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Old 12-09-2016, 03:48   #1
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Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

We're planning a career break in 2 years time, intending to cruise the Med in the summer, then the Caribbean for a few months, then either come home after a year or continue into the Pacific to finish in New Zealand after 2 years.

We are a family with 2 boys who will be 9 and 6 when we leave.

At the moment we are very much set on a catamaran, but with a likely budget of 150k GBP we are looking at smaller boats with a few years on them.

There are very few suitable boats in the UK, so a lot will depend on how well the pound is doing when we are able to purchase (hopefully early next year), but for now there are a fair number of Lagoon 380's in our range in France and Spain, and these tick a lot of boxes for us. Coming from a 30ft mono the additional space seems huge.

Are there any obvious problems with a 380 for what we are planning? And are there any specific things to look out for on an older (~10 year old) 380? (I've read 3Eagles 15,500 mile review - Lagoon 380 User Review (15,500 Mile Review) which is excellent, just looking for more recent views)

Are there any other cats worth looking at in our price range?

Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:05   #2
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

We are a family of five on an Island Spirit. They are a smaller less known brand (the company no longer exists). The Lagoon 380 was on our list, but we feel our IS was a better boat for our family.

I looked at a bunch of Lagoon 380s and my broker was very knowledgeable about them. He didn't suggest any "known" problems with them, and I certainly didn't see anything that seemed common in the ones I looked for.

I would suggest that you find a broker that "specializes" in catamarans. Having somewho who knows cats will be invaluable in your search!
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:22   #3
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Here's a blog on a young couple who did what you are talking about on a Lagoon 380. They just sold it in Australia.
Errantries | er·rant·ries (noun ˈer-ən-trē, ˈe-rən-): the quality, condition, or fact of wandering; especially: a roving in search of chivalrous adventure
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Old 14-09-2016, 08:00   #4
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

@travellerw The Island Spirit looks nice, though not many around and none near me. Not many cats in the UK, so a little trickier finding a knowledgeable broker, but will probably start with Ancasta when the time comes.

@paul_l Thanks for the link. A little sad in some ways to see people finishing what we are only just planning, but some great posts.
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Old 14-09-2016, 21:59   #5
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

We are a family of 3 that just completed a 18 month sabbatical. We purchased our 2001 Lagoon 380 in August 2014 and it's currently listed in Ft Lauderdale with Catamarans Co. We didn't have any issues outside of the normal wear items that all boat owners complain of (heads, engine, electrical).

We've sailed through some pretty nasty weather and our boat has performed like a champ. We've taken it places that other boats would only choose to go by dinghy, like up an estuary, on to the beach

It's a solid boat, unlike what you'll hear on this board, the majority of them are privately owned.
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Old 15-09-2016, 00:15   #6
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

[QUOTE=terah;2213013 Not many cats in the UK, so a little trickier finding a knowledgeable broker, but will probably start with Ancasta when the time comes.

[/QUOTE] There are some very knowledgeable cat brokers in the UK. Ancasta didn't immediately come to mind as cats are just a very small part of what they do.

Try Bill Bullimore at PBM | Patrick Boyd Multihulls

or Multihull World New and Used Catamarans, Trimarans and Yachts for Sale UK both down in the Solent area. Also Multihull Centre | Marina & Yacht Storage | Brokerage | Catamarans Fore Sale | New Boats Fore Sale | | Multihull Centre down at Millbrook, just over the border into Cornwall.

These will all be far better contacts for purchasing something suitable with your budget.

Good luck with your search. I'm envious as my world cruising on a cat is all behind me!
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Old 15-09-2016, 02:51   #7
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Hi Terah

We bought a Lagoon 380 in Greece last september ( we are from the UK ). The boat is an owners version, never chartered, 800 engine hours, was 4 years old at purchase, is in excellent condition, VAT paid and is really well spec'd ( watermaker, additional fuel tank, all S2 extras etc ).

For us, the owners version was a must. We chartered a four cabin version before we bought our boat and there is a huge difference between the two if you are spending long periods on board.

The final price we paid was 150,000, so I think you could get an awful lot more for your money than you are expecting ( you mention 10 year old boats ? ).

We have had no major issues with her other than the usual bits and pieces ( faulty water pump, blocked head pipe etc ) which we have put right ourselves.

The only strange thing with this model is that there is no holding tank for the owners cabin head. This is very strange as it means you have to go over to the other hull to use the loo in the night. We fabricated a new stainless steel tank and fitted it it in the ovners hull - not an easy job but well worth the effort.

We were brand new sailors and it has been a steep learning curve for us, especially the med mooring in a strong wind !! The 380 has been a brilliant boat to learn on - not too big for us newbies, but big enough to have 6 or 7 people staying for a week at a time. ( including us ! )

Of course, the pound was a lot stronger last year so we got a good deal as the boat was sold in Euro's...

Hope this helps

Paul & Tracey
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Old 15-09-2016, 08:57   #8
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

@yardie Thanks, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Looks like you have done very similar to what we are planning - Med, rally across Atlantic, then Caribbean? - so very pertinent

@jeannius Thanks for the links and suggestions. Now that we're < 2 years from going it's all getting quite exciting. Wish we could buy now but still arranging the finances.

@haywoods That's really interesting - we're looking at owner's versions and from initial searches I'd assumed that an S2 would be a stretch for our budget. Can I ask where you bought through? (And if there was much difference between asking and paid?)
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:07   #9
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Hi Terah

We bought her through Williams & Smithells ... they are based in Lefkas marina in Greece. I would definitely recommend them - they did a good job for us.

The boat was priced at 225,000 Euros and we eventually agreed a price of 205,000 Euros. ( which at the time was 150,000 ) ... You should find a nice S2 for your budget - maybe a 2011 or 12.

We were very lucky finding our boat at the time - we only looked at 2 others and knew straight away when we saw her that she was what we wanted. Obviously still had a full survey done but only very minor issues arose.

We intend to trade up to a larger boat in 2 years time, but it will be a wrench because we just love our 380.
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Old 15-09-2016, 15:36   #10
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

@terah We started in Greece and spent a year in the Med. The boat was wintered in Sicily and so we did a lot of overland adventures until April. Then we hit Malta, Tunisia, Sardinia, Spain, and Morocco.

I wasn't into rallies but to save money out insurer asked that we join one for the Atlantic crossing. I ended up signing on to Cornells island odyssey because it included all of the canaries, Cabo Verde, Barbados, and Martinique. For 2 stressed parents it was a lifesaver. Our son is an only child. He met so many kids on the dock who were participating in the rallies we barely saw him after we cleared him.

Our hardest sail was a 2 day sail through a cyclone passing over lanzarote. F7 winds, 4mtr waves, and just dark all around. Our little Yanmars chugged on for 2 days without incident. And Kevin, the AP, just worked right through it. After that, I knew our boat was more than up to the task.


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Old 17-09-2016, 12:03   #11
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Hi Terah

We are a British family that took a sabbatical and completed an Atlantic circuit in 2007/08 on our Lagoon 420. It was a fantastic experience for us and for the children. Your children are just the right age; people say that children aged less than six can't participate and won't remember it and children aged more than 12, when hormones start kicking, can become difficult in a confined space for a long time.

The sense of achievement from crossing the Atlantic cannot be beaten. We went into the Med. but didn't really enjoy it. Maybe if we had got as far as Greece and Turkey it would have been different, but we found Southern Spain over-developed, too expensive and not particularly friendly, also the winds seemed to be determined to drive us back to where we had come from. In the end we gave up and returned to Portugal, which we have always enjoyed.

Our 420 has been perfect for us and I'm sure the 380 will be a good choice for you. The 380 has always seemed a nimble and competant cat to me and I'm sure it will take you anywhere you want to go in great safety and comfort.

I have a few bits of advice that might help you:

Find a like-minded kid boat and stick together; there aren't as many kid boats out there as you might think and those you do meet seem to be just leaving as you arrive or vice-versa or going a different route

Don't worry too much about home schooling your kids. They will learn far more on your sabbatical than they ever would have learnt at school and will be fine when they get back to school. We did a bit of home-schooling, but not much in total.

It's probably worth crossing the Atlantic at the time of the ARC, just for the chance to meet up with other kid-boats, although you don't have to join the ARC.

When you cross the Atantic, I'd definitey recommend our Caribbean route: Barbados, Tobago, Grenada, Carriacou, Union Island, Bequia, Martinique, Dominica, Les Saints, Antigua, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, (then home by way of Bermuda, Horta). An Atlantic circuit feels a bit relentless, because of the need to keep aligned with the optimum weather patterns, but it's worth it.

If you are on a tight budget then consider pairing up with another small family and having a hull each. Sharing the sailing and parenting workload will make life a lot easier and more pleasurable for you and the kids will enjoy the company. We didn't have this option because we have six kids, but from observing a couple of familes that were sailing in company I think it would work.

I'm not sure I agree with those that recommend an owner's version 380; the owner's layout always seems such a waste of space to me. Accommodation in a charter layout, with a cabin in each corner, is so much more versatile. If you are crossing the Atlantic then you will probably want to take on a couple of extra crew to share the night watches and an extra cabin will come in useful then and at other times, the spare cabin can be a workshop/dressing room/school room/private space. Our 420 has four double cabins each with their own en suite toilet and shower room. Four en suites is definitely overkill for a family but we used one shower room as a laundry room and one as a wet locker/storage room.

I'd recommend you have a decent-sized generator and a big AC watermaker, and an AC automatic washing machine, all carefully sized so that output from the generator is big enough to provide the start-up power for the watermaker and powerful enough to run the generator and the washing machine at the same time. That way watermaking doesn't become a noisy chore that lasts for hours (and one that keeps you tied to the boat while it is happening), as with smaller 12VDC watermakers, you get your washing done at the same time, you get hot water for plentiful showers (a must for good morale) and you fill your water tanks up quickly. Our watermaker produces about 310 litres an hour, which means it takes about an hour to fill our two 175 litre tanks, by which time we have done two loads of washing, baked some bread in our AC breadmaker, cooked a meal in our electric oven and all had a hot shower. I've seen other families take a whole day to do the same and it becomes a real drudge.

I'd recommend taking a cat with you; our cat Bosun was a great companion for the kids and no trouble at all.

Living on the hook is quite cheap, so don't get carried away saving up money expecting your sabbatical to cost you a fortune. I reckon we spent no more than we would have done had we been living at home, the main 'expense' for us was my loss of earnings during the sabbatical... oh and the cost of the boat that we couldn't bear to part with at the end of our trip. You'll find you become very attached to your boat and it will be hard to sell her on at the end.

If I were you, I'd go now and let the finances take care of themselves, because life has a habit of changing your plans and you may never get another chance.

Don't worry about any lack of experience, as Lagoons are very forgiving and dead easy to sail. You can learn as you go, no bother. My wife and I literally hadn't set foot on a boat for ten years when we took delivery of our boat in Southampton; three weeks later we were sailing across the Bay of Biscay (in October!) and two months later we set sail across the Atlantic.

Have you considered renting a boat rather than buying? It might not work out much more expensive than any depreciation you could expect and it would mean you wouldn't have to save up a large capital sum. I'd offer to rent you our boat, except that I'm planning to sail to St Kilda next June. I expect one or two of my older girls would be happy to sail across the Atlantic with you as crew, if you wanted. I'd volunteer too if I didn't have to work.

Which brings me to my final word of advice. Be prepared for a crushing feeling of discontent when you return to the rat race after your sabbatical. You will have had the experience of a lifetime, but somehow ordinary life doesn't seem good enough after a sailing sabbatical with the family.

Best Wishes

Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland

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Old 18-09-2016, 05:40   #12
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

@haywoods Thanks, I'll add Williams and Smithells to my list. 205,000 is 175,000 just now which is pretty horrible. Hoping for at least a modest recovery in the pound before we buy...

@yardie Did the insurers suggest joining a rally when you asked for crossing cover? I've been on and off the idea, but currently more inclined to join one just because of the social side for the boys.

@octopus That's our thinking in terms of the boys ages - youngest is 4 just now and for me that's a bit too young. Leaving in June 2018 and returning summer 2020 means eldest would be back in time to start S1.

Our original plans were to go with another family (my wife's sister's) and have a hull each. That's looking unlikely now, though we're hoping they'll join us for a month or two. Had they been with us full time we would have gone for a 4-cabin, but as they're not we'd been thinking the extra space for us with an owner's version would be good. I take your point about the extra cabin though - we may well change our minds again once we start looking in earnest.

Washing machine and watermaker are must have's for us. Have been reading up on watermakers in particular and AC high output definitely seems the way to go.

I'd love to go right now, but we both run businesses so it's going to take a little time to organise things. My wife needs to sell her business which is retail based, and I need to get mine so that I can run it remotely.

Is renting a thing? Not heard of anyone doing this.
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Old 19-09-2016, 11:14   #13
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

having a 380 and loving it is not really great testimony since it is from 1 person, but lagoon still making it after making 800 of them is a pretty good indication of how good it is. It won the ARC last year. Probably one of the best sailing boats they made.

However, putting on a generator, AC , water maker, and washer dryer, you might want to consider moving up to the 400. The generator normally goes up in port side locker in front of the cabin house, it weighs about 200 lbs for a 3kw (30 amp /110 service). You can a fit watermaker in as well, however, not sure about a washer dryer and where you would put that...There is huge room in the pontoons, you could access via the hatches, but I am not sure you want even more weight up there. Having 150L budget is ok for a 6-10 yr old 380, I am not sure if you could move it up to the next size boat.
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Old 19-09-2016, 11:30   #14
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pirate Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Hi Terah..
I have delivered a few Lagoon 380's and rate them pretty well.. the owners version is the better over the 4 cabin.. more than enough space for those 'I wanna be alone' moments everyone needs now and then.
Have also delivered a few of the bigger Lagoons and can honestly say.. if I could afford to choose any.. it'd be the 380..
Enjoy..
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:48   #15
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Re: Lagoon 380 for 1 - 2 year sabbatical

Just to say hi (my first post) and that I am 42 your old male, British, but I live in Sardinia with my Italian partner and we have two kids age 3 and 10 and I hope to buy a L380 (or similar) in the next few months.

Looking to sail next summer in the Med and hopefully much further after that. I have seen a lot of L380s for sale in the Med as you would expect but mostly ex-charter, a lot currently for sale in Croatia at what seem like lower than typical prices. Just wondering if charters are really as bad as people say? Steer well away or could I get a bargain?

Any other makes people recommend. Nautitech's seem to have good space for size but I have no experience of their quality.
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