Water, Water Everywhere

We left our anchorage in Cabo De Santa Maria early and got out of the entrance at slack tide, which made it a lot easier than coming in.

We pointed east and as we were motoring we decided to make some water. Stan pulled up the floorboards to check on which tank the water was being drawn from and found a bilge full of water. Something was filling it up and the automatic bilge pump (and alarm!) had failed to kick in. Luckily the Lagoon comes with three sets of bilge pumps so we quickly turned on the manual electric one and pumped out the water.

We then went on a witch hunt to find out where the water was coming from. Eventually after some searching, we found the culprit – one of the 230V salt water pumps for the airconditioning units had blown a seal. We shut off the sea cock and pulled out the faulty bilge pump. Luckily it was a nice calm day and Judy stood watch, while Stan and I had our heads down in the bilge. We worked out that the culprit was the sensor and I few emails later we had Oceancat in Mazagon on standby to have a look at the problem.

We made it into Mazagon just after 3 and quickly found Monica from Oceancat. Monica turned out to be another gem, couldn’t be more helpful. In no time at all she had the parts ordered from Lagoon in France. I also got her to have a look at another leak, that Jorge had diagnosed as coming from the shower sump. It ended up to be a good move because they worked out it was coming through a join in the fibreglass where there os a separate section of fibreglass, for the fishfinder transducer, the holding tank outlet and toilet inlet, just behind the owners bathroom door.

So with a wait for parts and a lift in Peurto Sherry (outside of Cadiz) organised for a weeks time, we booked La Mischief into the marina for a week and set off in a hire car to explore Seville and its surrounds.

See photo at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4666968565108&set=a.4666965365028.1073741849.1620379103&type=3&theater

Desperately Seeking Crew

I have a gap that desperately needs filling.

Stan and Judy leave me in gibraltar on the 10th and cas joins me in valencia on the 25th june.

I have a spare cabin from now until 25th June that needs filling.

I will be in morocco at marina smir (10nm from gibraltar) until the 9th june and then in gibraltar from 9th to 19th june getting out of EU for a while.

Then on the 20th june I set sail for valencia.

So if you are anywhere in the vicinity and want to come sailing on a beautiful lagoon 421 catamaran and explore gibraltar and the costa sol along the way then let us know.

Update for Mike

I got an email from my mate Mike, and because he’s such a nice bloke, I thought I would devote a whole blog entry to his questions….

Mike wrote
Hey if you can add this to your blog somewhere it’ll be good.
Engines? How did you find them?
Steerage, any comments on the forward rudders?
Handling in marinas?
Sail plan, what have you got?
Main Reefing setup?
Rigging winch clutch / sailing control?
Windage in windward sailing, beating AWA?
Elevated helm access?
Forward visibility from the helm? (through the genoa)
Smart charger?
Batteries?
Inverter capacity?
What is that thing under the floor? 13. Watermaker?
Bridge deck clearance?
Tender davits and access?
Drogues and sea anchors?
Solar panels, how did you go with those flexibles

1. Lets start with engines.

The 75HP engines are brilliant. Had a few nervous moments with them early on. Wasn’t used to the power in the marina. Now heavy handed Steve has become light handed Steve, its all good.
They also take you places quickly. Can easily motor along at 10 knots.
They got a great work out in the 60+ knots the other day. Thats when you really need them. Glad I took all the advice that said get the biggest engines you could.

2. The forward rudder setup is no worries provided you remember to centre and lock the wheel when doing all those tricky marina moves. Hopefully they make the motors more efficient when you are motoring long distances.

3. The sail plan consists of a bloody big square topped main and a genoa, plus a geneker. It’s a big boat and it needs pushing along. Plan is to get a parasail before we head off across the Atlantic and Pacific.

4. The main reefing setup is something we are rapidly becoming experts on. Two single line reefs, the third needs to be clipped on at the front. Good set-up – they seem to go in and out quite easily. Getting our heads around reefing the genoa as well. It has reefing spots on it where you can furl to, so you can keep things balanced up.

5. Rigging winch clutch / sailing control – all done back at the steering station via 3 big electric winches. Getting very lazy in our old age. The genoa furling line is a bit dicky – has a clutch thats on the pulley. Might need to look at this down the track. Line storage is also a work in progress. All those lines coming back to the one spot, can get a bit messy at this.

6. Windage in windward sailing, beating AWA – its a cat so not great. About the same as Camelot, except it goes about a knot or so faster.

7. Elevated helm access – I like it. Quite a classy looking wheel and instrumentation. No engine keys. The clears bothered me to start with. Need to roll them up for marina parking. Will be good when we get to warmer weather and can take them off.

8. Forward visibility from the helm? (through the genoa) – not all that great from the helm but bloody good from inside the warm, comfy saloon. The visibility through the all round windows is awesome. Can sit at the inside forward facing nav station (with its Raymarine touch screen) and get a nice clear view.

9. Smart charger – Two of. They work really well and the good part is that with two engines running, we get a nice cumulative effect. Pumping in 46amps at the moment on one engine. Have also put in a Victron Invertor/Charger so the genset and shorepower can charge a lot quicker. James alerted me about the standard chargers that come with Lagoon and I’m glad I did this.

10. Batteries – Could have done this better. Lagoon only use 120AH gel batteries. I have four for a total of 480AH, a lot less than the 3 200AH batteries on Camelot. Can live with this for now because of my charging capacity. Will need more solar.

11. Inverter capacity – Good 3000A unit. Combined with the whopping 11KVa Genset, should be able to drive my dive compressor when I get it.

12. What is that thing under the floor – I don’t know – a hull perhaps?

13. Watermaker – still to be commissioned by Allan and I. Now the water is a clearer we will tackle this. Runs off both 12V and 240V which is useful.

14. Bridge deck clearance – seems really good. Only the occasional slap so far. In fact you could count them on one hand so far.

15. Tender davits and access – old man’s syndrome drove me to get an electric winch for this as well. Still have an issue getting it balanced so that it doesn’t flip sideways when lifting it. Still work in progress. Once up, its good.

16. Drogues and sea anchors – not yet. Still cruising close to coast where theres lots of harbours. Have a Sea Brake at home I will get brought over. Definitely need to address before heading out over the Atlantic.

17. Solar panels – four 100W flexible panels, stuck on roof. Look good but lack of sun until yesterday didn’t allow us to see how they performed. Yesterday they were holding their own with the boat on autopilot and the Bose stereo going. No dedicated monitoring for panels like I had on Camelot. Will need to add a lot more panels – will extend bimini top over dingy with about 6 more of the same panels (not good to mix and match). Thought about a windgen but would rather stick with all solar solution.

There you go. Hope it answered a few questions that I’m sure the sailors in the audience would like to know. For the rest of you, I hope I didn’t bore you too much.

Commissioning

TIME FOR SOME SERIOUS BLOGGING……

After arriving on Thursday, we had a couple of busy days shopping for everything – kitchen stuff, tools, safety gear, everything – you name it. we had a comprehensive list from Camelot and we spent two days driving around in our hire car discovering where to buy stuff.

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Leanne and mike from Ooroo 1 were invaluable, as they had been there from a couple of weeks already and had sussed out most of the shopping – especially the cheap (but good) champagne – €4 a bottle – how goods that).

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We picked up Allan and Joan from the train station on Saturday and caught up with Brendan from Vicsail on Sunday morning. Then we were into it. Unpacking everything… Commissioning stuff … Checking stuff – it was full on. We managed to find places for all our shopping and the bits that we unpacked on La Mischief.

The new Lagoons have their mast and rigging installed on the hard stand and then are put on a commissioning jetty where they are finished off. There were 8 new Lagoons on the jetty when we arrived. Commissioning has been an interesting process with all the different players and contractual arrangements. La Mischief was purchased from Vicsail (the Lagoon agent in Sydney) who orders the boat from Lagoon in France. Lagoon have a limited number of options available that can be done during manufacture but they refuse to deviate from their standard assembly line process so any extras you want, have to be done separately. Lagoon contract the commissioning work to a company called Sailing Atlantic Services (SAS) who we also used to commission some of our after market items. For the electrical / electronics after market items, we used a company call Robin Marine. Vicsail contracts with both SAS and Robin Marine for the extras that are not part of Lagoons scope of work.

As well as getting lots of help from Brendan Hunt, the MD of Vicsail, who came over from Sydney to help us through the process, we also dealt with Olivier from Lagoon who was their Customer Relations Manager – a suave Frenchman, who was obsessed with Rugby, and was very charming. Jean-Christophe was our go to man from SAS – he was brilliant, as he worked quite hard to make sure everything was finished off before we left for Easter. Jean-Christophe has a bit of a reputation for being a bit abrupt, but he’s like a lot of techos I know – really good technically but not necessarily a smooth talker. Allan and I really liked working with Jean- Christophe – he called a spade a spade. Pierre from Robin Marine was their go to man – a really nice guy and didn’t all the girls just love him. Joan threatened to run away with him if Allan wore his new beanie to a restaurant.

By Monday lunchtime, we were casting off the dock lines and heading out for our first sea trials. Really light winds – 5 to 7 if you were lucky. Nice gentle conditions to try out our brand new geneker, as well as the main and genoa.

We finished by dropping our 25kg Rocna anchor and testing our 100m of 10mm chain. I think that will secure us at anchor.

All the time, SAS and Robin Marine were finishing off their commissioning and after market items. Allan and Joan were such a huge help with everything. Al was really enjoying the process of understanding and commissioning a new boat.

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Robin Marine needed the boat for two days whilst they fitted the smart alternators. Meanwhile someone had forgotten to fit our new outside (beer) fridge so SAS leapt into action to get this very essential item installed. How can you possibly go sailing with warm beer???

Whilst Robin Marine were busy with the smart chargers, Allan and I took the opportunity tovisit the Lagoon factory (the girls went shopping of course). Brendan, Allan and I drove about 50km inland to find one of the eight or so Benneteau factories amongst an area known for good workers. Some of the Lagoon models are built here and transported to the coast at Les Sables DÓlonnes where they are commissioned. We followed Olivier (from Lagoon), who was auditioning for a drive in the Le Mans 24 hour race, so we had our work cut out in our Renault Scenic keeping up with him. The factory was very impressive, good processes that turned out a very well built, consistent boat. The factory seems to be full of women, the boss is a woman and they explained they use a lot of women in the factory because they are more careful with their work(wo)manship. We started at the beginning where the boats start off as a huge layered patchwork quilt before infusion. Allan said that the quality control process is as good as that used in the oil and gas industry. As we wandered through the factory, we heard Madame Rue was also visiting and we were luckyenough to meet her in person. She owns 60% of the Benneteau Group that owns the Lagoon brand. She is the granddaughter of the original Monsieur Benneteau and is treated like royalty in these parts. We left the factory thinking that these boats are great value for money for the amount of and quality of workmanship and componentry that goes into them.

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WHEEL HOUSE

Because of the complexities of multiple parties, the people involved and language barriers, finishing La Mischief off kept us very busy. We had test sails to do, fit the Aussie BBQ, commission equipment and shop for spares and tools. Allan thought it was a hoot, shopping for tools on my credit card. Even better for Allan was knowing that Joan’s shopping bill wasn’t going on his credit card either (Well except for a few things).

In between we found time to have a look around Sables D’Olonne and check out a few restaurants and bars, with our partners in crime from Ooroo.

All in all it was a great effort all round and by Thursday we were nearly ready. We had new linen, kitchen appliances, cutlery and were stocked up with food.

Ready for our first leg to La Rochelle.