The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, celebrated the arrival of its newest vessel, the Model Vessel Curt Larsen, with a christening ceremony at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings, Minn., April 16.
Jenny Koprowski, wife of the district’s commander, Col. Dan Koprowski, sponsored the vessel by breaking a bottle of confetti on the bow. “It was a great honor to be asked to do this,” said Koprowski. “I will remember this day for years to come.”
The MV Larsen was commissioned as a working boat by the public affairs office in 2013 to assist in the accomplishment of the district’s community relations mission. The Larsen will tow demonstration loads in the district’s lock model acquired from the Rock Island District. The Larsen is 10 inches long by 5 inches wide with a 1 inch draft. Its flat deck barge is 11.5 inches long by 5.5 inches wide with a 0.5 inch draft. The vessel is not self propelled but manually powered.
It was named after district lock operator Curt Larsen, who manufactured the boat out of his home in St. Paul, Minn., on his own time and at his own expense. Larsen created the vessel to be able to float in the lock model and withstand being played with by thousands of children for a number of years.
“We felt the best way to thank Larsen for his work was to name the vessel after him,” said George Stringham, public affairs. “We are grateful for his efforts because the previous boat used to sink.”
The district’s lock model, where the vessel will be used, received a facelift from Lock and Dam 1 operators Sam Mathiowetz and Amy Thomas in preparation for receiving the Larsen. Mathiowetz repaired the model’s seepage issues, and Thomas gave it a new paint job.