I am happy to share some information about my friend Mason Basten’s company, River Road Jet Boats!
River Road Jet Boats is located beside the mighty James River in historic Amherst County in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The many rivers in and around Virginia are Mason and his family’s passion!
Many years ago Mason took his wife Katy on a batteau named after their daughter Grace Basten. The batteau “Grace of The James” was decked out with Katy riding on the boat while wearing a beautiful white dress and holding baby Grace as the James River Batteau Festival began that year in grand style! Grace made the cover of “The Tiller” magazine, a publication of the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society with Mason holding baby Grace over his shoulder at Maiden’s Landing after 8 days on the River (Grace only rode a short distance at the beginning and end of the trip for pictures.) So this month, October, 2022, we are proud to say that Grace just turned sweet 16!
Once I rode onboard the batteau with Mason from Natural Bridge Station on the upper James, down through the gorge known as “Balcony Falls”. That was quite an experience. Mason ran the front sweep and guided the 40 foot wooden boat down the rapids with expert skills.
The River Road Jet Boat company is awesome. Mason and his team work real hard on each boat and make sure every detail is just right! They also are friendly and are happy to discuss the various models they make.
By Holt Messerly
Here is a YouTube video of one of their awesome boats: