I'm going to digress a minute and give some background on the BELLE. The world was a much different place in 1963, the first season the BELLE ran. I'm not sure the BELLE would be a success if it tried to start up in today's world. Here are my thoughts as to why the BELLE prospered:
1. The county govt. wasn't interested in making a profit from the BELLE, they wanted it to pay for itself and not cost the taxpayers.
2. The Coast Guard inspectors were local and they knew all the "players". They were rivermen so they knew what was critical and what could be delayed. They did not scrimp on safety; but they were reasonable.
3. There wasn't the vast choice of activities that we have today. Louisville had no professional baseball team, very few kids were in little league, soccer and other organized sports.
4. There were a lot more social clubs and people were active in them, ie VFW, church clubs, neighborhood clubs etc. This meant there were a lot more groups who were interested in chartering the boat. We had charters practically every night in the summer and the charter rate was reasonable, Clubs used BELLE cruises to make money.
5. Ticket prices for the public cruises were very reasonable...$1.50 (about $12,00 in todays dollars) for adults and $.50 for children. That was for a 4 hr cruise. Today I think its $22.00 for a 2 hr. cruise.
6. There was free parking on the wharf.
7. There were only two rock and roll radio stations which every teen listened to. So when they advertised the BELLE's teen dance on those stations they reached every teen in Louisville. (the BELLE didn't make much on the teen dances, just the normal charter rate because the boat was chartered by the FOP which made a killing). This made a core of loyal future passengers who fondly remember those dances and, I really believe, is one of the main reasons the public demanded the boat be repaired after the sinking.
I could go on but you can see things were different,

The BELLE started operating in the spring of 1963. As far as I can remember Alan was not part of the boat. He played in the dance band on many charters and he did some consulting work, but he had not yet gotten his license. Paul Underwood, the first captain, was always worried that the stern end of the boat would "fall off", droop like the DQ's does now (the DQ's is not the result of hogging but poor support when they put the new hull on her). He would stand on the bank looking at the boat and once he asked me, "does it look like that stern is OK?" He had years and years of experience on sternwheelers and he had seen many an old boat hog, he was afraid that would happen to the BELLE. Alan made up drawings and designed some additional hog chains for the stern. These were installed and I guess they worked because the stern is a true today as it was the day the day she came out in 1914.