The first appearance of the Batboat was in the 1966 film Batman: The Movie. It was subsequently used in the 1960s Batman television series. It was created by Glastron Industries.
Mel Whitley and Robert Hammond designed the Batboat from a Glastron V-174. They added a red flashing beacon, glowing eyes, batzooka hatches, seats for both Batman and Robin at the front of the boat, twin wind screens, a center console, an outdrive jet cover, and an aft to deck cover with a glowing Bat-Signal on the tail fin. Although the boat was powered by a Merc Cruiser Chevrolet V-6 and Attwood Corporation manufactured the hardwire, a water squirter and a jet nozzle were added to make the Batboat look like it was nuclear-powered. It took 31 days to build.
Eventually, a replica was built of the Batboat. When the Batman television show was cancelled, Glastron used the two Batboats for promotions on tours. After much touring, the boats were sold. One boat went to a Glastron dealer who was a Shriner. He used it in various Shriner parades. This Batboat was then moved to the Car Stars museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
A darker version was used in Batman Returns as The Bat Skiboat. Batman uses the vehicle near the climax of the film to travel through Gotham's sewer system towards the Penguin's lair. A second Batboat appears in the film Batman Forever, piloted by Robin, and is quickly destroyed by The Riddler and Two-Face. In the same film, a version of the Batplane is shown to have a cockpit that can transform into a submersible vehicle should the air vehicle be shot down. The Batboat (a jet-powered cigarette boat) from Batman Forever fit within the film's H. R. Giger-inspired biomechanical theme.