226 227 A pontoon is a floatation device with enough buoyancy to float itself plus a heavy weight, such as a bridge, a diving platform, or a boat. The modern pontoon boat was said to have been invented in 1952, by one Ambrose Weeres, a Minnesota farmer, who put a wooden platform on two columns of steel barrels welded to- gether end-to-end. His boat, christened “The Empress,” was more stable and a lot roomier than a conventional V-hull type boat, and Weeres began marketing the concept, ultimately earning the nick- name, “Mr. Pontoon,” and kick-starting a new American industry. Misty Harbor Boats of Fort Dodge, Iowa has been manufacturing pontoon boats since 1989. Current Vice President, Tom Christy, who joined the firm in 2012, recounts its history: “The company that actually started the production of the pontoon boats was involved in the man- ufacture of boat and travel trailers,” he begins. “Sometime soon thereafter Dave AT A GLANCE MISTY HARBOR BOATS WHAT: A manufacturer of pontoon boats WHERE: Fort Dodge, Iowa WEBSITE: MISTY HARBOR BOATS MISTY HARBOR BOATS NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S PONTOON