New York’s Lake George Steamboat Company recently commissioned API Services to laser scan the hull the oldest boat in its fleet, the 107-year-old Mohican.

Historic Vessel Laser Scanned for Hull Refit


The original Mohican, in service from 1894 to 1907, was a 93-foot wooden hull vessel. The ship was replaced in 1907 by a steel-hulled vessel christened the Mohican II in the summer of 1908, thus beginning the first of her 107 years of continuous service on Lake George. This naming convention also began the custom of reusing names of former lake boats, which survived until the construction of the Lac du Saint Sacrement in 1989.

Photo Courtesy of Nancy Jefts

Originally, the Mohican's two propellers were driven by Fletcher steam engines, the steam being generated by the burning of two tons of coal each day. She proceeded under steam power through the World War II years, at which time she was the only passenger vessel plying Lake George. When Wilbur Dow purchased the Steamboat Company in November of 1945, he determined that diesel would be a more efficient means of propulsion and that the conversion to diesel engines would free large areas of the Mohican's second deck for passenger usage. The conversion was completed in 1946. In June 2008, the Mohican was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the third active passenger vessel to be so designated. In May of 2015, the Mohican began her 107th year of operations on Lake George.


As part of the efforts to preserve the historic vessel and ensure the ship can continue to run for years to come, API Services laser scanned the Mohican’s hull, offering sub-millimeter accuracy ranging from range 1 meter to 180 meters. In the course of one afternoon, the Mohican exterior was fully digitized. A 3D model of the hull shell plate will be generated from the digitization and provided to the naval architects at Dejong and Lebet, Inc. to help create drawings for the rip out and replacement of the original hull plating.