Nov 30, 2020

A Failed Dream?

I left the Bahamas in 2009 as a 25-year-old with a single mind. To go back home, make enough money to buy a Lagoon 380 Catamaran. Pay it off, and sail it BACK to the Bahamas so I could enjoy the islands in comfort and carefree splendor. 

This single dream has motivated me for the last 11 years. I managed to buy the Lagoon 380 in 2014 and paid it off in 2016. In 2017 we set sail from Muskegon and made our way to Chicago, IL where we entered a river system that brought us all the way to Mobile, Alabama. 

We crossed the Gulf of Mexico and sailed to the Florida Keys. Ready to catch a break from all the traveling, we dropped anchor and relaxed for the rest of the winter. 

As hurricane season approached, we made our way up the east coast to Beaufort, NC where we hauled the boat and drove home to enjoy the Michigan summer. 

Our plan was to return to the boat the following winter to sail back south to the Bahamas. But my new website management company ( was picking up steam, and we decided it would be better to wait until 2020 to sail to the Bahamas when the kids would be a little bit older and our income a little more stable.

Despite the Pandemic in early 2020, we pressed forward with our plans for one final cruise on the boat. To complete the dream with a return to the coveted Exumas. Unfortunately, the very night I was going to leave to start working on the boat, Travel to the Exumas became "prohibited, except in emergency or approved by the Director of Civil Aviation or Chairman of the Bahamas Maritime Authority."

This pretty much dashed my dreams against the rocks of reality. We could press on, make our way to Florida, and hope for relaxed travel restrictions in the spring. But even in that best-case scenario, the experience would not be the same. It would be restricted. 

Not going in 2020 meant living another year in limbo. Another year of one foot in school, one foot out. Continuing to live in a temporary house. We just didn't want to do that. So, we made the heavy-hearted decision to sell our boat. 

While this is a difficult decision, it's one we also look at with hope and opportunity. In many ways, the dream I was chasing was no longer feasible. I wasn't only looking for a place, but for a time that has long since passed. I'm no longer a carefree 25 year old. I'm now 36 with obligations to the humans that brought into this world, and I must now consider not only what is best for me and what I want, but what is also best for them. 

I remember a family with a daughter in the Bahamas. We asked them how they felt about cruising with kids. They told us "Kids should fit into your life, not the other way around." I thought that was fairly good advice, aside from being a bit polarized.

But in recent years, what I've wanted more than anything else is to spend time with my kids. And what they want is not to sail to the Bahamas, but to spend time with me. Going through all the money and effort of sailing a private yacht to the Bahamas just doesn't make sense from that perspective.

By selling the boat, we see a lot to look forward to. For one, we can rent a larger, more comfortable boat for our family that's already IN the Bahamas for a little more than the cost of maintaining our own boat for two years. And honestly, renting someone else's boat in the Bahamas would probably be more carefree at this stage of my life. Or we could rent a house and get around the islands on rented center counsol. 

We've decided to do some camping this winter which has a multitude of benefits over sailing. No waves. More space. Easier to get the grocery shopping done, etc.

And really, there's no reason why we can't buy another boat in the future when the kids are older. Perhaps at a point when they are more capable and better able to appreciate the experience. 

So did I fail to complete my dream? In some sense. Maybe. Or perhaps, I just changed my dream. Either way, I don't really have any regrets. The dream of sailing away has some basic requirements that had some beneficial side effects. Two major requirements of this dream are to:

1. Making enough money to pay off a $200,000 boat.

2. Create a recurring income stream that continues to flow in my absence. 

Taking these two requirements seriously resulted in me aggressively saving money, and setting up a business to run on its own, which made it easier to scale and in the end, easier to sell. Ironically, my dream to go be a bum in the islands has resulted in a lot of financial success. And in that process, I discovered a knack, a love, and a passion for business. 

So, while it's not the end I was chasing, it's a happy one all the same. I'm excited that chasing the dream of sailing has positioned me well for accomplishing my new dream: being available for my kids.

Thanks, and fair winds!

Chad Lawie,

Nov 25, 2020

FOR SALE: Lagoon 380 Owners Version

 We've made the tough decision to sell our boat. Life is taking us in another direction. This boat has served us well:

Popular Owners Version Lagoon 380 Catamaran.
The Lagoon 380 is one of the best selling catamarans ever made. The perfect balance between sailing performance and comfort at anchor. This boat has a very large and active support community on Facebook.

I hate to sell the boat, it's like a member of my family. We were preparing to sail to the Bahamas this season (2020) and have been outfitting the boat for that trip, including new standing rigging and new canvas.
Alas, due to Covid our plans have changed.

Price: $199k
Location: Beaufort, NC

Key features:

- This boat has spent almost all of its life in Freshwater (Great Lakes) or Brackish water (Chesapeake Bay).

- Brand new standing rigging has been purchased and is ready to be installed.

- Brand new Bimini and sail covers

Galley table converts into an additional berth

- Fresh/Drinking water filter

Engines: Yanmar 3GM30f
Fuel: 52 gallons

Water: 160 gallons

Holding: 60 gallongs

Galley Equipment
2 burner gas stove and oven

NEW 12V fridge (2018)

NEW faucet (2017)

High-Quality GE freshwater .5 micron filter for drinking water

New Hot Water Heater (2016)

The starboard hull is dedicated exclusively to the owner's suite which is equipped with an office, library, queen size bed with extra thick memory foam mattress, and separate large shower stall.

The interior cabins have curtains on all windows, mirrors on the cabin door, massive storage under the berth, a settee next to the berth, shelves along the sides, 12-volt reading lights, hanging lockers with shelves.

The owner's side head is equipped with wood handrails under the vanity, marine toilets, storage cabinets, mirrors, 12-volt lightingshower (owner's shower has seat), and an opening deck hatch with blind and screen. Screens have been updated to the "hinged" system which makes opening and closing much easier.

Most Lagoons are equipped with a shower drain button that must be held down to activate the shower drain. This Lagoon has been upgraded to a "switch" system that allows the shower to drain hands free.

The port side hull is Crews/Guests Quarters with two cabins. The aft cabin offers a queen size berth with a hanging locker and shelves. The forward cabin is slightly smaller with a hanging locker and shelves. Large amounts of storage space under the forward bed.

The guest head is a combined head/shower with features an opening hatch with screen and again includes the upgraded "switch" style showing drain. There is a mirror with a medicine cabinet, 12-volt lighting. Wood handrails under the vanity.

The salon offers a panoramic view through the large bay windows. Lewmar opening hatches with upgraded hinge screens offer ample ventilation when swinging at anchor. The flip-up wooden tray over the galley sink has been reversed which allows more clearance over the galley sink and allows the flip table to be used even when the slider is closed.

The chart table is directly accessible from the cockpit with a stool seat and is immediately adjacent to the galley. Additional storage under salon settee. The salon table has been upgraded and is convertible into an additional berth. It makes an excellent "sea berth" for offshore/overnight passage making, allowing the off-watch crew to sit up at any point and have an almost 360-degree view of the horizon. This is an excellent single-hand sailing feature.

There is an additional transom shower on the port side sugar scoop that features hot and cold freshwater. Excellent for spraying off after swimming or for cleaning fish.

Navigation Systems
B&G Chartplotter - GPS antenna is broken. Current owners use an iPad in a LifeProof case with Navionics for Navigation.

Wind Speed Sensor

Depth Sensor

Mechanical Boat Speed sensor

Mechanical Equipment
12-volt DC and 120-volt power

Twin Yanmar 3GM30 Engines with FACTORY REFURBISHED Max Props (2017).

Anchor Windlass with BRAND NEW Rocna Anchor (still in packaging).

The inverter supplies the 110V outlets including the microwave oven. Can be used for charging phones, laptops, tablets, playing DVDs, and other household electric devices up to 600W.

NEW 600AH house marine batteries 2017

NEW waste plumbing in 2017. A common issue among Lagoon catamarans is the waste lines being permeated with a sewage smell. The waste lines on this Lagoon have been updated/replaced.

100 Watt Solar panel

Deck and Hull Equipment
BRAND NEW Standing rigging has been purchased. The rigging is with the boat and ready to be installed.

11' Zodiac Digny (Purchased new in 2017)

4 Hp Mercury Outboard Engine (Purchased new in 2017)

New Bimini canvas 2020

New mainsail bag 2020

New Furling Jib sail cover 2020


Apr 8, 2020

The Great Loop: Best Parts of Great Lakes

If you're heading through the Great Lakes, here are the places I recommend checking out:

1. The North Channel / Georgian Bay
Really, the best of the best when it comes to the Great Lakes. There are tons of places to anchor, swim, cool islands to hike, wild blueberries to pick, etc. If you're coming through the Great Lakes and don't check out the North Channel, you're wasting your time.

These photos are from our first long boat trip in 2005:

The best blueberries are the hardest to reach.

Apr 7, 2020

The Best Printer on a Boat?

LeeAnn (my wife) has been asking me to buy a printer for years. The responsibility falls to me as the more "techy" one in our relationship. I've resisted...because printers are a pain in the butt.

They work great for a while...then it seems the novelty wears off and you stop using it. When you need it you can't get it to connect, then after investing a bunch of time getting the thing print-ready, you find out the ink has dried up and it's $40 to buy new ink which really seems outrageous since this is the first time you've felt the need to print anything in 6 months.

Mar 31, 2020

Being Rich

Our society considers someone "rich" if they make a lot of money.

But most "rich people" wake up to the sound of an alarm clock and commute to work just like the rest of us.

Perhaps they do it in a helicopter, but the point is...they work the same as every else. And if they quit, the bank will foreclose on their mansion and repossess their BMW.

Being rich does not mean having a lot of money. It means having a lot of time.

Mar 29, 2020

The Truth About The Great Loop

The Great Loop is an awesome idea. If you've never heard of it, it's a series of connected lakes, rivers and man-made canals that allow a boater to travel from the Atlantic ocean, to the Great Lakes, Down the Mississippi back out to the ocean.

It sounds cool.

The Erie Canal, The Great Lakes, The Mississippi River. Relax in the Florida Keys. See major cities (New York, Detroit, Chicago) and charming coastal towns (Beaufort, Charleston, Leland).