Pleasure Pursuit

Carnival Cruise Lines may have registered "fun ship" for its fleet, but judging from the amenities aboard Sun Chaser as well as a cruising calendar that leaves even larger yachts in her wake, the cruise-ship company may want to have its marketing department give up the rights to the catchphrase.

Look out, Carnival Cruise Lines. There's a new fun ship out there, and she's named Sun Chaser.

Built by Canada-based Richmond Yachts, Sun Chaser headed down the Pacific Coast after launch late last year for a siesta in the warm waters of Mexico for a few weeks. After this she traversed the Panama Canal to do some Bahamian island-hopping, where she turned more than a few heads while docked at the famed Atlantis resort's marina in March. And about 48 hours after I toured her in Fort Lauderdale in May, she headed over to the Med—on her own bottom, not aboard a customary transport ship.

While typically unheard of for a yacht this size, the trip, which the captain estimated would take two to three weeks when we spoke the day I was aboard, is certainly not impossible. Richmond equipped her to make far-flung cruising more than just a concept. With an 11,300-gallon fuel capacity and at her reported 15-knot cruise speed, thanks to twin 2,000-hp MTUs, she sees a range of 3,000 miles. (Maximum speed is 17 knots.) This is backed by an ABS-classed design that additionally complies with the MCA Code governing the safety of large yachts.

All of this underscores some of the biggest reasons for stepping up to a yacht exceeding 100 feet LOA: the desire to cruise more often and with more family and friends. As for the latter, clearly a 142-footer such as Sun Chaser—which was about 70 percent finished when her owner bought her—offers more relaxation space than a production motoryacht. But she also can tout something other builders don't offer—or perhaps don't know how to offer comfortably. This is the incorporation of five guest staterooms.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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