Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A "Yacht" of Fun in the Sun

Here's your first look at Sun Chaser, a 142-footer delivered by Richmond Yachts a few months ago. True to her name, she's been heading for horizons all over the place: Cabo San Lucas in Mexico (where Neil Rabinowitz photographed her for us), the famed Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, and the States' own megayacht mecca, Fort Lauderdale. And that's just since January.

With exterior styling by Ward Setzer, and in com-
pliance with both ABS class and the MCA Code, Sun Chaser has been chased after, too—in a good way. In fact, we're told that during her stay at Atlantis, in one day alone three people inquired about which yard had built her and wanted further details about the British Columbia-based Richmond, which has delivered three yachts to date and has two more under construction.

As for this 142-
footer, she features six staterooms, including a bridge-deck VIP. The master is on the main deck and two feet longer than the same stateroom aboard Richmond's 138-footers. Neither Sun Chaser's owner, a businessman from Arizona, nor his guests need to venture to their staterooms to freshen up if they're enjoying the Jacuzzi or the half-moon shape bar on the flying bridge (which Richmond aptly also calls a spa deck), as there's a day head up here. And the crewmember serving drinks need not trek all over the deck, either, as the bar is conveniently nestled between the Jacuzzi and a handful of stools.

Expect Sun Chaser to keep fulfilling her name—and to be one of the stars in our upcoming 2008 Megayachts of the Year calendar. As for Richmond, expect to see another 142 splash this August. We'll have a story on that yacht in the pages of Power & Motoryacht.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The U.S. Coast Guard Wants You!

If you're active in boating-safety measures in your community, the U.S. Coast Guard wants to hear from you. Waypoints, the monthly e-newsletter its Office of Boating Safety sends to like-minded individuals on this topic, is in need of news and stories about how you've successfully implemented measures on a local level that you'd like to share with others around the nation. If you have an item you'd like considered, e-mail The deadline for the June newsletter is April 27, but of course the Coast Guard is continually accepting news items to use throughout the year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Gathering Storm

Is public opinion about to turn against boating? Capt. Richard Thiel, editor-in-chief of Power & Motoryacht magazine, weighs in on a "potential maelstrom" for boating: public acceptance of global warming and a renewed drive for energy independence. He asks: "Shouldn’t boaters and boatbuilders prepare for that possibility? Whether it’s hiring lobbyists or building more fuel-efficient boats, shouldn’t we do something now, before the storm hits?" (You can read the rest of his editorial here.)

He's definitely hit a nerve: We've gotten e-mails from readers ranging from regular Joes to Florida Council of Yacht Clubs members who plan to bring up the subject in upcoming meetings. How about you—what's your view?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Student Styles a Sunseeker

Some students flip burgers, others land jobs working for family members—but Adam Yougman got what we consider one of the coolest jobs ever. He did some of the woodwork on the new Sunseeker 37-Meter, The Snapper. While participating in a college apprenticeship program with Tekne shopfitters, a Sunseeker subcontractor, Yougman won a woodcraft competition by designing and building a jewelry box. His bosses at Tekne were so impressed that they rewarded him with the chance to create and install a wooden bar onboard the 121-foot yacht.

Look for a full feature article on the Sunseeeker 37-Meter Trideck in our June issue.

121.5/243-MHz EPIRBS Banned

BoatU.S.magazine reports in its March issue that the U.S. Coast Guard has banned the use of 121.5-MHz Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) beginning January 1, 2008. This is in preparation for the shut-off of satellite reception on these frequencies, which is set to take place on February 1, 2009. The ban applies to all Class A, B, and S products, but does not affect 121.5-MHz man-overboard systems, which work by alerting a base station onboard the boat and not the satellite system. (Check out the June issue of Power & Motoryacht for a roundup of all the MOB systems on the market.)

The article says boaters planning to travel more than 20 miles offshore should now use only 406-MHz EPIRBs, whose signals are picked up by the COSPAS-SARSAT satellites worldwide. The 406-MHz beacons send "smart" signals coded with information such as vessel identity and location to search-and-rescue stations around the world.

The biggest problem with 121.5 beacons has been false alerts. According to BoatU.S., only one out of 50 alerts from a 121.5 is actually a distress call; and the rest are false alerts. Since 406 beacons are required by law to be registered to the owner, false alarms have been reduuced.

You can register your 406-MHz EPIRB online at NOAA or by calling (888) 212-SAVE. Additionally, the BoatU.S. Foundation says it will continue to rent 406-MHz EPIRBs; reservations can be made online at BoatU.S. Foundation.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Megayacht Owner Becomes "Space Nerd"

Talk about one heckuva trip: Charles Simonyi, one of our favorite megayacht owners, is hurtling his way into space as you read this. Yes, space—as in "outer." He's the latest tourist (or, as he joked, the first nerd in space), joining a mission heading to the international space station. Being a computer whiz, naturally he's created a Web site where you can learn what tasks he'll perform as well as read his blog and post questions he'll answer. One question we'd like to have settled: Can he see his yacht from space?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Pretty Paradigm in Paradise

Ever been on a weeklong trip and decided it just wasn't enough time? The owner of the 92-foot Endless Summer knows exactly how you feel. That's why he decided to spend several weeks cruising the Barra de Navidad area of Mexico instead of the originally planned seven days for her maiden voyage.

Fully loaded with 5,000 gallons of fuel and 900 gallons of water, the yacht departed from California in mid-March and has been enjoying, as her name says, an endless summer ever since. And as these photos show, should a sudden squall develop, he has splendid accommodations to pass the time in.

The yacht was built by Paragon Motor Yachts; in fact, she's the third 92 that Paragon has delivered in seven months.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Poker Run Fun

When my parents bought a vacation home in Punta Gorda, Florida, about 20 years ago, the place was so sleepy that the residents practically rolled up the sidewalks at 8 p.m., and Dad's 21-foot Sea Ox could smoke most of the boats cruising past Fisherman's Village, a collection of shops, restaurants, and slips within walking distance of my parents' place. Times have changed dramatically since then, and my visit this past weekend underscored just how much. A poker run, complete with chase helicopter, came to town, with several dozen speedsters built by Cigarette, Fountain, Donzi, and others throwing roostertails that proved they took full advantage of the relaxed speed rules in the channel (raised to 80 mph). While they stopped at Fisherman's Village just long enough to refuel and enjoy lunch, it was long enough for me to snap some shots. Enjoy!