Bavaria 390 Lagoon - Puchase dilemma - to buy or not to buy.

sausage

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Background :
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Im coming close to making my choice for a boat to be heading to the Meditteranean from the UK, and then onwards out of the med probably to the Caribbean .

I have heard so many people say "stay away from Bav/Ben/Jen" and so many people say "I have one and have been using it for years as a live aboard, long distance cruiser - its been great".

So, clearly horses for courses, and each to their own.

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THE ISSUE
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So, bearing all the old opinions in mind about such brands, what do people know about the Bavaria lagoon 390?

I didnt want to go aboard the bavaria 390 at the brokers, but the broker persisted that I should look at it and said "its not like the newer bavarias - its a completely different creature".

It was in better condition than every other boat I saw of its age, and looked almost like new (as have all the other Bav 390Ls I have seen) - a testament to the build quality of Bavaria in the early to Mid 1990s.

This model has an "A1" build quality certification from Lloyds of London, only a few brands like westerly have such a certification as far as I know. It certifies that the boat has been built properly and to a certain strength - it is not an easily obtainable certificate.

This happened a few days ago at an Ancasta brokers shop, Ancasta are a large and reputable international brokerage; The broker has a westerly to sell, and he was not selling the Bav 390L. Although he said he would rather have the Bav 390L over the Westerly or the Moody for long distance cruising, as it is better built and was a more expensive boat than its comparitive Moodys & Westerlys in the day.

Everyone I have spoken to knows about old Bavs and said "great boat, lots of boat for the money" etc.

I have come close to out ruling many other boats, and things like the Bowman 46 Yawl is just too big for me to handle on my own, I also dont relish the fight with a long keel in european harbours even with crew.

Further: The seaworthy boats like Rivals, Sigmas, Westerlys etc just dont really have the accommodation I am looking for: master aft cabin, +2 other cabins & saloon, the sea worthy boats are all too narrow - and dont have bow thrusters, in mast furling or other things that will make it more comfortable to single handed sail.

My compromise is that I want spacious accomodation - as well as something strong and reliable.

Unfortunately, all boats in Europe are now 30% more exepensive due to the poor pound to euro exchange rate, and I have had to rethink my ambitions in terms of what I can buy. So this Bav 390Lagoon is rapidly becoming favourite.

A 1980s Moody 42 would be great, but finding one with the right gear in the right condition is very hard -the Bav is looking like the best option.

If Im about to do something Ill regret - please can you advise?

Thanks
M
 

Tranona

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If you like the boat - buy!

Although people draw comparisons between "old" and "new" Bavarias this is slightly unfair as they are different designs. You are quite right in comparing with Moodys and Westerlys of the day because that was the market Bavaria operated in. The boats have a reputation for being well built if a little gloomy down below. Many people use them for long distance cruising including some forumites who might be along soon with their comments.

With all boats of that age the most inmportant thing is condition and being sure you can bring it to the standard that you want within your budget.

If you don't go for this one, do not rule out later Bavarias, despite what people (who often don't own them) might say. Looking at your requirements, a 7-10 year old Bavaria will fit very well. My 2001 37 did 6 years as a charter boat and it stood up very well. One of the advantages with a newer boat is that equipment is more modern and may have more life left.

As it happens, I have been thinking of selling my Bavaria because we are not getting full use out of it where it is now, and buying an older "quality" boat in the UK for a similar budget. I am depressed at the state of 20 year old boats as they seem to need £10k+ spent on them to bring them up to the same standard as my Bavaria.

Hope this helps
 

jonic

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Hello Sausage

This is a most often debated point with many views and no-one is completely right because all boats at every level are a compromise. In many cases modern production boats are built down to a price and the main drive is berths, because most are destined for the charter market. The upside is bright airy roomy boats, comfortable cockpits, lots of berths and fun and fast sailing, especially downwind. The downside is lighter build quality, in some cases less sea kindly especially upwind, often a lack of seaberths and interiors that wear out quicker than a craftsman built boat with lots of solid wood.

The older Bavs seem to have been built more along the lines of heavier boats as opposed to today's models and I have heard good things about them.

Generally speaking a heavier boat will give a more sea-kindly motion. Generally speaking a quality build will give better wear and tear, especially in the interior. Generally speaking mass produced production boats hold their value less well, mainly because there are so many of them at any one time. Generally speaking mass produced production boats will be easy and exciting to sail, well equipped and have lots of creature comforts for less money.

But as I said at the beginning it really depends on the compromise that suits the individual. I know Beneteau owners that after a period of liveaboard cruising wish they had bought an older Moody/Oyster/Rassy instead, but I also know an owner that cruised the Caribbean on a Najad and then switched very happily to a Jeanneau. I was at the finish of the ARC this year and there were many happy Dufour, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Bav, Hanse etc owners. Several years ago, there was only one way to go if you were going to be doing some "serious cruising" but that is certainly not the case today.

For ME, my Moody 38 is a perfect compromise. Holds it's value, good build quality, medium displacement, sea kindly and a better sailing boat than I had expected.

good luck
 

TigaWave

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Is it my old one?

Mine did 10,000 miles in 11 months, from November storms in Biscay (hove to for two nights) to a nasty big cross swell storm on the way back 2-3 days out from the Azores.

The boat behaved extremely well. Safe and comfortable.

It would be my boat of choice for the next big trip in the price bracket 60-80k for a 1990-91 model.

Problem areas to look closely at, cable runs through the foredeck locker, they can leak at the rear, and cable runs from pedastol moulding (the only horrible bit I wanted to change as its ugly). Fixings of seat unit to floor cross beams. If its been removed many times to access keel bolt area the screws may need enlarging.

If you have any questions send a pm, I know the boat inside out and did the coding on mine.

They hold their value as there weren't that many built and they were built price and quality wise to compete with the Swedes at the time, so I would compare them to a malo/najad/sweden and having sailed a Sweden 38 and the Bav 390 across to the Carib I prefer the Bav.
 

sausage

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Tranona, Jonic, TigaWave (by the way - did you have a Tiga too ?)

Thanks all, that is very encouraging. I have been emailing the broker who is MD of a european distributor of a prestigous brand of yachts, and he has confirmed that this Bav is in better than expected condition, with a lot of service history and work completed including new engine and sail drive manchette.

Im starting to get excited.

The snob in me wants a Moody or Westerly and I know my sailing father would give it a knowing nod of approval.

However, due to a poor exchange rate, the Moodys/Westerlys in price brakcet are as expected - slightly smaller, not so nice condition, and so on.

Think its time to book a flight and go and have a look!

Tigawave - ill PM you /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Jonic- hopefully one day soon ill be a smiling Bav owner at the end of an ARC.

Thanks again!!
Mark
 

sausage

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TigaWave, yes its found its way into some of my user names as well. I had a powerjibe 295 (I think) and then a smaller 280 which ate me alive /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Im now back upto 295 maybe heading for 39foot now Im heavier and unfitter - not exactly progress as a windsurfer, but definately progress as a sailor.
 

TigaWave

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I've been up and down the size range as well...from a windsurfer regatta! to Bic show, F2 Bullet, Tiga 2.50 and now an F2 295...
Then it was dinghies for a while...Merlin Rocket (which I still have!) then an RS800 best boat ever, and a Laser just for fun in winter series which I still struggle with!

My first yacht not borrowed, delivered or skippered for others was the Bav390. I'd sailed a Sweden 38 for a year over to the Carib, and a Rival 38 for several months from Greece as well as a few channel cruises deliveries.

Boat sold now and at some point businesses I'm involved in should allow for another yacht, maybe a Rodger Martin 45 the same as Cetacea which I spent some time on when she was new.
 

AndrewCape

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Buy it!

I bought a 390 Lagoon this time last year, and after sailing around Italy last summer, we are now enthusiastically planning a three month cruise around Croatia. She is a great yacht.

Forget the cheap remarks from those keen to impart their "barside" knowledge but who don't have a clue of the difference between a Lagoon and a Carabic. In fact, rather, you should be grateful to them, because it is their ignorance that allows us to buy a great boat at a price that reflects a perception of the modern brand, not the quality of the boat itself.

Do an internet search for 390 Lagoon owners, and for that matter 370 and 430 Lagoon owners. You will find a group of owners and ex-owners who are intensely loyal to a well built and well designed long-term cuising boat. I haven't yet met a disgruntled owner, and many ex-owners still display a pang of affection.

The aft cabin arrangement is unsurpassed until you get to the Moody 420 size and class. The accommodation is good throughout. We sailed through a 40-45 kt storm in the Adriatic last autumn, and she handled it faultlessly, and inspired confidence. The tall rig gives much better light-airs performance than many more staid cruising yachts, but with far better stability than the modern lightweights.

Before buying the 390 we spent a lot of time viewing smelly and decrepit Moody's and Westerleys in the UK, offered at twice the price of the 390. It may just be that the better Med weather improves ageing, but after 20 years our Bavaria still looks better than most yachts half the age. I have no doubt that in ten years time our 390 will have appreciated beyind both her purchase and maintenance costs.

Whatever you do, happy sailing.
 

sausage

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Hey Andrew,
I totally agree with everything you have said. 2 of the 3 I have seen look like new despite being nearly 20 years old. The deck fittings are the best Ive seen and the accomodation is fantastic for a >40ft.

Alas, one had a severe crack in the keel bolt/bilge after an impact, another was in poor condition inside and on deck. The other and best of the bunch sold before I got chance to put a deposit down. So, Ive opted for an incredibly well maintained older Moody 41 in nice condition. It wins on things like hydrovane sterring and wind gen, as well as a maintenence list longer than both my arms. However if it fails the survey, i have heard that the best of the 3 bavarias might be obtainable as the current purchaser is dragging his feet. So who knows, I might end up with one after all..

Incendentally, I have pangs for them already, I look at the photos of hte yachts Ive viewed and the 390 Lagoon is just lovely. Ive also seen your blogsite on my trips around the internet looking at 390s - Dolce Vita looks lovely - Ill keep my eye out for you in the med, as thats where Im heading in a few weeks for the foreseeable.

Cheers
Mark
 
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