Just christened, Laguna is a new line of fishing boats designed and produced by the world’s largest builder of pleasure boats. The design team’s portfolio includes Boston Whaler, Palmetto, Sea Boss and Sea Pro from the Saltwater Boat Group. Brunswick also manufactures Albemarle, Baja, Bayliner, Cabo, Crestliner, HarrisKayot, Hatteras, Lowe, Lund, Maxum, Meridian, Pinecraft, Sea Ray, Sealine, Triton and Trophy. With this impressive pedigree, Laguna is in very good company.
The sheer size of the parent company provides economy of scale, as purchasing power and production capabilities allow for better materials to be used while still reducing the cost of the finished product. High quality stainless steel rails, stainless steel through hulls, stainless steel rub-rail striker, wood-free construction with fiberglass stringer system, composite transom and barrier-coated bottom are but a few of the items that might go unnoticed, but the list of standard features will get your attention. These boats are factory-equipped to arrive at the dealer ready to go fishing. The factory installs Navman electronics as an option but otherwise the boats are ready to go.
With most boats, the base price is much lower than the final sale price due to all the options needed to make the boat a functional fishing boat. Aside from electronics, which most fishermen want to select themselves, the Laguna price includes just about everything. Notable standard items are four stroke outboards, swim platform, leaning post or reversible seat, pull up flush cleats, dual livewells, rod storage, pre-wired for trolling motors, hydraulic steering with stainless wheel, SmartCraft gauges, cockpit bolsters and lights, raw-water washdown, electric horn, compass, Coast Guard safety package, stainless rail for toe kick, T-top and trim tabs on the 24, aft seating, a boat orientation with a licensed captain and custom aluminum trailer. That’s right, the turn key package even includes the trailer. I know I have forgotten to mention some of the other items that are included, but you get the idea of how well the Laguna comes equipped.
We inspected and sea trialed this new product line at MarineMax, Venice, Florida. Lagunas are distributed through MarineMax to ensure that every boat is delivered properly and has a service facility available. MarineMax is the largest marine products retailer in the U.S., already has a full inventory of Mercury parts in stock, qualified Mercury technicians aboard and full service departments in place to take care of any type of warranty or maintenance required.
The bay boats, 19’6″ and 21’8″, both handled very well and have a great deck layout. Nice casting platforms, recessed anchor locker with lid, plenty of space for a trolling motor (wiring and battery trays pre-installed), nice livewells and just easy boats to move about on. The seating, hand rails and gunnel height are great for the family and do not detract from the fishability of the boats.
The center console boats, 18’4″, 20’6″ and 23’8″ are well-laid out and well-equipped with the many features listed above. All Lagunas are factory-rigged with Mercury four-stroke engines. The C-240 SC and her factory-installed T-top was equipped with a Mercury Verado 225. The first thing noticed about the 200-plus-hp Verado engine is that there are no exposed steering rams to corrode. The larger engines utilize power assisted steering and electronic controls which are remotely mounted out of the weather. The next thing noticed was the engine is supercharged and you better hold on when the throttle goes down. The boat jumps out of the water to a plane, unlike four-strokes of the past. Not only was she fast and responsive, but also very fuel efficient. An important factor these days, at 4,000 rpm, the boat ran 30 mph and was burning only 9 gallons per hour. Wide open, she made about 44 mph with four people and a half tank of fuel.
When comparing price, including all the options and trailer, the service available through the MarineMax network, layout and performance, Laguna should be a tough competitor. Marinemax.commakes it easy to find your local dealer.
–Fritz Grell, Boating Editor