Written by Jeff Roedel | June 1, 2017

Stepping onto his 33-foot Cape Dory, Hank Saurage’s smile is as wide as the lip of Lake Pontchartrain appears to be on a sunny spring morning on the Northshore.

“One of the first times I got out on a boat, I was scared to death,” Saurage admits with a short laugh. Of course, he was a very young boy at the time, and the dark swells far off the Pensacola coast appeared towering to his untested eyes. “But the thing is, with anything, you’ve got to get scared once, and that’s when you come to appreciate it. Sailing is no different.”

When LaSalle claimed this lake and the rest of the Louisiana territory for France 350 years ago, he did so from the deck of his three-sail barque longue, La Belle, while on an expedition that saw his crew encounter natives already traveling the Mississippi River and its connected waterways in dugouts—hollowed-out tree trunks whose economy made them the evolutionary ancestors of the Cajun pirogue and the modern canoe.

While industrial delivery and transportation via locomotive, air or interstate have made our urban culture’s need for boats dwindle, the indigenous desire—that explorer’s spirit on which the state of Louisiana’s modern lineage was legitimately forged—remains firmly buried inside many.

For lack of a better harbor, boats are in our blood.

Saurage is a prime example.

“You never really master this,” the 55-year-old commercial real estate broker says of sailing, as he readies his white and warm wood-trimmed boat, called Mirage, to push it out into Lake Pontchartrain. The boat is a well-kept relic from 1981 and evokes memories of time spent with an adventurous father. With a handsome face that clearly loves the sun, Saurage still somehow looks a decade younger. He moves across the bobbing deck with speed. 

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Hank Saurage obtained his Real Estate Sales License in 1984, followed shortly thereafter by his Real Estate Broker’s License in 1986. To further expand his business, he then obtained his Real Estate Broker’s License in Mississippi in 1997. In 1990, Hank earned the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation from the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute. He is also a member of the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB), the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).