The Duck

A Brief Duck History

During the early testing of the DUKW, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol craft had run aground on a sandbar 1/4-mile offshore at Provincetown, Massachusetts. Driving rain, 60-knot winds and heavy surf prevented rescue by small boats or breeches buoy. A DUKW, in the area for a scheduled demonstration a few days later, rescued the 7-man crew. This rescue proved DUKW seaworthiness and reputedly triggered quick acceptance of the hybrids by previously unrecertive high-ranking American military. The Name? “DUKW”= 353 chassis, General Motors. (6×6 truck) (D = 1942; U = Utility (Amphib); K = Front Wheel Drive; and W = Two rear driving axles) 270 CID GMC Engine, 6 Cylinder.

Harbor Duck History

(left) The 2d Marine Amphibian Truck Company's 1st Platoon moving 14th Marine 75mm howitzers forward on Saipan. Number-8 driver Corp. Just inland from Charon (now Chalan) Kanoa. (right) DUKWs in action at the battle of Iwo Jima. Photo by Carl James Miskotten, Machnist's Mate Second Class (T) USN.

The Duck Today

Harbor Duck Adventures Co. has transformed a World War II Army amphibious vessel into one big water taxi 31-feet long, and seating 28 people. Tours wind through downtown Saugatuck and across the bridge to Douglas, includes a brief stop in Douglas where passengers have the opportunity to disembark and enjoy the Village, joining a later tour to finish the fun trip.

Finally the Duck comes back to Saugatuck after splashing into the waters of the Kalamazoo River and Saugatuck Harbor.

Harbor Ducks Saugatuck

Round trips may last from 45 minutes to an hour, and include a narrative of fun local stories and legends. Plunge into the water effortlessly and defy physics as you glide across the Kalamazoo River. Click here for map.