GT flood 10

River baptism: Baptized but not launched was George Barrett's home-crafted 58-foot boat, threatened by the Willamette River which crested overnight at 22.1 feet. Barrett said another two feet would have launched his ship, parked at the bank of the Willamette in the 500 block of NE First.

Tom Warren, Gazette-Times (File)

The following article originally appeared in the Thursday, Jan. 17, 1974, edition of the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

A two-foot rise of the Willamette River will give George F. Barrett's 58-foot, 35-ton, home-built boat an early launching.

Barrett's ship is parked on the west bank of the river on the 500 block of NE First. The ship's keel was covered with water Wednesday, when he attached lines and a motor boat to it "just in case."

For more than two years, Barrett has been building the boat with help from family members. The propeller has to be installed and there is some interior work to be finished. Barrett had anticipated a launching in March. The craft will go down the Willamette and be moored at a Portland dock.

It has a 190-horsepower engine with a fiberglass hull. It will draw six feet of water.

Barrett plans to take summer cruises with his family on the vessel and eventually to cruise around the world.

No stranger to construction work, Barrett earlier built a boat and several homes. The former owner-manager of Barrett's Market, now Tanner's, Barrett retired two years ago.

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