As someone who signed on to buy a 420 very early (before the first hull
splashed), but then backed out of it (after seeing, and sailing, a real one), I have my theories. I've also kept up with the reports from the various owners participating in the 420 owner's group.
Some of them are people who have simply finished with their cruises and are ready to move on. No doubt some of them have finished early due to the economic problems that have affected many of us (yours truly, included).
The 420 has simply not lived up to the promises made by Lagoon
. Early on, Lagoon was telling us that it would motor
power alone for 4 hours. The reality is no where near that. They were saying that it would regenerate the propulsion
banks -- roughly 8 hours of sailing at 6 knots would refill the bank (assuming you weren't pulling a lot more out of it at the same time). The reality is that there have been many mixed reports about regeneration. Some owners manage to see "some" regeneration, although nowhere near what was promised. Others have seen very little, if any, regeneration. When regenerating, there is a definite performance penalty. Lagoon initially said that it would be somewhere between 1/2 knot
to 1 knot
; the reality has been almost always at least 1 knot and typically around 2. This also is related to the sailing qualities.
Lagoon initially said that the boat would weigh (using the new Euro definitions) in at 28,000 pounds. That was very heavy, but they promised it would be the "honest" weight. It actually came in at just under 34,000 pounds. Another 6000, but with no increased sail area or other changes to try and compensate.
Lagoon initially said that the boat would motor
using about 1/2 the fuel consumption
of conventional diesels. Well, it turns out that the big 21 kw genset (although you could buy it with a smaller, 13 kw genset, they strongly recommended against it as being insufficient), when you're motoring it is running at full output, using a bit over 3 gallons an hour, according to Onan, the manufacturer. That is actually more that a couple of 40 hp Yanmars running at cruising speed -- quite a bit more.
The hybrid system is quite complicated with lots of converters, cooling
fans and controller circuit boards. There have been a number of problems and Lagoon has put out several revisions. To their credit, Lagoon has continued to support these boats even after the warranty was over. At some point, though, they're going to stop that. They simply can't do it indefinitely. Maybe they already have, I don't know.
The 420 is simply not a very good sail boat. All that accommodation space (and, it is a wonderful floating condo, very nice) has resulted in a boat with high windage, fat hulls, and big flat and fat transoms. There's not a lot of sail area, even with the gennaker
. Most owners are reporting that it will do 6 to 7 knots only when the wind
is 20+ on a reach. For a cat, that's pretty slow. If you want to regenerate, too, then take another knot or 2 off of that.
So, my guess is that at least of the owners have simply had enough. While the diesel
boats solve many of the problem associated with the hybrid system, the diesels don't solve the sailing qualities.