Carol and John Lengerman bought their first houseboat in 2000 which was a 1976 Kingscraft 40'. We kept it docked at Kuttawa Marina in Kentucky and would drive three hours every Friday afternoon from St. Louis to spend the weekend on it. They ended up selling it in 2004, when they relocated to Michigan. "We were drawn to houseboating because as John always said, "why be near the water, when you can be on it?"
In 2010 they purchased their current boat which is a 1986 Carver 42' Aft Cabin. A retired dentist and his wife owned it previously and had it docked at Barkley Lodge in Kentucky. A boat broker helped them find it, and Dr. Payne was very helpful to in terms of letting him know where things are and how to do them. He was a very hands-on captain and truly loved this boat. "We were very lucky to have found a boat of this age in such great condition, said. Carver is very good at producing well-designed boats that are functional, as well as, beautiful. Carol and love all the teak wood, and the generous space given to the guest suite in the bow of the boat with a full sized head that rivals that of the master stateroom.
The Lengerman's love the people houseboating attracts. They are the most generous people in terms of sharing knowledge of engines, maintenance, navigating and even local restaurants. There is a camaraderie that is seldom found on land between other sets of friends. "When you add the fact that we all share a love of being on water, there's no better combination, said Carol.
Gypsy Bliss is the name of their boat. Carol's mom was known as the Gypsy Queen and Carol came from a family of eleven. Whenever her family would pack all of their things to go camping they would always joke about how they must look like a pack of gypsies. The word bliss comes from the fact that the family all enjoys camping but now in luxurious accommodations like their houseboat.
Since no open flames are allowed at our marina, we choose to do Crockpot or electric skillet meals like Italian Beef, baked rigatoni, and Panini's with an assortment of deli meats and cheeses.
"We've made several new friends on Alton Marina dock who've taught us so much about maintaining our own boat, and we are extremely grateful, said Carol, and John agrees. "They have also taken us on rides up the river and shown us safe routes to take when there is more than one channel available." Our children, extended family, even our staffs, have joined us for cruises.
Alton Marina, is fortunately only 45 minutes from the Lengerman's house so they are on the boat every weekend from April to November. However, they have been on the boat during an ice storm on New Years Eve.