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Woodlands new swan boats to be unveiled Tuesday, Aug. 7

August 4, 2018

The newest addition to the water recreation scene in The Woodlands is expected to be unveiled at a ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Mary Connell, a community relations manager with the township, verified on Friday, Aug. 3 that the new “swan boats” were slated to be delivered to the township in the coming days. The fleet of “swan boats” will be unveiled at a special ceremony with the township Board of Directors at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Riva Row Park in The Woodlands.

Details about when the “swan boats” will be available for public usage, as well as the cost of rentals and other information, is expected to be announced during the ceremony.

With the ever-popular Waterway Cruisers out of action since February, township officials had been looking for a new watery fun amenity for residents and visitors that was both inexpensive and required less staffing than the cruisers.

The six cruisers had been used to ferry residents and tourists along The Woodlands Waterway, but the massive deluge of rain and flood waters from Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017 severely damaged the fleet. Eventually, in December, one of the boats had been repaired enough to put back into service, but the vessel broke down again in January and the township ended its contract with the operator of the cruisers in February.

In early June, in a 4-0 vote, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors approved the purchase of about a dozen of the “swan boats” at a cost of $57,000. The “swan boats” are similar to what is found in other cities, such as Boston and areas in coastal New Jersey. Directors Brian Boniface, Bruce Rieser and John McMullan were not present at the meeting.

The “swan boats” cost about $4,700 each and can seat four passengers. The boats will be based at the Riva Row Boathouse and available for rental and use on the upper Waterway area and Lake Woodlands. The boats would not be able to travel beyond the Anadarko bridge at the north end of the lake.

At the time of the decision, Nick Wolda, president of Visit The Woodlands Texas, said the “swan boats” would supplement current recreational options of renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board.

During a recent township board meeting, Chairman Gordy Bunch proposed a possible race between township directors in the new “swan boats,” which are pedal-powered by riders. However, township officials did not confirm whether or not a race will occur at the Aug. 7 event.

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