Tiki boat 0620 Lake u.JPG

Alexis Goldhagen (third from left) and her friends from flight school built a tiki bar during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order

When life handed Lake Martin’s Alexis Goldhagen and her friends from Auburn University’s flight school a stay-at-home order for coronavirus, they did what any reasonable college students would do: They built a floating tiki bar.

The owner of Lake Martin Flyboard, Goldhagen and her mates were visiting family in Tampa, Florida, over spring break when she saw a tiki bar that friends there had built. Since the five friends were together when the order for coronavirus safety came through, Goldhagen’s parents, Drs. Paul and Michelle Goldhagen, told them all to come back to Lake Martin for the quarantine period.

“I told my parents, ‘I want one of these,’ and they said, ‘Well, of course, you do,’” Goldhagen laughed. “Then one of the guys I work with in flight school, Will Bernard, said we could build this.”

Goldhagen’s parents said they would purchase the materials if the four friends agreed to build it. They obtained directions for the platform from the person who had built it in Tampa, but everything else on the float was meticulously custom designed.

“The one in Tampa had bar stools, but ours has swings,” Goldhagen said. “We all quarantined together at the lake for six weeks and built it.” 

The platform for the tiki bar is 16 feet by 16 feet and sits on top of 18 55-gallon blue drums. The friends cut the bamboo from another friends’ farm and spent six weeks – the better part of the stay-at-home order – working on the project. 

“We worked on it pretty much every day that the weather was good. We built 4-foot by 4-foot platforms and built up the bar with big round, wooden poles. We ordered the thatched roof online,” Goldhagen said.

Goldhagen and friends, Paige Thompson, Stefan Morton and Jackson Trawick all pitched in to help Bernard, who masterminded the construction.

“We were just the helpers,” Goldhagen said. “He would tell us how long to cut the boards, and we cut them.”

The Goldhagens own a Super Air Nautique boat; so they named the bar float Super Air Nautiki.