Moran Iron Works starts construction of kayak-launching tour boat

Written by Nick Blenkey
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FEBRUARY 5, 2019 — Moran Iron Works, Inc. (MIW) has signed a contract with Pictured Rocks Kayaking (PRK) to build a specialized passenger tour vessel. 

Designed by DLBA naval architects (a division of Gibbs & Cox, Inc.), the boat will be first of its kind in the Great Lakes Region.

The 64’ by 19’ vessel will be constructed out of aluminum at Moran Iron Works’ headquarters in Onaway, MI. It is being built to escort 72 passengers and 36 kayaks around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for guided kayak tours. This vessel will feature a custom-designed kayak launch system that is tailored to meet the specific needs of offshore kayak launching. 

“Fabrication officially began with the laying of the deck plate on December 6, 2018,” said Lee Fayssoux, project manager at MIW. “This is a very exciting project for us.  It is a real privilege to have an ‘Inspired by Michigan’ vessel in our shop. This vessel will not only be capable of carrying passengers, but will also be capable of deploying and retrieving guests in kayaks. It’s a revolutionary way of experiencing the beauty that Northern Michigan, particularly Pictured Rocks, has to offer. This vision was recognized by our customer, and acted on with development from MIW and our partner architect DLBA. We are ecstatic that they chose MIW for this build, and ecstatic that this vessel will serve tourists who visit the waters of Pictured Rocks.”

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