Wetumpka made super catamaran on the way to Michigan

A boat-making company in Wetumpka is about to make a big delivery to Michigan.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 8:48 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Just off the Coosa River in Wetumpka, you’ll find the Sentinel Boat Company. This isn’t your average boat shop.

“We can build just about anything,” said Ricky Baker with Sentinel Boat Company. “I’m an engineer, another owner is an engineer, and the third owner owns a bunch of businesses that deals with boats.”

Their most recent project was a big one.

“The current boat we are building is a 65 catamaran, 25 feet wide, 65 feet long, and holds 149 passengers. It’s huge. This boat is so wide and so long, it’s pretty much two boats. The boat weighs about 105,000 pounds,” Baker said.

After 15 months of long days, long weeks, and plenty of hours, they just got her in the water.

“When you work on something and you give it your all and it finally splashes in the water and it’s running smooth, there’s no better feeling,” Baker said.

Building this 3.5-million dollar vessel wasn’t easy.

“One of the biggest challenges on a build this big was just the sheer amount of people working for us. We work in the open air, so you’re fighting the heat and fighting the cold, and some materials were tough to get.

Once she hit the water, she didn’t stick around Wetumpka for long. They rode down to Mobile for a Coast Guard inspection, and then it’ll be a 3-week ride to her final home, Pictured Rock Cruises in Michigan. Ricky and his crew are ready to hand over the keys.

Walking away for the last time, though, may be difficult. When I asked him if he’ll miss it? He laughed, “No, no, I won’t. I may be bittersweet.”

Because some of the locks in Michigan are shut down for maintenance this summer, they’ll have to take the long way around. Ricky says they’ll ride in the Gulf and the Intercoastal Waterway and go down the Florida Keys, around Florida and all the way up the Eastern Seaboard. From there, they’ll pass the Statue of Liberty and hop on the Hudson River. He says it should take about three weeks to get there by boat.

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