Lagoon Catamarans introduced the concept of the flying bridge to its line of cruising catamarans on the Lagoon 440, and the new Lagoon 500 exploits it to the full--in this case, on a platform that's designed for luxury ocean cruising in either a private-ownership or a charter context. The flying bridge is a dramatic solution to the old problems of where to put the steering station and whether it's best protected behind the bridgedeck saloon or exposed on the quarter, on the port side, on the starboard side, or on both sides. Every location has its boosters, but the flybridge trumps much of the debate, although it does add another factor to the appearance equation: Sun protection over the flybridge adds another visual layer and requires the boom, and the entire mainsail, to be elevated farther to clear it. Perhaps that was sufficient reason why the Lagoon 500 we saw during the 2006 Boat of the Year (BOTY) testing had no bimini over the flybridge, just a spray dodger over the steering station. According to Nick Harvey, director of Lagoon America, a bimini with windshield is provided standard.