Our 1980 Sumerset houseboat sank on October 3. At 15 by 70 feet it may be the largest to ever sink on Lake Lanier. It did not sink to the lake floor - it sank in its slip at the dock. But as any sunken boat owner can attest, if every surface where one might normally set foot is under water, that boat sank.
This is most definitely not our boat. It is one restored by the company to be discussed later. We feature this photo here as our boat looked a little scary, and the top photo is what shows up when this is posted elsewhere.
With the assistance of many to be named and thanked later the vessel was brought back afloat less than 48 hours after it went down. Then came the ordeal to remove all soaked mattresses, carpet etc and dry the thing out. Fans and dehumidifiers for 4 days just like when a basement floods.
We found that a boat insurance claim is unlike an auto or homeowner claim. Whereas we hoped and expected the insurer would promptly direct us to immediate and long term resources, we learned we must research and identify those on our own. That said, the insurance company was extremely helpful once we got folks lined up.
The scary photo of our boat.
Due to the size of the boat we faced the looming challenge to determine a repair destination and vendors. Consulting with dozens of boat owners and experts, it appeared we would have to move the boat by trailer to the nearest yard large enough to accommodate it 40 miles away at significant cost both there and back. We would have to identify people willing to travel that far for carpentry, fiberglass, electric, plumbing and a slew of other specialty work yet to be determined. It would likely take a year to complete.
In our minds we figured we must only be one phone call away from finding someone who could restore the boat nearby - on or near Lake Lanier - making the task exponentially more simple and less costly. It appeared that someone did not exist. As we worked our way down lists of resources we were about to give up and make the dreaded call to a trucking company. Then one resource way down on more than one list jumped off the pages:
CM Houseboat Renovations
Why did we not see this earlier? Because we were working off of emails, text messages, Facebook posts, our iPhone, tablet and PC. Suggestions came in spurts, and acting on them was like drinking from a fire house.
Examples of CM Houseboat Renovations work:
The next dreads were of many we had encountered repeatedly: a disconnected phone number, the person had retired, they were 437 miles away, and so on. Those dreads were unfounded.
Our call to "Cajun Mike" was the 'one phone call away' we suspected we might encounter. In 30 minutes we confirmed CM Houseboat Renovations could likely do or arrange all rehab work necessary - and do it very near Lake Lanier. Whew.
Further research revealed the company is on the approved vendor list for 6 major Lake Lanier Marinas. They are the only company on Lanier that works exclusively on houseboats. What little they can not do with their own employees they can arrange thru their select network of trusted specialists.
Since it's a mouthful we'll call them CM for short. Unlike many marine contractors CM vows not to apply all too familiar "boat surcharges". In other words, any repair on a boat costs 50% + more than on an identical household repair - for no apparent reason.
As photos reveal CM does Ritz Carlton level restorations. We assured Cajun Mike we loved our Holiday Inn, and all we want back is our Holiday Inn. To which he replied, "Well, you should be pleased to learn you might get a Marriott for a Holiday Inn price."
We shall update this as restoration dates approach. Work is to commence in January and should be complete by April.
For more information contact Cajun Mike at CM Houseboat Renovations.
CM Houseboat Renovations