Doug: Photo time

90-year-old US cargo ship converted into holiday home

Don’t look down: Tourists may need a head for heights if they take a tour out onto the bow of the boat
The four-story, 7,000sq ft home has kept the historic interior and updated it with some modern technology
Along with the original features the ship’s forecastle now has a garage, kitchen, bar and games room

New life: After being decommissioned in 1981 the ship was left to rust but in 1986 the forecastle was removed (left) before being sailed to Lake Erie and perched on top of a cliff (right) where it remains to this day
Tourists are also able to take guided walks around the vessel which hangs 18 feet above the surface of Lake Erie.

Bryan Kaspar said: ‘Everyone that sees it is intrigued to look inside and I think everyone that looks inside is amazed at the woodwork throughout the ship.
‘Also from the bow it almost feels like you are on the water because of its close proximity to Lake Erie.


Frank J Sullivan, who first converted the vessel, tried to turn it into a hotel in 1992 but was denied permission
Sullivan sold it to father and son Jerry and Bryan Kaspar in 1999 who now allow guided tours around the house
The impressive getaway includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain’s office and living room with panoramic views out across the Lake
‘I love the deck on the fourth floor – It’s a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs and watching the sunset is amazing from there.’
Videographer Nick James, who conducts tours of the hotel, said: ‘The most incredible part is standing at the helm and the way the boat hangs over the cliff it actually feels like you are out on the open water.
‘I love the history that is still all around in the Benson Ford. In the parlour you can just imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting smoking their cigars.

‘When you’re there it feels as though you step back in time and they could appear at any moment.’

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