When Quebec’s government allowed back activities on the water, we already were passed halfway our normal season. We tried to find a way to operate in the rapids as usual, but the masks were an issue. Wearing masks in the rapids would have been an unpleasant experience and they would have been rendered useless because of the water.
We decided to shift our focus on our other, shorter ride; Spin-Boating. Where Jet-Boating’s purpose is to get you wet at all cost, Spin-Boating is more akin to a James Bond action pursuit scene. Twists, turns and drift are all the fun here! There’s drizzle, but nothing impairing masks or waterboarding you.
To our surprise and pleasure, people were lining up! They would call and, eager to get out, they would drive sometimes a few kilometres to enjoy this outdoor activity. While that tour was usually the second to that classic ride in the rapids, it turned out that a sub-25$ boat tour was truly a sight to behold in the summer offering of this year.
More than 3000 people enjoyed our experience this year, and every single one of them wore the mask!
The History of the Ride:
Our small boat program Jet St-Laurent had its origin in New Zealand. In 1985 we converted our motors to diesel and we installed the more commercial Hamilton Jet. As we began to purchase more units, our relations with the company became stronger. Our chief mechanic Ron Lavallée told me if I bought his airplane ticket, he would visit the factory in Christ Church to get a better understanding of maintenace procedures. Deal!
While in New Zealand he did the famous ride through the Shotover River Canyon. This action-packed high speed ride is perhaps the top attraction of the South Island. The drivers routinely run the boat past sheer cliff walls and execute the famous Hamilton Turn i.e. a 360 degree high speed pirouette on its nose. Quite exhilhirating! When Ron came home he convinced me that we could offer a similar tour right here in the Old Port. Ron showed the pictures of Shotover Jet to our boat builder in Kingston and we ordered two aluminum hulls 20 feet by 6 feet and voilà Jet St-Laurent was born. Due to the short lenth of the excursion, only 20 minutes, we decided the departure point would be the Jacques Cartier Pier which has more visibility and is perfect for last minute, hot day type ride.Jack Kowalski, Owner
Here is a gallery with some of the adventurous clients of this summer. If you spot yourself drop a comment below! 🙂 We would love to hear your comments on our renewed Montreal classic, Spin-Boating: