People would sit inside the seating area inside one of the boats with a roof on the top where more people could sit also. This was the design issue that caused it to close. On the inside, guests could watch full episodes of Walt Disney's Davy Crockett.
Reasons for closing
At about 5:30 p.m. on May 17, 1997, Disneyland's Gullywhumper boat began to rock side to side. It capsized, dumping a full boatload of guests into the Rivers of America. The boat was removed from the waters for inspection and neither the Gullywhumper nor the Bertha Mae returned for the next operating season. The Bertha Mae was put up on Disney's eBay Auction Site and pocketed $15,000 for it. It was built as an unseaworthy craft.
The Gullywhumper returned to Disneyland's Rivers of America as a prop and was moored on Tom Sawyer Island where passenger on the Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, the Sailing Ship Columbia, and the Mark Twain Riverboat could see it while passing. Eventually, hull damage caused the boat to flood and sink, and it was finally removed from public view in April 2009. A replica that looks more like a keel boat was built.