Published on April 10th, 2012 | by Darren1
African Queen Boat Restored
A newly restored “character” from a classic movie is getting a new lease on life. To help publicize the event, Stephen Bogart, the son of the late, great Humprey, will aid in the relaunch of the riverboat – known in most circles as The African Queen- which again be available to tourists around the Florida Keys.
Reuters has the human interest story:
Years after director John Huston used it for the movie, the boat was sold, shipped to the United States, resold and left to languish in a Florida horse pasture.
The late Jim Hendricks Sr., a Florida attorney and Bogart fan, bought the vessel for $65,000 in the early 1980s. He restored it, ran tourist trips aboard it from his Holiday Inn Hotel in the Florida Keys, and loaned it out for historic celebrations as far away as England.
The boat fell into disrepair after Hendricks Sr.’s death and languished again at a Key Largo marina until a couple who run a nearby charter boat operation, Lance and Suzanne Holmquist, struck a deal with the Hendricks family’s African Queen Trust to lease it and fix it up.
Suzanne Holmquist said she was struck by the number of people who stopped by to see the famous boat as it sat unused.
“We just saw the amount of public interest in her, the sadness that she was kind of wasting away,” said Holmquist, whose husband is an experienced boat-restorer.
After a re-launch celebration on Thursday, the Holmquists plan to offer rides from Key Largo aboard the African Queen for about $45.
Stephen’s mother, actress Lauren Bacall, isn’t expected to be part of the event, having recently recovered from surgery to her knee.
Yes, I know, to some of you it might not strike you as “movie news” but every now and then I like to posts regarding restorations of not just film, but also historical film sites as well. Most of those sites and props whither away and others…
…you can take a boat ride on!