The Mermaid I motor cruiser has a newer square-shaped fantail stern area, which can accomodate things like wheelchairs and electric scooters.

Click to enlarge photo


The Mermaid I docked in front of the magic Kingdom.The pontoon boat in the lower left, has a fresh set of pilots to relieve the other crew on the boat.

Click to enlarge photo


The "Mermaid I" Motor Cruiser





























Castaways class - (design variant)

Above: The Mermaid I motor cruiser arrives at the Cruise Dock, in front of the Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Passing the Breakwater wall. Photo taken from the Ferryboat dock, during May of 1999. It was an overcast weather day.

Length: 66'-1" long

Beam: 12'-0" wide

Draft: 3'-6" deep at keel

Displacement: 23 tons


(2) 4-cylinder Perkins marine diesel engines.

Props: (2) props and (2) rudders

Built at: Naval contractor company: Skipperliner - of La Crosse, WI. www.skipperliner.com

Designed by: WDI - Disney Imagineering

Click on pictures to see enlarged images




About the "Mermaid I" motor cruiser:

   The "Mermaid I" is the third and newest motor cruiser built for Walt Disney World. She is a design variant but still similiar in deck layout, to her sister ships, the "Castaways" and the "Bon Voyage". She was built in 1994, and went into service the following year, in early 1995. The Mermaid I has a square-shaped fantail stern area, and can accommodate wheelchairs back there, as well as the forward areas. The colors really stand out because of the reciprocal sea green color scheme, and yellow stripe around her superstructure cabin area. On this cruiser, there's a lot less bench seating available in the bow area, since the room in the stern had to come from somewhere, without altering the overall length of the familiar "Castaways"- class ship design.The gray metal rub-rail around the main deckline of the Mermaid I is parted, and not a continuous belt at the bow. Also, for some reason, the white gunnel "walls" along the bow are not as widely curved as they are on the first two motor cruisers.

   Perhaps the biggest change to the design of the cruiser, comes from the 2 crewmembers having to climb up the rear steps to the pilothouse. On the other 2 cruisers, the steps and handrails are located on the sides. Now the guests/passengers can see up the pilothouse steps quite easily, while they are seated in the main cabin section. Because of this radical change, improvements were made in the side visibility from the pilothouse. There are viewport windows, so the pilot can look downward from the pilothouse, and see out the side doors. This is crucial during docking maneuvers, when the pilot and deckhand have to coordinate tying up the boat to the cleat on the dock. There are also a set of windows located in front of the forward side doors. Also, the exterior overhead life vest storage area on the first two cruisers, does not exist on this new cruiser. The life vests are stored in compartments under the seating benches, and in the forward bulkhead lockers, located underneath the front windows.