Boathenge Poised to Hit the Beach
First there was Stonehenge, then Carhenge, then Foamhenge, then Truckhenge, and maybe eventually Soaphenge. Now "Boathenge" seems ready to join the flotilla of stateside tributes to prehistoric English hocus-pocus.
Boathenge was conceived in January 2007 by Joey Kroart, son of Joe Kroart III, owner of the Ocean Gallery World Center in Ocean City, Maryland. Joe told us that his beach town was anxious to call attention to itself, but that it had no money to pay for publicity. Burying retired boats bow-down in an astronomically-aligned megalithic beach circle seemed like a natural, low-cost, no-brainer solution to the Kroarts, who admittedly are unusual people in Ocean City. "This is a very conservative place," Joe told us. "To stick something on the beach in Ocean City is impossible."
Nevertheless, the Kroarts stuck a sign on the beach in March: "Proposed Site of Boathenge." People were soon taking pictures of themselves next to it. Then a local bike shop owner put a tiny model of a Boathenge in a pan of sand. Unbidden, people began tossing dollars into it. On Memorial Day, Joe Kroart told a newspaper reporter that he was looking for "boats with holes in them" for Boathenge. Within a couple of weeks he had 26 boats.
"This has become the most spectacular PR attraction ever in the history of Ocean City," Joe told us, obviously delighted. "And there's nothing here yet!"
Boathenge sailed through its latest squall on July 31, when four of Ocean City's seven City Council members voted to move the project forward. "They deserve a lot of credit for being open-minded about it," Joe said. "They've moved incredibly quick on Boathenge considering how bizarre it really is." Opinions will now be sought from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, but neither is expected to scuttle the project.
Joe Kroart estimates that Boathenge is "85 percent there" and that a "sandbreaking" for the monument will occur sooner rather than later. "Stonehenge wasn't built in a day," he cautions, but he also adds, "The web cam has already been set up."
[Jan. 2008: Joe Kroart's Boathenge proposal was torpedoed in Fall 2007 by the Dept. of Natural Resources -- due to a restriction on creating a "permanent structure." Kroart promises returning in 2008 with a better Boathenge proposal, ready to go for state approval. Kroart sends us crazy mail every month or so, full of news clippings, including photos where he's dressed like the Spartan leader in 300.][08/05/2007]
Latest from Trunkations, the RoadsideAmerica.com Blog
- May 24: Two Gallows, One Beatle: Good Times At The Old Jail
- May 15: Hats On To Stonewall Jackson, Defender Of Lexington
- Apr 30: Beefcake of Roads: New Home For World’s Largest Muscleman
- Apr 24: Join the Battleship NJ Gun Crew (Look Out, Philly!)
- Apr 17: Muffler Men History: Moving Giants
- Apr 8: The State vs. The Minister’s Tree House: Earthly Codes