Spirit of Peoria

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The Spirit of Peoria was built in Paducah, Kentucky in 1988 by Walker Boat Yard. It is solely propelled by its stern driven paddle wheel. The wheel, composed only of fiberglass and wood, has 68 bucket boards and is 22 feet in diameter. The paddle wheel is powered by two Caterpillar 3412 diesel engines that turn 350kw generator sets. Two traction motors powered electrically by these generators turn two 12 inch belt chains each 40 feet in length. This process of propulsion mimics how a diesel locomotive train is propelled. The captain steers this floating wedding cake with a 7 foot maple wheel located in the pilot house.

Many of the Spirit of Peoria's decorative fixtures, including the captain's bell and a brass tube that serves as a telegraph from the pilot house to the captain's quarters, were purchased at auctions from much older steamboats.

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Mississippi River Cruises
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