A few weeks ago I finally managed to post a question to the Cruisers Forum asking for any thoughts regarding what we consider our top two choices for "our boat". There were some interesting comments, so if you are interested in the Fountaine Pajot Tobago or Lagoon 37, click the link above and check them out.
It seems that the overall consensus was that either boat would be a good option. Each has pros and cons and it is a very close race in our minds even though the boats are fairly different configurations. In the end I think we really prefer the Lagoon.
One thing that I didn't expect from my post was to be contacted by a couple of people that owned boats and wanted to sell them and both were Lagoons. Now ideally we would like to buy a boat that is in the US as it makes the logistics much easier, but both were in the Caribbean. Since we are not finding one in the US, I guess we do need to "broaden our horizon".
I had seen the first boat listed on a for sale by owner web site. I contacted the owner by email and they sent me a couple links to more pictures of the boat. None of the pictures were high detail and it was unclear when they were taken, so while the boat seemed it could fit the bill, I could not really assess the condition. Given the advertised price, I assumed the boat would require some work and was curious what it was. So, I sent another email and asked the owner if they could provide more details about the boat including their assessment of it's condition so neither of us would waste traveling to see it just to find out it wasn't the level of project I was comfortable with. Unfortunately, instead of getting responses to my questions, the owner decided it was unlikely the boat would work for me. Oh well, I guess if he changes his mind we could pick up the conversation where we left off.
The owner of the second boat left his phone number, so I gave him a call. We had a nice conversation about his Lagoon and got the impression that this boat was in very good (or to use the proper sailing term "Bristol") condition. He sent me a number of pictures including some higher resolution ones that support my impression of it's condition. Of course, this does come at a price. It is the highest price of any Lagoon I've seen by a pretty fair margin but may well be worth it. I don't really want to say much more about this boat at this time...but hopefully we are coming one step closer to our new home on the water.
If you've been following for long, you may recall that I was working with a broker. When I told him about the second boat, he said "go for it" knowing that he may be out a commission because he knows how difficult it has been finding a good Lagoon. How's that for integrity. I'm trying to figure if there is a way to keep him in the deal where I would pay his fee without breaking the bank. I really need to write another post about our broker as he has been great to work with. But for now if you happen to be looking for a decent and honest boat broker that will help you with any size of catamaran purchase, you might want to give Pete Gulick at the Catamaran Company a call.
Update: Unfortunately I can no longer recommend Pete (and never really could recommend the Catamaran Company and its affiliates).