The manufacture of our amphibious vehicle specializes in foam-filled amphibious vehicles that float, similar to a life preserver. The engine is in the middle of the vehicle in the center tunnel to avoid tipping, and along both sides of the hull are several box compartments made of aluminum and filled with urethane flotation foam that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. There are no wires, machinery, or fluids running into or through these foam-filled compartments. The construction at the top resembles large pontoons on each side of the engine room tunnel. In the unlikely event of flooding, the only place water can accumulate is in the very center of the vehicle, ensuring stability throughout the vehicle while on land and water.
Our amphibious vehicles specifications follow all DOT and U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The vehicles are inspected both during the manufacturing process, prior to receiving sailing approval, and on a daily basis to ensure all federal regulations for passenger safety have been followed. By design, our amphibious vehicle has large passenger escapes, access doors, and aisle widths. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are also stowed beneath each seat and child-size PFDs are available on board.
Branson Duck Tours holds the highest safety standards and does not consider WWII DUKW’s, the vehicles used by other companies, safe for the tourism community. The National Academy of Sciences Transportation Board has recommended over a dozen improvements needed to make DUKW’s safe for tourism.
Our amphibious vehicles have been shown, thanks to their foam-filled compartments, not to sink, while the DUKWs have been referred to as “fast sinking” by the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Board. DUKWs’ aisles and doors are much smaller, and emergency escape is more difficult to access than those of our amphibious vehicles.
The United States Coast Guard gives boats ratings based on their seaworthiness. DUKW’s sit low in the water, which makes it easy for them to sink in rough water. Our amphibious vehicles have over 4 feet of freeboard before rough water could enter the passenger compartment! These are just some of the differences that set us apart, and put us in a higher class of seaworthiness than the DUKWs.