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Old 06-06-2010, 00:15   #46
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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
So I looked at a lagoon 400 ...(and) have trouble seeing how a boat with so much freeboard and no dagerboards a short mast sails to weather. 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 and no pointing ability at all.
It would be good to hear from an owner who's now sailing a L400. Our enquiries and observations are quite different to eyschulman's above...

For a start, the L400 mast height is clearly larger than its immediate competitors. The L400 mast height is 20.3m (2 spreaders) which compares, for example, to 17.56m (1 spreader) on the FP Lipari or 18.7m (1 spreader) on the Maverick 400. Equally importantly here, it is our view (based on looking closely at many other competitors) that the L400 sail areas represent very well-designed power-to-weight ratios.

It also states the obvious to say that a dagger board vessel should (properly sailed) point better than a mini-keel vessel, but that is certainly not to say that the L400 will not point or tack as well as (or better than) any other mini-keel vessel...or even better than an inefficiently-sailed dagger board vessel! The choice between dagger board and mini-keel involves lots of issues; there are other very informtive threads covering those issues on this and other forums so we don't need to go into them here, but for our purposes we prefer the mini-keels, for a variety of very good reasons.

As for pointing and tacking, so far we found and read three reviews which all complemented the L400's pointing and tacking. One reviewer specifically noted...

"We made a whole series of upwind tacks and our average over 5 tacks was 87 degrees..."

The three reviews we found also suggest the L400 sails very well in light air. From Cruising World, for example...

"On the day of our Chesapeake Bay test sail, a reasonably large sail plan helped drive the boat at 4.5 to 5.2 knots in 6 to 7 knots of wind"

Another reviewer noted...

"...in very light winds we tacked as far as Aix, Fort Boyard and Ré in the afternoon, gaining ground to windward holding 7 knots speed with 11 knots of wind at 50°".

So either the reviewers are all way off -- We admit reviewers need to be viewed with some care, but repetition reinforces a certain legitimacy -- or, perhaps there were other factors involved in eyschulman's observations out on the Sound...

We would love to hear from an L400 owner though...
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Old 06-06-2010, 00:36   #47
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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.
Thanks much for your efforts in reply Garold...and yes, your thoughts and observations are all very helpful. It is certainly a big vessel. We laughed at your 'thought it grew since you ordered it' remark!

When you speak of your "experience last weekend" leading to thoughts of bow thrusters, are you referring to the limited visibility...or something else?

We admit to some uncertainty (trepidation perhaps?!) about the propellers-aft-of-the-rudder configuration when making sternway. Did you have much occassion on your 1st outing (or since) for manoeuvering to stern? At least your fixed-blade props will perform reliably and constantly -- That's a whole further source of sternway trepidation for us! -- but does that aft propeller configuration allow you to use the rudders much at all going to stern? ...or is all sternway manoeuvering by alternating the twin screws?

Thank you again for sharing your experiences!
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:12   #48
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Hi Don

I am glad your hunt for the ideal boat for you is progressing well. I understand the L400 does sail a lot better than previous lagoons, I think that is one thing that lagoon wanted to achieve from what I have read. Just a correction on the mast and sail area that you gave. The mast clearance of the lagoon is 20.3m, ie height above water. (I think that measurement is given for getting under bridges.) The actual mast will be much shorter. The measurement for the Maverick is the actual mast, ie 18.7m, which is also a twin spreader. The P measurement for the lagoon is 15.66m. This gives the lagoon a 58sqm mainsail with a full roach and a 37sqm genoa. This sail area is equivalent to the standard Maverick rig, the bigger option is 70sqm and 40sqm. I am not sure of the Lipari measurements.

If you go for the lagoon I would love to hear how your purchase goes, how you spec the boat etc. You never know we might still end up at the same anchorage one day.

Cheers
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:20   #49
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Hi Paul

Thanks for the clarification(s). I did notice that the Lagoon spec was "mast clearance" (for passing under bridges, as you suggest) and that measure seemed appropriate for the remark in the Forum prompting our response...and the Lipari is the same ("air draft") so at least those two figures are apples-to-apples. The L400 square-top main is 60sq m and the equivalent Lipari rig is 56sq m main + 33sq m genoa. As regards the Maverick, we were reasonably confident Vagabund (the only Maverick in our first-hand experience, of course) only had one spreader, but age and memory may be playing tricks with us there(?)...and we weren't certain about either what was meant in the quoted Maverick standard mast height or the 'super' rig you are pioneering; I don't think we ever saw any specs for the latter?

Perhaps "progessing well" overstates our search. We were rather materially delayed with our Maverick (mis?)adventure and we're now trying to come back up to speed on other fronts. You will appreciate that the search is a slow process done properly, but we're probably moving off the thread here. So I'll respond to your comments about specs etc in a private message.

It's always good to hear from you though...and, as for sharing an anchorage, that sounds just grand, but you'll certainly be on the water a LOT sooner! We still follow your vessel's progress with great interest and even greater confidence that your Maverick will be a splendid vessel indeed!
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:52   #50
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Hello Garad, most interested in your feedback, early days yet of course, thanks. My 400 arrives here in Melbourne Australia late August early September. You have got me a worried on the reversing issue, I must say I did not notice any problem on my test sail but did not take much notice clearly I should have. I chose to order the extras from the factory, the biggest heart stopping cost was the gen set with reverse cycle air, did consider having it all fitted here to save money but decided not to as I felt a comfort zone that the factory fit would be better as they would have the electrics etc. all nicely sorted, only time will tell, interestingly a new 400 owner here had a gen set fitted with air after it arrived, I here on the grapevine things have not gone smoothly. How did they deliver your 400? not that far from France, mine is delivered on a commercial ship, on the dealers advice I paid to have it wrapped in plastic down to the decks as I understand. My dealer recently returned from the Lagoon factory and the boat show, he advised they have made a couple of small improvments to the 400, the gen set fuel can now be switched from either tank and the bimini has had a another support fitted, he also mentioned the heating in the 400 worked very nicely, apparently it was very cold when he was on the display 400. I do hope all goes well with your fit out and I look foreward to further reports. Regarding eyschulm’s comments my test sail proved excellent pointing ability and excellent light air performance one of the reasons I wrote the cheque out.
Regards Peter. Melbourne Australia
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:34   #51
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My guess is that cruiseing cat sailors have a very different consept and approch to evaluation of sailing performance than that which I hold. Hearsay is hearsay-So whats the PHRF handicap #- In a fleet of mixed 38-40 footers after a 30 mile bash to weather in 8K or 15K who gets to port first A 400? So far my 32 foot singlehanded mono has not been pased by a 400(quite to the contrary) or any other crusing cat in this catagory-It's not that I don't understand multis-Some years ago I did all the research to have a fast custom tri built an improved version of Magic Hemple which I saied for 11 years on east and west coasts so I know personally the speed and sailing potential of the multi format- While the 400 has some fine attributes sailing performane I very much doubt-reaitive performance pigy vs pigy that may be another issue -the one I think we are seeing discussed here. If these boats had any real sailing performance potential the race comunity would pounce on them. If you want to get some idea how a 400 sails enter it in a series of PHRF or similar races especially the round the bouy type and record actual finish times against other boats-then we would have something to talk about.
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:12   #52
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My guess is that cruiseing cat sailors have a very different consept and approch to evaluation of sailing performance than that which I hold.
We agree!

When you went aboard the L400 at the boat show did you really think the vessel was built (or promoted as) a round-the-bouy racer? Your original remarks commented about light air and pointing...

The L400 in light air on a reach against your mono would be interesting. I've certainly breezed past some well-rigged monos when reaching with some very pedestrian (cruising!) cats.

There are few (none in my experience) cats that will out-point a racing mono, but no-one who buys (or seriously looks at buying) a cruising cat expects that sort of pointing ability. That's a bit like looking at a limmo and then comparing the limmo with a Ferrari for racing performance.

Greetings peterp! Great to hear from you...and we'll bet you're very excited about the imminent arrival of your L400!? Does she have a name yet?
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:21   #53
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Can a Lagoon 400 sail really fast?

Well guys, I've been out on my L400 this weekend, and I don't want to upset anyone, especially eyschulman who seems to be very keen to arm wrestle someone, but the answer to the question has to be ................... no.

We motor-sailed 5 miles in less than 5 knots of wind to a river anchorage. We met friends on their Legend 50, and another friend on a Jeaneau 45 tied alongside us, whilst we all enjoyed afternoon beers and snacks in the cockpit of our boat. Everyone agreed that the L400 was the best of the three boats to do this on.

We then stayed overnight comfortable at anchor and awoke to 25 knot winds. Our friends from the Legend came over in their dinghy for breakfast because it was too windy to eat in their cockpit. Five of us ate a bacon and egg fry-up sat in our cockpit.

We stayed a little longer to read, and then gently sailed back to our marina under jib alone in about 16 knots of tail wind. We averaged about 7-8 knots.

We weren't the fastest boat on the water, but no one raced past us. And we drank coffee on the way whilst sailing very upright.

I can only reflect on my boat use, but this is the type of stuff that Lagoons do really well. This boat enables my wife and I, and sometimes friends, to really enjoy a weekend on the water.

We watched a couple of race boats with crew on board race across the Solent. Actually they were going faster than us, but they were all hanging off the rail, were wet through, and were half my age. Probably not the type of sailing that I want to do.

So, if you want a race boat, you should probably look elsewhere, but if you want a cruising multihull, then this boat has lots of attributes. Oh, and it does tack. A bit better than the L380 did, but not as good as my Beneteau 211 or 311.

Just my thoughts guys.

Cheers

Garold
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:31   #54
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Same old same old.

Hard on the wind I am happy if I can point as well and sail as fast as a similar cruising mono. In our location club social races I do that easily - I seem to be as quick as and pointing as high as Bavaria 38s and similar. Off the wind I am significantly quicker than them and slightly quicker DDW. All in comfort and protection. I would expect to be quicker than any lagoon to 40 foot.

The Lagoon 400 isn't a boat for me, (Its partly about the helms - I couldn't own a boat where I couldn't steer the boat from the windward side.) but that doesn't mean its a bad boat and that doesn't mean it doesn't fulfil its purpose.

Dear Mr eyschulman I am relatively sure that Mr Garold didn't buy the boat for round the cans racing. He does have something to talk about as you put it - all the wonderful and happy cruising he will be doing.
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:33   #55
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L400 freeboard

eyschulman

I just noticed your comment about the freeboard.

You are right. We moored our boat bow-in-first last week and my wife couldn't get off to make the mooring ropes fast, because the stern was sticking out beyond the end of the pontoon.

Being a typical bloke I told her that I would sort it out for her and I jumped down onto the pontoon. It was much further than I thought and I kind of barrel-rolled when I hit the wood. But the real problems came when I had to try to climb back on board. It was like scrambling up a climbing wall with no foot or hand holds. I made it in a 'fat-bloke-climbing-a-fence' type of style. And I rolled back onto the boat under the lowest wire on the side rails. Class eh?

I went straight to the chandlers and purchased on of those 'inflatable step fenders' for the next time this may happen.

But the lesson for us is, to do everything possible to moor stern first or onto the pontoon with the stern close to it to allow us to step off. Not ideal I know, but a compromise necessary for this boat.

I am currently looking at passarelles but so far they are very pricey.

Cheers

Garold
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:34   #56
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We watched a couple of race boats with crew on board race across the Solent. Actually they were going faster than us, but they were all hanging off the rail, were wet through, and were half my age. Probably not the type of sailing that I want to do.

So, if you want a race boat, you should probably look elsewhere, but if you want a cruising multihull, then this boat has lots of attributes.
Ah Garold, you do have a wonderful and happy way of expressing yourself! Hope we meet up on some exquisite anchorage one day, but I guess that's probably not all that likely given that we're half-way around the globe from each other. What's your vessel's name?
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:57   #57
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I went straight to the chandlers and purchased on of those 'inflatable step fenders' for the next time this may happen.

But the lesson for us is, to do everything possible to moor stern first or onto the pontoon with the stern close to it to allow us to step off. Not ideal I know, but a compromise necessary for this boat.

I am currently looking at passarelles but so far they are very pricey.
Yes, the freeboard height is certainly an issue to be managed with the L400. The benefits, of course, are the great volumes inside the hulls and the wide flat decks on top, plus (theoretically) bettter hull performance and less green water on board in big seas, but the disadvatges are as Garold notes.

We included gates in the safety rails in our specs -- I think they will be retro-fitted, but I'm not certain of that -- anticipating the difficulty of boarding side-on.

The step fenders sound like an excellent additional item.

There is also a special type of boat hook that includes an ingeneous system at the outboard end which permits quite precise placing of berthing lines from a distance. We saw it demonstrated at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show but I can't now remember the maker's name. I did, however, find a link that describes what appears to be the exact same function performed by an attachment to a standard boat hook...and I'll (try to!) provide the link here...

(WO/2004/033286) BOAT HOOK ATTACHMENT
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Old 06-06-2010, 17:07   #58
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D&D

Our boat name is SARASA. It means 'swan' in my wife's mother tongue. The Lagoon salesman and I have given our boat a good looking over from many angles, and we both have reasons to find it attractive. But neither of us has caught the angle which transforms this rather modern, bluff, squared-off vessel into a swan.

But if the wife thinks it looks like a swan, then so be it, and that's the name!

Also, you mentioned my panicked phone call to the bow-thruster guys last weekend. Well, my anxiety resulted from trying to get the boat into our new mooring which is based in a marina with a fast river current running through it. The river was at full stream (2-3 knots) and there was a 15 knot crosswind which kept knocking the bows off line. I did not have a disaster, but I just struggled to keep everything under comfortable control. Since the berth is only about 3 foot wider than the boat I was very keen to keep it in line which was tricky with the current pushing me forcefully backwards into the berth whilst the wind was trying to veer the bow.

It was bit better this weekend, and over time I may feel cooler about it. Just giving an honest account of how I felt really. Interestingly, this weekend, I went about the whole thing with more willingness to use higher revs and boss the boat against the force of tide and wind, and it seemed to work.

Peterp,

in response to a couple of your points..........

Our boat was sailed round from W France by a delivery crew. Not ideal but I guess it means that the big bits will hopefully have been tested over a 600 mile sail.

We had most of our kit fitted here because I am really detailed in my wishes. So, at least getting it done close to our cruising ground, I can spec such details as the size of the genny, the sound insulation, the location of the heater outlets, the brand of boiler etc. etc. Probably unnecessary and certainly lots more time consuming than getting it done at the factory, but this suited me. I am sure that your kit will be well fitted to the boat. I understand that some items such as generators are fitted during the build because access is easier.

So far, our Webasto custom fit heating is working well. Then again, summer is just starting here so the weather isn't really such a tough test.

Cheers guys.

Garold
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:32   #59
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I fully understand the comfort of a big cat and a big motor yacht or houseboat- that is not the point- the point is that there are expressions(including the sales personal at show) of excellant pointing and light air performance -and what I am asking is -on what scale? compared to all sail boats-compared to multis- It is of little value to go out on a test sail with out adequate test horse or proper calibrated insruments and declare a boat a top performer-even the cup pros end up useing another boat over multiple days and different conditions as a gauge because a single boat is hard to judge. While racing is not everybodys cup of tea(no longer mine) it does serve a purpose for the potential boat buyer since all kinds of boats(even a few big cats) are raced and records and handicap data can be compared. There is a lot of money in selling big cats and the dellusion of great performance can add up to big bucks. Enjoy the comfort of the big 400 cats -but if you are going to tell me they are great sailing machines where are the facts. Be extra careful getting on and off those ciff sided comfort dens.
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Old 06-06-2010, 19:44   #60
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Lagoon 400

Hello D&D I note you are a Sydney based soul, not sure if you have ordered a 400? or still doing due process, yes we are getting a bit excited or apprehensive, scared maybe, terrified perhaps, or what the hell have I done, anyway there is no law that says I have to take it out of the marina now is there. Just to touch on the speed thing, eyschulman comments are quite correct a cruising cat is just that cruising, if I wanted to win a race I would ask Roger at Lightwave yachts to build me a Raider, I just cut and pasted below off Lightwave website for clarification.
The Raider One Design can reach speeds of 25knots offshore in 20-25 knots wind. It will fly a hull in 12 knots, creating a spectacular sight.
I don't want to labour on this well discussed subject but I have spent the last 6 years studying 38 / 40ft cats, at first I took a lot of notice of comments on speed from various venders, I then started going on test sails, after a long time it occurred to me that there was very little difference in speed between the cruising cats on my short list, in reality they all seem to do around the 7 to 10kts with winds of 10 to 18knts, in my view assuming your cat of choice has a speed capability that meets the norm, a cruising cat speed is arguably the most irrelevant. So Garold back to the thread, on the subject of access to the 400 I can't imagine trying to climb up or down the side of those hulls as you did, by the way what is a 'passarelles' what ever it is I might have to get one. The access to the roof deck I found awkward I had to go around to the mast and used that to help me up, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this point, I intend to have a step made, I thought next to the bimini might work well as one could step straight from the seat around and up on the roof, it's a pity Lagoon did not fit a foot recess just next to the bimini, I say next to the bimini simply because the frame is a ready made hand hold, they have fitted a foothold in the hull next to the rear steps which does help one to swing around from the pontoon. On the subject of visibility from the steering station as I recall I could see both bows quite OK, but it was back in December 09 memory may have got a bit foggy. I guess one's age comes in to play I am a fit and healthy 69 (hopefully) still pass all the medicals to maintain my private pilot's licence, but because I did have a fall some years ago on a Sydney 38 and broke two ribs (ouch) I have been very conscious of a cats ergonomics’, the 400 by and large I feel has met a high level safety from a day to day moving around point of view plenty of things to hang on to, and nice flat decks, not to mention the starboard owners hull which in my view is the best in buisness. Well Garold keep the reports coming through good or bad I am very interested as you could imagine and I'm sure there are many others that are as well, as always just my thoughts.
Kind regards Peter. Melbourne Australia
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