This old houseboat
Some 40 students at the Madison Comprehensive High School in Mansfield, Ohio, spent five months rehabbing a neglected pontoon houseboat that was offered to their carpentry classes. The school’s first-ever boat-rehab project began when carpentry instructor Andy Wigton learned that a fellow dock-mate at Pleasant Hill Marina had taken ownership of a 35-foot Crest that had fallen
into disrepair. When Wigton floated the idea of having the houseboat salvaged by his
students, the owner accepted, offered to cover the cost of materials, and had the boat
towed to the high school.
“There was quite a buzz among the students,” said Wigton. “The project recruited
kids into the program who normally wouldn’t be interested in taking carpentry, and
no doubt they developed an interest in boating during the project.”
In addition to the Carpentry Level 1 and 2 classes for juniors and seniors, students
enrolled in machining, electronics, and welding classes, and received hands-on experi-
ence helping rebuild the boat, according to Wigton.
“There was a learning curve,” he admitted. “We had to consider weight versus
structural issues that aren’t a factor in our usual land-based carpentry projects. We
didn’t want the thing to look like it was on three wheels when we launched it!”
It did not, to the joy of the students who gave it new life and were on hand for the
houseboat’s send-off into 783-acre Pleasant Hill Lake. The houseboat rehab was so
popular with the high-school students that they elected to redeck a couple of pontoon
boats for their next project. — DAN ARMITAGE
will share water
One of the most restrictive states in the
nation with regard to allowing boaters to
share waters with seaplanes, Ohio is planning to relax its rules and open up more
than one lake to winged watercraft. At
present, Grand Lake St. Mary is the only
inland waterway in the Buckeye State
that allows floatplanes to land atop its
waters, and even that requires a permit.
At the urging of State Sen. Bill Coley
and members of the Seaplane Pilots
Association, the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources is adopting rules to
allow seaplanes to land on several lakes,
joining other Great Lakes states, such as
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana,
and New York, that already allow it.
“We are excited to announce new
opportunities that will attract tour-
ism to our state parks and their sur-
rounding communities,” said Senator
Coley. “Because Ohio is the birthplace
of aviation, it is incumbent upon us
to make our state one that welcomes
State officials plan to proceed with
changes that would allow seaplane land-
ings on Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake, Long
Lake, and Salt Fork Reservoir.
According to the Kentucky-based
National Association of State Boating
Law Administrators, seaplanes are considered watercraft once they touch down
on the water and must abide by the
rules of the road governing powerboats.
That includes having navigation lights
matching those of boats (most aircraft
come equipped for night flying), and
taking precautions against spreading
invasive species. — D.A.
WHAT IS IT? (from previous page)
That “fossilized skull” is actually the superstructure of the
Numarine 32XP, the first unit of the new XP line of steel-hulled
explorer vessels from the Turkish builder. The 107-foot custom
luxury superyacht, with 26-foot beam, was ordered by an owner
searching for a versatile and voluminous yacht customized to
cater to long cruises with his growing family. The company
declined to discuss the sale price. — R.A.
Ohio carpentry students earned hands-on skills, funding for their school, and an
appreciation for boats and boating.