Pioneers Yesterday and Today

In the early 1800s Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explored and mapped what is today known as Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. In the late 1900s different pioneers, Norm Riddle, Bruce Oakes, Darell Bentz and Ernie Duckworth met the challenges of those rivers by developing the welded-aluminum jet boat, initially work boats for use in the logging industry, eventually boats for recreation, search and rescue, fish and wildlife, police and military use, anywhere a tough, reliable boat is needed for the most difficult aquatic environments. These gentlemen not only created boats, they created an industry of over a dozen boat manufacturers and numerous suppliers, an industry that is still innovating, still pioneering and making Lewiston/Clarkston the Jet Boat Capital of the World!

The jet boat industry is part of the multi-faceted economy of the Lewis-Clark Valley, a region known for abundant outdoor activities ( world class hunting and fishing), beautiful weather (year around golf anyone?), cultural events, rich history, world class industrial parks, competitive real estate prices, low cost-of-living and a business friendly, can do attitude. For more information on the area visit and the economic development community members mentioned in this web site under Contributors. It is their vision and team spirit that created one of the most dynamic and successful cluster development programs in the country, The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program.

Click on one of our manufacturers below to find out more!

Bentz Boats logoCustom Weld Boats logoGateway Trailers logo
Hells Canyon Marine logoThunderjet logoRenaissance Marine Group Inc. logo
Riddle Marine Jetboats logoSJX logo