MILLERSPORT – The Queen of the Lake II is ready to set sail and prove once and for all that summer is right around the corner—even if the weather isn’t exactly agreeing. Many volunteers and private donors, paint brushes and tools in hand, spent last weekend preparing the massive 55-passenger, 46 feet pontoon boat for another season of lake tours.
“ 2011 is going to be a great season,” said J-me Braig, Buckeye Lake Historical Society director; the historical society sponsors the Queen of the Lake II, whose lake tours are the Buckeye Lake Museum’s major funding source. Braig said there are already 50 lake tours and nine motor coach tours booked for the season.
“ The tours are fun and very informative,” said Braig. “ Buckeye Lake has tons of history and the volunteers love to talk about it.” She said there’s plenty of parking and easy access at the Buckeye Lake North Shore Boat Ramp where the Queen launches. Since 2008 the Queen has hosted more than 12,000 visitors on the lake and Cranberry Bog Tours.
The Queen is dry docked at the Buckeye Lake Marina in Millersport. Braig said marina owner Dave Levacy pulls the boat out of the water for winter storage and launches her in the spring. “ He provides winter storage and donated the beautiful side curtains on the Queen,” she said. Fisher ’s Marina donated a summer dock for the Queen, as well as its engine and maintenance.
The Queen of the Lake II, formerly the Salt Fork Queen, was purchased in 2007 from Salt Fork State Park. Bill Ours, owner of Ours Towing in Hebron, volunteered the use of a tractor and trailer to move the giant pontoon boat from Salt Fork to Buckeye Lake Marina. Lake tours begin in May, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.