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Ride-the-Ducks DUKWs to be Auctioned in July

• CATEGORIES: Features

Blaine share this auction of a series of Ride-the-ducks DUKWs (and DUKW-like vehicles) to be auctioned in July. As the video below demonstrates, Ride-the-Ducks was a huge tourist attraction until 2015 when one of the DUKWs suffered a mechanical failure, careened across aurora bridge traffic into bus, then teetered on the edge of the bridge (hanging over a spot is pretty close to my aunt’s houseboat on Lake Union). The accident and the resulting litigation doomed the company, resulting in it declaring bankruptcy in April of 2020.

Here’s one of the vehicles that’s being auctioned:



9 Comments on “Ride-the-Ducks DUKWs to be Auctioned in July

  1. Joe in Mesa

    Took my parents on this Seattle duck boat tour in 2010 and loved it. I’m surprised another duck boat tour company isn’t buying these up. I wonder if any of them can practically be converted/restored back to WWII livery?

  2. SteveK

    These interesting vessels are not the Willys GPWs, the original “ducks”, but variations on a larger scale for commercialism. When I tried to search for a known Miami Beach Fl tragedy sinking of a Duck tour boat incident, I quickly became aware these appealing tour vessels have a checkered history of both on land. and in the water, across the country. There is even a story of a sinking in London. A fun idea can go bad very quickly.

  3. Jim Lee

    17 people drowned in a horrible duck accident on tablerock lake in Branson MO a couple of years ago. Silver Dollar City owned it and had just sold it to a new company… it was a horrible accident

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Steve, I think you meant Ford GPAs? The DUKWs were more stable than the GPAs, but none of these seem to handle well in rough weather.

  5. rdjeep

    There was a duck tragedy in Philly, too.

    We rode one, years back, in Boston. Even got to “drive” it on the water for a bit. I would surmise that these were intended for crossings, not open water.

  6. Buz

    I doubt anybody could get insurance on one of these today if they are used to give rides to the public.

  7. Barney Goodwin

    Wife and I were at Gravely Point in DC watching the jets land at Reagan National when a DC Duck came up out of the water on the boat ramp. I told her, No way you’d get me out on the Potomac River in one of those. If I remember correct, NTSB ruled in accidents that people with life jackets were killed when they got trapped under canopies or enclosures when the boats capsized. An expensive museum piece, that’s all.

  8. Allan J. Knepper

    When we were kids growing up in Iowa in the late 1950’s we took a family trip to the Wisconsin Dells. I still remember riding the “Ducks”. They are still running them today ! Hope to take our family and new grandson for a ride in the next couple of years

  9. Blaine

    The auction is in progress with an hour plus left as of this writing. All the ducks have a decent offers. There are also Rockwell drivetrain and suspension parts with low bids at the moment.

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