Riverboats carry freight and passengers between Knotty Pine and Mirror Lake and Kings Islands. Andy Coogan and Jim Gunderson are fierce competitors for the tourists visiting the Mirror Lake region. Bill will not give Andy a passengers license because his boat is dangerous. His stacks leak. Deck planks need to be replaced. The boiler is a threat to human life.
Andy says Bill is hurting him to help Gunderson. Andy asks several of Knotty Pine's influential citizens to pressure Bill to change his decision.
Will Andy do the right thing and fix his riverboat or will Bill give in to pressure and let Andy stay on the river? Will Andy continue to run his boat or will it break down and end the debate?