Most lakes in
the area have at least a few historic "wet" boathouses that
reside on the shore. Boathouses that were completely or partially
built below the ordinary high water mark are called wet boathouses.
Department of Natural Resources prohibited the construction of these
boathouses in 1979, saying the structures were impeding public use of
are allowed to remodel existing structures with the proper permits
from the DNR. "Now we regulate the maintenance of those
structures that were built prior to 1979," says Geri Radermacher,
water management specialist with the DNR.
Prior to 2012,
repairs to a boathouse could not exceed 50 percent of its value. That
restriction was lifted in 2012, but there are still stipulations on
what can be done to these existing structures — no expanded
footprint, no change in the roofline and no added living quarters, to
name a few.
It appears the
heyday of wet boathouse construction in the Lake Country area took
place between the 1920s and 1940s.