The Fitzcarraldo, The Cahuapanas, and The Benjamin
Steam launches of the rubber boom period transported the black latex from streams deep within the Amazon to larger boats, such as the Ayapua. The steal launches were built in Europe during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and brought to the Amazon on larger ocean going vessels.
The Fitzcarraldo was built c. 1890 and is believed to be of German construction. She is named after the famous geographer and rubber baron who discovered the isthmus between the Madre de Dios and Ucayali valleys. Fitzcarraldo hauled a boat similar to this one over the isthmus to collect rubber from the rich forests of southern Peru and northern Bolivar with his friend and partner Vaca Diaz. Unfortunately, when they were bringing their second boat up the Ucayali it floundered on a stretch of rapids, Vaca Diaz fell overboard, Fitzcarraldo jumped in to save him, and they both perished.
The Cahuapanas was built c. 1900 and is believed to be of British construction. In respect, she carries the original name of the Clavero. Her long design allows her to carry personnel both under the canopy and in the open air of her bow.
The Benjamin is a life boat from a rubber boom ship of the same name built c. 1905. She is used for wildlife surveys during expeditions and provides a stable, open air ambiance for sighting animals along the river.
The Fitzcarraldo was built c. 1890 and is believed to be of German construction. She is named after the famous geographer and rubber baron who discovered the isthmus between the Madre de Dios and Ucayali valleys.