Lake Assault Boats to build fleet of 43 river barges for River Walk in San Antonio, Texas

Lake Assault Boats, a subsidiary of Capstan Corporation based in Superior Wisconsin and a leading manufacturer of work boats, fireboats and rescue vessels, has been selected from a field of four competitors to build a fleet of 43 river barges for the City of San Antonio, Texas. The contract value is $6.5 million.

The boats will become an integral component of San Antonio’s iconic River Walk experience that connects retail stores, restaurants, office buildings and major tourist attractions throughout the city that lie along the San Antonio River. All 43 boats will be delivered and placed into service in late 2017, in time for the city’s 2018 tricentennial celebrations.

City officials visited Lake Assault facilities December 6-7 for preproduction meetings. At that time, a ceremony was held where John Jacks, Interim Director for the City of San Antonio, hit the “go” button on a plasma cutting machine to signify the beginning of production.

“We are honored to be selected by the City of San Antonio to build this brand new fleet of river barge vessels that will play a vital role in supporting the city’s unique identity and amazing recreational assets,” said Chad DuMars, Lake Assault Boats Vice President of Operations. “This was truly a team effort that brought to bear the resources, support and expertise of our entire organization, including those of Lake Assault, Fraser Shipyard and our parent company, Capstan Corporation.”

The first river barge prototype will be delivered to San Antonio in early February. After a period of on-the-water testing and final evaluation, full-scale production will begin in March 2017. Large scale deliveries will commence in mid-September with 19 craft transported on a caravan of 10 semi-trucks. The remaining 23 vessels will be delivered in mid-November.

The identical river barges are 27 feet long and nine feet wide. Each can be configured and modified in a range of floor plans to support touring, dining, commuting, entertaining and other applications. For example, curved bench seating at the bow and stern and moveable seating and table configurations give more options to passengers and allow easy wheelchair access. The modular deck design allows for different layouts of tables, chairs and even corner booths. The flat deck and integral fold-down ramps enable easy entrance and exit. Programmable LED lighting creates a stunning visual display and will identify each type of craft—yellow for taxi, red for touring and blue for dinner cruises.

Maritime Editorial