And the houseboat capital of the world is...

March 2014 Industry

It's official. The houseboat capital of the WORLD has been named. Would you care to wager any guesses on who took the honor?


Senator. Chris Girdler was recently joined by prominent members of Kentucky’s houseboat industry as he presented a resolution to the Kentucky General Assembly declaring Kentucky the “Houseboat Capital of the World.” Jim Sharpe, Bobby Gehring and Bill Jasper were all in attendence. 

“We hear about Kentucky’s signature industries, but one that doesn’t get a lot of press or notoriety is that of the houseboat industry,” Sen. Girdler told his fellow Senators. “Somerset, Ky. was the birthplace of the houseboat in 1953. Since then, the houseboat industry has been a stable source of employment for many skilled craftsmen and, at the same time, has led to increased tourism in Kentucky. The world has watched as thousands of houseboats have been built on the shores of Lake Cumberland and transported all over our great country and across the world. I believe it’s long overdue for Kentucky to have this title.”

Jim Sharpe is a pioneer of the houseboat industry and owned Sumerset Houseboats from 1953-1996. Bobby Gehring is with Sunstar Houseboats and Bill Jasper is with Stardust Cruisers.

The group met with Governor Steve Beshear following the passing of Sen. Girdler’s resolution.

The entire resolution can be found at

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