Kaaterskill is a steamboat that transports students from Hoboken Terminal to Plattekill Landing at the beginning and end of term for Kaaterskill Academy of Magic. In appearance Kaaterskill is similar to Hudson River steamboats of the early 20th century. The ship features 3 large passenger decks, interior cabins and a few staterooms, a private cabin for proctors, a full service restaurant and a cafe.
Kaaterskill is invisible to Muggles; it has the ability to temporarily rearrange space to avoid collisions - Muggle navigation seems to jump out of the way of the steamboat.
Whether Kaaterskill operates at other times is unclear. Students are usually the only passengers on the beginning and end of term trips, although adults (all associated in some way with the school) do travel on Kaaterskill.In the fall, Kaaterskill always departs Hoboken Terminal on the Wednesday morning following Labor Day at 9 am. First-year students get their first impression of school life aboard Kaaterskill, as it's the first time their class is together in one place. In 1995, Ethan Lloyd and Tim Van der Meulen meet Anne Findlay for the first time in the queue to go aboard the steamboat; later in the trip they meet Simon Brocklebank for the first time. Ethan's quarrel with Simon aboard Kaaterskill cast them as adversaries from the start of their school careers.