April 4, 2014 Share

Kentucky Senate Names Kentucky “Houseboat Capital of the World”

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sen. Chris Girdler was recently joined by prominent members of Kentucky’s houseboat industry as he presented a resolution to the Kentucky General Assembly declaring Kentucky the “Houseboat Capital of the World.”

“We hear about Kentucky’s signature industries, but one that doesn’t get a lot of press or notoriety is that of the houseboat industry,” Sen. Girdler told his fellow Senators. “Somerset, Ky. was the birthplace of the houseboat in 1953. Since then, the houseboat industry has been a stable source of employment for many skilled craftsmen and, at the same time, has led to increased tourism in Kentucky. The world has watched as thousands of houseboats have been built on the shores of Lake Cumberland and transported all over our great country and across the world. I believe it’s long overdue for Kentucky to have this title.”

Jim Sharpe, a pioneer of the houseboat industry and owner of Sumerset Houseboats from 1953-1996 joined Sen. Girdler, as did Bobby Gehring of Sunstar Houseboats and Bill Jasper with Stardust Cruisers.

The group met with Governor Steve Beshear following the passing of Sen. Girdler’s resolution.