Well it’s been years in the planning and at times I seriously thought we’d never get there, especially with the state of the Australian $, but we have eventually found the boat of our dreams and everything went smoothly with the purchases and ‘Casablanca’ a Lagoon 440 is now ours!
There is one slight Hiccup to our plans and that is that we purchased the boat in Australia, which means that we have to sail it to the Med, but hay, there are worse things to have to do 🙂
It’s funny, as when we started looking at Cats I was firmly of the opinion that a Lagoon was at the very bottom of the list of the Cats we would want to purchase, simply because what we have heard about their sailing ability and the general derision of Monohull and Catamaran sailors (online armchair captains) that Lagoons are on the end of. For me I wanted a sleek and fast lightweight daggerboard cat that I could fly along on and have a blast sailing. But over the years and viewing many different types of Cats and how poorly the living space is designed and laid out and how small the living space is on a lot of 44′ cats, especially the daggerboard cats, we decided that speed was not everything and living space for a family became the priority and from then on it really came down to for our price point a Lagoon 440, Fountaine Bahia 46 or Orana 44 or a Leopard 46. Of these we were not that keen on the Bahia, the Leopard always seemed to be priced higher than the others, so it was between the 440 and the Orana, of which the 440 for design and layout is a much nicer boat.
Just after not moving forward with the Moody 54, I decided that we may have to buy a boat in Australia where my stash of hard earned $$ still had some value, so after a quick search on Yachtworld I found a Lagoon 440 in the Whitsundays and flew out from Perth the following weekend to have a look at it. The current owners who were in their 70’s, had only purchased it less than a year earlier for their retirement home and had spent that time fixing and upgrading the boat ready to take off. Mal, one of the owners was a shipwright by trade so everything had been meticulously upgraded and repaired and really was in smick condition with a lot of new and upgraded gear on-board.
Unfortunately for Mal, an old back injury had put a kibosh to their plans and sailing was not coming easy to him, so they had decided to sell the boat to my gain 🙂 An offer was placed a day after I flew back and a price agreed, which was within 10% of the asking price. Did I overpay? Possibly by a bit, but not by much, but more importantly, finding a boat in that condition is not easy and after some of the train wrecks that I had viewed I was pretty happy to part with the cash. The survey went through fine and a mechanical survey picked up a couple of issues with the sail drive, which Mal fixed using my Mechanic, so everything went smoothly and Casablanca is now ours.
One of the tools for buying the boat that I had, was a list of Past Sale Prices for All Catamarans worldwide (sold by a broker, not private) for the last few years, this included asking price and final sale price, so I could really gauge what to pay and what was a fair price for the boat. Anyone interested should look at Wiley Sharp a USA Catamaran broker who uploads this information on a regular basis – You can find him on his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruBBH1CsldE-Z1U40fGdqA
Due to Cyclone season approaching in Northern Queensland, I moved the boat straight away down to Victoria and will bring it over to Perth across the Bight in February 2020 when the winds are more favourable. Now, to all those naysayers that say Lagoons can’t sail, well I was pleasantly surprised and she sailed extremely well, especially when the wind was slightly aft of the beam where we were happily trundling along at 7-8kts in 10-12kts of wind and hit a glorious 10.7kts at one point, although the wind was gusting over 20kts then. Sailing higher than around 40 degrees apparent, especially in lighter airs she was not that happy, but on the journey down, we just waited for the wind – That’s what cruising is about 🙂
The real bonus of the trip was that my wife absolutely loved the boat and loved sailing her and can’t wait to jump onboard and take off for the horizon……….