Riverqueen Houseboat - any River Queen houseboats out there?

by Tom Warren
(Rocky Mount, MO)

River Queen - A clean older 60's era Riverqueen Houseboat.

River Queen - A clean older 60's era Riverqueen Houseboat.

Any Riverqueen houseboats from the 60's era still out there?

I have a River Queen houseboat, 1960, 27 foot, outboard powered, with a 8 foot by 15 foot cabin.

Is there anyone who has a River-Queen Houseboat from the 60's era?

Thanks, Tom.

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Reply - Answer
Well Tom, congratulations on your 1960 River Queen houseboat. You've got quite an amazing piece of history in your hands, with the steel River Queen houseboat. I had never heard of the 27 foot model.

I am also hoping that others with Riverqueens will come forward, since these houseboats are from the beginning of the blossoming of steel houseboat period.

They are very solid boats, built like tanks, and could handle some good sized rough water. They are roomy, easily repaired, and if I remember correctly, may were also powered with V8 Chrysler engines, and Dana outdrives.

Again, congratulations on having a 1960 River queen houseboat.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their Riverqueen houseboat stories and experiences.

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

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50 Pilot House
by: Anonymous

Dave, Neal, I too had one of the 50 Pilot House models here in Louisville. Sadly, she was just cut up and scrapped last week...

Found a good heater for winterizing
by: Anonymous

I found a guy in Texas who makes heaters for small plane engines; he converted one model for marine use, which I used this past winter, instead of paying a local guy $160 to winterize my 318's.

The heater is actually two 300W units, side-by-side with separate thermostats so, if one fails, the other still carries on. It plugs into a 110V outlet in the engine compartment and turns on at 40 degrees(F).

When it reaches 60 degrees, it shuts off. The manufacturer estimates monthly cost for power at about $8, on average, depending on weather.

During this past winter, I found the cost to be lower than that and, whenever I was aboard, I always found the temp reading (on a digital remote) to be an average of 50. The unit comes with an attractive nylon carry case and a 16' power cord attached.

The company is called "Boatbilgeheaters" and the model I use is the

"Twin Hornet-35 T4C5J1-600" listed at $279.

by: Brad G

I have a 36, single outdrive, upgraded engine to 340, remodeled house, it is dry docked and not used any more. There's an extra outdrive for sale.

1972 40ft River Queen
by: Flo

Hi All, My wife and 2 boys are restoring a 40ft. with 2 Chy 225's. At the moment we are redoing the keel. The previous owner thought it would be a good idea to pour tar in the bilge. It worked for him, but over the years it caused rust to the keel. OUCH.

Well were almost got everything tacked up and as soon as spring gets here we'll start to weld her up. We did lots of repairs and modifications to the Old girl, and lots more to come. Love it.

Have a great day and remember, any day on the water is the best.

1973 38' River Queen
by: Bob v

Redoing her now, luv this old beauty.

Engine and or outdrives
by: Rob

If you need an engine I have a 318 Chrysler marine engine. I have 2 of them, one is complete and still assembled probably will run but I would recommend rebuilding other is tore down. Both for $300.

Also have a 6.5 Kholer generator complete out of 1969 River Queen. Want $300 for generator also have 2 Chrysler 300 outdrives for $200 each.

1965 (?) ]River Queen
by: Greg

Have a 1965(?) R.Q. minus engine for sale. I'm pretty sure I know where to pick up the engine also. I need a front starboard window for a 1966 R.Q. which is already restored.

Question for Loann
by: Penny

Loann, thanks for the response. If you have any pictures they would be great to see. Wish we were closer so could see in person. Ours is at Lake of the Ozarks.

by: Loann

Sorry Penny,
Our bed must be configured like yours - I have to climb over the big guy to get to the floor!

Our boat sleeps 6 - two on the pull-out couch, two on the fold-down kitchen table and the bed!

Let me know if you want to see it!!!


Question for Loann
by: Penny

Loann--what size bed does your 43' RQ have? Can you get out from each side? We have a 40' but only a 'full' bed and it's up against the wall. Would love to have a RQ with different bed setup.

43' of Pure Riverqueen
by: Loann

We have a 1971 Riverqueen in pristine condition inside and out. She is 43'. She is located on Table Rock Lake at Port of Kimberling.

We are possibly interested in selling her and would love some help in pricing...anyone have any ideas?

Many Thanks, Loann

Welcome to RQ World!
by: Anonymous

Bob & Norma, we bought our 40' RQ September of last year, now moored at Campbell Point Marina on Table Rock Lake, which just about makes us neighbors!

We've not planned to do interior remodeling so it is pretty much "factory" if you'd like to look it over you're welcome to visit.

We're winterizing soon, but this year i'm experimenting with a bilge heater that will keep the engines at 40 - 59 degrees, and ready to run at any time.

Jim McCarthy
Shell Knob

1969 River Queen 40 footer
by: Rob & Norma

My wife and I just bought a 1969 40' River Queen in September, it is on Stockton lake in Missouri. Had it surveyed the day we bought it before writing the check.

We decided to have it pulled and the bottom done right off as well as the seals on the Dana out drives, it has twin Chrysler 318's that run great.

Marine survey was done by Marlin Corson and boat was insured by Foremost Insurance co. We are totally redoing the interior and adding more fresh water tanks as well as a marine toilet and holding tank, we are replacing the fresh water lines with pex plumbing.

It has a fly bridge and steering controls up top as well as in the main cabin. So far we love the boat as well as the atmosphere of the marina crowd.

We will put some money into it sure but by spring we will have something truly unique as well as relaxing. If anyone has redone their interiors on a 40' footer 12 feet wide, we would like to see some pics and would send some back as we progress with our re do.

Rob & Norma

River queen
by: Jessie

Last year I did some trading and got a 1969 40ft River Queen. Twin chryslers, 6.5k kohler generator. This boat has brought me 60 miles up from Fulton MS to Pickwick Lake.

We made the trip Memorial Day 2015, fought through storms and lost power and went adrift in a fancy marina on Pickwick Lake. It was a fuel problem, but the old Queen got us through storms and rough water.

This is a well built old houseboat and we love it. Everything works, just wish I could keep mildew off the paint job. Any way I can help with River Queen info or repairs, I welcome me.

River Queen in rough waters
by: Marnie

Hi! Stumbled on this forum tonight. My father owned one of these boats during my childhood in the 70s and 80s.

I remember he restored the exterior and constantly worked on the inboard/outboard motor. Fantastic memories were made with that great dinosaur.

It had a relatively flat bottom that made it suitable for freshwater. In 1979, my father needed to have the engine rebuilt, and for some reason, the only place he could take it was to Savannah, GA.

I guess driving on land was not an option or maybe the Great Beginning of another adventure. We traveled down the Savannah River from Augusta, GA.

He did have the use of the engine but it was limping along. We were met in Savannah with a terrible thunderstorm and my dad got turned around.

Instead of going into the marina, we were headed out to sea! I was 9 years old, and to a child, the waves seemed so tall I thought we were going to hit the bottom of the ocean!

Being tossed around so violently, the only safe place to be was in the tiny bathroom. This is why children hide in closets in house fires.

I remember being awestruck that we didn't capsize. I was even more awestruck when I saw a Coast Guard ship next to our boat.

Perhaps my father used the CB radio, which were very popular back then, to ask for help. They turned us around and we made it safely into the marina.

That night I learned how to fish for crabs using the cooking rack from the charcoal grill and raw chicken. The next morning, I learned how fast my mother could get herself, my 5 year old sister and I on a plane back to Augusta.

So, yes, those boats can withstand some VERY ROUGH WATER and I lived to tell you about it!

1970 River Queen 40 ft
by: R. Hayes

Remodeling a River Queen and would like to know how most of these boats drained their shower, sinks, etc...

The bathroom and kitchen sinks drain into the hull on each side of the boat into a ballast looking part of the hull.

Only found 1 bilge pump that appears to be plumbed to the shower drain. Got any help from other 1970 River Queens?,

Heard some drain into the bottom hull and then pumped out, but can't tell this one is that way.

Any answers?

1971 - 43' RiverQueen houseboat
by: Ned & Loann

We have a beauty of a RQ with 2-318 Chryslers. Hull needed to be replaced, the interior was original & we replaced cushion covers, new window coverings, etc.

She looks & runs terrific! We are looking for 2 new/rebuilt outdrives & we will be purrfect!

Need Owner's manual - Bob's Insurance question
by: Jim McCarthy

Bob, RE your question about insurance,

I just bought a '69 40' RQ and of all the carriers, Shelter Insurance was half the price at $236/yr and Johnny-on-the-spot with the quote. If you want to contact my agent, his name is Chris Hammen.

Shelter DID require a Marine Survey, but for the $400 that cost me, I found out anything I wanted to know about the boat. Surveyor was Marlin Corson, out of Springfield, MO

Most other surveyors I talked to couldn't make the trip for a couple of months, or wanted to charge 2 - 3 times as much.

Marlin did a great job, and did it within three days. Largely, I think, because he LOVES RQ's used to own one himself, and knows them stem-to-stern. I may even be switching all my other ins to Shelter: cars house, etc.

I have the Chrysler manuals for my engines, but I'd like to find an owners manual that will help me get oriented to whatever else is on the boat, e.g. strainer for the shower, hot water tank drain, etc.

If anyone knows where I can find a '69 RQ manual?


River Queens at The Harbour-Lake of the Ozarks
by: Penny & John

We now have four River Queens on Dock 5 at the Harbour Marina on Lake of the Ozarks.

Penny & John

Old old old River Queen
by: Janet

My parents owned a River Queen in the early 1960's and it was old when they bought it.

We lived in Northwest Indiana, and put the River Queen on Lake Michigan. We had it for about 10 years, selling her in 1970 due to health problems, to a couple in Chicago. I was only a teen then.

I was always told the hull was cast iron. Also, it didn't look like the pictures I have seen here. It was flat bottomed, and we pulled it right up to the shore line of the lake and stepped off the front onto the beach. She was called the Gypsy Queen.

I would love to find her, I have wonderful memories of spending summers on her. I do have some pictures of her. If anyone would like to see them and maybe be able to tell about what year she was built. I don't know if it is true or not, but I always heard she was the first built with an outboard motor.

Any information would be appreciated.

RQ with outboard
by: Ken

Hi guys, is it possible to put 1 or 2 outboards on this 40 ft boat? The motors and outdrives have been removed and welded closed. I would love to see pics if it can be done.

Thanks Ken in Fl.

60's 38' River Queen
by: proctor

My dad and his law partner had a 38' River Queen on Watts Bar Lake in east Tennessee in the late 60s and early 70s. They bought it used in 66 or 67.

The hull was blue with a white superstructure. it had a small V8 Ford engine (260 or 221) and a Dana outdrive. It also had a one cylinder air cooled genset. We put a new roof on it in 1970 and it wasnt a "factory" like job. The boat was sold around 1974.

I think I saw it on fort louden in the early 80's. Does anyone have any information about this boat or one matching its description? I would like to acquire it if it can be located and it is eventually offered for sale

Old Blue River Queen
by: Anonymous

We owned a 1965ish River Queen ( blue hull and white superstructure ) when I was a child. It was a 36 foot model with a 221 or 260 ford V8. It had a Dana outdrive and an air cooled one cylinder ( loud ) generator.

It did not have a holding tank and the fresh water system was small. There were two bunk beds on port side, and the dinette set made a bed. The front couch wasn't a sleeper type couch.

You could crawl into the cabin through the hold area in the front and just lift up the cover in the floor in the cabin which we did that many times.

We had to replace the roof in 1970 and we did it ourselves. First and only time I have dealt with "wet" fiberglass. We were forever working on the outdrive but overall it was a great boat .

Oooooops, bought an older steel houseboat
by: Anonymous

I think I may be in real trouble as I bought a 1970 RQ as a birthday present to my wife. Well I got in too big of a hurry and think I got taken.

There is only one engine, no holding tanks, no generator, and the party top needs a sand and repainted. I bought this cause I thought it would be a fun project but I guess I was wrong.

I paid $5500 which at the time I thought was good; and then tried to resale for $4000 but everyone just looked and walked away and now that I have read up and have done some research I know why.

If anybody is interested I will sell for $3500. You can contact me.

You will get better results advertising your houseboat in the Classifieds section.

IAN from all-about-houseboats.com

Poor RiverQueen needs Insurance
by: Bob D.

I'm looking to buy a 1970 37' Riverqueen, but as I call around to insure her, no one will give me a policy quote. Tried several bigger names and shopped through Progressive and United Marine Underwriters.

No one will touch it because of either age or the fact that it is steel hull. Anyone know why? I thought that the steel hull was a good thing?

Help! Anyone have insurance options for me? I'm in Tennessee if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance, Bob D.

Well Bob, your best bet to find insurance on a steel boat, I would recommend heading over to our houseboat insurance page.

Found a great 40ft Riverqueen with twins
by: Don

I found a 1973 40ft river Queen with twin engines. It's in the water and doesn't seem to leak a drop of water, but it will need some T L C, but not too much.

I previously had a 1972 40ft model and liked it but it was a single motor design. I would need to find two AC's for it and if anybody know where I can get them.

I also need a full size refrigerator but not sure how to get it inside as door is quite small. I'm in northern Illinois, so the boat will be coming in very soon for the winter.

Don in Illinois.

River Queen needs repair, otherwise excellent condition

I own a 1966 38 ft River Queen and her bottom needs to be repaired, otherwise excellent condition. She is a lot of fun but I will have to sell here because I cannot find anyone in Zanesville Ohio to work on her.

Let me know if you know anyone, Nancy

J Kurtz Dana information
by: A Bogle

I want to thank J Kurtz for the excellent history of the Dana drives on the River Queen. It helped jog a lot of memories and fill in some blanks.

My dad was a Sales Engineer at Dana at that time and was also involved in the marine drives and worked with Chrylser on them.

We visited the boat in Saugatuck a couple of times when I was a small boy. We took the River Queen out to the SS Keewatin to take a closer look.

Dana sold that boat and got a different and seeming larger one on the Ohio river that was moored down near Jeffersonville IN. I am pretty sure that boat was fiberglass not steel like the River Queen.

I am wondering if J Kurtz has some information on that boat?

38' River Queen Weight
by: Anonymous

David. The approx. weight of a 38' is around 14,000 lbs.

River Queen hull weight
by: David

I am looking for information on the weight of a 38 ft River Queen, and I would like to try to convert her to electric power. Anybody out there have any experience or information?

Still looking for a steel Riverqueen Houseboat
by: MLP

Due to medical challenges, we have to sell our 40' x 12' 1975 Riverqueen. It has dual 318 chrysler engines and dana outdrives. We have had it for sixteen years and it has become a big part of our lives.

We are its third owners and it has been a nice experience. It has always been in fresh water on the Columbia River. Within our Richland Yacht Club there are three RiverQueens a 1968, 1975, and a 1976.

Houseboat Restorations - two Riverqueens
by: irishwake

We have restored two 38 footers and still live on one during summer in Michigan. Mike Wolfe's blog is a good resource for different information.

We slip on Muskegon Lake at Lakeshore Yacht Harbour, one of the best views of the lake. Enjoy your summer if it decides to arrive this year. Tim

Older Houseboats - maintenance keeps an old beauty
by: Bill

I have a 38 foot Riverqueen houseboat with a 318 Mopar engine. I purchased the boat in 1984 and have been working with it ever since.

The engine has never been out of the boat. The outdrive has been rebuild twice since purchase. I put a roof air and generator on her, everything still works fine.

The boat is on a fresh water lake in Pennsylvaina, you still need to put a barrier coat and a good coat of antifouling bottom paint. If you do, you will have a boat that will last a long time.

I wax her from stem to sterm every year before going into the water. Still looks great. Guess what, she still does the same thing as the new expensive boats.

Riverqueen Houseboats - was at Westport Yacht Club
by: Jon

I am the owner of the 38' River Queen that was at the Westport Yacht Club on Lake Of The Ozarks. I have since moved the houseboat to the Yacht Club of St. Louis on the Mississippi River.

Houseboat Search - some 1969 40' River Queens
by: Penny & John

There are four River Queens at the Harbor Marina (end of Soap Creek Cove) off the Gravois Arm (Lake of the Ozarks). We own a 40' 1969 and there is another 40' 1969 next to us.

There is a 43' (we think that's the length) on a different dock. There is also one (40'?) at Westport Yacht Club (Gravois Arm). We really like ours, and we've had it 5 years.

Bigger Houseboat - moved up to 60' River Queen
by: Greg H.

This might be crazy, but I posted not too long ago, in June, that we bought a 40' flybridge model and worked to restore her. Well, last week, the opportunity came to us to purchase a one of a kind, 1969 60' River Queen, with an enclosed pilot house, so we bought it!!

We traded in the 40 footer and are now loving our "new" 60' model. It started as a 50 footer and had 10' added to it in the 80's, by the original manufacturer, when it was outfitted with big, twin, diesel engines and generator. We plan to restore it back to the way it would have been in 1969, with period furniture, lighting fixtures, appliances, etc., etc.

It is still pretty original so we are lucky there! I will keep you posted, but we are thrilled to have our new boat and to be the stewards of a one of kind, only one like it in the world, River Queen. We will keep you posted!

Twin Houseboats - we have dual Riverqueens
by: EL CID

I am the proud owner of 2 Riverqueen houseboats, the first one is a 1968 38ft, wooden cabin, twin 318 and dana 90s. I have owned this boat for 15 years and retro fitted every inch, new keel, both 318 cu in motors, both outdrives, more, more and more.

Recently I must have drank too much because I purchased a 1972 40 ft Riverqueen with a steel wheelhouse, been in dry-dock for 6 years.

My original idea was as a parts boat, but after inspecting it, I have come to the conclusion that it is too good to part out. Do you know anybody that owns 2 houseboats at the same lake.

I'm still shaking my head and trying to figure out what to do. Sid Wilson, Lake Powell, AZ

Still looking for steel Riverqueen houseboats
by: Ray

Still in the market for a 40' + Riverqueen w/ V drives. Would prefer a 50'er for the wider beam. Boat doesn't need to be perfect but not interested in a major project. Not enough time.

For some strange reason I can't seem to find the section in the classified for "wanted", Any help here?

Great Steel Houseboats - 1972 40ft Riverqueen
by: Sweet Pea

I have a 1972 40 ft RQ with slant 6 chrysler w/volvo outdrives. I have had it for 5yr and have had it out of the water once to weld some on bottom it has a new keel. The boat has had a flybridge added but not a RQ, it is from a Trogan look real good.

Have rewired some and plan a real rewire this winter. We live on it in the summer but have to live on dirt in winter. Boat has been hit by 2 river barges and is still in good shape. I am the 4th owner and live in Harmony, Pa.

Houseboat Search - looking for Queen Guinivere!
by: Charlene Smith

A late 60's or early 70s era River Queen houseboat. Would have been sold in the mid 70's ( 74-5?) in Traverse City Michigan. Was my grandfathers boat, I have a lot of good memories, and would like to know where she is now..If she's for sale, I'd be VERY interested. Thanks, Charlene.

Houseboat Restoration - 1973 40ft flybridge River Queen houseboat
by: Greg H.

We just bought and are restoring a 1973, 40 foot, flybridge model. It is awesome, and it is in really good shape so we are doing mostly cosmetic things right now.... along with some engine work and some electrical rewiring, etc.

We are retrofitting the head to have a true marine head and holding tank again and R.J. Peterson (yes, our boat is in Tower Marina) showed us what he did to increase the size of the head without losing a lot of interior space.

My partner, a designer, created an open floor plan for the head and it is so cool... you will actually be able to change clothes in the head once it is completed!!

We can't wait for the 4th of July weekend when we christen her "COOLshift". We are very happy to be a part of the River Queen family!

43' River Queen house boats
by: Jerry

Tom, I too own a River Queen, 43' and as far as I understand it's a 82/86. There's something about them stopping production for a period. I have twin Chryslers and we are in the process of revamping the floor coverings.

The houseboat we bought only had two other owners, it's in incredibly good shape for it's age. This boat like yours is a MONSTER--they built them well and built them right. That was the days before Plastic!! LOL

I'll keep you posted on our process--I work in Afghanistan so I won't be back to enjoy it until July, by that time my wife will have it all decorated nice and we can really run the rivers like Bogart and Hepren.

Have fun and be safe--our boat is in North Alabama on a big lake very close to where we live. Take care, Jerry

River Queen houseboat information
by: Anonymous

Check out the Riverqueen houseboat refit page at www.mikewolfe.us It keeps me going on my boat.

a River Queen, a 1973, 35 ft model
by: casey harris

I just bought a 1973 River Queen, 35ft long. I am pretty sure it has a fiberglass bottom and on 318. I am picking it up this weekend. Any advice out there.

1973 Riverqueen Houseboat
by: Neal

I have a 1973 50ft Riverqueen houseboat with a full upper cabin. It is supposed to be one of three ever built located at Lake of the Ozarks if anyone has any further information please let me know. Thanks, Neal

Looking for Riverqueen houseboat parts?
by: demodave

I have a 1965 38ft. River Queen houseboat and my dad bought this boat in 1969. I took over the boat in 2005. This boat has been on the same body of water since 1970.

This year will celebrate 40 years there this year 2010. This boat is all original from the carpets to the cabinets, bunk beds and pull out sofabed. The hull on this boat is in great shape, some small patch work here and there.

The houseboat is powered by twin 318 chryslers and dana 90 outdrives. It also has a kohler 3.5kw generator that runs great. I am writing this letter in hopes that someone can help me find some parts for the motors and outdrives.

I am looking for exhaust manifolds and some outdrive parts such as shocks, tie rods and tierod ends also rubber boats for the tiller bars.

Thank you David Cooper, Cattaraugus, NY.

73 Riverqueen 40ft v-drives
by: Gary

I bought my RQ in 2007 for scrap price. My son-in-law and I welded in a new keel, sand blasted her, and painted her only had her in the water for 6 weeks to end of season.

I lived on her every day till we had to pull. I just had the starboard engine replaced and the 7.5 Kohler gen is back in the boat. All new electronic ignition on both 318's.

On April 1st it's going in and I'm moving on board again. I love this old houseboat 40 ft 14' beam. Steel boats are work, but I ain't going back to plastic again, as I can cut ice with this girl. God save the Queen, their worth the work.

Rare Pilot House model
by: Dave

We have a rare Pilot House model in the Alton pool that is For Sale. It is powered by 440's with the V drive. Excellent Live Aboard. I will try and post the houseboat in the Classifieds section.

Looking for info on steel hull houseboat. Insurance. Mantaining. Restoring or updating
by: Rdhtchk@gmail.com

Have a 1960 33ft riverqueen houseboat. Looking for any info. Particularly how to insure.

Looking for a River Queen houseboat
by: Ray

I owned and lived aboard a '72 40'er that had the 318s with V drives. I lived on her for over six years, year round on the Illinois River. Unfortunately, marital problems forced her sale.

I am now looking for another 40' to 55' Riverqueen with the V drives and not the Dana outdrives. I prefer the 318's as I feel they are the toughest marine engines ever made. Needs to be on, or very close to navigable river.

Reply - Answer
Well Ray, you will get some replies also if you place a Wanted Ad in the free Houseboat Classifieds section.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

Total rebuild of a Riverqueen houseboat
by: Anonymous

I have been contracted by a private owner to fully restore a 1966 RiverQueen 38'. This boat was actually sold for scrap! The business owner got the itch when it was known that the power plant was still good.

I am currently taking it down to the hull and taking notes and photos along the way. Powered also by twin 318's this one has not seen water since 1994 when it hit a bridge in Northern Illinois. It tore the roof off the bridge and sat in dry dock till now.

A lot of wood rot and critter damage plus the hull will need a full once-over because of water frezzing in the "open cabin during winter. This is going to be done when I get the cabin off the hull.

Quite the houseboat.... All about the steel hull, but these things where put together like matchbooks. This will go together well with today's modern decking materials and other updates.

Send me pic's of your Riverqueen at: unforgivenracing@hotmail.com for a compare and updates on this TOTAL REBUILD.

My Riverqueen houseboat
by: Bob Siemens

I own a 1967 38' Riverqueen houseboat, and power is provided by Chrysler twin 318A (polyspherical) engines. The generator is a Kohler 6.5 Kw. The boat is in overall great condition, and was hauled three years ago. The bilge is completely dry even in engine room.

The boat has documentation back to the original owner. I have diagrams for plumbing, wiring, engine and Dana outdrives. I would be willing to share this information. Bob.

Reply - Answer
Well Bob, it sounds like your Riverqueen is in tip-top shape. If you like to share your documentation with all the readers here, you can use the Share your Manuals link to upload your scanned documents.

Thanks for sharing, IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

50' Pilot House model very rare
by: Anonymous

We have had the pleasure of living aboard for the past 10 years. This rare (only a few ever made) 50 footer has and all the rooms that a house does with a bonus enclosed pilot house.

This area located atop a very unique spiral staircase measures 12 X 22 with an upper deck for enjoying the outdoors. we have used this as our family room with a full sized sofa, built in TV and even a wet bar.

There are driving stations both in the salon and the pilot house. At an actual 52' with a 15' beam she was birthed at 45 tons. Powered by twin Chrysler 440s and a 10KW Onan generator.

We redid the hull a couple of years ago and even did an Ulta sound on the hull. Now is the time for the cabin. This thank God can be done in the water while still living aboard.

With a Salon, Galley w/eating area, full sized bath (no you don't have to use the toilet while showering) and a stateroom on the first floor and the Pilot house located upstairs she is a very romantic Live aboard.

Outside there are 3 different decks one of which is the large Bow with enough room to have a 60" table and chairs and padded seating along the bow rail which makes a great place for friends and neighbors to gather.

Off the stateroom there is a deck located atop the engine hatches with enough room for 4 chairs. And up on the upper level there is a full sized sofa coffee table and two oversized chairs. Anyone that may be interested can contact us @ dzerweck@planedetail.com

riverqueens still live
by: kevin reinhart

I have a 69 40 ft riverqueen. it was a rusted wreck when we bought it for $2000. two and a half years later its in the water. it is a kickass boat and we use it almost daily.

I know of a 68 40 ft riverqueen for sale for $7500. I checked it out briefly it seems to be a solid boat. very clean interior. twin 318's with danas. lacrosse wisconsin.

Oldest Model Year
by: Anonymous

When were the first River Queens manufactured?

Engine Hoses
by: Ron

Can anybody send me a diagram or a good picture of how all the cooling hoses hook up on my 1966 river queen? It has two chryslers with a 4 cylinder generator in the middle.

I'm taking over a re-fit started by someone else. My email address is ronfrieburg@att.net.

River Queen
by: Anonymous

There is an old River Queen 38" just sitting in a slip at Lake Mead Marina, Lake Mead National Recreation area, Nevada side. It is for sale, do not know how much, but it's just sitting there rusting away. It has not run in many, many years and the inside needs heavy duty updating, but it is floating no problem.

Riverqueen and Dana/Chrysler power
by: J. Kurtz

I worked for Dana Corporation and we supplied the Dana outdrives for Chrysler Marine & Industrial Division, Marysville, MI in the late 60's and early 70's.

The drives were initially produced in the Fort Wayne, IN plant and later moved to Auburn, IN. While Chrysler was our main customer, we also sold drives to Crusader Marine, Perkins Diesel, and Steward & Stevenson, amoung others.

In the early 70's, we sold the outdrive business to Marine Drive Systems, Inc. in NJ. Chrysler quit the marine engine business in the mid 70's.

River Queen houseboats were manufactured in an old roller skating rink in Douglas, MI where Tower Marina is today. The Peterson family, R.J. Peterson in particular, ran the business. (He still lives in the area).

River Queen manufactured 38' and 43' models. We, Dana Corp., purchased a 38' to use as a test vechicle with our outdrives and a 6V53N Detroit diesel engine for power.

I was one of the test drivers in the late 60's, running out of Tower Marina into Lake Michigan - 8 hours per day, 5 days a week.

The boats were strong, roomy, and fairly quick with dual power. In early Spring, the boat broke thru 3"-4" ice with ease in the Kalamazoo River in order to reach Lake Michigan for run testing.

R.J. Peterson is quite an interesting man and has designed many marine related items. For instance, he attached thick aluminum plates to the outdrive anti-cavation plates to make them wider to prevent cavation of the props, especially in tight turns. Now days, many aftermarket products are available for outboards using the same idea.

Having been a test driver, Technical Service Engineer and called on most every boat builder in the U.S., including all of the major houseboat builders of the time, I can say without any reservation that the River Queen houseboat was the strongest, best built boat of it's time.

The RiverQueen name and manufacturing plant was sold to U.S. Industries in later years.

Reply - Answer
I would like to personally thank J. Kurtz for his excellent posting of some important RiverQueen and Dana Chrysler history.

I really appreciate that you took the time to share all of this information with us.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

Steel houseboat hull condition
by: ron

I just had a tap test and inspection done on the hull of my 38 ft River Queen as you suggested before I started my re-fit. These guys are aircraft sheetmetal mechanics who work with me, and other than one small seam they said the hull is in excellent shape.

I'm also still wondering about the rubberized material around the outside of the cabin. I have two huge rolls of it that came with the boat, has anybody out there ever replaced it or just taken it off. I have no idea what's under it. Any info would be helpful.

New owner of a RQ houseboat
by: Ron

I just aquired a 1966 RQ houseboat, it is a 38 footer and was given to me by a friends brother, as he started a re-fit but couldn't finish it.

I had it moved to my house the other day and hope to start where he left off. It is completely stock with two chryslers and a big generator mounted between them.

He has gutted the cabin inside and bought all new wiring, plumbing, electricity and even stainless steel cabinets, new flooring, and boxes of things I havent even opened.

There is also a big roll of some kind of rubberized material that I figure must go on the outside of the cabin. If anybody knows about that part of the restoration let me know.

The old stuff is in good shape just a little stained. I was also wondering what is under it and if and if I could do without it.

The hull seems to be in perfect shape but I'll have more time now to really look it over. I think it wil be a fun project and can't wait to get started.

Reply - Answer
Well Ron, it sounds like you have everything you need. Just be sure to have the steel hull checked out thoroughly before getting too deep with the restoration.

The reason being, you will likely need to have an acceptable survey in order to get houseboat insurance, and often marinas nowadays require proof of boat insurance.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

Houseboat Nostalgia - a 1975 43' River Queen
by: Anonymous

Bit of houseboat nostalgia here. Growing up in the 70's, my family had a gold on white 43 footer.

The house boat had twin Chrysler 190hp engines, and slept 6 albeit some not comfortably.

We had the boat moored in Douglas, Michgan @ Tower Marine. There was actually a River Queen factory on the marina grounds.

I think the Peterson family still runs the marina, but the factory is long gone.

River Queen
by: Jack

I have a 64 River Queen 38ft in the Sacramento Delta, and there are a lot of them here. Earl Stanley Garner had 2 and there 2 book by him out' and the delta. Jack

Looking for a Riverqueen houseboat

I do not own a RQ yet, but I am actively looking for just the right one. I would like at least a 50' but I don't think they made that many.

If you have or know of one for sale, please let me know.

Thanks Steven

Keep up the good work.

New owner of a RiverQueen houseboat
by: KC

I just purchased a 1969 40' Riverqueen houseboat in Westport MA. It has been in the water in Westport for about 6 years. I've heard many pros and cons of steel hulls but the price was right and I took a chance.

In any case the person I bought it from didn't have any problems with the hull and claims the previous owner di some bottom repair work about 2 years ago.

I'm new to steel hulls, but have owned many fiberglass boats, any information / advice would be helpful. Thanks.

1971 38ft River Queen
by: Anonymous

I have this well taken care of RQ boat that came from Missouri that now sits on the Ouachita River in West Monroe LA.

I love this houseboat, but may have to sell. Factory rebuilt 318 7.5 gen. hard wood floors.

River Queen Houseboat
by: Dale Brown

I have a great 1969 River Queen, n fact it is the Friend Ship. This is the very boat that was written about in the novel "The River Queen" by Mary Morris.

She is still seaworthy and fully operational. She looks good too.

Refit of a 1972 River Queen houseboat
by: Florian

Hi All, we have a 1972, 40' River Queen houseboat and I'm doing a total refit with slight modifications. Nothing to drastic, just enough to bring it up to code.

I live on board during the week, in Pittsburg year round (I insulated). It's great being on the water. Florian.

Reply - Answer
Well Florian, welcome to the houseboat forums, and hope that the refit goes well. Enjoy living aboard on her.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

1967 44' Steel Hull, Capri Houseboat
by: SLY

I have a 1967 Capri Houseboat. She is in excellent condition her hull readings were recently done by a certified yacht surveyor and they were excellent.

We also just had her painted from top to bottom and the top re-gel coated. My problem is I can't find any other Capri Houseboats or comparables.

The boat that looks the most like her is a River Queen. Does anyone know if River Queen made the Capri, or ever heard of a Capri houseboat?

River Queen houseboat
by: Fozz

I have a 73, 40' River Queen with two 318's. I keep it on the Mississippi River. It's had fresh paint and graphics two years ago, and she looks and runs great. I couldn't be happier with this boat than I am.

Re-fit of a River Queen houseboat
by: ed kriskywicz

I too have a 1973, 40' River Queen houseboat that I 're-fit'. It now has new electrical, plumbing, cabinets, exterior/interior paint, floor covering, engines etc, etc.

Not sure of the exact amount or of total re-fit cost, but the two new Volvo engines and drives were costly itself. Tower Marine installed them and they did a great job.

The re-fit took me about 6 years, but we worked our way through it. We were living on the boat every summer for 5 months, it is outstanding.

Happy boating, Ed

Reply - Answer
Well Ed, I think congratulations are in order on the total re-fit. Enjoy the River Queen, you deserve it.

IAN from www.all-about-houseboats.com

An extended River Queen houseboat
by: rod

I have a 1971 38 foot RiverQueen houseboat converted to a 40 footer by adding a two foot section to the engine compartment.

The original single 318 was removed and now powered with a pair of 360 chryslers, 100 series Marine Drive Systems outdrives, turning a pair of 19 by 19 Ellis props, and 2 to 1 reduction. The house boat is in excellent condition including the bilge.

River Queens houseboats
by: Scott Fortier

I ran across your web site and an interesting topic about River Queen Houseboats. You bet they?re out there, my buddy Mike Wolfe is in the process of cataloging them on his web site www.mikewolfe.us.

Please take a look and for any other RQ owners please click on ?The RQR Registry? and submit your pictures and stories. Mike and I have a passion for the old steel boats, and as you said their heavy and easily fixed ? that is if you can weld.

It?s a great boat that gets lots of looks, when we travel with our friends and their boats everyone gathers on our RQ for social hour. Our 1971 ? 43? Mon Ami (my friend) has logged many hours up and down the river to Lake Michigan near Grand Haven Michigan.

The only complaint or rather frustration I?ve ever heard any River Queen owner say is that they rust ? usually from the inside out, so if you?re interested in acquiring one be prepared to stay on top of the rust and the smallest amount of water in the bilge ? that?s the killer!

Good Luck, Scott Fortier, Mon Ami

1966 River Queen 318 wiring diagram
by: Lonnie and April

We have a Riverqueen on the Muskegon River (upper hardy dam area) it had two Chrysler 318 and we removed them and put one in the middle.

We are having an issue with tachometer wiring at the harness because there are two. If anyone could help with a wiring diagram.

Lonnie and April

1969 - 40 foot River Queen
by: Gene


There are plenty of RQ steel hulled boats still out here. I have a 40 foot model with a 12 foot beam powered by 2 Chrysler 318's with Dana outdrives. Happy Boating.

River Queen Houseboats Owners Need Help!
by: Darrell - VegasTeddyBear

Four years ago, I bought my 1969 River Queen
houseboat. Since then, I have completed many
restoration projects: rebuilding the engine,
repairing and repainting the hull, installing
new lighting, curtains, indoor carpet, and interior painting.

I have met a few other River Queen houseboat
owners and have been very disappointed because
I was hoping to learn more about the overall
operation, maintenance and restoration projects.

It would be much appreciated, by many of us new
owners and shade tree mechanics to receive more
answers and suggestions from these current owners.

We all need help in locating the various parts
dealers, owners with their vast knowledge and
service recommendations to share this information
with us. Where can we find good, used parts?

Please help! We need your assistance.
Thanks, Darrell "VegasTeddyBear"
Owner: 1969 River Queen Houseboat

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