History Comes to Life on the 1900's Replica Fantail Launch on Saratoga Lake

Saturday, April 29, 2017
It may only be the end of April but it felt like summer yesterday aboard Adirondack Cruise and Charter Company's new vessel.  Not quite finished with its restoration just yet, the 1900's replica Fantail Launch splashed in yesterday and we were invited to be there for its first cruise up Fish Creek.  
You may remember that Hal T. Raven and his Adirondack Cruise & Charter Company took the lake by storm last year when he brought public cruises back to Saratoga Lake on his 22' pontoon boat. Despite what a hit that was, Hal wasn't happy yet, especially about not being able to accommodate everyone that was interested on his 9-passenger pontoon boat.   Even though over 800 passengers took part in Hal's first season, a wait list of wannabe passengers put a damper on an otherwise successful year.  His dream of bringing back the history of steamboats on Saratoga Lake kept him awake at night as did his search for just the right vessel.  Hal's dream and determination brought him to this beautiful 50 foot, 1900's replica Fantail Launch this winter and I'm confident it's going to be a huge success, but then again.... I had no doubts Hal would bring his dream to reality.
Still a work in progress, but still a beauty!

The Fantail Launch (to be named at a christening and naming ceremony on June 3rd), was built in 2003 by Paul Raasoch to tour Rock River, a tributary of the Mississippi.  Hal wasted no time in acquiring this beauty which will be making its first public sails on Mother's Day.  When Hal contacted me yesterday to say he and his crew were on the boat and that we should come over for a ride and take some photos, I jumped at the opportunity.  Who wouldn't?    It was a beautiful day and I've been following Adirondack Cruise and Charter Co.'s social media so I couldn't wait to see this baby for myself!

Hal and crew are still working on finishing up the final touches on the renovations.  A new floor has already been laid, a new canopy, painting and staining, brass polishing all done.  The clear drop-down curtains were being installed yesterday and the seats and tables will soon be added.  I didn't want to spoil the big reveal so I kept my photos focused on details and views for now, but you can bet I'll be back will lots of photos of the finished vessel as soon as its ready for the paparazzi.  In the meantime, here's a peek at some of its features and the spectacular views you'll enjoy when you go on a cruise.
Captain Hal letting Braelyn ring the bell while Captain Kevin looks on.

 This was the earliest I'd ever been on the lake (or up the creek) and the budding trees and deep blue waters made for the most picturesque of days!
Sporting the hat that came with the boat!

 Lake George isn't the only lake that provides some beautiful real estate views!  Whether it's on Fish Creek or on the lake itself, there's no shortage of beautiful property.

The Fantail Launch will provide a completely different cruising experience.  With the capacity to hold 30 passengers, this vessel which glides like silk, will also have a restroom and small bar.  In addition to daily cruises at 4:30 and a sunset cruise at 7:30pm, there are also plans for moonlight cruises, a Sunday Brunch cruise and much more.  During racing season, Tuesdays will also once again feature the Sip and Sail cruise.  Both vessels are also available for private charter, parties and corporate events.  What a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion.....just you and your family and friends sitting back enjoying a relaxing cruise! Bring your meal or have the Captain drop you at one of the lake's wonderful restaurants.  It will be an occasion to remember.  On Mother's Day, the Adirondack Cruise & Charter will sail at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, 3:30 and 5:00.  Dine at Longfellow's and Mom sails for free, otherwise Mom's tickets are $10.00, children under 8 are $10 and guests over 8 are $20 for this one-hour cruise. Regular cruises begin in June. Ticket prices for other cruises vary from $20 and up depending on the cruise.  There will be no cruises on Mondays.

In case you're wondering why I've blogged about Adirondack Cruise and Charter so much, it's simple.  Hal Raven is a really nice guy with a dream and determination, but aside from that, I grew up on Saratoga Lake so I have a special place in my heart for it.  In addition to Hal wanting to share the beauty of Saratoga Lake and Fish Creek with the public, Hal's passion really lies in sharing and bringing back Saratoga Lake's history and in its preservation.  He wants to bring back the glory days when Steamboat Alice made its last run, 82 years ago.  Hal shares his love of local history, along with his love of boating with his passengers, young and old, which makes a cruise with him so much more than a boat ride. It's a special experience, one that's unforgettable, educational and well worth the ticket price.  Yes, Lake George is definitely a grand sight, but give me Saratoga Lake any day and definitely at sunset. There's no better way to experience that than on the lake on one of Adirondack Cruise and Charter Company's boats.  For more information, to purchase tickets and to follow them on Facebook:
To read my previous posts about the Adirondack Cruise & Charter Company:


  1. Where Will this boat be docked?

    1. Great question! I've blogged about them so many times, I forgot not everyone else is familiar. It is docked at the north end of the lake at Saratoga Lake Marina, just over the bridge on the right.


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