People & Boats: Jere and Kathy Lahey and their Lagoon 380

Author:
Updated:
Original:
The Lagoon 380 is a popular choice for cruisers

The Lagoon 380 is a popular choice for cruisers

Doo Wah Diddy Diddy

Like many sailors, my dream was to retire and live on a boat, spending winters in sunny, warm, exotic places. My wife, Kathy, was unsure about this, but I was able to convince her that living and traveling onboard a boat would almost be like the camping trips we’d enjoyed for many years.

We had been landlocked, never having a need for a boat, since spending weekends on a lake or a river never appealed to me. Nonetheless, I started thinking about cruising on a sailboat to faraway places. We took boating safety courses, enrolled in sailing classes on the Chesapeake Bay and put as much money as we could manage into a boat fund. At first, I was thinking a nice 35ft to 40ft sloop would fit the bill, but with more reading and research, and really thinking about the idea of living onboard a boat, a multihull started to make more and more sense.

We paid a visit to the Annapolis boat show. Big mistake. My wife loved the Lagoon 44, while I liked the Antares 44i. However, they were both too expensive for a couple of worker bees like us. There were also both pretty darn big first boats for a couple who’d never been cruising before.

In 2011 I retired, and Kathy and I took a leisurely road trip down the East Coast from Annapolis to Key West and up the Gulf side of Florida. We visited old friends and family and looked at boats. We checked out at least 18 different catamarans, and soon narrowed things down to a 10- to 15-year-old Lagoon 380. The hunt was on.

We found a fairly well-equipped three-cabin 380 online. After having the boat surveyed we decided it was the one for us. So, with our brand new (to us) 13-year-old Lagoon, we started our adventure, fixing the boat, upgrading things and generally making it our home.

Jere and Kathy Lahey are enjoying their new life

Jere and Kathy Lahey are enjoying their new life

I had crewed on friends’ boats up and down the ICW before, and thought this would be a fun way to start our new life, so we began to plan a journey down the ICW to the Florida Keys. I saw an ad in SAIL magazine for the ICW Snowbird Rally and thought, “What a perfect way to begin our trip!” Mark and Diana Doyle, who literally wrote the book on transiting the ICW, were the guides, and former ABYC VP Tom Hale was traveling along for mechanical and technical support. We signed up.

This was Kathy’s first extended trip on a boat, so we were fortunate to make our inaugural transit down the ICW with a great group of people. This took the pressure off me trying to make living aboard the boat an interesting, enjoyable experience. Seeing and experiencing something new every day, Kathy quickly learned that one must experience the joy of the journey and not worry too much about time.

We had engine issues in Southport, North Carolina, and had to stay there for a few days waiting for parts. To catch up with the rest of the fleet, we decided to head outside and sail down the coast to Beaufort, South Carolina. We’d gained the confidence to do an overnight passage, which began with Kathy taking the boat out of the slip by herself— boy was I impressed and proud of her. From Cape Fear, we sailed overnight down to Port Royal Sound. Next morning, we motored into Beaufort and met the Snowbird Rally fleet just as it were making its way in—another great adventure.

We’re still out here cruising and having a good time, meeting great people along the way and seeing new places. 

MHS Winter 2016

Related

03-200123_PM_MIAMI_31326_3065

U.S. Team Strikes Miami Gold

If there was ever a time for the U.S. Sailing Team, which has been experiencing a serious medal drought of late, to start peaking it would be now, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to begin in July. Luckily, it appears the team, which has won only three Olympic medals since 2004, ...read more

shutterstock_1466239997

Charter: the Greek Isles

If there’s one charter destination that’s impossible to tire of, it’s Greece. This Mediterranean jewel is simply so large, so varied and so special it’s impossible to relegate it to just a single checkbox on a list. This past year a group of friends and I chartered from Navigare ...read more

IDECsport_180919_106-2048

IDEC Tri Breaks Tea Route Record

Francis Joyon and his crew aboard the maxi-tri IDEC Sport have set a new record for the “tea route” from Hong Kong to London of just 31 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes. In doing so they bested the previous record set by Italian skipper, Giovanni Soldini aboard the trimaran Maserati ...read more

DawnRileyforSAILmagazine

An Interview with Sailor Dawn Riley

The 2019 sailing documentary Maiden received rave reviews as a human-interest story that featured excellent racing footage and the heartfelt recollections of an all-female team led by then 25-year-old Briton Tracy Edwards. During the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World race, ...read more

IMG_9978

Charter: More for Your Money

Though summer may not be when you typically think of escaping to a tropical island, it could, in fact, be the perfect time for a charter holiday. Despite popular perception, the Caribbean isn’t hot as Hades during summer. In fact, the highs vary by only about 8 degrees F ...read more

Riley-and-Elayna,-Sailing-La-Vagabonde

Sailing in the YouTube Era

At the risk of both dating myself and being accused of gross hyperbole, I will say this: it was a bit like 1964 when the Beatles first landed in New York. What I’m referring to is last fall’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Playing the role of the Beatles were not one, but two ...read more

Bill-Hatfield-copy-1024x665

Cruising: Solo Circumnavigators

There seems to be no age limit for solo-circumnavigators. Not so long ago we had Californian Jeff Hartjoy set a record for the oldest American to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted, at the age of 70. A few months ago, 77-year-old Briton Jeanne Socrates became the ...read more