Without too much fanfare, Hornblower Canada’s new Maid of the Mist tour boat arrived at the Niagara chasm in mid January 2014. It came in pieces. The vessel was shipped here by truck and had to be assembled on shore. This is the latest and most state- of -the- art example of a prefabricated water vessel that can be built on site and thereby eliminate more expensive sailing and towing expenses. Plus the spectacle of building such a large vessel on shore in the shadow of a frozen waterfall in the background has perhaps added to the news bubble surrounding the birth of this new local tour company.
The Niagara Region enjoys approx 14 million tourists per year and that makes this area one of Canada’s busiest tourist destination wherein there is a single tourist attraction commanding the public’s attention.
Assembling the new Maid of the Mist Tour Boat in Niagara Falls Canada. The prefabricated hull and pilot house and various other nautical bits arrived by trucks which were unloaded in January in the Niagara River chasm, beside the frozen water system, in the middle of the first polar vortex of 2014.
In the photo above you can see the men wrestling to get the pilot house locked into place. They are following a plan set by the boat’s manufacturer and followed by the foreman who came up from the factory to oversee the assembly. The Pilot house component of the craft would be very sensitive as its where the Captain of the ship and the river pilot sit and navigate the craft. As this vessel is far more technically sophisticated than previous boats, one can only assume that this metal pilot house box will be stuffed full of sensitive electronics and other nautical instrumentation.