The Guiding Light 

ABOUT THE VESSEL
The Guiding Light is a 1997 Lagoon 410. It is hull number 007 (they actually stamped all three digits, to make it James Bond’s boat!). It has four cabins each with a queen size berth, closet, hamper, and footstep.  The forward cabins have storage under the floor and berths, in which I installed drawers.  The aft cabins each have a 27 horse power Yanmar engine and sail drive under the berths.  Plus they have the escape hatches looking into the water, which everyone loves to call the “aquarium”.  Both starboard cabins have en-suite heads and the port aft cabin shares the head with me (I have the forward port cabin), because I turned the aft head into a full size shower (one of the best received upgrades I have done). The vessel displaces 16,000 pounds and is 40.5 feet long with a water line of 38.5 feet and a beam of 23.5 feet.  It has a draft of 4 feet and the antenna at the top of the mast sits 63.5 feet off the water (very convenient since the standard bridge height on the East Coast ICW is 65 feet).  It carried two 26 gallon diesel tanks and a 100 gallon water tank.  I have three 255 watt solar panels, which do a good job with my electrical needs.

HISTORY OF THE VESSEL
It started life as a charter boat for Sunsail Charters in St Martin and sailed around the French Caribbean for five years under the name “Ortegal”.  It originally had green accents (boot stripe, stack pack, genoa UV protection, and interior curtains).  In April 2004 Dick Korn purchased the boat and placed it in the Conch Charter fleet in the British Virgin Islands.  In November 2006 Dick Korn removed it from charter service and moved aboard.  The boat’s name was changed to “Brio” and the accents were changed to blue.  He then spent the next year and a half sailing down the Eastern Caribbean, across Venezuela, and finished his cruise in the Dutch ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).  In April 2008 Kim and Paul Burns (who it turns out are friends of a family friend) bought the boat from Dick in the Dutch ABC’s.  They moved aboard with their twin two year old boy and girl.  They also spent a year and a half aboard back tracking Dick’s route across Venezuela and up the Eastern Caribbean. In February 2009 I flew to Ft. Lauderdale with my best friend, Joel, in order to look at different models of catamarans.  After this trip I decided a Lagoon was for me, because it was one of the very few brands where I could fully stand up in the galley.

When I first saw an advertisement for the boat, the Burns were in St Lucia.  By the time I made an offer and had it surveyed they were in Antigua.  A month later (May 8th, 2009) I closed on the boat and took possession in Trellis Bay, British Virgin Islands.  I spent three weeks in the British Virgin Islands, with my friend Steph, enjoying the islands and getting the boat ready to sail back to Houston, TX.  We picked up Mark and started sailing the passage a few days later.

A very interesting fate of God is that Mark’s wife died of brain cancer days before Steph left to meet me on the boat.  One of the last things his wife requested was for him to spread some of her ashes at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI.  He did not know when he would be getting back there and then he chatted with Steph and found out about our trip.  He signed up almost on the spot.

MY TIME ABOARD
Once we arrived in Kemah, TX (south of Houston) I keep the boat at Watergate Marina for seven months.  During this time I moved aboard the few remaining possessions I had not sold and made the boat my home I also started learning how the different systems worked and made upgrades like installing holding tanks, turning one head into a full shower, running lines back for single handing, installing a bigger hatch forward to accommodate bikes, switching from engine driven to 12 volt frig and freezer, and much more.  When I chose the Houston area I did so because Joel was less than two hours away and could visit most weekends (his help was invaluable) and my stuff was in Dallas at my parent’s house. It turns out God wanted me there because my father started a year of emergency surgeries and I was able to be in Dallas once a month for the first seven months of his year of hell.

In January 2010 I started my voyage east along the Gulf Coast and up the East Coast.  I spent most of 2011 in the Bahamas before arriving in the Virgin Islands at the very beginning of 2012.  For more detail about my voyages read the “Your Captain” tab and check out the blog.   Like most captains I enjoy talking about my boat, so if you have any questions please contact me and we will discuss it.

Photo of the Guiding Light at sunset