While he always knew he would one day live on the water, he never thought it would be on a lightship. Superyacht owner Bill Golden tells Grace Trofa how he came to own a piece of history . . .
It takes chutzpah to buy a ship on eBay. And not just any ship – the largest ever sold through the online auction site: 39 metres long, 9.1 metres wide and carrying 22.5 metre masts. At the time, she was carrying 61,000 gallons of liquid ballast, including 49,000 gallons of fuel – enough to circumnavigate the globe without refueling. She carried both 7,000lb and 5,000lb anchors and every 1.8 metres of chain weighed 200lb. “When you dropped that sucker, the mission was to stay put and most of the time she did,” remarks the ship’s proud (and brave) owner, Bill Golden.
For a man whose childhood home overlooked three of Boston Harbor’s lighthouses – the Graves Light, Minots Ledge Light and the Boston Light – plus the Boston Lightship before it was scrapped, owning the Nantucket Lightship was beyond his wildest dreams.