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Published: Tuesday, 6/8/2010

Better-fitting boats ordered for Cedar Point water ride


SANDUSKY - Cedar Point's new $10.5 million water coaster, Shoot the Rapids, has been delayed because its boats "weren't engineered right, and didn't fit the flume," Cedar Fair LP Chief Executive Dick Kinzel said yesterday.

Speaking to The Blade after the annual shareholders meeting, he said he expects the ride to open within weeks, and the company that made the boats is working around the clock to get them done.

"It's an engineering problem," Mr. Kinzel said. "We're really sorry it didn't get open on time, but these are prototypes, and we're not going to open anything until it meets all of our safety requirements and also comfort levels for our guests."

The ride was designed and built by IntaRide LLC of Glen Burnie, Md., a division of roller coaster giant Intamin AG of Switzerland. The 2,100-foot-long ride uses 10-passenger boats and follows a course through a wooded area that includes encounters with surprise water elements, special effects, and a 45-degree drop.

"The ride manufacturer, he put it together and he built the flume, and he contracted out the boats. And when the boats came in to meet the trough, they didn't fit," Mr. Kinzel said. "The boats were too long - they weren't engineered right. They didn't fit the flume, and we've had problems with it ever since."

Mr. Kinzel said workers for the contractor that constructed the boats "are working three shifts" to modify the watercraft, and those modifications should be completed soon.

"It won't be [the whole season]. I just don't want to put a date on it," he said.

- Larry P. Vellequette

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