Over the next several weeks the Water Taxi engineering team will be completing the multi-year project of rebuilding the Water Taxi Island Adventure. Follow along with us as we document in photos the history of this great vessel. She was built in 1964 in Erie, Pennsylvania and has been in service up and down the coast and on the Great Lakes. So, why rebuild a 51 year old boat? The answer is simple…she has “good bones”.
After completing extensive re-plating of the hull and modest interior improvements; The Island adventure has been shuttling guests back and forth between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood over the last few years. Significant improvements that are underway include: Replacing the second deck roof with an open air awning to provide an inviting open air seating area, Rebuilding of the entire interior on the main deck to create an inviting and comfortable guest space, significant machinery upgrades because the old machinery is “tired” and to improve noise control and reduce environmental impact and repainting of the hull in keeping with the Water Taxi colors.
The Island Adventure under construction in 1964. Note how the aluminum hull plating is fitted together with custom curved plating to create the desired hull shape. This technique utilizes a “developable” surface design in which each plate is either flat, conical or the section of a curved tube. By varying the amount of curvature of the plates the designers can create complex geometric shapes. The limitation is that each plate cannot be bent in more than one direction such as part of a sphere. Sometimes if a complex curved surface is required, the rules can be bent by cutting a “V” in the metal, forcing the edges together and welding the seam. For you seamstresses out there, this is the same as using a “dart” to form complex shapes in clothing.
When we found the Island Adventure, she was working as a shuttle to a floating casino in Tarpon Springs, Florida and she was named “Express shuttle”. Although she does not look in too rough shape in this photo, there was significant corrosion in the plating and the machinery and systems were a wreck.
Phase 1 of the Island Adventure rebuild was completed in 2010 when large sections of bottom plating were replaced.
The 2015 rebuild begins! The second deck furnishings and cabin interior have been removed.
All interior furnishings on the main deck have been removed.
Island Adventure with second deck roof and structure removed. This is going to be a fantastic site seeing boat with the big open second deck and a simple awning to provide shade.
Stay tuned for more developments!!