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Jim Reising 09-06-2017 01:17 PM

A Golden Opportunity ????
If you were ever envious of the owners of the TWILIGHT and would like to get into that type of business, I think I've found just the opportunity for you. The Kentucky River, specifically from Carollton to Frankfort. It's 65 miles of beautiful river with 4 1830's locks.
At Frankfort there is a very nice hotel..the MOR met there several years ago... just above the landing and many fine sites to see.
Some one has started a speed boat run from Madison to Frankfort and it is sold out for the rest of this season and sales going well for next year.
But rather than a speed boat I think a nice excursion boat would be better. A boat like the for sale SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON.
You might not get rich, but, boy would it be fun.

Keith Baylor 09-06-2017 03:27 PM

Exactly what I wanted to do with the "Graceful Ghost" ten years ago, but the locks were closed then. Sage Cap'n Alan Bates looked at me over his glasses and intoned, "You'll make a lot more money staying at Cummins."

Bob Reynolds 09-06-2017 07:07 PM

That does sound like a fun thing, and with the right marketing it could be a good deal. Keith, while Alan was a smart man and his advice needed to be taken seriously, he WAS wrong about some things -- he told the Dows to forget about New Orleans and think about Cincinnati instead for the new excursion boat they were considering building from the CLAIRTON. Of course, they ended up building the NATCHEZ and it has been wildly successful in New Orleans. Alan thought Streckfus had a permanent lock on that business. He was wrong about that, and may have been wrong about a steamboat/excursion boat on the Kentucky River as well.

Frank X. Prudent 09-06-2017 08:35 PM

I have to laugh, Bob, when you clearly stated that A. Lawrence Bates was wrong about some things. He didn't cotton to being corrected either even if he was wrong. Years ago Dad purchased Alan's model plans for the OMAR and noted that Alan wrote that she had Norberg machinery when in reality she had Marietta machinery. Dad informed him of such. Alan wasn't amused, and retorted, "Well, how do you know?" Dad's reply, "I was her Chief Engineer!" Alan was quiet.

Keith Baylor 09-07-2017 02:40 PM

I'm pretty sure that Captain Bates thought the lower Kentucky excursion boat idea was a good one, but he perceived that I possess not a single entrepreneurial bone; ergo, while I may have wanted to run a steamboat there, I was not likely to succeed.

R. Dale Flick 09-08-2017 05:25 AM

*Alan Bates hated the word "No.*
Morning, steamboating colleagues,
Frank, you nailed it on the barrel head for sure. Alan Bates one fine guy, great mind running a mile a minute. We were long-time correspondents with me inviting him to Cincinnati several days to tour and be a guest at the Literary Club. Alan even drew up fine plans for the eventual restoration of the Greek columns and portico on my house. But one thing Alan hated was hearing the word "No" and it was storm clouds if the "No" came from the U.S. Coast Guard. For years Alan fumed and fussed when the 'Coasties' nixed something on his marine drawings or paid a visit to a project he was working on.

I once rocked Alan good over the dinner table when he fumed 'bout this and that with boats. "Alan," I said, "if up to you boats would be built and running the way they did in 1890 with owners, captains getting away with murder." That was our Alan and there will never be another like him. This I DO know with first-hand experience and scars and bruises as proof.

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Russ Ryle 09-08-2017 08:16 AM

re: Kentucky River Adventure
Morning all,

How big a boat can the Kentucky handle all the way up to Frankfort?

Back about 1980 my wife and I took my grandmother, Pearl North Stegemiler, on what turned out to be her last steamboat excursion. We road the Belle from Madison up the Kentucky River to the then closed dam #1 and returned.

The River was high and they were not sure the Belle would clear the US 41 bridge at its mouth. Sure enough we scrapped the bridge bending up the top of the stacks heading up the Kentucky. Coming back down the crew had all of us paying folks move towards to the front of the boat. This shift in human cargo worked along with the fact we had already shortened our stacks a few inches. We cleared the bridge and made it back to Madison.

Pearl was born and raised at North's Landing, Indiana about eight miles below Rising Sun. Her folks ran the wharf boat and general store there. She road the big side wheel boats back and forth to Cincinnati and Louisville in her youth. Those were the days.

Keep you steam up even if it is mostly in your memories!

Russ Ryle

Frank X. Prudent 09-08-2017 11:58 AM

I was there, and it was September, 1979 when the BELLE scraped the rust off the bottom of the Carrollton bridge.

Russ Ryle 09-09-2017 09:40 AM

re: river adventures
Hi Frank and all,

Thanks for pinning down he date. Those were the days.

The next generation of overnight riverboats will be nothing like those of our youth. However, they will continue the tradition of building lasting memories about river adventures for generations to come.

Keep your steam up!

Russ Ryle

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