Recently (Last month) we were headed to a family get-together in Austin. We decided to leave a day early and made a side trip to Kemah to do a few things. One of those things was to look at a Lagoon 380 to have a better feel of the boat. It’s hard to discern spatial relationships from just pictures in brochures and on the Internet. It’s always better to look at things in person, get on board, feel the fit and finish, get a real idea of headroom, elbowroom, etc. This particular 380 was exactly the layout we have decided we want. Newer generation (2007 or newer) and most importantly, the 3 cabin, 2 head owner version. One thing about this particular boat was that it was almost brand new. This is good and bad (more on that later.)
Walking up to her at the broker’s dock we liked what we saw. Sure, we had seen the 380s in Annapolis in 2010 but at that point in time we were still under the illusion that a 38′ would be too small for our family. So, we did not spend any time on anything smaller than 40′. We know now, we missed an opportunity but that’s part of the process right? You research and learn and adjust your expectations along the way. There is no such thing as a perfect boat. You adjust your expectations and compromise to get as close to perfect for you and your crew (family.) While I knew that she was a newer model, I honestly did not expect her to be in such showroom floor condition. She was supposed to be “used” afterall. After a brief talk with the broker we promptly jumped on board and immediately began to go over the list of items in our heads that we have been adding to and scratching off.
There were a few key things that this boat has over some of the older models. One key piece of equipment is the hard bimini. The one installed on this boat is the factory fiberglass bimini. While the bimini is awesome, if we were to buy this boat I would like to change out some of the aft stainless tubing/supports. You can see the original factory supports in the shot to the left. They will work but it’s just one of those things that I would like to change. What do I want to change them out with? Well, I’d like a good spot to store a kayak, sailboard, perhaps mount solar panels to. You know, that kind of stuff. More a ‘want’ than a need.
Something else about these boats is that the engine compartments are isolated in their own, water-tight and not under a bunk. So, this means that should something happen to one of the sail-drives and water were to come in it wouldn’t end up flooding that hull but just that engine compartment. Not something you really want to think about happening but just in case. The transoms are nice and wide, provide good footing, and a good spot to climb in and out of the dingy when it’s in the water. Speaking of the dingy, one option this boat did not have was a winch for the dingy. While I’m sure I could manage no problem but thinking of Michelle I want to make sure that we have that covered on whatever boat we end up with. The dingy on this one was, like the rest of the boat, a brand new Caribe RIB with a nice 10hp Honda four stroke outboard. An excellent choice for a family car. You can tell by the number of shots that I was just as impressed with the dingy as the 380 itself. Not really, but it was nice and when a boat has a great dingy that’s one less thing you have to worry about after the purchase. Which, we would like to eliminate as many of those “after the purchase” items as possible and a dingy is one of those big ticket items. One thing I did notice that I didn’t think of looking into now were these davits. I don’t believe that they are “stock” Lagoon davits unless these come on the newer boats. If any of you happen to know, shoot me an email, I’d be curious. I’ll keep looking as well. My curiosity is peaked.
Next on the spots to check out is the cockpit. One of the reasons Michelle doesn’t like the 440/450/500 type flybridge is that you are separated from the action when you are at the helm. At the same time I argue that since most of the time cruising is spent on the hook that it’s nice to have the helm up and out of the way. Regardless, the 380′s helm station is situated in a pretty good spot, out of the way but yet still close to the family while underway. Most of our time spent as a family for meals and games and the like will be spent in the cockpit. So it is critical that it has a good layout by itself. The newer models of the 380s skip the bare spot under the galley window where folks used to put sea chests and have now added a large locker. That locker can still fit a good size sea chest but I think what I would like to possibly do is build in a “chest” type freezer unit. A lot of work I’m sure but a good design idea none the less. The rest of the cockpit has the propane tank locker and plenty of storage lockers along with the manual bilge pumps. I’ve mentioned before that I like teak. I don’t necessarily like teak maintenance but I do like teak. This boat had a teak grate over the cockpit drain which was a nice touch. Although I’m sure if this was ours there will be a day when I think differently about that teak. Especially since it already needs a fresh coat of oil to freshen it up a bit. Moving on within the cockpit, another change that Lagoon made, albeit small but majorly functional, is that moving up from the cockpit toward the helm there is a small molded in step. This is one item that in my research many 380 owners of the older models have had done or done themselves. The stretch from the floor of the cockpit to the seat and beyond is just a bit further than what is comfortable. Especially while underway or when you are in a hurry. Moving on up to the helm this boat was equipped with good Harken winches. Two on the port side and one on the starboard. One of the two winches at the helm was powered which fits one of the items from the “Want List”. One item at the helm that is not on the usual charter or stock boat is the upgraded Raymarine electronics package. The key piece was the radar and chart plotter along with the Raymarine autopilot (remote insite at nav station) which is again one of those big ticket package items that we would rather not have to buy after we buy the boat.
Moving on around towards the bows I looked at all of the running rigging, the stack-pack, lazy jacks and everything was in great shape. Not a big surprise for an almost new boat. Looking at the trampoline it’s in great shape, didn’t need any spots that needed to be fixed. Looking up the mast from deck level everything looked great with no red flags. As I mentioned before this boat has the Raymarine chart plotter and radar and the radar dome looked good and all of the installations looked to be fine. Only a survey would tell.
Another feature of the Lagoons that I have become a little bit fixated on is the vertical saloon windows. A slight nuance that makes a huge difference close to the equator when the heat of the sun is directly overhead. While this is great for solar panels it’s not so great for slanted windows that allow excess sunlight and thus HEAT into the cabin. The more heat we can keep out of the cabin the better. Many folks overlook this but to me it just seems like common sense. On the 380 the water tanks are in the forward lazarettes. Stock is a single ~79 gallon poly water tank. This boat has dual tanks, one in each lazarette. Another item that many folks install in the starboard lazarette is a generator. This boat did not have one. This is a big kicker as that is one of those big ticket items that we really want to avoid having to purchase after the fact. Another key item that is missing from this boat is a watermaker, thus the need for the second water tank. You can see that second tank in the image to the left along with a storage container and a sail bag which contains the (hardly used) genoa. In the port side lazarette you have the anchor windlass and anchor chain locker along with the primary water tank. One item I overlooked was whether or not there was a fresh water wash-down pump/fitting in the chain locker/lazarette.
Another feature/item that you don’t often see on most of the stock or charter 380s is a bowsprit. While the bowsprit doesn’t give you the same benefit on a multihull that you would get on a mono (depending on who’s opinion you get) because the multis have the advantage of the wide beam to begin with. For example the beam on this boat is listed at 21.5′. Compared to half (or less) on an equivalent LOA monohull. This boat had a small bowsprit. While I’m not a rigging expert, I’m sure this one could use a bit more length. In this shot you can also see the furler for the foresail/jib along with a good beefy Delta anchor. Notice that the anchor chain track doesn’t have a mark on it. I would have to question if this anchor has ever been used. The condition of the chain in the chain locker only goes to support my theory.
The windlass remote was conveniently located inside the saloon mounted on the starboard side of the mast step. This location allows whoever is doing the anchoring to control the windlass out of the weather from within the safety of the saloon or very easily take it out the forward window with enough cord to get a good view of the anchor and rode as you are paying it out. I guess this also would make it easier to sail onto and off of anchor without starting the engines.
Once we were done with the outside we moved inside and spent just as much time but I didn’t take as many pictures. I thought that I had enough shots of the interiors of the Lagoons including the 380s that I have found on the internet. A key point that I needed to check out though was the headroom. I’m a hair taller than 6′ and headroom is fairly important to my day to day sanity. This was a show-stopper on the older Lagoon 410 and, if you can believe it the $1mil+ Chris White Atlantic 57. A feature that I don’t understand is the navigation station/chart table on the 380. It is too small to fit a standard size chart comfortably but any manual charting would be done at the saloon or cockpit table anyway. Especially considering that I am left handed, this layout doesn’t work for me. But, it’s not a big deal and there is sufficient space to mount the electronics that I want and a good spot for navigation laptop. Since the 380 is short on refrigeration the area under the nav table looks like an ideal spot to so some fiberglass work and install a good sized fridge. Even without impacting the nav table which I would want to keep. That’s a good spot for storing smaller, often frequently used items.
On throughout the rest of the interior the berths (beds) are great sized. There is plenty of room in the companion ways to get in and out (but not linger). It is what it is. She’s not a floating mansion but compact and functional without sacrificing some decent storage. I looked closely at the heads. I don’t really want more than 2-3 heads on our boat and this 380 has 2. The more heads, the more maintenance so less is more. The heads are manual which is great, while I am sure that Michelle and the boys will probably end up wanting electric heads I would prefer the manual pumps, again, for ease of maintenance and also because manual eliminates the power draw from the battery banks.
While we are pretty sure that this is not going to be our boat (see the ‘bad’ earlier in the post) since there are too many big ticket items missing: generator, water-maker, solar panels. And for the price that the owner is asking there just is not enough room in the budget for ‘this’ boat and adding those items after the fact. Granted I feel like that compared to other similar boats on the market this one is priced too high so that plays into our decision as well.
We came out of this with a much clearer idea of what we are and are not looking for. The 380 comes about as close to the “perfect” boat for us as we can get when you figure in the price point to the equation. It is very simple, less expensive means more time out cruising and that is what it’s all about right? Bottom line, I like the 380 much more than I thought I would. Is it my Gunboat? No, but it is definitely better suited for our family and what we want to do in the near future.