October 18, 2017
Lucas Karhoff, a December 2016 graduate of Great Lakes Maritime Academy, joined the Interlake fleet this season as a third assistant engineer after sailing as cadet and two seasons of winter work.
We sat down with Lucas on our M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar to find out more about what attracted him to his new career and what he likes best about his job.
Q: What made you get into the maritime industry?
A: I’m from Findlay, Ohio, but my family has a house on the Mackinac Island so we’ve always watched the boats go through and my parents used to take me on the Soo Lock Boat Tours. I knew I wanted to do something mechanical and I never minded being away from home so this is the perfect job for me.
Q: What would you say the coolest part of your job is?
A: Coolest part, is I would say, being trusted with millions and millions and millions of dollars of machinery. And I love being in Northern Michigan and going to all the different ports.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges?
A: One of the challenges is dealing with parts manufacturers from overseas and the lead time on parts sometimes is quite a while. So you’ve got to figure out a solution to the problem at hand that maybe has to last for a couple weeks or so because you’ve got to keep the boat moving. You have to be resourceful and creative with the extra parts you might have from the boat.
Q: What do you do for fun on the boat?
A: Photography is one of my hobbies. It’s fun to do after you get off work because there is not a lot to do especially when there is no service. I take pictures so my family and friend can see what I’m doing and see interesting things like going through the ice or unusual ports.