The Volunteer (canal boat)

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Lasallecanalboat1.jpg
The Volunteer moored on the Illinois and Michigan Canal at LaSalle, Illinois
Career
Name: The Volunteer
Owner: Canal Corridor Association[1]
Port of registry: LaSalle, Illinois, United States
Builder: Scarano Boat Builders, Albany, New York
Cost: $993,840
Yard number: CCA4108
Completed: 2008
Identification: VIN: 1212447
General characteristics
Class & type: Passenger
Tonnage: 57 GRT
Length: 76.3 ft (23.3 m)
Beam: 15.5 ft (4.7 m)
Draft: 5.8 ft (1.8 m)
Notes: Reference [2]

The Volunteer is a 76-foot replica of a 19th-century canal boat which is owned and operated by the Canal Corridor Association. The Volunteer operates on a restored section of the Illinois and Michigan Canal at LaSalle, Illinois, USA.[3][4]

Construction[edit]

The boat was built in Albany, New York, by Scarano Boat Builders at a cost of $993,840.[5][6] The Volunteer was designed to resemble an original canal boat; however, the hull of The Volunteer is constructed out of aluminum and the upper portion is built of rot resistant white cedar. The use of these non-traditional materials was intended to help make the boat easy to maintain and increase the vessel's life.[7]

The boat ride[edit]

The Volunteer takes up to 70 passengers on hour-long round trip journeys on a restored segment of the 96 mile Illinois and Michigan Canal. While headed east from its dock at Lock 14, The Volunteer is pulled by one of two mules named "Moe" and "Larry" that walk along the adjacent towpath. The captain steers the boat by hand with the large wooden rudder at the back of the boat. Along the way an interpreter, dressed in period clothing, explains to passengers the history of the canal and what travel was like in the year 1848.[8] Once the boat reaches the Little Vermilion River aqueduct, the mules are detached and the boat reverses using its twin 4-horsepower electric motors.[citation needed]

Then-Congressman Jerry Weller (left) and former LaSalle Mayor Art Washkowiak on the upper deck of The Volunteer.

External links[edit]

  • LaSalle Canal Boat Website, offering information on tours, ticket sales, restrooms, gift shop and the Lock 16 Cafe that serves breakfast and lunch.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vessel ID 1212447.
  2. ^ United States Coast Guard PSIX. The Volunteer.
  3. ^ Stanley, Charles (June 27, 2008). "'Dreamboat' christened Replica canal boat officially goes into service". My Web Times. The Times Company / Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ Hopkins, Catherine (June 29, 2008). "Replica canal boat ushers in old era". pjstar.com. Peoria, Illinois: GateHouse Media. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "La Salle canal boat only half built; tours alread being booked". My Web Times. The Times Company / Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, LLC. February 29, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "LA SALLE: Boat bid accepted". My Web Times. The Times Company / Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, LLC. September 25, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ Stanley, Charles (March 3, 2008). "Highway trip first voyage for canal boat". The Times Company / Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, LLC. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ Rackl, Lori (July 9, 2008). "Canal leads to yesterday". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 

Coordinates: 41°19′35.4″N 89°5′39″W / 41.326500°N 89.09417°W / 41.326500; -89.09417 (The Volunteer (dock at Lock 14))