River Mouse

Abandoned Boat

In 1992, one of my boys and I were out at the place at Hulldale taking pictures and we found several old boats in the barn. He told me I should restore one. One look and I knew I didn’t want to get into such a big project. He persuaded me, he told me how much fun it would be for my tiny granddaughter at the river. Oh my goodness, what a mess~ there were, gaping holes and gashes and they were buried in dirt and silt. I was dragging my feet but finally decided I would try, I picked the best one of the bunch. I had to learn to fiberglass, make the electrical harness, find all the hardware, bumpers, rails, make the seat cover, make a template for a windshield, and I found a place in San Angelo to rebuild the electric motor. Nine months later, the deed was done. The RIVER MOUSE was born.     This was the hardest and most wonderful project ever.

ZZ driving the boat


Stacy and Dan at Shady Lane

Stacy Mae, Schatzie Kay and Dan going for a spin at Shady Lane

ZZ and her granddad

Granddad and ZZ, making plans

Ready to roll

I bought an old wielding trailer and restored it to use to haul the boat

ZZ loving the flag

the flag was the final touch, it flew proudly any time the River Mouse sailed, there is a light at the top of the flagstaff.

6 thoughts on “River Mouse

  1. You did a wonderful job of boat restoration. Love the story and the pics that go with it. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Thank you Michael, One of the great things about a tiny boat like this, a little child can drive it, they just need a life jacket and a co-pilot. Three people and two dogs could fit in at once. Sometimes it goes back in the water for a few spins at the River Ministry on the South Concho River on Saturdays. It is a show stopper.

  2. Oh, Rita, I thought that you lost the River Mouse in the flood that hit Christoval several years ago! I am SO GLAD that you still have it.

    • Hi Ann, good to hear from you again. I did lose the River Mouse, one of the saddest times in my life. I was crushed beyond belief. I knew the only way I could get over the hurt was to take another one of the old abandoned boats and start over. The second one only took three months since I knew where to buy the rails and lights etc, than I had kept the patterns I had made for the wiring harness and windshield I had made for the first one. The River Mouse #2 is exactly like the first one. I still wonder where that one is, lying on the bottom of the Concho River somewhere between Christoval and San Angelo. If someone had found it, they would have told me, I had my name and information painted inside of the hull and I offered a big reward when I lost it. Anyway, I am happy to have this second chance to own something that is so close to my heart. Love you, Rita

  3. What love and pride in this lil’ boat! I have never seen one like it, and you were blessed with two. Do you know what kind of boat it is? I am afraid I feel a project coming on…..

    • Karen, the boats had a metal manufacture’s name attached to them But I don’t remember the name of the company and the boat is in my son’s barn at Christoval. I think they were fleets of river boats that were for amusement parks along rivers. These went through a flood on the South Concho River and were pretty much destroyed. Fiberglass and well built. They were powered by a whisper quiet electric motor that used a marine battery. The charge would last about 2 weeks and then needed an over night recharge. This was one of my favorite projects ever. I had to do it all myself because there were no replacement parts I could buy. Thank you for writing.

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