Green Lake Tours and the J. Lawson

J. Lawson
Photography by Steve Sampson

It’s been 45 years since a traditionally styled tour boat has been on Green Lake, but the count ended when Green Lake Tours, part of Pierless Boat Rentals, brought on the 50-foot, down-east-style J. Lawson . The J. Lawson , built for the U.S. Navy in 1987, brings back the aesthetics of the boats gracing the waters of Green Lake a hundred years ago.

For Green Lake Tours, retaining the classic look and feel of boats past was important. The J. Lawson has modern construction and propulsion, yet charms passengers with the lines of a classic yacht and the look of a traditional displacement cruiser.

In its past life, the boat worked to ferry sailors from larger Naval ships onto shore. She was decommissioned in 2001 and converted to a sightseeing boat off the coast of Virginia. When Green Lake Tours found her, she was dry docked in North Carolina. A semi-truck was required to get her here, and once she arrived, a 90-ton crane had to be used to pick her off the semi-trailer and lower her into the water.

After all that work, she’s ready for summer weddings and business and private gatherings. Call or go online to purchase tickets for scheduled tours, available starting Memorial Day. Or make plans for a private charter where local caterers provide hors d’oeuvres.

Check out Green Lake Tours and Pierless Boat Rentals, where you can also gas up and rent a pontoon or waverunner, at the Green Lake Conference Center. Here you’ll find everything you’ll need to make the most of what Green Lake has to offer.