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Old 15-10-2011, 20:51   #1
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Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

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 and autopilot 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 and motor 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 to others.

Attached photo is Migrator tied up at Squirrel Cove in Desolation Sound. Loved the old blue and yellow ketch that was along side.

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Old 15-10-2011, 22:58   #2
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

We never did have much of a summer this year and here it is chilling out already.

But glad you had good time of it. The waters outside of Pender Harbour can be fun at times. I got a nice following sea over my transom a few times after leaving the harbour.

There is some guy that likes sail-boarding out there sometimes. That area can be like a wind tunnel at times. Late July thru Aug. is my favorite time in that part of the Salish Sea.
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Old 16-10-2011, 09:25   #3
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

wow 6-7 knots in 15+ wind? Dam that boat is slow. Should be doing 9 knots plus even with a heavy cat. Sounds like a blast! Vancouver has some beautiful places to sail. Grew up there.
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Old 16-10-2011, 10:19   #4
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

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Originally Posted by Tropical Home View Post
wow 6-7 knots in 15+ wind? Dam that boat is slow. Should be doing 9 knots plus even with a heavy cat. Sounds like a blast! Vancouver has some beautiful places to sail. Grew up there.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 16-10-2011, 17:27   #5
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My thoughts exactly.
Ditto, traveling at the same speed with full sail downwind as you did motoring is not a very good endorsement. I guess it was the first time on a cat for you all and you enjoyed the new experience. Glad you had fun.
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Old 16-10-2011, 18:06   #6
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

Nice post Krafthaus;
I plan on taking Coriolis to DS next summer, from Horseshoe Bay.
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Old 16-10-2011, 19:28   #7
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

I'm glad to hear you made the most out of our marginal, at best, weather this year. Desolation is an awsome place and a week just does not do it justice. You will have to come back and try it again. I know the boat you were on as we were all at the Lagoon rendezvous this year. There are not many of them in the PNW but I love the Lagons for this area.
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Old 16-10-2011, 19:48   #8
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

You know, I think I lowballed the speed for the sticklers out there. Thinking back, I guess we were up 8 & 9 knots at times, downwind and motoring on the beam reach. Mostly a bit disappointed in pointing to windward when close hauled I'd say.

But again, depending on the type of sailing you want, this group of 10 enjoyed the boat very much! Looking forward to the next charter opportunity sailing a cat whether it is out of Vancouver again or Florida/Caribbean.
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Old 19-10-2011, 12:05   #9
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

Ahhh...Desolation. Just gorgeous.

Our time at Roscoe Bay in May:
SV Estrellita 5.10b: Logbook: Roscoe Bay
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Old 20-10-2011, 22:08   #10
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

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Ahhh...Desolation. Just gorgeous.

Our time at Roscoe Bay in May:
SV Estrellita 5.10b: Logbook: Roscoe Bay

Livia, looks like we sailed some of the same waters. Very nice for sure.

Had a quick look at your blog and will want to read more to learn about your PNW sailing. Also for your adventure south....or west, or east....no matter, you are in for a wonderful time. All the Best to you.
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Old 21-10-2011, 01:19   #11
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Re: Lagoon 400 - False Creek to Desolation Sound

Sounds like a great trip on a sailboat, I've only been to Cortez island and Desolation sound paddling a sea kayak about 10 years ago. It was a great trip and were hopeing to cruse up there next summer in our catamaran so I can show my wife what beauty I am always talkng about. I really like the BC's folks attitude about clothing optional swimming in the really warm water bays in late August and September. You must have been heading into some tideal currents that can be 2 to 3 kt's at times and head winds can really slow a cat down. Did you try the local osters that are everywhere near the commercial oster farms or is that just something a kayaker gets into.
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