Sep 23-27, my wife and I with four other couples chartered a Lagoon 400
from False Creek in Vancouver, BC and sailed north to Desolation Sound and back.
The Lagoon 400
was brand new this year and we chartered from Blue Pacific Yacht Charters. This was a four cabin/four head charter
model. Overall concensus was everybody absolutely loved this boat. All but one of the other couples have sailed with us before on 35' to 42' monohulls, so everyone was really looking forward to giving this cat a try.
Friday morning was checkout and we left the dock
by 10am. Once out in English
Bay, set the sails
and had a fantastic downwind sail in 15-25 knot
winds for the entire day to our first night's destination
of Pender Harbour. The boat sailed consistently around 6-7 knots. This was with jib
and full mainsail
. This boat does not have a Genoa
. Raymarine chartplotter
were wonderful and did almost all the steering! Set the desired heading, adjust as necessary and enjoy the ride. We were tied up at Garden Bay Marina by 6pm and had a great dinner at Garden Bay Pub.
Saturday there was no wind
, so we motored the entire way to Refuge Cove. This Lagoon
had 2 x 40 HP Yanmar
engines and we did roughly 6 knots or a little better around 2400 RPM
. When we arrived at Refuge Cove we found the store and restaraunt were closed for the season so we crossed to Squirrel Cove to check it out and buy a few things, then returned to Refuge Cove and tied up at the dock
for th night. Original plans were to anchor
out in Prideaux Haven, but poor weather
was brewing and decided it might be wiser to spend the night on the dock.
On Sunday our plans were to sail around East & West Redonda Islands and then stay in Desolation Sound before a two day trip back to Vancouver, but the weather forecast
was not good and we decided to do a quick visit into Teakerne Arm to see Cassel Falls and then head
back south to Pender Harbour so we were in position to make False Creek on Tuesday if we had a day out for weather.
This was a disappointment because Desolation Sound is absolutely beautiful and we wanted to see more, but this turned out to be a wise decision.
The trip back to Pender was rough in spots as we motored against a headwind for close to half of the 61 nm that day. The boat did a great job and handled 3 to 4 foot waves without a problem. We slowed down some at times not because the boat was a problem, but to make sure the crew was fine with the ride. Last part of the trip was 20-25 knots of wind
over the starboard side and we set the jib
sailed at 7+ knots to make Pender Harbour before dark for another night at Garden Bay Marina.
Just a bit about the layout of the boat. Besides the 4 cabins/heads, there is an ample salon
with table, seating for 8, nav station and galley
. Between the salon
and the cockpit
is a sliding door and then a sliding window across the back of the galley
counter top that also opens. This boat had a very nice heavy clear vinyl enclosure around the entire cock pit and helm
area, so with the door/window open it was like being at home! The cockpit
table sat up to 8 so all together there was plenty of room for the 10 of us to be together, in smaller groups or out on the boat enjoying the fresh air including some snooze time on the trampoline. With the barbeque on the back the entire boat was great for meals
, cards, games, drinks and all the fun a group of 10 could enjoy! High marks in this area!
Monday was a big blow! As the weather forecast
predicted there was 50 knots in the strait and the instruments showed 40+ knots while we were tied up in what I would class as a very sheltered harbour! Nonetheless we had fun on board and exploring the surrounding area and visiting a store on foot.
Tuesday was a clear day with 10-25 knot
winds mostly on the nose for our trip back to Vancouver. We had time to set the sails
close hauled for a couple of hours and tacked back and forth. This cat certainly does not point windward like a monohull
, so that was a bit of a disappointment, although not entirely unexpected. Some more time under sail would have been nice to get a better feel for the boat.
One item that is a pure joy is docking
this girl! With the two engines it is a simple matter to pull in, spin on a dime, back in, step off, tie up and done. I had never sailed a cat before and this was just fantastic. Definitely had the folks in the Pub looking when we docked at Pender and had a couple of favourable comments when we went inside.
Refueled at the False Creek fuel
dock and found we used about 5 liters of fuel
per hour. Some of this was harder motoring into the wind on Sunday, so thought the fuel burn rate was good.
Migrator was back on the dock and we ended our very enjoyable trip for 10 by around 4pm.
I'm sure we will be doing this again and would recommend a similar charter
is Migrator tied up at Squirrel Cove in Desolation Sound. Loved the old blue and yellow ketch
that was along side.