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Hull Completed On Showboat Branson Belle Louisiana License

The Showboat Branson Belle, an $8 million replica of an 1890's sternwheeler riverboat, is under construction on the shores of Table Rock Lake near Table Rock Dam and is reportedly the largest vessel of its kind being built on a landlocked lake. Entertainer Kenny Rogers is a partner in the venture with Silver Dollar City, Inc. Reaching 56 feet (17 m) high from the keel to the main deck, the skeletal framework of the 265-foot (80.8 m) long hull was recently covered. Plans call for the boat to be launched in August, with an additional three decks added to finish the project. Upon completion, Showboat Branson Belle will be the height of a six story building and will weigh approximately two million pounds. "It will be the largest ship on any of the 642 lakes administered by the Corps of Engineers," saidRichard Groves, resident engineer on Table Rock.

The vessel is equipped with three 1,200-hp diesel engines which turn the paddlewheels. The engines, which are contained in the hull, are designed to run more quietly than a large motor yacht and dispense no waste in the lake.

The launch of the 700-passenger Showboat Branson Belle is scheduled for April 1995.

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