Boaters Surprised By Unique Floating ‘Ship’ On The Rock River In Illinois
It was a high-70s afternoon on Sunday, June 5, 2022, when boats started making their way to a sandbar on the Rock River. This particular sandbar rests between Byron and Oregon, Illinois just southwest of He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve. It's a popular spot for boats and pontoons to anchor for a few hours of fun.
Looking for a great place to drop your canoe or kayak near Rockford, Illinois?
He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve has an easy access drop-in for canoes and kayaks and is a five-minute paddle to the sandbar.
It is not unusual to find a variety of boats and pontoons enjoying a bright sunny day. Oftentimes you will hear different genres of music playing from boat to boat or pontoon. One thing that is the same though is everyone is there to have a good time.
Most late mornings start with a few boats scattered throughout (like in the photo below) but within an hour or you will likely find 3 or 4 times more.
I frequent this particular area often when the weather allows. I've seen so many different boats over the years but nothing like many of us saw recently.
"What is that? Is that a patrol boat? Are we going to battle?"
We saw a boat from afar that stood out amongst all the others anchored nearby. It wasn't moving too fast but before we noticed it had snuck to within a short water-logged jaunt. Naturally, I had to get a closer look.
It is a 1959 Cruiser Craft of Dallas and it's steered by the motor in the rear of the boat. There's been a lot of work done on it but it's not all complete. The owner told me he's still installing a few more toys to it. He plans on hooking up an air horn and spotlight.
Yes, it's a registered patrol boat in Illinois, owned by a regular family. The original owner kept it on Fox Lake where he owned a bar in the area. The current owner snapped it in a boat actual for practically nothing.
Because of its unique style and build it could only be registered as a patrol boat. But don't worry, if you see this floating nearby it's fine. The owner said he gets flagged down a lot by boaters who want a closer look. He's always happy to make that happen.
There's nothing in the cabin yet but the owner told me he plans on converting it into a sleeping area for camping. The area inside the cabin is large enough for a double bed. The red-tinted windows add even more uniqueness to the boat.
It was a cool thing to see in person. If you spot this on your next boating adventure give Joe a wave and ask for the full story of how he got this boat into his possession. Joe and his wife both love this boat. Apparently, it had been sitting around for a few years before he decided to get it ready for the water.