Upgrade Project    

When Mercury Marine Engineer Paul Adams asked me who I was going to have do the welding for the Elkhart River Queen engine upgrade project I told him I hadn't thought that for along, Paul suggested I seek out our local vocational school.  He has used vocational schools in other areas for similar projects.  I contacted Brandon Eakins, the director of the Elkhart Area Career Center to see if they would have any interest in helping out with this project.  I knew the school recently built the Tom Mittler Welding facility on their campus.  Brandon spoke with his instructors who came out to the Queen to look over the project, they were excited and thought it would be an excellent experience for the students.  This past Saturday, January14, they began the arduous task of removing the steel that held the old engines in place for the past 68 years.  Under the direction of instructor John Kraus and another adult welder, the students armed with a plasma cutter completed the task in four hours.  I would like to give a special shout out to our Fire Chief Shaun Edgerton who granted my request to allow Reserve Engine 3 and firefighters Dave Richter, Ronnie Shekell and Jim Vance to stand-by onsite just in case of a flair up, all went well.



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