GREENVILLE- It’s been about a year since a part of Moosehead Lake Region’s history caught on fire.
The 100-year-old boat is back and it’s about to begin a new chapter.
Last year’s fire on the Katahdin cruise boat was scary for everyone on board, but thankfully quick action kept it from being a tragedy.
Liz Mckeil, the executive director of Moosehead Marine Museum, credited her employees for keeping everyone on the boat safe.
“We have not had this kind of, it really was a catastrophic engine failure. We are very fortunate that we’ve got really talented mechanics that work on the boat and they were able to solve the problem for us,” Mckeil said.
The cruise season normally ends on Columbus Day but this year, it was shortened to October 5.
The purpose of that is to replace the 61-year-old engines and install a new generator to keep the boat from repeating last year’s disaster.
“It was a big impact when the boat went down, and it’s a big impact now for the boat to be back up and so for us to put new engines in is really important,” Mckeil said.
She said when the first cruise leaves the dock on June 21, everything will be smooth sailing.
“This boat is just such an icon of the region, it’s 100 years old and in a way everybody that lives in this region sort of owns a little piece of that boat and they all feel some ownership for her,” Mckeil said.
Making sure the boat continues to safely operate is critical for the tourist economy of Moosehead Lake.
“We’ve estimated that for every dollar that’s spent in this enterprise on the Katahdin or in the museum, another five dollars are spent locally so that puts us at about a one point five million dollar economic impact on an annual basis,” Mckeil said.
And with the waters open to being cruised, the Katahdin cruise ship is ready to explore Moosehead Lake.