The appropriately named ‘sofa boat’ is essentially a sofa slapped on top of a floating platform that is sure to make maneuvering among other craft in crowded marinas a most relaxing affair. The all-electric craft employs a joystick for steering, a folding sun canopy covering for some protection from the sun’s rays and a soft-foam bumper to make water-bound bumper-car action a possibility.
Designed and built by Abra Marine in the United Arab Emirates the sofa boat made waves at the recent Abu Dhabi Yacht Show where it was used to ferry visitors and VIPs around the show’s super-yachts, marinas and pontoons. An Abra, by the way, is a traditional type of ferry boat in Dubai.
“The boat is completely powered by electricity and has 0% carbon-dioxide emissions," said Dr Martin Mai, designer and Managing Director of Abra Marine. "It can be charged via an electric socket and has batteries that give it 12 hours of continuous power. We also have a solar-powered version in development.”
The solar powered version will use seven square meter solar panels generating 1,000W peak electricity to provide enough power for up to 10 hours of use. And for getting a bit of work done while on the waves the company also offers a ‘B2B’ version that incorporates laptop docking points and a fridge.
Abra Marine is currently in talks with Belevari Marine, the Abu Dhabi-based marine consultancy, charter, brokerage and service company responsible for bringing the concept boat to ADYS to set up a charter license to charter the boats in Abu Dhabi.
But if you’re looking to buy the basic model sofa boat sells for AED59,000 (approx. US$16,060) with customization options including luxurious leather seats, refreshment tables, a stereo system and a two-sofa configuration sure to add a little extra to the cost.