Friday, September 18, 2009

A '70s Batboat In Sea World's Super Hero Water Ski Show

Sea World's Batboat appears at :37 and :48 seconds

Here is an amazing home movie that was shot at Orlando, Florida's SeaWorld's Super Hero themed water show in the late 1970s.

I saw the same pageant at Sea World in Sandusky, Ohio when I was a kid and remember it very well. This was a skiing, daredevil and magic show featuring DC comics characters and Batman and Robin were the stars, naturally.

In this great video we get a look at their Batboat. Chinewalker from the forum says it looks like a modified a Starcraft judging by the hockey-stick strip down the side. Perhaps the Stinger S-19 model.

Here is brochure image of a 1977 Starcraft Stinger S-19.

The S-19 was rated for up to 180 hp, measured 19'4" long with an 86 1/2-inch beam. Weighed about 1210 lbs. dry.

The ski boats that do all the fancy maneuvers are Crosby Hydrodynes, the staple of many ski shows throughout the 1960s to the 1990s.

The one memory that has always stood out for me for over 30 years was seeing a full sized elephant on water skis riding along behind a boat! To this day people don't believe me that this happened. An elephant skiing behind a boat on Lake Erie on king sized water skis!

If I recall correctly, the skis were two connected platforms or pontoons that the elephant stood on. It rode on this like skis behind a boat and at a good speed, too.

My dad took several photos during the show, including one of the elephant on the water. We still have them except for that one shot. I remember taking it to school to show friends but never put it back in the photo album. Its "somewhere" however. I'd never throw something like that away. I just have to find it. lol!

Here are more photos of that show at the Plaid Stallions site and at my favorite forum

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