Dream boat takes shape

March 2009 News Vernon Fueston

After three years of solitary effort, it's beginning to take shape. The pontoon platform Robert Reiheld built from scratch at a dock behind his home on Queen Anne Creek has grown a super structure and is beginning to look like a houseboat.

Earlier last month, Reiheld was painting the plywood that covers what he hopes will be the living quarters of his dream boat. He said he fell in love with the idea the first time he saw one.

"I was with my grandfather at the time, traveling through Canada," Reiheld said. "He never got to build his, but I decided it was time to build mine."

When the craft is finished, it will have all the amenities of a home, complete with a kitchen and sleeping quarters.

Reiheld began building his houseboat three years ago and said he hopes it will be able to take a short cruise under its own power next summer. But even then, the boat will still be several years from completion.

His wife, Amelia, can't wait.

"I think it will be great fun," she said. "If I could just figure out what to do with the grand piano, it would be perfect. I'd love to go around the Eastern half of North America with it."

"If we make it to Charleston, it will be a success," Robert said.


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