Pumpkin boat: how far did man paddle down Missouri River, what was his boat called, is it a new world record?

A Nebraska man celebrated his birthday by paddling in a boat made from a hollowed out pumpkin

A man in the United States of America has gone viral after paddling down the Missouri River in a giant hollowed-out pumpkin that he grew himself.

Duane Hansen is the captain of the makeshift boat that he named the SS Berta. He spent around 10 years growing the 846lb pumpkin that he would use for his journey.

Hansen celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday 26 August by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by pumpkin boat.

What inspired the idea?

Hansen attended a giant pumpkin growing seminar which took place over three days in Portland, Oregon.

During the ceremony he met the lady who had travelled the record distance. Hansen said: “ I asked a lot of questions and that’s when I decided that I wanted to do this.”


How far did the man paddle in Missouri River?

Hansen began his 11 hour journey from the public boat docks in Bellevue, Nebraska at 7.30am and arrived at Nebraska City at around 6.30pm local time.

He was monitored by friends and family who followed him throughout the journey in a real boat to ensure that he didn’t run into any trouble along the way. The pumpkin vessel was said to weigh an estimated 846 pound and it had a cupholder carved into the hull.

Overall it is estimated that Hansen travelled 38 miles in the SS Berta.

Hansen also asked Bellevue City officials to provide footage of his record breaking attempt so that it would be recognised by the Guinness World Record.


Is this a new world record?

Guinness World Records spokesperson Kylie Galloway confirmed the organisation has received Hansen’s application and are waiting on evidence to be provided so they can conduct a thorough review.

The organisation is yet to validate Hansen’s effort, however, it has confirmed that it is set to beat the previous world record.

Hansen travelled 38 miles in total which will surpass the previous record of 25.5 miles, which was set in 2016 by Rick Swenson.

Afterwards the 60 year old admitted that he was physically exhausted from the journey but glad that he had made it.

Hansen explained that waves formed by passing boats and cruise ships made it all more difficult for him at times to get his pumpkin through choppy waters.


Hansen said: “I probably won’t try this again, if somebody breaks my record, I will bow down to them because they are tough.”