Original River Queen houseboat photos, history, brochures, and pictures.

by Bob of Bethel Isl, Ca

Original photos and history of River Queen houseboats

Original photos and history of River Queen houseboats

I have an old Brochure with some original River Queen houseboats, and photos from my old job at Richards Yacht Sales Oakey /Bethel Island, CA that I'd like to share for history.


Here's a 40' River Queen and Photos from my old job at Richards Yacht sales Oakey /Bethel Island, CA, and here's Earl S Gardner author of the Perry Mason Novels. He had three River Queens and mobile homes near by.

He wrote 3 books on the delta. Many of the RiverQueen photos and scenes of our Caifornia Inland Delta waterways, Saramento River, San Jouquin River, Mokelumne River, Stockton Ca the books were Drifting down the Delta, World of Water and I think the other was more of drifting down the delta or something like that.

A great spot was "Lost Isl club" by Buoy 49 by Stockton Ca in the San Jouquin River. Like a (mini) "Fantasy Island".. Don't know if it is still open, but I can say I would visit it every chance I got...

PS: Helpful hint, we would widen the foot area of the outdrive with 10" Cavitation Plates bolted to the outdrive using 3/8' nut & bolts. Two triangle plates of aluminum on both sides of the outdrive over the prop.

Using painted and bolted with 6 or 7 bolts per plate. This would help to keep the prop from sucking air. The boats planed out better, with either single or twin engine.

Hope this is helpful, Bob, June 2009



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Reply - Answer
Well Bob, I want to thank you for all the effort of scanning the photos and brochures, and also for the excellent original pictures of these great steel houseboats.

For folks that want to see them, this link with the original River Queen houseboat photos will open in a new window. (because of the size and quantity of pictures)

I'm sure that I speak for others by saying that I always appreciate reading and hearing about the nostalgia and history associated with the River Queens.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their River Queen houseboat experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.


Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats


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Comments for Original River Queen houseboat photos, history, brochures, and pictures.

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Hello Elmer
by: Daniel

Thanks for your interest in the boat. However two days ago a friend of my neighbor asked if they could have her. I hope you find the perfect project to enjoy bringing back to life.

Thanks, Daniel.

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Hi Daniel
by: Elmer

I've fallen in love with these beautiful old boats. I have a 5 and an 8 year old who I'd love to get involved in finishing one out. I have no idea how old this thread is, or if you still have the boat available, but I'd gladly tow it and finish it out.

Thanks, Elmer.

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Rare River Queen
by: Anonymous

Just wanted to add a little more to the thread here. Back in the 70s, 1976 to 1980 to be exact, I had the good fortune of cruising the Ohio River in the 50' Pilot-House version of this queen of the fleet.

She was a 1972 model, custom made we were told, and she was the Queen of the Louisville area when she arrived. Twin 440s, bath and a half, even a spiral staircase that lead to the pilothouse, she was a special and unique craft.

She had fallen on hard times here, and started to succumb to rust 6 or more years back, and was pulled to languish on barrels, until the river came up and floated her off, putting her down to the ground after she seeped enough water. I just learned yesterday she was cut up in the last week...

There was another Pilot-House River Queen, a 60 footer built in 76. Oddly enough, she ended up here in the Louisville area as well. We nearly traded for her, but the deal didn't work out.

Does anyone know anything about either of these houseboats, especially the Yankee Belle, the 60 footer?

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1964 River Queen
by: Daniel

I have a cute 38' RQ houseboat that I pulled out of the water and started restoring after 3 yrs of enjoyment. I'm about 90% finished.

However I physically can no longer work on due to bad back. Instead of letting her sit and go to waste or trying to sell it I just want to let her go to a good new home, to someone whom can complete her and enjoy.

I live in Tennessee, and you must arrange transport, she is on a trailer at my house. If you're serious about claiming her just post here.

Daniel.

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1968 River Queen
by: Liz B

I recently purchased a plot of wooded land that had an old house boat stored on it. It looks like it has been sitting for many years so is quite deteriorated. The roof is rotted out so lots of water damage.

I found some old paperwork that says its a 1968 River Queen, serial number 6755. I have no title. The boat looks complete with a Chrysler 318 and outboard transit. Would like gone ASAP.

Thanks, Liz

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1972 River Queen
by: PaPa

Bought my boat in 2007 and I just replaced the keel and engine room floor (center section). Re-did the entire inside with insulation and set it up to AC/DC, Propane. Off the grid people and loving it. Lots more work, but a labor of love. Enjoy

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Hi, can the person whom uploaded this scan upload a better one?
by: Anonymous

I've recently been fortunate enough to rescue one of these interesting looking boats from the scrappers, and I'm looking for info/ads/brochures for the 43 ft model.

I'd like for whomever uploaded that 43ft brochure to please upload a larger scan, as you cannot read this one, thanks.

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Love my 1968 River Queen houseboat
by: Lil Lil

I purchased my R/Q, 14 months ago. It is 35' and my pride and joy. I am the third owner of this boat. I am currently docked in a covered birth on the delta.

The enjoyment is overwhelming. Although the boat was very neglected, I am proud to say that my sanding, primeing and marine paint has given way to a new life for my ship.

I am desperately trying to find a, Chrysler 318 long block engine, can any one help?

Happy days "Rolling on the RIVER.....{Queen)

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Steel Houseboat Choices - a Stardust or Riverqueen?
by: Anonymous

This will be my first houseboat purchase, so I'm a little nervous. I'm looking at a 1969 40' Stardust, really great shape, the hull skin was replaced and new paint was applied. The inside was in great shape.

Then I came across this gem a 1970's 40ft River Queen, WOW!!! It doesn't have the room like the Stardust, but what a great boat. I found it for sales for $2,000 yet didn't think it would even run, but the twin motors run great.

The owner let me take it out for over an hour. It needs painting on the outside, but the hull was painted 5 years ago. Everything appeared to be working fine. Just some clean up inside and replacing worn weather items.

I have 4 kids so I'm thinking the Stardust because of space is needed, but I can't get my mind off the RQ. The RQ is water ready, and the owner is only selling because he's to sick to run the boat. Why so cheap?

I'm from the MS Gulf Coast, but I live in middle TN now. 15 years ago my father and I took the MS River up pass TN, then back down to the coast. I have a dream of taking my boys on the same trip.

The RQ seems to be the right choice, once some minor repairs and water trials. Would the 40' Stardust steel hull make the trip down the mighty MS. Thanks in advance for your comments. GOd Bless!! Safe Boating everyone...

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Steel Houseboats - 1973 River Queen boats
by: Greg H.

I just bought a 1972 40' Flybridge that looks just like the first few pics. Most is still original and I plan to restore it back to as original as possible. Should have it back on the water this weekend (Lake Michigan/Saugatuck) and can't wait!

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Love the history of the River Queen houseboat
by: Anonymous

My friends have a River Queen in the same area on the Delta. It used to take bands up and down the Sacramento river during the jazz festivals in the 70's. They are currently making her look like new again, she's the Delta Diablo.

Unfortunately Lost Isle is currently closed. There is a battle underway to reopen but it doesn't look promising.

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Nice, but want higher resolution ...
by: Anonymous

The pictures are nice, but the resolution is poor. Could we get some higher res pictures? Love to see them.

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ol River Queens
by: Anonymous

I don't recall just when it was but my dad worked for RQ building the boats. He was the weld shop foreman I believe. I remember him saying that for most part they did not use prints.

Guys had been there so long and had been making the same parts for so long they never felt the need. He drew up prints and made jigs of various types. Most especially to align the prop shaft.

He brought home one day a huge pick-up of cut off pieces of wood with that great dark grain. It was all little pieces and scrap but he fitted and patched together a great bar in the basement.

They closed the local plant and moved things to main office and then a couple of years later they closed up.

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Riverqueens, a Sturdy Ol' Girl
by: Anonymous

We've had our 1968 River Queen houseboat for about ten years. Her name is Springaleak but her bottom is as sound as a dollar....now.

The keel was replaced this year and I had some zinc anodes installed within as I'm told the rusting is primarily done from the inside out. Magnesium anodes would have been better for fresh water (Table Rock Lake in Missouri) but none were available to me at the time.

The interior is original and very nice. Space is cleverly used on this 38' boat. Original Chrysler 351 still purrs like a kitten.

We've added a swim platform, paint, and some odds and ends to make it a dandy addition to my retirement package. Too bad they are not being manufactured anymore.

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