Spirit of Peoria

Spirit of Peoria is a riverboat that normally runs in the Peoria, Illinois area on the Illinois River watershed. The boat participated in the 2004 Grand Excursion. Spirit of Peoria is a true paddleboat, actually using its paddlewheel for propulsion, unlike some modern riverboats with purely cosmetic wheels.

Spirit of Peoria
Spirit of Peoria in the Grand Excursion
OwnerG. Alex Grieves
BuilderWalker Boat Yard
General characteristics
Tonnage275 tons
Length160 ft (49 m)
Draft4 ft (1.2 m)
Installed power2 × Caterpillar 3412 diesel generator
Propulsion21 ft (6.4 m) paddlewheel
Speed7–10 mph (11–16 km/h)
Capacity385 passengers

The boat was designed by architect Alan Bates, and built in 1988[1] at the Walker Boat Yard in Paducah, Kentucky, making it the first paddleboat vessel built there.[2] The propulsion system was designed by Norm Rittenhouse, with steering by Custom Hydraulics.

Spirit of Peoria has no propellers or thrusters, and is powered by twin Caterpillar 3412 diesel gensets, producing 700 kilowatts combined in 208 volt 3-phase voltage.[2] The AC power is rectified to DC which in turn powers two locomotive traction motors, which drive the paddlewheel via two 40-foot-long (12 m) by 1-foot-wide (0.30 m) chains. This allows the boat to be comparatively fast and efficient, burning approximately 15 US gallons (57 l) of diesel fuel an hour, with a top speed of over 15 mph (24 km/h). The dry weight is about 275 tons,[3] with a passenger capacity of 385. The boat carries 3,500 US gallons (13,000 l) of fuel and 2,500 US gallons (9,500 l) of water.

The regular area of travel of the boat ranges from Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois to Starved Rock State Park near Ottawa, Illinois. The boat is owned and captained by G. Alex Grieves, and co-captained by Alice Grady and Dylan Masonholder.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bohlen, Mary. "Go play in Peoria". Illinois Times. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Spirit of Peoria". CiProud.com. Retrieved November 27, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "About the Boat". Spirit of Peoria. Retrieved August 13, 2013.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Spirit of Peoria (ship, 1988) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 40°41′20″N 89°35′12″W / 40.68889°N 89.58667°W / 40.68889; -89.58667(home dock)