Boblo Boat Ste. Clair restoration hits docking dilemma

The restoration process of an old Boblo Boat is in danger of running aground.

- Going to Boblo Island is a fond memory for many Michiganders, and a big part of that memory is riding the Boblo Boat.

Kevin Mayer is on a mission to restore the Boblo Boat, the SS. Ste. Clair. It's one of two boats that took excited amusement park goers to Boblo Island before it closed in the 1990s -- and it's the last Boblo Boat still in the area.

The restoration process, however, is in danger of running aground right now.

The boat is currently docked in Del Ray on the River Rouge, but Mayer says he has to move the boat because the space has now been rented to a new company for more money.

"By moving the ship, that costs a lot of money," he says. "We're looking at approximately $20,000 to try to tow this ship, and that could be a great deal of money back into the restoration. We want to bring this boat back as soon as possible; everybody wants this boat back."

Mayer says he and his crew are putting out a call for help in finding a new home for the boat -- and they have just two weeks to do so.

"If anybody knows anyone that could give us some dock space; we're not looking for a handout. We don't mind renting the property. We're even at the point where, if we have to, we'll purchase some property. Just so that we can get this project done," Mayer says.

And once the boat is restored, Mayer promises the fun will begin again.

"We want to make it a year-round venue. We'll have private parties; concerts on the ship; seniors can come down and listen to old-fashioned music, play some Bingo; movie nights where you dress up like Rockie Horror, Sound of Music, Grease," Mayer says.

You can follow updates to the boat's restoration on their Facebook page, Captain Boblo.

If you'd like to help, visit www.bobloboat.com or email the team at captainboblo@bobloboat.com.


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