GRAND LAKE: George Young says his six-year-old grand daughter thinks he’s a pirate.
He may not have a real parrot on his shoulder or a wooden peg in place of a leg, but ever since she has known him he has been building his very own version of a pirate ship.
Young began construction of the GEE WHY, named after his own nick-name, back in 2008 after spending some time on Grand Lake and noticing the limited amount of space available for friends on a traditional sized boat.
Each year he adds a new feature to the boat, which now has three levels, a bbq, a waterslide that doubles as a diving board, and a cannon that shoots fire eight feet out the front. His daughter is a Disney artist and created custom dragons sculptures that give the front of the vessel an authentic pirate ship look. An additional level is in the plans as a future project.
“It’s great, everyone will be out on the lake with their boats and come tie up to pirate ship and the kids will come aboard and play on the slide, we can end up with quite a few people on board,” said Young.
“Sometimes we’ll hook up a TV and have Karaoke parties on the water, the boat can hold around 70 people.”
While the boat is undoubtedly popular with Young’s neighbors and the residents of Grand Lake, it has also caught the eye of one particular group in the area, who take their young volunteers to take out each summer for an annual cruise – The CCOA, or, Corridor Community Options for Adults, a group that serves adults with intellectual disabilities.
“A number of years ago I was building a custom wood-splitter for them, they would come out and they saw that I was working on my boat, so I offered to take them out and it’s become a regular thing now, they absolutely love it and have a great time.”
While it is clear that Young enjoys the seemingly never-ending project, it is even more clear that what he enjoys most is seeing how excited the kids get, “it’s all for the kids”, he repeated throughout his interview with The Weekly Press.
Young and the CCOA are set to sail Grand Lake on August 24, so if you see thepirate flag make sure to stop by and say Ahoy!