What is a Mark Twain boat?

Boating could be a fun way of unwinding and as a recreational activity. In terms of boats, there were a lot of types and purposes as well. Well, Mark Twain’s Riverboats have an interesting background to say as well as how it became as a pen name of an American Writer. You might also see this type of boat somewhere like magazines, brochures, and media platforms. Here is the fun voyage to one of the historical and attraction star boats in the world, Mark Twain Riverboats. 

Brief History

Mark Twain, a Mississippi River term, was defined as two fathom deep or twelve feet, which means safe watermark. American author Samuel Clemens was a pilot’s apprentice while on his way to Mississippi. By that time, he was writing series of comic travel letters for the Keokuk Daily Post. It was said that Clemens made Mark Twain his pen name when he heard the leadsman shouted it while he was on the river. On April 9, 1859, he received his steamboat pilot license. 

When Clemens came back in 1861, writing for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, he already possessed the pen name of Mark Twain in his literary works. He is the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

World War Two veteran Lee Siebert founded the Mark Twain boat company in the mid-1960s. This type of boat is specially designed for family passengers. In 1955, this riverboat was the first paddle wheeler built in the United States in fifty years. Initially, this boat was known as Mark Twain Steamboat when it opened to the public. Basically, a Mark Twain boat has accessories like Windshield, Steering Wheel, Boat cover, and stickers. 

Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland

The massive structure of the Mark Twain boat was done in Disney Studio. Its hull, which is 105-foot-long, was built at the Todd Shipyards in San Pedro, California. It was one of the attractions in Disneyland. One of the reasons why it became remarkable is its capacity. It just weighs 150 tons which is capable of carrying 300 passengers. Riverboats in Disneyland can accommodate almost everyone, even the ones in wheelchairs but only on the lower level. 

Mark Twain, the writer, was Walt Disney’s personal hero, so he named the boat after Clemen. Today, Mark Twain Riverboats still has a capacity of 300 passengers, but in the earlier days, it was a trial and error. Disneyland Paris opened their riverboat attraction on April 12, 1992, while Tokyo Disneyland opened on April 15, 1983. 

Mark Twain’s boat has detailed wood craftsmanship. It is a 28-foot tall, 105-foot-long riverboat and is comprised of 4 new decks. The first deck, Pilothouse, has a wheelhouse and Captain’s Quarters. Promenade Deck has a salon and a collection of vintage photos and maps. Third, Texas (or Sun) Deck is for outdoor activities such as floating down the river. Lastly, the Main Deck comprises of boiler and pistons that run the paddlewheel.  

How It Runs

Through the I-beam track, hidden below the brown and green river water, the Mark Twain Riverboat could sail in the Rivers of America. Its engine runs on diesel fuel, which continuously heats water and becomes steam. This is routed to two pistons that make the paddlewheel run. The accumulated exhaust will recoil to the boiler.  To keep its maintenance, it is filled up with fresh water to prevent contaminants from the water in Rivers of America. 

Today, Mark Twain’s boat is still on the run and has different models, depending on the manufacturer. It was said earlier that American writer Clemens heard the term Mark Twain from a leadsman, dictating the safety level of the water. Leadsman is the indicator of water level if it’s safe enough and is using leadline to determine the depth as well. There is a 30-foot-long line attached to a pipe filled with lead. The line was said made of manila, hemp, or sisal, markings woven into the strands that signify depths. 

Other terminologies in leadline are Quarter Less, Quarter, Half, One, Mark One, Quarter One, Half One, Quarter Less Twain, Mark Twain, Quarter Twain, Half Twain, Quarter Less Ta-Ree, Mark Ta-Ree, Quarter Ta-Ree, Half Ta-Ree, Quarter Less Four,