WORLD OF CHARTERING
tude's charter desk, and one item jumped right out at us: Lagoon, a longtime catamaran innovator, has announced the production of a "radical" new cat, the Lagoon 420, which will come equipped with electric auxiliary motors — the first production boat ever to make that claim. Although the first 420 isn't due to come off the line until this June, it strikes us that this is potentially exciting news for the charter industry. The way we understand the 420's setup, a large genset will supply power for both propulsion, when needed, and 'house' functions, as is done aboard modern cruise ships and naval vessels. If you've ever chartered a big boat in the tropics and seen how much the cabin heats up when you have to run your diesel engine(s) two hours a day in order to keep your fridge and batteries charged, you know why we've been wishing for an announcement like this for years. Gensets are much more efficient, of course, they're quieter and they can
We haven't seen the new Lagoon 420 yet — no one has. But we sure like the idea of powering it with a genset rather than hot, noisy diesels.
be located away from the main cabin. If these boats are put into charter fleets, they'll contribute less fossil fuel pollution to the sensitive marine ecosystems where they operate, they'll be cheaper to operate in the long run, and charterers will be more comfortable below decks. Score 10 points for Lagoon! Perhaps other manufacturers will follow suit. In other chartering news — and par-
ticularly since this month's section is focused on Pacifc Northwest chartering — we'd like to give a plug to the charter operators of Bellingham, WA, who invite you to attend their second annual Charterfest, held April 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Squalicum Marina. The idea is to show off the fleets of the city's six charter operators to potential charterers. Both sail and power boats will be on display, and each company's representatives will be on hand to answer questions about boats and the nearby cruising grounds, as well as Alaska's Inside Passage. Sponsored by the Port of Bellingham, the following firms will exhibit: Bellhaven Charters, Bellingham Yachts, Northwest Explorations, Par Yacht Charters, San Juan Sailing and San Juan Yachting. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out. For further details, call the Harbor Office at (360) 676-2542 or visit www. portofbellingham.com.
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• February, 2006
Contact Betsy Bryan www.bajaschoonercruises.com (805) 216-6494
The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.