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Old 14-12-2017, 04:29   #1
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Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

Hello, I posted this earlier on Liveaboards forum but since I only got one answer, I'll try one more time. We are fairly experinced sailors, much more on monos than multis but have done quite a few trips on cats as well. W have owned a Cyclades 39.3 which is selling right now. We plan to do a 3 year RTW starting from Canary Islands; it will be September 2019 with myself, my wife and our 2 kids age 3 and 6. Now to the boat. After much head scratching we narrowed our choices to either Lagoon 380 or an early Super Maramu. While there is a substantial lenght difference, they both offer similar living space althrough storage is much better on Amel. The Lagoon will be a simple craft, equipped with solar panels, simple 12V watermaker, no generator. Super Maramu is heavy on systems, has a generator, heck even the sails are driven by electric motors. However, the cruising community is mostly very positive about the Maramu. The price is similar at about 170k EUR ready to go. Maintenance I guess will be similar or slightly more on AMel since althrough the cat has 2 engines they are much smaller and the Amel has so many systems. We are not really tempted by the luxuries of the Amel, more the seaworthiness. Saying that we have met the DreamYacht base manager in Raiatea last month and he spoke very highly of Lagoon 380 and it's abilities on high seas. So, which one would you choose and why? I know it's mostly down to personal preferences but I'm looking forward to learn from your comments.
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Old 14-12-2017, 04:57   #2
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pirate Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

The Lagoon 380 owners version.. they sail well and offer opportunities for more privacy than monos.. less draft.. Drying out ability for hull maintanance in those out of the way places with no lift out facilities.. two engines so a redunancy factor (make sure both engines can charge batteries) and the fact the Amel is as you say 'all the bells and whistles'...
I prefer things simple and self maitainable as much as possible..
I like them..
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Old 14-12-2017, 06:20   #3
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

I seriously don't think you can compare the two, just so different.
Ones a small ship and ones not.
Condition being equal I'd go the Amel.
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Old 14-12-2017, 07:03   #4
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

To state the obvious, they're two VERY different boats which is probably why you didn't get much of a response the first time.

I've sailed Lagoon 440's and on a 450, as well as spending a lot of time around a couple of 380's. We sailed on and off with one across the South Pacific a few years ago while on our Amel SM.

If I was going to do the Caribbean again or the 'Coconut Milk Run' to NZ or Australia, a well equipped Lagoon 380 would be high on my list due to the living space advantages and relatively benign sailing conditions. That said, a well maintained SM would probably still win out for me because I know them so well, I think it would be easier to single hand, and the layout worked so well for us.

For continuing on to the Southern Indian ocean, I'd definitely lean more towards the SM because of the reputation for much stronger tradewinds and relentless large beam swell friends have described......but that's my preference. Others will point out numerous smaller Lagoons and Leopards that have done it safety and they're correct. It's a personal choice.

As for the concern about 'all the systems' on the Amel, I'm not convinced there'll be a significant difference once you get a Lagoon 380 fully equpped with watermaker, solar systems, high output alternators on the engines, autopilot (including installed backups or extensive spares) etc. The only additional systems you've got on the Amel that I can think of are:
-Electric furlers (3 electric motors & gearboxes that I rebuilt at the start then probably spent a couple of days in total 'maintaining'...replaced a couple of brushes and had one motor rebuilt for $75 in Fiji..... over the next 3 years). Way more than offset by not having to get off-watch crew up in the middle of the night for sail changes!
- Air conditioning (but some Lagoons 380's also have this)...... we used ours for brief periods at docks in Grenada, and I ran it once a month to keep the system operational. If it had crapped out, I wouldn't have repaired it as we preferred being at anchor and almost never used it.
- Washing machine..... Any maintenance there is more than offset by the time finding laundromats in new ports. With a family of 4 we loved the convenience (luxury) of having it onboard. Not necessary by any stretch though.... so it's a maintenance item if you choose to keep it running.....
- Generator. Engine maintenance would be the same as the 2nd engine in the catamaran. The generator is potentially more maintenance, but the Lagoon will still have a charger and inverter anyway.

Finally, keep in mind that most of the long-term cruising boat systems (ie. high output alternators, backup autopilots, watermaker, even downwind sail setups, large solar system, SSB if you decide, etc.) are custom to the Lagoon and will vary in how well they're designed and integrated into the boat. The only one on that list that's an add-on to the Amel is the solar system. The rest are part of the package and were very well engineered both in how well they were integrated together, but also for maintainability. That does make a difference in maintainability and reliability in my opinion and could easily close the 'maintenance gap' you're suggesting between the two.
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Old 14-12-2017, 08:52   #5
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

If the complexity of the supermaramu is make your
Decision difficult. Consider a Amel mango pre 84 with conventional mast and winches. It's same layout. If you deside on the mango then you start all over. Mango or S/maramu. The S/maramu most important fact having small kids. 5 watertight bulkheads plus the double floor if you were to rip the keel of.

Best of luck with decision.
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Old 14-12-2017, 08:52   #6
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

Its a personal choice that you have to make. Sometimes you will wish you had the Amel, and sometimes you will wish you had the Lagoon. I agree with your choice NOT to take the Cyclades, but I personally wouldn't choose either the Amel or the Lagoon
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:10   #7
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

I love multihull for speed and the room. Hard to get wife on mono after seeing cats. The long response from Hobie is full of a very insightful and experienced sailor.

There simply is no substitute for waterline. The other thing about smallish cats is their performance suffers the more weight you add. Those are two factors I would consider carefully. Another factor is dependent on you. How do you feel about your IQ with mechanical things? Things always break... not if they will break... but when!?!

If I was crossing oceans it would be the larger boat. If it was med or Carib it would be the cat. You can cross the ocean in a 15 foot open dingy if everything goes right. The small cat can make it also. For me the safety factor of waterline and capacity rule.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

For RTW?

Amel

I’m a cat guy by the way.

If just the Pacific and island hoping maybe the 38. RTW not its intend purpose.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:23   #9
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

This is kind of an odd question. Kind of like asking should I buy a Porsche 911 or a Escalade? Both will get you to the store for a jug of milk...

Hobie_ind said about everything I'd say about an Amel. They are awesome boats, and very well built. Fit and finish is excellent. Their division into multiple watertight compartments is, as far as I know, unique in boats their size.

I used to teach sailing--both monohull and catamaran. When people asked me about catamarans like Lagoons I told them they would be very happy with them if they went into it expecting to have a motorsailor. Before the catpeople jump all over me, there is nothing wrong with a motorsailor. But it is a different beast than a sailboat.

When somebody says their Lagoon or other condomararn sails "well" I always want to know exactly what that means and compared to what. There ARE catamarans that sail well, and make VMG upwind like a champ and sail off downwind well. Lagoons... not so much. (Lagoon polar speed diagrams are on the net, google them) But sailing prowess is NOT everything. If it was all our boats would look the same. For island hopping, with a large group of people aboard, I LOVE catamarans. The space and shallow draft are nice.

"Catamarans have two engines, so redundancy." Well... I'd like to watch you pull your lagoon into a dock with one engine... For anything you can do with one engine on the catamaran, I can do with my sails. So we're even. And I'd point out that having two engines means you have twice as many moving parts to break. You HAVE to have twice as many failures.

An Amel with 5 watertight compartments won't sink when holed AND won't capsize so that whole tiresome argument goes away.

Catamarans have space, space and more space. You have to be careful you don't fill up the space with "stuff" because they are more weight sensitive than (most) monohulls.

If you have sailed both, you already know if you prefer the seamotion of one or the other. It's a matter of taste.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:23   #10
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
I love multihull for speed and the room. Hard to get wife on mono after seeing cats. The long response from Hobie is full of a very insightful and experienced sailor.

There simply is no substitute for waterline. The other thing about smallish cats is their performance suffers the more weight you add. Those are two factors I would consider carefully. Another factor is dependent on you. How do you feel about your IQ with mechanical things? Things always break... not if they will break... but when!?!

If I was crossing oceans it would be the larger boat. If it was med or Carib it would be the cat. You can cross the ocean in a 15 foot open dingy if everything goes right. The small cat can make it also. For me the safety factor of waterline and capacity rule.
Alansmith nails it for me. Family of 4 on a 38
circumnavigation just too much stuff.

Best advise we got, as much waterline as you can afford when it come to cats.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:36   #11
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

i am guessing lagoon will be many years younger, assuming same price.

there will be extra maintenance with amel due to difference in age.

And potential for smells in amel is higher due to age, and nature of monohull spaces (less ventilated) that may make some people seasick more often - which may turn trip into lesser experience.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:50   #12
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
i am guessing lagoon will be many years younger, assuming same price.

there will be extra maintenance with amel due to difference in age.

And potential for smells in amel is higher due to age, and nature of monohull spaces (less ventilated) that may make some people seasick more often - which may turn trip into lesser experience.
Smell has nothing to do with age. It has to do with the owner. My boat is a 1983 and its perfectly clean and free of odors.
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Old 14-12-2017, 09:56   #13
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

I can understand the difficulty in choice. Even as a Lagoon owner, and based on a paper review, given this choice I'd go for the larger boat - the Amel - for bluewater cruising. Good points where its better equipped though that also means more maintenance if you capable of that.

Ive been on a few of each and sailed the 380 - some of these who have circumnavigated. I always thought the 380 a little small for circumnavigating but of course its entirely possible - and is done. The Amel is a superb bluewater cruiser but older ones need a good survey (a friend of ours found wood eating termites that were missed in his survey) so having thorough surveys done should be part of your decision making.

Good luck. Your on a great journey!
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Old 14-12-2017, 10:05   #14
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Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

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And potential for smells in amel is higher due to age, and nature of monohull spaces (less ventilated) .
FWIW, we never found this to be an issue, and ours was a mid-1990's model without the 'forced ventilation' system found on post-2000 SM's. I agree for the galley and main area on the Lagoon, but I don't see where the cabins in a Lagoon 380 are going to be more ventilated than a typical monohull.

One of the things about Amel's having all of the mechanical systems in a single watertight compartment accessed from the cockpit is that you get virtually NONE of the typical older boat smells (bilges, diesel, oil, etc, etc) in the living area.

Is the bilge area under the engines on the Lagoon 380 fully isolated from the rest of the hull. I seem to remember the 450 didn't have full watertight bulkheads separating the engine compartment from the rest of the hull, but I could be wrong? Don't take this as being negative on the cat option, I'm now curious. As I said, I really would consider a boat like a Lagoon 380 for a Caribbean or South Pacific cruise next time..... although as others have pointed out, considering load carrying capabilities, probably only if it was the two of us, with occasional guests, not with all 4 of us..... but it could be done if you were ruthless about weight. We've consistently proven we're not. ;-)

One consideration that the OP may have is the likelihood of actually doing a RTW. We started off our planning with the same intent, but then decided we wanted to spend more time in a few places and have the kids really get to know them. So we decided on a one-way from the Caribbean to the Australia, with 2 full seasons in the South Pacific. I know we missed out on parts of SE Asia, Madagascar & South Africa, but we spent way more time in the South Pacific, got to know a lot of people there, and I don't regret it for a second.

The reason I ask is that the catamaran market in Australia is really good currently and resale on a good Lagoon 380 would be pretty easy. That said, we sold our SM in less than a month there about this time last year....... Apologies. I'm probably not much help with thoughts on both sides of the fence!
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Old 14-12-2017, 10:07   #15
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pirate Re: Lagoon 380 cat vs Amel Super Maramu for tradewinds RTW

Regarding the mono point.. we are talking family here which means wife and kids normally..
Now I took a 54ft ketch from Florida to Perth.. originally the plan was E then Sw into the S Atlantic and across to S Africa then the 5k miles to Perth.
We suffered a knockdown NE of the Bahamas followed by an engine room fire which forced a detour down to SXM for repairs... and as a result screwed up the timing for the W-E route.. also I'd learnt some things about the boat that made the late run semi suicidal..
Anyway.. we went through Panama and across the Pacific.. over the top then down to Perth.
However my crew who had been a liveaboard with me for 4 years Atlantic and Med and done a transat with me bailed in US Samoa.. she could not take the constant rolling anymore.. in fact she'd have bailed in Nuku Hiva had the flights been available but I blagged her into staying on as she could get a direct fight to the US from Samoa..
Women do not like tippy tippy as a rule..
I'm not crazy about 3500+nm of rolling myself but then again I dont bruise so easy..also.. I've sailed for many years and 'feel' the boat.
With the Lagoon I'd time my trip with the most favourable seasons..
If I was doing the ARC RTW 2yr run I'd pick the Amel.
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