FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Joey Tippmann learned firsthand how quickly efforts to start a new business can be stopped in its tracks. Or in this case, its waters. During the flooding in may, his new pontoon boat was taken away down the river and crashed right into the Tecumseh Street bridge. “It was brutal. You know, to see it pinned under the bridge and we didn’t know how bad it was. I thought it was destroyed and I’m like oh my gosh.”
But it ended up not being as bad as he thought. The biggest issue was just repairing the roof. “We were able to salvage the roof we just had to put it back together and re-assemble the bar and just kind of cosmetic things.”
Still they aren’t cheap repairs. Even more, they were just waiting for the right day to open before the set back. “We were getting close. I mean we would have been open but it was raining every day for what seemed like a year so we didn’t really ever have a chance to go anywhere with it.”
But SSMarybeth, named after Tippmann’s mother, finally got her day. “Oh man, it’s a relief to have the thing done and ready to go. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping.”
The boat will be open to the public tomorrow and every Thursday and Sunday for open rides and reserved rides the rest of the week. It’s docked next to The Deck at The Gas House. Tippmann hopes it’ll be a valuable part of the excitement along the river and he’s beyond ready to lift the anchor.