May 14, 2007 Viewed from one angle, Sealegs is the world’s most advanced amphibian, but from another, it’s boating without the hassles. While getting a boat in the water is not exactly a herculean task, it nonetheless prevents many people from going boating every day. Sealegs takes the entire process of launching and docking a boat out of the equation – just get in, drive into the water and reverse the process at the other end.
The current Sealegs offering is essentially a 5.7 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat with Sealegs retractable 3-wheel system embedded. The addition of the system costs around US$20,000 to the cost of a normal inflatable and adds 100 kg for the ability to drive up any surface from which you can launch a boat. There’s an optional drive-on boat trailer as the boat isn’t registerable for the open road. On land it runs at 6 mph but it does considerably better on water with a top speed of 35 mph thanks to a 120 horespower engine. There’s a 7m version coming soon that can handle a 150 horsepower motor. In Australia, the 5.7 metre version costs AUD$ 49,000 plus another AUD$14,000 for a 120 horsepower motor. The new 7metre unit fully decked out with options will run to AUD$110,000. Demand is growing with a 12 month wait for orders already, the manufacturer is gearing up to increase production capacity by 400% which means the queue won’t be as long in the future.