Skip to main content

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

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more

ntm

Notice to Mariners: U.S.A! U.S.A! (Well, sorta…)

Some thoughts on a couple of recent developments on the U.S. racing scene that are more than a little at odds. To start with, congratulations to the US Sailing Team (USST) and its outstanding showing at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France, with not one but ...read more

01-LEAD-11-Katrina-Zoe-Norbom-850_9438

The 52 Super Series

The 52 Super Series is widely considered one of the top circuits in the world for monohulls, and in this era of rapid change, the TP52—or TransPacific 52—has managed to stay the series’ boat of choice for 10 years. Not only that, but as the class marks its 20th anniversary the ...read more