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Old 21-09-2007, 21:00   #1
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OMG, What Have We Done?

Well, the clock has started on the countdown. The house is sold, contingencies cleared, and closing is in mid-November.

I can hear the operator coming on the line, "Your fantasy time has now expired."

As those of you who have stooped low enough to read my posts, or gotten so bored that any little bit of stimulation will do, you know that a year and a half ago, my wife and I signed on to buy a Lagoon 420. Of course, at that time no boats had actually been produced and we basically signed on based on their promotional materials and concept.

With time having passed and actual, empirical experience accrued, that is no longer the direction we are heading. While I still very much like the "idea" of the 420, from what I've seen of the actual execution, this is not a boat that I want to use for a long-term, ocean-crossing, budget-conscious, cruise. So, that story comes to an end, at least for us.

The Current Plan:

1. Buy a cruising boat. Soon. We're looking at cats in the 42 to 46ish range.
2. Do whatever retrofitting/outfitting needs to be done.
3. Hopefully, begin cruising late Dec, early January.
4. Spend first 12 to 18 months on ICW, Bahamas.
5. From then, Carribbean, Belize, Panama, Pacific.

So, somewhat incredulous, slightly terrified, but also very excited questions for you all:

1. What did you think you absolutely had to have, that turned out to be useless, irrelevant, or way more pain than pleasure, to have?
2. After having had some cruising time under your belt, what did you discover was a great thing to have (whether large or small) that you did not initially include?

For those of you who have gone through this experience, any wise words? Sage advice? Comforting thoughts?

Thank you.

ID
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Old 21-09-2007, 21:24   #2
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Good luck to you. I hope everything turns out better than your dreams.

Something I found to be pretty useless (for us) - having a dedicated "storm" anchor, and a smaller "everyday" anchor. We ended up using the big anchor all the time, and kept the smaller one as a spare or stern anchor.

One thing I wouldn't leave without is a really good autopilot.
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Old 22-09-2007, 05:35   #3
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Good on ya ID, hope to see you out there at some stage.

Expanding on 44CC list of a really good Autopilot is a really good fishfinder that works in a couple of feet of water.

As you'll play in the shallows on a cat it's nice to see what the bottom is instead of just numbers

Plenty Anchor

A really good Fridge freezer (and the power to run it)

And a quality Parachute anchor

My must have wish list, anything else is a bonus

Dave
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Old 22-09-2007, 06:13   #4
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the whole process is a bit scary, but you will not regret your decision. You will be healthier and happier than you have ever been!
The one item I really wish we had was a SSB radio! But we are still getting by with a portable reciever. The othe ritem we learned we needed after four years was a water maker. No matter how well you conserve, you will be buying water, and it is not cheap. And nothing sucks more than being in a remote spot and having to leave to go replenish your water supply
The biggest mistake was trying to think of everything we needed before we had the boat Get the basics and then go cruising and get what you need as you discover what is important to you. It will change, as you get use to needing/living with less. And space is VERY valuable!
One item I never thought we would buy, the Admiral wanted it, was an ice maker. We have a genset, and when it is on, we make bags of ice and store them. And I must now admit it is nice to have an ICEY drink from time to time.
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Old 22-09-2007, 06:46   #5
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Just go!!! I'm sure you've heard this before but you will never have the perfect boat and you will never be absolutely ready. Just go, and your first voyage being close to home will help. You will learn what you need and what you'd really like. After six months you'll be able to refine your needs and wants and equip your boat for travels further afield. One thing you will need before you set out is a good electrical system. That is a major component for , in my view, an easier life afloat. Do not listen to those who tell you that you need everything before you set off. A couple of years ago I became good friends with a newbie from Michigan. In his second year he started regretting he'd listened to all those folks back in Davidson on what he needed. For example he'd been listening to folks who told him a 4hp motor and small dink would do. In his second year he sold the small dink and motor at a fair loss and moved up. The small dink had been ok for short trips ashore from close anchorages but was not very useful for the Bahamas. He'd listened to a guy that spent most of his time at sea voyaging. A small dink was all he needed but was not a good choice for my Michigan friend. Some folks love a SSB and spend hours on it, others don't, a receiver'll do. Get out there, cruise and refine your list. Washer and dryer? (it amazes me how many big cats have these). Wait a while. Good luck.
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Old 22-09-2007, 07:56   #6
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I'm not sure I understand what is happening with the Lagoon 420. Are you selling it and buying a different boat, or are you outfitting it for cruising?
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Old 22-09-2007, 08:56   #7
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Dave -- We are not taking delivery of the 420. The order has been canceled. This was due to the many problems that have been reported about the boat, our personal impressions after having inspected one at a show, and the sailing qualities that have been reported by the early users.

While the 420 has a number of fine qualities in the accommodations, I was not impressed with the quality of construction, at all. There have been a number of problems in commissioning (3 or 4 dismastings from poor rigging practices, at least two boats with keel damage at the factory that have been detected and possibly more undetected, numerous problems with the electrical systems). Their sail plan has a couple of folks concluding that it is inadequate and undersized, with some owners starting to look at substantial (and expensive) modifications, and the windward/tacking ability of the boat is not very good. Several owners have reported considerable variation in how Lagoon has responded to these issues, from very good to very poor. Unfortunately, Lagoon's warranty policies place almost the entire burden for obtaining warranty work back on the buyer's dealer. For example, I asked a factory rep the following question: Let's suppose I am moored in Tahiti, right next to the Lagoon dealer's dock in Tahiti and have a problem. Can I go the Tahiti dealer to seek resolution? The answer was "no", that I must first contact my dealer in the US, who must negotiate with the factory and will then coordinate the response. The response "might" involve the Tahiti dealer, but might not. That, together with the factory's amazingly poor attitude, was a definite turn-off. Furthermore, I have been most disappointed in my dealer's responsiveness to even basic questions.

While I could live with some compromises, I'm not willing to live with all of them. Hence, the change.

ID
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Old 22-09-2007, 09:16   #8
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a dinghy?? cause i hate swimming to shore in croc infested waters
sean
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Old 22-09-2007, 09:37   #9
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Originally Posted by northerncat View Post
a dinghy?? cause i hate swimming to shore in croc infested waters
sean
I forgot the dink! A fast dink is a God-Send. If it is pouring rain, and or dark, the Admiral WILL NOT be happy, or think of it as an adventure, coming home from dinner And remember if the Admiral ain't happy no bodies happy!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 22-09-2007, 09:42   #10
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ID,

I know little about cats but followed the 420 thread because it was quite interesting. I think you've made the right decision. When you spend that kind of money you should expect good service and honest advice. Good luck in your search. A buddy of mine is selling his Leopard 42,43? which is well equipped for cruising and I'm sure this would only cost half of what they want for a 420. Only thing I don't like about that boat is the amazingly small fridge. It's in Brunswick, GA right now.
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Old 22-09-2007, 09:47   #11
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I saw a Lagoon 42 Hybrid in the water in Oakland, California the other day. I have to say, the rig does look on the small side compared to the overall mass and windage of the rest of the boat. The boat is still on my list of boats I am considering. It was just a little disappointing to see this.
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Old 22-09-2007, 15:51   #12
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Vasco -- Yes, we know about that Leopard in Brunswick; it has many attractive qualities. They have a very nice website for it, at: Catamaran for Sale, leopard 42, leopard 4200, leopard

A dinghy? Yeah, I suppose that would be a good idea. And, Denny & Diane, I will take your advice for a fast dinghy. After 20+ years, I believe I have learned to keep the Admiral happy (though, I do sometimes forget).

I'm too much of a chicken-s**t sailor to forego the safety equipment. Heck, I may overload on safety equipment! I'm thinking:

Sea-anchor/chute
Series drogue
SeaBrake
Storm jib

I'm also thinking about a MOBi-lert (same notion as the Raymarine unit, but small enough to wear around your neck) as well as a couple of the Uniden Mystic submersible VHF/GPS handhelds.

We also put down a "first right of refusal" offer on a boat, that was accepted, though it feels really wierd to do such a thing on a boat we haven't seen, yet. One of the contingencies, though, was personal viewing, as well as survey. Here's the boat:
https://www.yachtworld.com/core/list..._id=67291&url=

I'm certainly interested in any comments anyone has about Crowther designs and Alwoplast builds. Certainly different than a 420!

ID
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Old 22-09-2007, 16:23   #13
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What not to forget

A SSB with HAM radio channel capability is a must. It's not only a safety issue, but it keeps you in touch with all the other cruisers out there. And, since you are still in the States, it would be a very wise decision to be working on getting your HAM licenses right now. It's a whole lot easier to do now than once you are away from home shores. A General's license gives you access to Winlink, which lets you receive e-mail at sea.
I'm new to this whole web site, so if this has been suggested to you before, please forgive me. I'm just looking to fill a little time waiting for hurricane season to blow by so we can get back to the boat.
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Old 22-09-2007, 16:59   #14
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I know nothing about Crowthers, but it sure looks like a sweet boat. I echo JusDreaming on the watermaker (+ a rebuild kit). These are expensive high maintenance devices. But, docking or worse - jerry jugging for water is a PITA. A good watermaker gives you an added dimension of comfort in outisland anchorages in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. We spent 13 days basically trapped at Samana Cay because of boisterous seas outside the reefs. The anchorage was fine, but there's no fresh water there. We had hot showers every day because we could make water, and we loved the place.
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Old 22-09-2007, 17:08   #15
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I dont know your budget ID, but if you were looking at Lagoon 420's, there are some Aussie boats worth looking at - Lightwave 38 or 45,(Crowther designs too) Perry 43, or Fusion 40. IMHO they will all sail considerably better than similar length Lagoons. (At the expense of some space though)

You're probably in too much of a hurry now, but I'd say for less than any of those boats new, (depending on how luxurious you wanted it to be) you could have say, an Oram 50C ( Bob Oram Design 50′ C ) custom built for you by Neil Bochow of Cool-cats ( Coolkats ).
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