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Latest Lake News - Water Patrol

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Old 09-20-2004, 03:14 PM
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Default Latest Lake News - Water Patrol

New boat style, new challenges

Water Patrol switches to off-shore fishing boats

By Joyce L. Miller/Lake Sun

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A different type of Missouri Water Patrol boat will be cruising the waters of Lake of the Ozarks this fall.

The first of four new Donzi off-shore fishing boats is already in service, with three more scheduled to be delivered later this year. The Donzi off-shores are replacing part of the aging Challenger fleet that has been the Water Patrol boat of choice since 1996.

As more and bigger boats continue to crowd Lake of the Ozarks, the Water Patrol's need for performance and safety in their boats has changed.

Officers who have given the Donzi a test drive say the safety features, handling and design of the boat make it the favorite from a field of about eight high-performance boats officers have been checking out on Lake of the Ozarks.

"This boat is at the top of the scale as far as quality," Corporal Randy Henry said. "By far, the Donzi offers the safest and most comfortable ride. It moves right through the choppy water without a problem."

A combination of features makes the Donzi appealing to officers. A roof over the console area protects officers from the elements and will reduce work-related fatigue from being exposed to the sun. It will also cut down on the risks of skin cancer.

The height of the roof also provides better visibility of emergency and night-time lights. The boat's distinctive design will make it more recognizable to the public.

"The Challengers have been good patrol boats, but the 18 we have assigned to Lake of the Ozarks are getting old. They have taken an extreme amount of abuse and punishment in the pounding waters," Corporal Nick Humphrey said. "The Donzi offers the Water Patrol some advantages that we could not get with the Challengers."

Humphrey said the most significant difference is the Donzi can be used year-round. The 29-foot boat is equipped with two four-stroke Mercury 250 outboards.

"In the winter officers switched the Challengers for the utility boats," Humphrey said. "We will be able to eliminate that need for utility boats for winter by going with the outboards. So we are actually buying one watercraft instead of two to meet the year-round needs of patrolling on the lake."

The dual outboards will also allow officers added protection against engine failure. If one engine goes down, officers will still be able to get around. With the Challengers, when officers are responding to a call and the engines go down, the officer has to call for assistance for his boat and send another officer on the call. That ties up three officers.

"We need to be able to use our manpower more efficiently," Humphrey said. "Another advantage is the open bow that gives officers better use of the entire boat."

The Donzi comes equipped with a tow bar and a dive door. Humphrey said those features will make it easier for officers to help a stranded or injured boater.

"This boat has more maneuverability and is just more efficient for officers," Humphrey said. "We can move freely from one end of the boat to the other. We feel certain the Donzi will prove to be a good investment, especially on Lake of the Ozarks."

The boats will cost about $85,000 each.
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Old 09-20-2004, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Latest Lake News - Water Patrol

Don't try to out-turn 'em! This is a pic of my buddy, Jefe. This turn was at full speed (65+), cranked the wheel to fully lock. Those boats turn like nothing I've ever seen!
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Old 09-20-2004, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Latest Lake News - Water Patrol

Might be some challengers for sale cheap soon!
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