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Old 27-03-2013, 02:57   #31
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

Hi Dave. Thanks and great video! Looks very stable and comfortable. regards Magor
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Old 27-03-2013, 03:22   #32
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

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Originally Posted by Magor View Post
Thanks all. Thinking about going to la grande motte multihull show to see the helia and some lagoons up close
Just heard about La Grande Motte from the people at Privilege ( www.privilege-marine.com ). Looks like a very good multihull show.

Think I'll go as I'm driving from Spain back to the UK at about the same time.
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:11   #33
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

I would say that all three brands are sufficiently similar that you should consider all of them and choose the one you like the best.

Depending on the exact year/models you're looking at, you'll find reasons to nitpick at any or all of them.

I think you should find a few boats that match your top criteria, whatever those are, and start looking/bidding.

The key features that make these boats popular include:
- Kitchen up (with some exceptions)
- Level or nearly level step into the main salon
- Large comfortable seating in and out
- The ability to pilot and navigate from inside the boat (assuming an autohelm with remote)
- Large comfortable berths
- Owner Versions available with extra large master suite
- Reasonable performance for a luxury cruiser

Different models and years from all these boats will meet these criteria (or your own criteria, if not listed) to varying degrees.

Some common disadvantages of these models include:
- Cored hulls below the waterline (some models)
- Osmosis blistering (some models)
- Wide beam
- High windage
- High cost
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:15   #34
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

To be more succinct, my suggestion is to FIRST find a boat you will enjoy living in, and SECONDLY learn to live with it's limitations whatever they may be.

If you have very specific sailing applications in mind, that may not be the right advice for you. It is for me.
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:55   #35
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

I will chime in on the Leopards. I have posted before that I've done my own very unscientific survey of several owners and boatyard workers concerning the big three: Lagoon, FP and Leopard. What I've taken away is that there is more owner dissatisfaction with Lagoon and FP. The issues generally deal with reliability of installed systems/access/build quality. Most of the people I've spoken with like their Lagoons and FPs very much and would buy another boat by the same manufacturer again; therefore, most of the issues are relatively minor, but annoying. Leopard owners seem somewhat more pleased and are generally very happy with overall build quality. Lagoon owners seem to have the most issues, but there are many more Lagoons on the water than FPs or Leopards.

Yard workers at both Wickhams Cay and Nanny Cay were very clear that Leopards have more straight-forward systems and engineering and are therefore easier to work on and repair. I heard from several different workers that Leopards are more "robust", probably because they have to hold up in charter. Apparently Leopard does a better job of keeping things simple.

Those are simply my impressions after talking with about two dozen people over a 4 year span. All were owners except for 6 or 7 yard workers. The yard workers had done extensive work on boats by all three manufacturers. I also spoke to people at yards in Florida and North Carolina, but their experience was much more limited.

It seems Leopards consistently get higher marks for quality and as being more user friendly to work on and repair. Layout, creature comforts, and sailing qualities might be different issues. It seems all three manufacturers produce good boats that can take you where you want to go.
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Old 27-03-2013, 14:38   #36
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

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Layout, creature comforts, and sailing qualities might be different issues. It seems all three manufacturers produce good boats that can take you where you want to go.
My feeling is that among the SMALLER boats in RECENT years, the Leopards stand out in terms of interior quality and comfort from a boat-show perspective.

Real life experience may tell a different story! The larger more expensive models may be an exception. The models I've looked are all the smaller ones and I was surprised at the poor quality of the interior design on recent Lagoons, and of the improvements in the Leopard designs.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:20   #37
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

I was a Lagoon 450 owner and have ordered the same boat again. That should speak for itself. It is by no means a perfect boat, if it even exists. But at the price is is hard to beat.

We travelled with two identical boats over the last 10 months from Europe, through the Med, across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and to the Bahamas. We did have some minor problems with pumps breaking, gel coat cracks, and the like. Any problems we had with warranty was due to the dealer (myself), mostly to do with taking very long to get the approval to fix. The other boat got every little thing fixed at the next Lagoon dealer on the way. So Lagoon may be getting better in warranty issues, or you need the right dealer.

Large displacement - she is heavy, yes. But, she can take a lot of additional loading without feeling a difference. The other boat has generator, dive compressor, large solar, toys for two kids, wind surfer, kite board, you name it. Still lots of space and no difference in speed.

Crossing the Atlantic we had several days of just over 200Nm, with the average just over 185Nm per day.

She is very stable. See the Youtube videos below and check out what is on the counters without falling.




She is very roomy and comfortable.

In my opinion the the first thing to consider is how comfortable the living space is for you. Next the motion on the water. Speed is the last thing to consider because sailing is less than 10% of your time when you live on board. The 450 goes very quickly though as proven in our Atlantic crossing during which we beat many other boats and stayed close the the "fast" ones. The gennaker really helps on reaching angles. 8 knots in 15 knots true wind.
For downwind both our L450s used a Parasailor without a main. Even our wives preferred flying these overnight (single person watches) compared to a reefed main and genoa. Very easy and forgiving.
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Old 04-04-2013, 13:43   #38
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

Would the simple answer be.....go charter each boat and see for yourself?
Before I signed a $400k+ check....I'd want to be pretty damned sure I'd ruled out all other options.
Other peoples' opinions are like ...well, you get the idea.
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Old 04-04-2013, 22:03   #39
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

I personally love the Leopard's. I think they represent the most value for dollar in terms of a cruising production catamaran. From my experience from delivering Leopards, maintaining them as a base manager, and selling them as a yacht broker I truly believe Leopards to be the best cruising catamaran in their class.

I no longer work for the moorings or have any affiliation with Leopard Catamarans in anyway, shape, or form, but when I have a client call me up looking for a cruising catamaran I almost always try to hone them in on a Leopard.

People always try to write off yachts used by the charter companies as not being "real" cruising boats. I couldn't disagree more. The charter companies want the exact same thing cruisers want... A boat that is comfortable, fun to sail, reliable, and easy to maintain regardless of how remote the destination is...

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:14   #40
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

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Originally Posted by Brogan007 View Post
Would the simple answer be.....go charter each boat and see for yourself?
Before I signed a $400k+ check....I'd want to be pretty damned sure I'd ruled out all other options.
Other peoples' opinions are like ...well, you get the idea.
Absolutely good advice.
I am doing the same now. Ruled out L440
- bridge feels isolated for the small family, and
- salon windows/seating is strangely designed - i cannot see the horizon seated (windows too high) and standing (windows too low), I am 186cm.
- swinging nav chair is uncomfortable underway,
- no access to boom from the roof (boom is too high).
- and other minor design things.

It is a good performer, especially in strong winds. But you need lots of wind it is quite heavy.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:38   #41
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We just came back from LaRochelle, France where were toured the Fountaine Pajot factory and took delivery of our Lipari. We also did a ton of research before deciding and we decided on a Fountaine because of the construction and how lightweight they are. We have rented almost all comparable cats and found that the FP was the easiest to sail and also just "felt" more durable.

She will be in the Chesapeake in about a month and then available for charter in the Virgins this winter.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:16   #42
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

Yes, I tested the Lipary as well. They boat easily did 9 knot and needed no reefing until 25-28 knots, stable and secure (ok, it was a charter, I would def refeed my own boat). Very light boat.

But you start to understand how the charter boats are used this one was 2011 and got dead batteries already - due to owner stinginess to invest into a small gen or large solar.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:18   #43
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

Check out the Voyage catamarans. THey have a little more beam to them and an incredible amount of room inside. They are very well built, everything moulded in inside. I had a delivery captain point that out to me, saying many other boats have a lot of internal cabinets etc that begin creaking on long voyages accross the oceans.


We liked our older Voyage a charter version enough to get an Owners Version with a King Size bed, private owners head with separate shower all on the stbd side. We had some custom changes to the port side adding a desk area in the hull "hallway". It is going to be a great boat for us to live on in 3 years. We had electric winches installed to aid us in our retirement years and it is really nice using it on the dingy haulout boom extension. The boom extension is a feature I have only seen on Voyage boats, there is a aluminum bar(kicker) that pushes out of the boom to steady the main or dingy halyard while lifting and lowering the dingy.


My best recommendation would be to go charter a boat or two after you get to a short list at least. That will allow you to really see how it is for a week living aboard and sailing that particular model of boat.

Enjoy your search and best Regards,
Seaking
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Old 14-07-2013, 08:18   #44
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

Hi,

We just returned from Greece having hired a Lagoon 440 for a week with my husband, our two little kids, our two adult daughters and our niece. we hired the L440 as a test Sail before we purchase an ex charter for a family of four to go full time cruising.

We loved the 440 but we have decided against it for us and here is what we found.

We found the stack pack main to be kinda tricky to get up and down as the battens would often get stuck in the stacks lines (could absolutely be operator error having never used a stack pack before).

Couldn't reach the main boom or stack pack from salon roof.

Electric winch for the main seems essential as it weighs a ton.

The head/shower space is too small, personally, for long term use and we would convert one into a shower stall. My husbands a big guy and being female, I'm ok with this decision

The long seat up at the helm station was great for us all however it is completely separate from the cockpit below which when it is just the four of us it will be impractical and very unsafe with small children. For this reason alone, we have decided against the L440.

We didnt sail but we did look at and speak with a very experienced skipper of a Salina 48 (who also sails many other cats for the same owner) and it seems a lot more suited to our needs. Here are mynpositives.
The helm is up but not as high as the L440 and because of the sun deck there is a blind spot(both negative). The skipper showed us a quick tip when reversing though (seems obvious once he'd pointed it out). Stand backwards and then pop your head below the helm station to see both aft ends.
The boom was much easier to reach.
the heads had a separate, albeit not huge, shower area in each head.
The aft cabins were more like island beds with easy access to each side. The boat is obviously bigger so more space everywhere but I think it's doable...and we're excited to finally have made a clear decision and start the hunt...

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Old 14-07-2013, 08:41   #45
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Re: Lagoon 440/450 VS FP Helia/Salina VS Leopard/Other? Help needed!

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Hi,
...
We didnt sail but we did look at and speak with a very experienced skipper of a Salina 48 (who also sails many other cats for the same owner) and it seems a lot more suited to our needs. Here are mynpositives.
The helm is up but not as high as the L440 and because of the sun deck there is a blind spot(both negative). The skipper showed us a quick tip when reversing though (seems obvious once he'd pointed it out). Stand backwards and then pop your head below the helm station to see both aft ends.
The boom was much easier to reach.
the heads had a separate, albeit not huge, shower area in each head.
The aft cabins were more like island beds with easy access to each side. The boat is obviously bigger so more space everywhere but I think it's doable...and we're excited to finally have made a clear decision and start the hunt...

Did you test sail the Salina? She is reported to be veeery slow under sail...
Good luck with the hunt - but IMHO you better avoid the charter Salina (the ones I saw were very beaten, especially in the Caribbean) and pay a little more for the private owner vessel. There are plenty of them.

Also, have you tried the Orana 44? She is in a more manageable 44ft and reported to be a good sailor...
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