River Queen II Facts from the Captain
Let me share a few facts about the River Queen II:
She is equipped with loading ramps on both port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the vessel making it wheelchair accessible.
There is a flushing toilet (head) and a sink with running water. Instead of the enclosure (bathroom) sticking up and blocking the view of the guests, this was designed so that when not in use, it lowers down to rail height. The toilet seat cover adds additional fun to this extraordinary installation.
During manatee season when we are in and around the manatees every day, we have stainless steel propeller guards on both motors. Here on the west coast of Florida, boat strikes are the leading cause of manatee deaths. Once the water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the manatees move into Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding estuaries to find food (seagrasses).
To keep the 40 foot River Queen II in pristine condition, it is stored inside the large boat building at Sweetwater Landing Marina. Our guests, if they choose to wait around for a few minutes after we return to the marina, they are treated to a rare site. Brandon Mayer, owner of Sweetwater Marina, Hunter Platte, Dockmaster, and the skilled crew, lift the vessel out of the water and move it around like a tinker toy on one of the large forklifts, placing it back into storage until the next trip.
We don’t have to worry about road dust, pollen, rain or contaminants littering the surface of the inside. This makes clean up a snap! We use Clorox wipes on the helm, seats, handrails, binoculars and the bathroom features and we are ready to go!
The vessel came equipped with twin 150 HP outboard engines. Since the speed limit in much of our tour area is 25 mph or slower, depending on the time of year, it is powered appropriately to make full use of the waterway. During manatee season, the slow speed zones are enforced (November 15 – April 1) and this means no white water can be displaced by the bow of the boat. Slow speed is specifically defined in the regulations as “Completely off plane in which the bow has fully settled into the water and the boat is proceeding at a reasonable and prudent speed with little or no wake.”
There are several other features that make this vessel special, like the hydraulic tie bar between the engines, 1 1/2″ thick extruded aluminum floor, aluminum sheet plating on the bottom side of the extrusions, padded seats, open storage under the seats for your personal items, programable colored LED interior and exterior lights to match your music pleasure.
This is one fun ride! Book your private cruise today to celebrate a birthday, office party, or numerous other occasions! We look forward to having you join us on the River Queen II.
USCG Captain John C. Cookman
Manatee Toilet Lid Cover