WHAT’S GOING ON AT JET EXPRESS WITH CAPTAIN KELLY – NOVEMBER 3rd, 2021
Welcome to one of our great new blogs that we will bringing to you every week to our website, informative emails, and our social platforms. We hope to shed light on what’s going on behind the scenes at the Jet Express with maintenance over the winter, what we are doing in preparation for a very exciting 2022 season, and when we get up and running again in the spring of 2022, what it takes to operate a successful ferry business and the work we do to get people to their destination and make their experience a memorable one.
First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kelly Freimark, and I am the General Manager here at the Jet Express. I am from Port Clinton, OH and have been with Jet Express for 10 years in a multitude of capacities from crew, captain, and to my current role. Today, I oversee the day-to-day operation here at Jet Express and ensure that we are providing the best possible experience to our guests. While there is lot more I do these days, I still enjoy getting out on the boats and enjoying the ride with our great customers.
THE SEASON IS OVER, NOW WHAT?
Many people ask us the question, “What do you do all winter?” Many people think we retire to a warm sunny beach in Florida until April when we return to ferrying passengers across the lake again. As much as I would like that to be true, that isn’t the case. Just as busy as we are operating the vessels and transporting people all summer, we have a different kind of busy in the offseason. We put a lot of wear and tear on our vessels, equipment, facilities, and personnel in just a short amount of time throughout the summer, that a lot of winter months go towards repairing things and making improvements to our experience that we do not have a lot of time to do in the season.
SO, WHAT IS CURRENTLY GOING ON AT JET EXPRESS?
Finally, we have gotten to the moment that you all are waiting for: What’s going on at Jet Express! We are currently working to winterize and prep for the storage of all our vessels. Our captains and maintenance personnel have been hard at work storing life jackets and life rafts, cleaning all of the compartments below deck, storing all of the luggage carts, and putting benches away on our parking lot. The dock looks so empty this time of year from the busy times this summer.
In past years, we have left Jet Express III and Jet Express IV in the water all winter long with the help of many heaters and bubblers to keep the lake water from freezing around them. Jet Express and Jet Express II have historically been lifted out of the water utilizing a marine railway from our friends at Brand’s Marina. After 100 years of service, the marine railway was retired this past summer and we are unable to use it this winter. For obvious reasons, this made our team go back to the drawing board to come up with a solution for winter storage.
After doing a lot of research and consulting with the manufacturer of our vessels, Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding, we decided that we would be using a large crane from Capital City Group to lift our vessels from the water and into our parking lot. More to come on this project in the next edition of What’s going on at Jet Express!
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I hope that you will follow along with us as we journey behind the scenes to take a closer look at what makes our operation work. Until then, stay warm and think about warm summer days on Lake Erie and at Put-in-Bay!
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