Denny and Sandy Thayer

Houseboater of the Week

June 2012 Feature

Sandy and Denny Thayer really do live the spirit of houseboating. They started houseboating in 1998. They were originally renters on Lake Cumberland. Denny grew up on Lake Erie which was a very different type of houseboating. They discovered Lake Cumberland and it changed everything. The Thayer's bought their first house boat in 2005 and in 2008 sold it to their best friends behind them, Kevin and Terry Stewart. They then purchased a 2000 Horizon. They love the versatility of houseboating. They ideally wanted a property overlooking the lake and decided to check out houseboating. It turned out to be perfect. They dock at Conley Bottom on Lake Cumberland in the same slip where they bought their original boat. Everyone on the pier get's along and does something together. The Thayer's live in Cincinnati and travel three and a half hours to get to the lake every chance they get. They own a tax business so from April 15th to November they are found on the lake. They enjoy how houseboating gives them a long season, it's not the traditional Memorial day to Labor day type of activity. It accommodates twice the amount any other hobby.

They started many traditions which include getting together on new Years, and other Holiday's. The Halloween/Burn off/Clean-up weekend is a regular event where they dress up, gather garbage and plastic and take it back to the marina. They also gather drift wood to make huge bonfires. They start the season off with Derby Weekend which is in early May. They all eat, and the women wear fancy hats to kick off the official houseboating season. Last year they started a fourth of July parade at Conley Bottom where they decorate the boats with flags and lights, there is a lead pontoon which is has a marching band and loud music playing.

The friendships the Thayer's have developed is their favorite part of houseboating. They love their friends and the ability to entertain friends and family. "Lake Cumberland is really the jewel of the nation," says Sandy. "Gorgeous lake, 85 degree weather, there is no calmer lifestyle I can imagine" says Denny. The Thayers have traveled all over, Hawaii, Virgin Islands etc. and they think Lake Cumberland is the best. Everyone has a good demeanor there. They are relaxed, friendly and help each other out since houseboating requires lots of that. Their kids and grandkids come houseboating when school is out and love the time they are there with them.. Their boat's name is "Good" They have this interesting tradition that if someone changes their name of the boat they have a "God of Sea Ceremony" where they raise thee new name and toast to the North, East, South, and West of the sea. They symbolically bury the old name in the water to get rid of the evil spirits.

Denny and Sandy also are the only boat on the lake with an electric trager smoker grill. They cook meat for usually three boats and the others bring a side dish. Their trademark is smoked ribs, brisket, and pork loin.

 Every time Denny and Sandy return from houseboating, Denny is already packing and figuring out what he needs to do at home before he can get back to the lake for the upcoming weekend.

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