kayak? I think that they get more enjoyment from their water-borne hobby than a lot of us in much bigger and more costly cruising boats.

Last summer, a windsurfer passed close to us and he was doing about 25 knots. He screamed something which I didn't catch but I think it wasn't words anyway, it was just a long scream of joy as he was in windsurfing nirvana, whizzing past most other wind powered craft on the Solent. He was probably thinking how envious I must have been at his excitement, and freedom. And he was right! I can remember many moons ago being in his shoes.

Nothwithstanding all the above, the wife told me straight........... "new boat needs electric winches from the start. Stop bloody whinging and just tick the box." Always erring on the side of compliance I duly followed orders.

Wind? Bit like money really. Too much seems to disrupt normal life so much that it's hard to enjoy it, and not enough leaves you pleading for more. And when you do have a day that you have just the right amount, the day ends and it goes dark before you have had enough time to enjoy it thoroughly!

Now that's early morning thread drift for you!

Cheers

Garold
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:25   #43
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Originally Posted by Garold View Post
Now that's early morning thread drift for you!
Bravo Garold! Well said...and what a fine (in our view anyway) perspective!

Back onto the original thread and matters more mundane, we are now looking at ordering a new 3 berth, 2-head Lagoon 400...and we would be very grateful for your insightful perspective from where you now stand, albeit only 2.5 weeks into the process with the new L400 for you but also with your history of several earlier vessels. We will use our vessel for extended coastal cruising and some Pacific island-hopping, being away for months at a time when we're aboard, and primarily 2-up with occassional guests...perhaps not that far off your intended use?

Refrigeration and the galley, for example, appear to be issues requiring some focus and priority on the L400. We're currently thinking of going with only the standard frig in the galley (and thus maximising what appears to us to be fairly meagre galley storage by comparison to other vessels this size?) and then adding the cockpit frig (the large upright unit installed under the helm station) and a retro-fitted freezer under the cockpit seat directly aft of the saloon; the latter being where other L400's we've seen put the genset, but we're not going with a genset and instead hoping to manage our electronic needs between solar panels+wind generator+alternator recharging when motoring...and we won't install some of the other high-power usage extras like washing machine and air-conditioning. What refrigeration did you choose?

The moveable seating also appears like there may be better alternatives. What, for example, are you doing with your seating in the master's study area where perhaps a swinging stool might be considered? Are you sticking with the factory stools for the saloon and nav station?

Why did you go for the retrofit, rather than factory, electronics? ...and now showing our ignorance () what are Ambassador rope cutters?

We're really, however, looking for ANY ideas or suggestions you might care to share with someone approaching the process you are now well into...

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Old 04-06-2010, 04:35   #44
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Our new L400 currently just feels a bit better in most respects than the L380 which was well suited to our recreational cruising. Everything is a bit bigger and and maybe stronger. Showers, toilets, water systems etc all seem to have a bit more functionality.

We went with the standard fridge becasue we are never far from a port and the size is good. However, I imagine in more out of the way destinations, one may want to carry more than a weeks worth of provisions. I think that factory fit fridges and freezers should be good if the standard of our fridge is anything to go by. Also, finding wiring runs and locating vents etc is time consuming for retro fit.

We chose to retro fit some items because I wanted more control over the quality of instal. This was a personal choice and no reflection of any feature of the factory fit electronics. I did however, want to try Garmin gps this time so retro was the only way.

My genny instal etc was a replication of the last boat with which I was very happy. Genny is probably unnecessary because we have such a big invertor and battery bank, but I like to be equipped for any eventuality without having to think too much about how much power we have left. Again, a personal decision.

Ambassador rope cutters are blades that go on the drive shaft/leg close to the propeller to chop up any ropes that get caught round the prop. There are a lot of rogue ropes and fishing items round the UK coasts.

As for the swing out office stool, that sounds like great idea. I do believe that you get two standard stools in most packs anyway and they are quite useful in the saloon if you have guests (and to put your own feet on, when you don't!).

We are still in the 'snagging stage' with most of our equipment and so I cannot give a true opinion of the 'joys' of our new boat yet, but we are happy that we have traded up at the moment.

After my first experience last weekend, I had some trepidation moving the boat around the marina which has a current running through it, and have enquired about fitting bow thrusters. It was just a preliminary enquiry but if I still feel any anxiety about the size of the boat later in the season, I may have them installed (when I have replenished my cruising budget).

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Garold
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:46   #45
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So I looked at a lagoon 400 at a boat show-the stern was backed to a dock and access to boat up steps easy-the sides of the boat were a sheer cliff straight up with very high freeboard which goes pretty much to stern-with boat along side a dock I can't see how one boards and gets off these boats- probably designed for Med. mooreing-I also have trouble seeing how a boat with so much freeboard and no dagerboards a short mast sails to weather-the sales person assured me boards where not needed.The interior room was impressive-so far every time I have cought one of these boats out on sound trying to sail in my direction my impression was that they are quite pigy esp. in light air(like on east and west coast most of summer and cruising season) and no pointing ability at all. I understand that these boats have a place away from docks(probably best at anchor warm water charter) and many will be sold -but to me they are somewhat of a fish out of water when it comes to intercoastal cruiseing-I can't speak for open ocean use since my only experience there was with 311 ft DE.
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