Duck boat takes to water at Fall Fest

first_img A history of the 31-foot DUKW boatScott Hill Park & Sports ComplexThe population of Woodland was 5,512 as of July 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.WOODLAND — “We’re going to do a beach assault,” declared Jeff Wilson from his World War II duck boat.However, his crew of 15 looked unprepared for any battle.Duck boat rides were popular Sunday during the Lewis River Fall Fest at Horseshoe Lake Park in Woodland. The event was a fundraiser for the Scott Hill Park & Sports Complex, a 40-acre property that supporters are hoping to develop.“That’s very neat,” said Marilyn Van Horn of Woodland after her 20-minute duck boat ride on Horseshoe Lake. “It’s something you never get to do.” She and husband Neil moved to Woodland four years ago from Portland’s Mount Tabor neighborhood. “We are happy we moved here. We hate to go into Portland,” she said.Built in 1945 for the war effort, this DUKW (known as duck) is 31 feet long, 8 feet wide and amphibious.“What you have is a 16,000-pound monster,” said Wilson, who owns the duck boat and donated proceeds from the $5-a-person rides. He said perhaps 500 people took rides over the weekend. His company TDI, a Longview portable toilet firm, also does business in Woodland.Wilson said the duck has 140 horsepower, can go 55 mph on land and 7 mph in the water, and, “I can run about eight hours on 15 gallons of gasoline.“It’s a true amphibian.” Wilson said. “It’s all-wheel drive. It has a propeller.”He said some passengers “are apprehensive. It’s not a natural feel to take a perfectly good vehicle and drive it into the water.”Wilson said riding in the duck gives people a feeling for history.“The ducks were built primarily by women. These were built in Dearborn, Mich. … It’s not just a museum piece,” he said of the rig. “People can touch it. They can feel it.” Jeff WilsonDonated DUKW boat rides during the festival to raise money for Scott Hill Park & Sports Complexlast_img

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