The designer of the Stretch Duck 7, the duck boat that sank last week in Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, lacks any training or certification in mechanics, design, or engineering. DCReport first published this information, found in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Seattle, Washington after a duck boat collided with a bus in 2014. The court documents reveal that the designer, Robert McDowell, came up with the design for the stretch duck boats after consulting with “a transmission person, as well as the maintenance people at the local Penske Truck group and the U-Haul down the street,” according to the lawsuit.These amphibious vehicles are modified from World War II vessels, with 15 inches added to the frame to fit more people. Mechanics, not qualified engineers or welders, cut the chassis in half to weld 15 feet of frame from a surplus truck to create the “stretch” duck boat. McDowell’s Ride the Ducks company created 12-18 of these vehicles a year starting in 1996. According to the Seattle lawsuit, the company failed to keep documentation of the origins of the “ancient parts” used in creating these vehicles.McDowell sold Ride the Ducks to the Herschend Group in 2004. Ride the Ducks International was created. Then, after regulators fined the company and its subsidiaries $1,000,000 for failing to comply with federal safety standards, the Branson, Missouri operation was bought by Ripley Entertainment Inc. in the fall of 2017.