Rip Roarin' Rapids opened on March 20th, 1982. When Carowinds decided to build a $2.75 million rapids ride in 1981, Intamin, the builder, would not be able to have the boats ready for a 1982 opening. So, Carowinds decided to build their own 8 passenger boats in-house as seen in these rare photos. This venture turned out to be pretty disastrous for the most part. There were several incidents of boats flipping or getting stuck and people were injured. The new 6 passenger Intamin boats would arrive in time for 1983 and the old boats, seen in these photos, were eventually scrapped.
Aerial photos showing Rip Roarin' Rapids layout - HERE