Raymond Weaver challenged the Great Gorge Rapids and the Whirlpool during the summer of 1961.
Weaver had built a 4.4 metres long steel boat that weighed 800 pounds, 600 of those pounds were for stabilizer. The boat was constructed of 12 (2.8 mm thick) and 16 (1.6 mm thick) gauge steel plates. The top of the boat was entirely covered as well. The boat’s engine was a three and a half horsepower outboard motor.
At 5:30 a.m. on July 28th 1961, Weaver, wearing his safety helmet, began his journey near the Maid of the Mist dock. The boat successfully navigated the Great Gorge Rapids. Upon entering the Whirlpool, the boat motor had become water logged and stopped working. The current of the Whirlpool grasped the boat for the four hours before changing currents allowed its release. Weaver completed his journey to the Queenston dock after seven hourss.