After new legislation and plumbing, Madam Carroll to stay in water through winter

The party isn't stopping this winter on the Madam Carroll. For the first time since 1976, the boat will stay in the water.

Posted: Nov 26, 2019 6:50 AM
Updated: Nov 26, 2019 6:56 AM

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) — As the temperatures start to drop, boats are coming out of the water for the season. However, one boat is still floating in Lake Freeman.

The party isn't stopping this winter on the Madam Carroll. For the first time since 1976, the boat will stay in the water during the winter. The boat will operate at the dock at the Luse Lounge. The boat now runs year-round all thanks to new legislation, and a new winterization process.

"So if all the appliances in your house had to work outside, that's kind of what we're going through here," said owner Chris Peters. "There's a lot of things to think about that need to continue to work in below 32 degree weather."

Indiana's largest boat is usually pulled out of the water on a dry dock during the winter. It was built by the same man who built the Madam Carroll.

"Like a giant set of railroad tracks," Peters described.

Keeping the boat in the water presents all kinds of engineering challenges, including the plumbing, which usually runs on fresh water from the lake.

"We've engineered an induction system that will introduce antifreeze and a cleaning agent into that as it draws everything in," said Peters. "So our plumbing, at any time for that system, can never freeze no matter how cold it gets out here."

But that's not all.

"A whole new ceiling, and then above that, it's insulation that runs through the structure," said Peters about the upper deck of the boat. 

He says up top, the deck will work like a heated patio.

"We have these transparent, secular wall systems," said Peters. "So we can put these walls up but you can still see through them. They're kind of like giant windows to keep out the wind."

House Bill 1518, that went into effect July 1, allows for year-round alcohol sales on the boat. Previously, the boat could only sell alcohol an hour before a cruise and during.

Owners are also happy because, as you can imagine, pulling Indiana's largest boat out of a lake isn't easy.

"300 tons," said Peters. "It's the same as a Boeing 747."

This isn't the first time the Madam Carroll is staying in Lake Freeman for the winter. Captain Bill Luse kept the boat in the water for a few years after it was built in 1976.

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