Thursday, July 03, 2014

Keel Boat and Canoe, August 1960

Who was "Bertha Mae", and why did she get a Keel Boat named after her? Maybe that was the name of Mike Fink's mother (I hope her name wasn't "Gullywhumper"). I love that the keel boats were not on a rail like their larger river sisters. The guy at the oar really did steer the thing - for better or worse. They say that a tipping boat sealed the fate of this attraction, but my guess is that it had been in danger of closing anyway.

Moments later, a canoe passes by; notice the small crowd of fisherman at the dock in the center of the picture. 


Nancy said...

Were any of the Rivers of America vessels on a track like the Jungle Cruise boats, or were some (or all) free-moving?

The canoes always soo low in the water, in danger of sinking if someone leaned too much the wrong way!

Melissa said...

Oh, the Keel Boats - another attraction I always put off riding "until next time," and thus never got to ride before they disappeared.

Anonymous said...

Look at my souvenirs, mom! I got a map, a guide book, a model of the moon rocket, and this really neat fish!

Snow White Archive said...

Those passengers who were aboard when the Gullywhumper capsized, they sure have a park story to tell that's hard to beat.

Chuck said...

Nancy - the only ones that ride on a track are the Mark Twain and the Columbia. The keelboats, canoes, rafts, and migratory waterfowl are (or "were" in the case of the keelboats) free-floating.

Anonymous said...

I was a CM on a canoe that "sank". See:

Happy 4th!


K. Martinez said...

I loved the Keel Boats and the spiel that went along with it. It was the only real (no guide-rail) boat experience in the park if you don't count the rafts. I've ridden both the top and inside the Keelboats and am glad I was able to enjoy riding them while they were still around. Another gem long lost to the passage of time.

The Indian Canoes are low to the water and can be a wet experience if you have an uncoordinated paddler or kid on board. To me, the lowness of the canoes and seating just below the waterline provide a unique point of view of the Rivers of America not available in the other watercraft. I still enjoy riding (paddling) the canoes.

When the Rivers of America had the Mark Twain, Columbia, Rafts, Canoes and Keelboats all working at once, it was like Frontierland's answer to Tomorrowland's "World on the Move".

K. Martinez said...

@Chuck - Oh, yeah! I forgot about the canoes not having rails.

PsySocDisney said...

Agghh I always forget to do the canoes when I'm at Disneyland and it's always on my must do list. I actually tried my first hand at canoeing this past weekend on our lake trip and wasn't half bad, so I should be able to pilot a Disney canoe now no problem!! :D

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, both the Mark Twain and the Columbia were on rails, the rest were "free range"!

Melissa, have you done the canoes (since those are still there - for now)?

Anonymous, I honestly wonder how many of those fish that were caught on Tom Sawyer Island ever made it home. Nobody would want to carry it around all day. Yuck!

Snow White Archive, even though it would suck on some level, that WOULD be an awesome story!

Chuck, what about the party boats?

KS, that's a great story. I guess one never knows how much things will cost, but $20,000 (in 1970's dollars, no less) seems excessive! It's probably true though.

K. Martinez, I've only heard recordings of Keelboat spiels. In one of them, the guys laughed at his own jokes so much that it got annoying. I wonder if they've had to make alterations to the canoes now that guests tend to be heavier.

PsySocDisney, my sister and her husband have a canoe, and we take it out into the nearby bay. It's a LOT of work, especially if you have to fight the wind or the tide. It's fun, but can be exhausting.

Dean Finder said...

I didn't realize there were fish in the Rivers of America. I figured the dyed water would leave too little algae to support many fish.

Major Pepperidge said...

Dean, I believe the fish that guests could catch were kept in place by a net that was mostly underwater. So unless a few managed to escape, they weren't in most of the river. I'm sure that, after hours, they were given some kind of feed, just like I've seen at a nearby trout farm.

Anonymous said...

Major....I know that the dollar amount was calculated on the cost of the cleanup and estimate of revenue lost for the temporary closure of all river attractions. Summer, in particular August, was prime time for attendance back in the day. I was just happy to keep my job!