I bought a 2020 new Lagoon
42 from The Catamaran
Company in November of 2020.
This is a review of the company, not the boat
. The boat
discussion on another post.
Based on my experiences, I highly recommend NOT buying a boat
from them. My experience was quite negative, often disturbing, and generally very frustrating. I now have no real warrantee on the boat and have paid thousands of dollars to repair items delivered to me not functional.
I would never do business with this company again.
I called the company when I saw they had a boat for sale
I was interested in, and was assigned a salesman. I spent a day looking at their boats, and then put my Azimut on the market, and waited.
I'm very new to sailing, but have a lot of experience with big boats, having 3 over the years over 40', and 6 more in the fishing
boat categories, 25-35'.
Four months went by, and the Azimut sold
, and was then seriously on the hunt for a purchase
There were several boats on Yachtworld, and I was contacting several, as well as speaking with Catamaran
Company again. They kept coming back with better and better offers on the boat they had. Simultaneously, the used market dried up for me. I decided to buy the Lagoon
from The Catamaran Company.
That part of the purchase
was only slightly painful, like buying
a used car. “I'll have to talk with my boss” was heard several times whilst we were attempting to come to agreement on the purchase contract
. The purchase contract
was not straightforward, requiring much discussion and rewriting. As I said, that part was only slightly bumpy, somewhat frustrating.
There were several women
I talked to during the purchase regarding wiring
funds and the like, and they were all very pleasant, prompt, professional, good communicators, and I have no complaints about their part of the process. Money
was wired, overages wired back, questions answered, all with no problems worth discussion.
The escrow company on the job was Details Details Accounting and Escrow, and they did a perfectly reasonable job for me. I have no complaints with any of their work
. In fact, I do recommend them.
Great name isn't it?
I was also recommended (by The Catamaran Co.) a documentation
company: ASAP Marine
I absolutely love them, and can recommend them without reservations.
The Coast Guard is very slow these days with Covid buyers galore, and after waiting 10 weeks, I contacted ASAP to find out what the status was. Very prompt reply. Every week after that for another 5 weeks. They were always frighteningly prompt at replying, dug up some status for me, and I'm very glad and grateful to them for their help. Thanks you folks! I'm still waiting, still asking, still getting updates.
So, once all the paperwork was prep'ed, and money
was straight, the purchase was concluded.
That's when things started to go very badly.
I, of course wanted to get the boat asap, but the crew they hired to bring me the boat (as part of the purchase price) were not available for a month, and that was unacceptable for me, so we deducted some money for the delivery
, and I got a crew to join me the next week.
Just about then, a hurricane
came near, and a surge and high winds bashed my brand new boat
against the dock
it was tied to. Not the safe finger docks by the sales building they own but are reserved for their “for sale” boats, but the remote dock
which has ties on just one side, thus allowing wind
and surge to damage mine, not their boats. My boat was stored in the back yard of a house they own that has a dock they use for boats already sold
, which they don't seem to be so concerned about.
So they had a week to fix any damage. They had been in possession of the boat for months prior to closing the sale
, and so had plenty of time to right any known problems uncovered.
But the new hurricane
related damage needed to repairs
in one week, which is when I had crew coming to take it away.
They didn't. That was apparently too short a time to get things done. A recurring theme as I will discuss.
The damage was mostly scuffs and scrapes and a busted window frame. One of the several bashes was buffed out, but there were several that were never touched. Still there today....
They did get me a new window frame, and said they would pay to have someone install it.
However, as we will see, those kind of promises usually didn't happen. I still have the replacement window frame, not installed, and have no hope for compensation.
The boat had been delivered to the US from France
by a crew of unknown number, and they left their marks everywhere. Including on the beds which had plastic on them, however there were rips, and the mattresses were very dirty in those holes.
It had been lived in. A small amount of clean up had been performed, but their marks were still everywhere. Reefing sheets
damaged, blocks broken, main halyard
worn almost through, but I'll get to those in a minute.
They knew of most of the defects I am about to report, however these were never addressed, or reported and ignored, or never checked by The Catamaran Company before I picked it up.
The Catamaran Co. insisted repeatedly that I drive out for an instructional lecture before delivery
, so I did drive out there (3 hours one way) on the Wednesday before the Saturday I was going to take possession and sail home with my crew.
It turned out there was almost nothing educational about this exercise, it became clear immediately, that the entire exercise was to get me to sign a document that the list of items were present, like fire extinguishers, stove
, motors ran, trampoline, halyards, sheets
, etc. The entire process took less than and hour.
After, I had no idea how to clean out the screen
for the generator
, or flush a toilet, or dozens of other tasks I had to figure out for myself. Fine.
This was all for them and their lawyers, and was of no real use to me. Six hours of driving in one day, for them. I should have just said no.
The one good thing that happened was that I found the propane
was not propane
, it was butane, and the fittings did not fit US propane tanks
, and, there was only one entry key, which was somewhere nobody knew exactly.
key was located and stashed, and the butane fitting was swapped for a propane fitting. Any know if butane and propane require different regulators? Both of those huge tasks required perhaps a dozen emails and texts to be sure they got done. Painful.
So my hired captain
and my 2 addition experienced crew showed up Saturday morning to sail off.
No representative was present. It was not important to anyone to welcome us, or see us off, of find out if we needed assistance or help with the boat. We trekked through the swampy ankle deep water
in the back yard of a overgrown muddy swamp jungle. Not on the nice docks with boats for sale
with nearby parking and dry access, and cross tied boats.
It was the bad single
sided dock for sold boats they didn't really care about any more, through a swamp.
The boat was a mess needless to say by the time we got our carload of supplies, and bumpers, and food
, and cloths and dock lines, and cooking
supplies and everything else require for a voyage.
Mud everywhere. Dock help no where.
Full tank of gas? Nope. Full tank of water
You get the picture.
Here is a partial list of problems we found before we got done of the 1 hour river ride to get to the ocean:
1) The autopilot
was not functioning. Best I can tell from the Alarm
Log on the B&G, the delivery crew attempted to initialize the autopilot
over 50 times during the 3 weeks they were on the boat. I have the logs
still on the B&G. This was the most inconvenient of the problems for us, surpassing the swamp walk.
Six days of sailing, all hand steering
. Not fun.
I called when we found out, but I got the report that there was really nothing they could do about it then. Later. More on this topic follows later.
2) The starters on the stove/over were never used, nor tested, as they were flawed and needed to be completely replaced. We used a lighter I had thought to bring. I ended up fixing this later with 2 $20 parts
from Amazon which I was never compensated for. The delivery crew knew, because the stove
had been used, and not with the igniter.
3) A vent over a bench in the Owner's Pontoon had been left open during the storm apparently, and the wood
had been soaked to the point that the hinge screws just fell out, and needed be be reworked. The wood
is still warped, and very damaged. The puddle on the bench cushion was a hint, missed.
4) The Main Halyard
had been cut thru about 1/3 of the way by the block at the head
of the mast
5) Several of the turning blocks at the foot of the mast
had screws missing from the sheaves, and were hanging on barely.
6) Two of the turning blocks at the foot of the mast had failed completely, and the sheave was not turning at all, leading obviously to a lot of drag on the lines, and the lines had been roughed up a bit. (I have lots of photos if anyone is interested....)
7) Reefing sheet 2 was cut thru 90% in one place, and about 50% of the way thru about five feet from that. The delivery crew had known as they had taped it up in one place, and they could not have missed the other.
8) Reefing sheet 1 had damage also, but not nearly as badly. Still it needed replacement
9) The furler
was excessively stiff. It took a lot of effort with the winch
to get it to move at all. Not a gentle grind, but a hard exhausting grind was required to furl.
10) One of the fore reefing lead rings was broken thru, and the sail rather tattered in that area, and the sheet was worn there.
11) There was, and according to the agent always was only one key for entry. There were two keys for the 8 other locks on the boat, so I don't believe that.
12) the zipper on the sail bag was broken, missing 2 sequential teeth, and that was impossible to miss if zipping up the bag. It was not possible! Again, they just didn't care.
There are a slew of other problems, but I wanted to highlight those. I have found many others since, but it is a new boat
, and things pass QA that shouldn't. This is a different category of problems, which I think should have been found at casual inspection
of the boat, which we never done, but they aren't potential dangerous, like halyards warn thru, or reefing lines mostly cut thru, or autopilots broken. All of those were known to the delivery crew, and nothing was done to fix the damage the crew did while delivering the boat. But there were/are many other issues, like the hot/cold water are backwards in the owner's head
Dealing with the agent was an absolute nightmare. I have never met anyone so quick to make a promise, only to have some excuse by blaming someone else for why it couldn't happen.
After dealing with this guy for a month, I was so tired of his constant excuses, and at one point I pointed out there was a lot of documentation
etc needing to get done and the clock was ticking, and I heard back: “we have a lot of closings going on right now”. I gently told him in a text that “Reputation rest on results, not excuses....”
My point is, that I'm interested in getting this completed, because the clock is ticking on my crew and hired captain
He replied (direct quote from text)”
“I am all over it (my name), don't worry. Just that there with paperwork I am out of the loop somewhat”
That made me laugh. Basically he was saying, “Yes I agree, here is my excuse:.....” Very typical of this guy who poses with the buck long enough to get his picture taken, and then passes it as far down the table as he can.
I nightmare to deal with people who never ever take responsibility for anything. It's always someone else's fault!!!!
At least he was consistent.
The do have one very positive thing to say about that guy: He was great about picking up calls. And if not, returning them promptly. That means a lot to me. I hate when people hide. But he didn't really get anything done.
After the voyage home, I was in constant communication with the agent to get things fixed.
Here is abbreviated report of that epoch effort:
They hired the rigger to do some of the repairs
When he arrived, he reported to me that the president had called him and told him to do whatever it took to make me happy. We figured out later that it was not the president, it was the agent.
(Note that I am reporting this second hand, not first.
It was the rigger who told me the above, I did not participate in that conversation.)
So the rigger was worried about getting paid from this organization he knew nothing about, and wanted to wait a couple weeks to get an invoice okayed in writing, and get some upfront money.
But I wanted those items repaired promptly, and regardless, so I told him I would pay him if they didn't, so let's get to work
So he did.
He removed, fixed the sail bag, and reinstalled it, replaced about 8 blocks, as well as 3 reefing lead rings, two reefing lines, the main halyard, leads to the furler
It came to about $5000.
(Note, I was told first hand by the agent that replacing the reefing line lead rings with blocks was the right thing to do. So we did. I never got compensated for that.)
So, after 2-3 weeks of that work going on, it was finally finished, the invoice was sent.
They refused most of the repairs, leaving me with $3000 to pay on my own.
I paid the rigger for that.
Then, later, after more back and forth, they balked at the quality of the main halyard, and some of the blocks, and the furling
lines guides etc, and refused to pay more.
In the end, my understanding is they a paid the rigger $1500, and I had to cough up another $600 plus to cover what they didn't want to.
So I bought all the blocks myself, even tho they were broken. I paid for one of the reefing lines, and, well you get the picture.
I paid the lions share of the fixes to the rigging
The agent of course tries to look like the good guy. He tried hard to fight for us, but in the end, management would pay! He's the good guy! It's the “other guys” who won't pay me!
The agent said we should replace both reefing line, but then he wouldn't pay for one.
The agent said we should replace the blocks, but then they didn't pay for any of them.
See the problem? His word means nothing.
Which brings us to my favorite topic: The autopilot.
As I said, best I can tell the auto pilot never worked. The B&G Alarm
Log file shows the crew attempting to initialize the autopilot dozens of times over weeks.
Initialize an autopilot is what you do the first time you use it, and never again. If it ever worked, why were they trying initializing?
Possibly, the crew did a factory reset on the B&G MFD? Why? We'll never know.
We were desperate on the voyage for an autopilot, so after two days, I decided to dig into it with help. So we took it out to inspect, and in doing so, saw the several of the bolts had paint
chipped off, as if someone had been into it already.
We had it all disconnected and still no movement. We saw that the hydraulic pump
was not moving.
Commands were being sent to the unit, because we verified that the motor
driving the pump
turned clockwise/counter during attempted B&G initializing, but the pump could not be turned even by hand.
It was the pump.
The agent said he would send some guys to fix it.
Then he said THEY (not he) didn't want to sent they guys, and it would be easier for me to contact B&G directly.
I said “Yeah, easier for you!! And by the way, it's nothing to do with B&G, it's the LS pump!!!
So he agreed to take some responsibility, and call B&G directly himself.
I said “it's not B&G, it's the LS pump that's broken.”
6 weeks went by, and B&G couldn't send anyone, and it just went on and on, me repeating endlessly the whole time that it was not B&G, its the LS pump! Don't send B&G, it's LS pump....
Finally B&G said, oh, that's not us, that has to do with the LS pump, and all that 6 weeks wasted.
So I had enough, had gotten stiffed by The Catamaran Co for all the rigging
issues, and wasn't willing to wait for more inaction from them, and wasn't really hopeful at that point that they were going to pay me anyway, so I bought a LS pump assembly online, had it in 3 days, installed it in 2 hours, and poof. Fixed.
Another $3000 spent with no warranty or compensation from The Catamaran Company.
And The Catamaran Co did not pay for that either.
So, apparently, now I have a boat that has not real warranty, because the Catamaran Company sure isn't going to help based on past performance.
I was left holding the bills for fixing things that never should have been delivered to me in the horrible way it was delivered.
Stay away from the Catamaran Company, don't do business with them, don't trust what they say, certainly don't trust the agent whom I dealt with, and find a company who cares about you, with integrity, who back their words, and buy from them.
They did get me a boat, and the women
in the office, and the closing company and the documentation company all were great.
But not backing their product and the horrible customer service
, and lack of concern regarding delivery were all so traumatic, that the little lights were just not worth it.
Thanks for reading. I do go on and on and I'm grateful to those who have read all that, all the way to here!
Have a great day. I'm off sailing. Putting the past behind me.