104 year old steamboat prepares to take passengers around Moosehead Lake

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GREENVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Since 1914, the steamboat "Katahdin" has been roaming the waters of Moosehead Lake.

"The Katahdin is the last of what were a fleet of about 50 steamboats that were on Moosehead Lake at any given time. She's 104 years old,” said Liz McKeil of the Moosehead Marine Museum. “She's the only one that had a steel hull, and she is the oldest floating hull that Bath Iron Works built."

Today, the Moosehead Marine Museum offers rides on the Katahdin to passengers to enjoy the sights of the region.

"The best opportunity for you to see the lake is to come out on a boat, and we're really the one boat that's taking passengers up and down to be able to see Moosehead."

With the cruise season around the corner, crews took the boat out for a shakedown cruise. Members of the public got a behind the scenes look at emergency drills that simulated a man overboard, a fire, and a loss of steering.

"It actually helps us to have passengers on board because a lot of what we have to do is to assist passengers. You saw us putting on life preservers and trying to make sure that people are in the proper part of the boat so that the crew can get their work done."

The drills provide great practice for the crew and a preview of what passengers can expect should they decide to visit one of the region's biggest economic draws.

"This boat brings approximately 75-hundred people a year into town. We estimate that for every dollar spent at the museum and on the cruise, another 5 dollars are spent locally, which means that we have about a 1.5 million dollar impact on the local economy."

The shakedown cruise may be serious work, but both the crew and the passengers agree, it's worth the fantastic views of Moosehead.

"I never get tired of riding this boat. I could ride it every day and never get tired of it."