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I would've loved that as a kid!
I researched it a while ago. Couldn't find much. I remember there was a picture of one surviving boat hanging in a hobby store or similar store.
Wow, it even steers left and right like a real speed boat - or train on tracks. HUH? Its floating in a trough! Unless of course you put it in your above ground pool - also supplied by Sears.
Were these actually produced in any quantity and have any survived?
You would think they would be in a Lionel catalog, maybe back page like the fishing gear. Don
"Sectional track" is one thing; a "sectional canal" is another.
I can just see the leaks...everywhere...
Ok - this is too much fun - the link (Metca Waybill newsletter) has advertising and photos of the boat. Starts about page 47. You can also see the results of an attempt to copper plate an old tin plate caboose. Seems to me less expensive than their locos at the time.
The picture that the OP posted is a little misleading because it appears to show the boat traveling downhill. Aren't catalogs and flyers all like that, even to this day?
Unfortunately in real life the ground upon which the waterway is set up would have to be extremely flat and level, otherwise the highest points around the loop would have very little water in them, and the lower ones too much.
What's the old plumber's saying? "Remember: xxxx always flows down hill!"
I believe The Train Room in Hagerstown, Maryland, used to have one on display as part of the owner's private Lionel collection and museum.
I wonder how many kids in America actually got to drive one of these boats before the styrofoam cracked and crumbled away.
If you could shrink yourself down to minature you could pilot a Lionel 43 or 44, even more fun. No need for batteries.