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Old 02-02-2008, 15:59   #1
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Lagoon 420 Advice for Buying

We are on the verge of buying a new Lagoon 420 Diesel and are reviewing a sales contract. It seems as though dealers want buyers to take all of the risk which is frightful. Therefore it is critical to find out how honest a dealer is. We would appreciate any information about and/or experiences with some of the following people and companies; Rod Gibbons, Don Margraf, Cruising Cats USA, Ian Vale, Sound Yachting Group, Staley Weidman, Catamaran Co. Thank you.
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Old 02-02-2008, 16:08   #2
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CatCo have been fairly decent. Insurance covers the risks.
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Old 02-02-2008, 16:30   #3
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I'm not so sure I should offer this response - at the risk of offending some.

But are you SURE you want a L420? Absolutely sure? Really, really sure? What other boats did you rule out? Are you putting it into charter?

Dave
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Old 02-02-2008, 21:32   #4
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Avanga

Can you describe what you mean by take all the risk? Do you mean a non-refundable deposit? Dollar exchange risk? I am not sure what you mean.

Also, I am so sick of L420 bashing. There are multiple 420 owners out there, sailing around the world, and having a great time.

I will be closing on my 420 Monday with Rod Gibbons. I will let you know how it goes.

My 420 is named Avanga, after Robin Lee Graham's crazy cat. Like so many, he inspired me towards this adventure after reading dove 20 years ago.


-John
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:42   #5
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Way to go John. Congrats.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:00   #6
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RE: comments on brokers, dealers, etc. I don't think that posing the question to people on the Internet, while understandably convenient, is likely to get you an objective opinion. Someone may respond and tell you a horror story, and it may be true, but just about everybody who has worked as a dealer of boats, cars, houses, etc. has had at least a few of those and they don't necessarily reflect the general practice of the person. On the other hand, you may hear nothing, or only from people who are generally satisfied, and that won't protect you from being a "horror story."

My advice: Consult an attorney knowledgeable in contracts for whatever will be the controlling jurisdiction. Ask the attorney to do some due diligence searching on the broker/dealer. Yes, it will cost you some money -- maybe 2 or 3 hours of attorney time, equivalent to perhaps 1/1000 of the cost of your anticipated purchase. Do it before you sign. That is the time when you still hold all the cards. You will get objective, legally sound information and advice based on the professional knowledge of someone who has only your interests in mind and no axe to grind or ego to bolster.

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Old 03-02-2008, 10:39   #7
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John,

We also have been dealing with Rod. He sent us a proposed Purchase Agreement
(PA) that has the sole purpose of protecting Rod and Cruising Cats. Some of
the things that I see as risks are: The boat description doesn't include
most of the equipment listed in the official Lagoon specification booklet-
so what guarantee is there that the boat delivered will have all of the
basic equipment. The warrantee is supposedly by Lagoon but there is not copy
of it in the PA so the extent of the warrantee is undefined and there is no
legal obligation to either CC or Lagoon to provide a warrantee. The PA
requires a final payment 15 days prior to the boat being completed on a
specified day but there is no guarantee that the boat will be completed on
the specified day. If you have been following some of the stories on the
cruiser form you will be aware of several instances of the Dealer/Lagoon
taking the final payment then not delivering the boat for up to six more
months (I also have some inside information confirming this from a previous
Lagoon dealer). A fair document would include the same $200/day penalty to
CC/Lagoon for not delivering the boat within the 15 day period of receiving
payment that applies to the buyer for not making payment in time. Then there
is the risk of shipping. Basically, the buyer owns the boat when it leaves
the factory so if the shipping company trashes the boat or the freighter
sinks then neither CC or Lagoon has any responsibility- and of course the
shipping co. is only contractually obligated to CC which has no
responsibility to the buyer for loss or damage - a lawyers dream and a
buyers worst nightmare if something happens. Then there is the paragraph
that removes all responsibility from CC, Lagoon, and the shipper for
anything that happens and also relieves them from incidental and
consequential damages. I could go on but I think that I have made my point.
I have been trying to find some information on Rod and his company but have
so far turned up little. In order to sign such a one sided document I would
have to have ultimate trust and faith in Rod including referrals from
previous customers. I'm not saying anything bad about Rod, just that I don't
know and this type of document raises all kinds of suspicions.

Alaskagator
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:52   #8
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I'd be interested to know if this is normal for other boats. It would be much more comforting to know the manufacturer and/or dealer had skin in the game but this seems typical for Lagoon and their dealers. The question then is is this normal for the industry?
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:55   #9
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As far as payment of the boat is concerned it appears to me that CC and Lagoon want to make sure that you or any individual can meet the full amount on completion.
I would offer to pay by International Transferable Letter of Credit on sight of ownership documents ie when the documents are passed to a third party ie a shipping company, this way both CC and Lagoon are assured of their money and you will be getting your boat when it is finished.
With regards to the other issues, surely a simple insurance policy will cover any other eventualities.
Are they not flexible on any of the issues?
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:07   #10
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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
I'm not so sure I should offer this response - at the risk of offending some.

But are you SURE you want a L420? Absolutely sure? Really, really sure? What other boats did you rule out? Are you putting it into charter?

Dave
I have no dog in the fight, Dave, but you've piqued my curiosity: What's the problem with Lagoon (or is it just that particular model)?
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:47   #11
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I have a dog in the fight

AG,

I signed my PA with Catco in December of 2005, if you can believe that. I've been involved in this process for over two years. A lawyer reviewed the Catco PA which basically says you give money, we give boat and if anything goes wrong we go to arbitration.

I've been dealing with Rod for longer than that, without a contract for much of the time. My sale transferred to Rod because he had given me much better advice, up front, regarding the purchase than the nice folks at CatCo and I am a West Coast buyer. I wish I would have listened to Rod and bought a L440 when the dollar was strong. Really, the L420 is turning out to be a great cruiser. The diesel version shed thousands of pounds and gives you and extra 0.5 to 1 knot on most points of sail based on limited data.

I must say, after all the trials and tribulations, Mr. Gibbons really came through. Except for a period where nobody knew what was going on with the Hybrid, he was a pleasure to work with. Lagoon was not open about the initial Hybrid problems. Rod was unable to provide much help during the media blackout. The 420 owners group was anxious and quite a few canceled. I was going to cancel myself, but I just could not find a better option for my cruising needs than the 420. Man, what a ship!

Rod talked Lagoon into moving my delivery date back twice. I wanted more time to cut and run. He even lower the price further when a misunderstanding arose over options. He gave back his commission on the unwanted but ordered options. Rod also arranged, at minimal cost to me, to take care of everything in France, including berthing, care and feeding until my family and I arrive. Then his representative will return to France to check the boat out to my family.

I will know more in a few weeks. It is really not over for me, but since Lagoon is eating the cost of two years of a plummeting dollar, I going to cut them some slack and relax. Yes, once that boat drops in the water at the factory, she is now YOURS. Will will need full insurance. Rod has been great in a difficult situation. I don't see how I could not recommend him based on my experience to date.

As Richard says, my anecdote may not have statistical meaning. Hey Richard, how about and an update?

-John
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
I have no dog in the fight, Dave, but you've piqued my curiosity: What's the problem with Lagoon (or is it just that particular model)?
I don't have a stake here either, but at one time I did and was just trying to give Alaskagator a hint that he (or she) should make sure he knows what he's choosing due to the reported inaccuracies surrounding the early advertising of this model.

Several years ago the L440 was at the top of my list and when the 420 was introduced (pre-production) the Lagoon dealer I had been communicating with provided me "advance" info and drawings, hoping I'd order one of the first hulls through him instead of waiting on used 440s to come on the market. The 420 was touted as a fast cruiser with displacement comparable to similarly sized cats and electric drives to boot. Fast was emphasized. The hard sell was on. I thought about it hard but eventually declined to take the bait because I didn't want to buy anybody's new boat and especially not a new model yet to hit the water. Also, I was suspicious of the claimed displacement based on the extension of the bridge deck towards the ends - making the interior volume quite high for the boat's length. This suggested to me at the time that weight was being saved elsewhere - possibly in strength or quality?

Boy, am I glad I passed. Had I took that bait to learn later that the displacement was thousands of pounds off (not to mention the electric drive problems) I would have been totally pissed and would have looked for ways out of the contract on the basis of misrepresentation by Lagoon. (I don't know if the contract wording would have permitted this.)

My point - this model was originally advertised as a roomy, fast cruiser with grossly unstated displacement and it would not have satisfied my particular desires. They got the roomy part right.

This is not 420 bashing. This is criticism of Lagoon on the way they brought this particular model to market. I like Lagoons in general. But for some reason they really screwed up this example. I'm glad the 420 meets others' desires and needs and I can believe it does so very well if one's priority is comfort and roominess. I sincerely hope they improve the electic drive technology (for the good of sailing in general) by dumping the high storage component idea and going direct diesel-electric like ships and locomotives have been for years. In the meantime, the diesel option looks to be the smart way to go.

Dave
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Old 10-03-2008, 19:05   #13
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Originally Posted by Alaskagator View Post
We are on the verge of buying a new Lagoon 420 Diesel and are reviewing a sales contract. It seems as though dealers want buyers to take all of the risk which is frightful. Therefore it is critical to find out how honest a dealer is. We would appreciate any information about and/or experiences with some of the following people and companies; Rod Gibbons, Don Margraf, Cruising Cats USA, Ian Vale, Sound Yachting Group, Staley Weidman, Catamaran Co. Thank you.
I was originally working with the catamaran company and switched to Ian Vale. I find him to be very honest, ethical, and flexible about some of the points raised in this chain. If you want to correspond outside of this forum I am at CallahanMichaelF@aol.com
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Old 11-03-2008, 13:24   #14
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you for your input. We have signed a purchase agreement for a 420 to be built beginning in June. We expect to take delivery on the West Coast in mid Sept. All of our contract concerns were adequately addressed by Rod at Cruising Cats and we feel very comfortable with our deal. Also, Lagoon has provided us with a $2K rebate. Now we are faced with the outfitting process as we chose not to order most of the factory options because we found out that they were either overpriced or for outdated equipment that the manufacturers no longer recommended. Again, thanks to all.
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Old 11-03-2008, 13:33   #15
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Congrats.....
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