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'Eyesore' houseboat removed from lake
Eight-week effort deemed a success
Houseboat WEB
The remains of a houseboat were piled up after a crew broke down and removed the metal for scrap. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

It took eight years to get the effort started, but less than eight weeks to remove an abandoned houseboat from the shoreline of Lake Lanier in northeastern Forsyth.

“We were finally able to get everything together,” said Joanna Cloud, executive director of advocacy group the Lake Lanier Association. “It truly was a community effort … It was a lot of different people and a lot of different phone calls.”

None of those involved with removing the houseboat know how it ended up there, though there’s no shortage of speculation.

A series of phone calls led Cloud to Harold Rogers and Paul Hollers, who’ve been collecting scrap metal from old vehicles for years.

Using steel-cutting saws and other equipment, the men broke down the 700-pound boat one chunk at a time. They then piled the scraps on their truck, traveling back and forth along a path provided by a resident with access to the shoreline off Lantern Lane.

“It wasn’t as hard as we expected, but it paid a lot less than we expected,” said Hollers, noting the boat had more wood than steel. “We figured it at 15,000 pounds and it ended up being 7,000.

“We were expecting it to pay about $1,500 and it ended up paying about $700.”

Hollers and Rogers took the steel and left the smaller pieces of wood and rubble for Tom Child of Marine Specialties and his crew. They placed the materials in a Dumpster provided by a local waste disposal company.

“So that’s it. It’s all gone,” Cloud said. “It’s a huge relief just to have that out and off the shoreline ... It was an eyesore and a safety hazard.”