Three-story houseboat nearly ready to sail

June 2010 News Tania Dall -
It's a work of love, built in California, trucked north to Coeur d'Alene, assembled piece-by-piece. Now "Monty's Cruisin'" is almost ready for its maiden voyage.

Monty's Cruisin' isn't your average runabout. It's a spectacular 70-foot, three story houseboat that took 18 months to build.

"It's a 4,700 square foot ultimate houseboat," Bill Hill with Emerald Bay Custom Boathouses said.

Ultimate is an understatement for Don Gross' houseboat. His custom built, 62,000 pound house boat is fully loaded with two fireplaces, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two elevators, a special pool, wheelchair accessible hallways and glass deck railings. The price tag for "Monty's Cruisin'" is around $1.6 Million.

"We've been really blessed that we had the opportunity to build a boat that's handicap accessible who we love very much," Don said.

"Monty's Cruisin'" was designed and named after Don Gross' son. Gross, who runs a mental health care company, says his 39-year-old son is confined to a wheelchair because of a debilitating illness.

"It was a labor of love for their son. It was an amazing story. It got us. It was inspiring," Bill Hill said.

Built by a California company, the boat was trucked in piece by piece and then put back together at the Coeur d'Alene Yacht Club.

As "Monty's Cruisin'" gets last minute tender loving care and its first launch into Lake Coeur d'Alene a sense of accomplishment comes over those who have helped assemble Monty's boat.

"It's just like a race car driver winning the race, we just won the race here," Bill Hill said.
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