Pirate ship (ride)

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Black Buccaneer at Chessington World of Adventures. Riders at the apex of each swing are typically suspended at around 60 feet (18 metres) above the ground. BlackBuccaneer Cropped.jpg
Black Buccaneer at Chessington World of Adventures. Riders at the apex of each swing are typically suspended at around 60 feet (18 metres) above the ground.

A pirate ship is a type of amusement ride based on pirate ships, consisting of an open, seated gondola (usually in the style of a pirate ship) which swings back and forth, subjecting the rider to various levels of angular momentum. A variant where the riders must pull on ropes to swing the ride is known as a swing boat.


The first known predecessor of the ride was invented by Charles Albert Marshall of Tulsa, Oklahoma between 1893 and 1897. This ride was originally called "The Ocean Wave".

The Ocean Wave was first used in the Marshall Bros Circus in 1897. The circus was run by Charles and his brothers Mike, Will, Ed, friends, and family.

Height requirements

Height requirements for this type of ride vary from park to park. For example, Hersheypark, which has a Huss Pirate Boat, has a height requirement of 42 in (107 cm) or more to ride, while at LaRonde, which also has a Huss Pirate Boat, riders must be 52 in (132 cm) or taller. Huss recommends that the lowest a height requirement should be is 39 in (99 cm), but parks can make it higher if they choose to.

Pirate ship rides

A ride with Viking theme at Linnanmaki Viikinki Linnanmaki Helsinki.JPG
A ride with Viking theme at Linnanmäki

There are a number of Swinging Ship-type rides, and multiple manufacturers.


Swingboat on the Roonkarker Mart-fair (German) in northern Germany. Schiffschaukel.jpg
Swingboat on the Roonkarker Mart-fair (German) in northern Germany.

The names listed are given by the manufacturers, and individual parks may change the name of the ride itself. Many parks use a Viking Ship theme for their ride. Smaller versions of the ride are often called "Swingboats".


Ride at Sunway Lagoon about to execute a full rotation Cmglee Sunway Lagoon pirate ship.jpg
Ride at Sunway Lagoon about to execute a full rotation

Former appearances

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Swing ride

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  1. "Fabbri Group - Amusements rides manufacturer". fabbrigroup.com. Archived from the original on 2016-09-19.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "PIRATE 32 - Thrill Rides - Thrill rides category - SBF Rides". sbfrides.com.
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