Boblo boat needs new temporary home, renovations could be disrupted

Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 15:12:02-04

Michigan's only remaining Boblo boat has to find a temporary home.

The boat has been docked in Delray for the past year. "We are frantic, we don't want the work to stop," said Kevin Mayer, the general manager.

He is desperately looking for a new place to dock the state's only Boblo Boat, the SS Ste. Claire.

The boat has been sitting at a donated spot in Delray for the past year, but they are being asked to move in two weeks.

PHOTOS: Boblo boat restoration

Mayer says it will cost a couple million dollars to restore the boat, now they have to tag on another $20,000 just to move it to a new location.

"So, that's a lot of money that could be going back to the restoration."

This Boblo Boat was built in 1910.

It was used to take people back and forth from Boblo Island Amusement Park. The boat is considered a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure.

He said, "The goal right now is to make her a dock-side attraction and a year round attraction."

Some of the plans include having a 1950's themed concession stand on the first floor. The second deck will have a grand ballroom with a 1920s theme. The third level will have a beer garden.

Before they execute any of those plans, they have to replace most of the wood throughout the boat.

"Today's standards all that has to be replaced. We have to get the steel portion in place before we can start working on the wooden structure."

Crews will continue renovations for the next two weeks as they desperately find a new dock.

"What this boat means and scrapping her is not an option," Mayer added. "We want to bring her back to her glory. She is going to be what everybody remembers."

They are hoping someone has a dock they're willing to rent or sell, so they can dock for the next two years to continue renovations.

For more information on the Boblo boat, log onto: