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The Iguana 29 - the upmarket amphibian 10-seat tender vessel

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November 24, 2011

The Iguana 29 Amphibious (Photo: Eric Sander)

The Iguana 29 Amphibious (Photo: Eric Sander)

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The Iguana 29 is a new take on amphibious vehicles, using retractable caterpillar tracks to deliver surefooted drive across extreme terrain at up to 8 km/h (5 mph) while on water it is quick to plane and has 35 knot speed. Most impressive of all is that the hybrid version of the Iguana can run in electric only mode in nature's most delicate areas. The Iguana 29 and its retractable caterpillar design looks to address an important need for boats capable of entering and exiting the water in complete independence. The Iguana has enough carrying capacity to be very versatile and could serve as tender, to land anywhere, as a leisure craft offering freedom from marinas, berths and other constraints, or for transporting goods and equipment. Larger versions of the currently ten-seater amphibian are planned.

Amphibious vehicles make sense. Nine out of ten humans live on land near the water, and having one craft that can handle both means unhindered access, even to normally remote areas, easy transit to-and-from islands and most of all, short point-to-point times.

We've tracked the fortunes of dozens of amphibious craft in Gizmag's archives.

What makes the Iguana most different from the current crop of amphibians, is that it was conceived to handle almost any condition, having been inspired by the difficulties of the boat owners in the town of Antoine Brugidou, between the bay of Mont St Michel and the south of Jersey, where the tide can go out for miles and where one has to navigate between sandbanks, rocks and currents. Hence the Iguana has more genuine off-road capabilities than most of its competitors and an armchair ride for the boat's occupants.

With its specially designed caterpillar tracks, its 40 hp onshore engine and optimum ground pressure (lower than a pedestrian's), the Iguana 29 is capable of negotiating all types of terrain with ease. On land, the boat is steered using a joystick.

The concept (which is subject to a world-wide patent) is based upon the integration of a caterpillar system within the hull without affecting its aesthetics, performance, or its seaworthiness.

The retractable under-carriage had to respect the lines of the hull, and the design effort has been worthwhile, as the Iguana's wave piercing bow and v-shaped hull make it highly capable on water.

The starting price for the Iguana 29 is US$375,000 which includes carbon hull, outboard engine, inboard engine and hydraulic system with electronic command, high gloss hull painting, leather upholstery, Flexiteek deck, Bose sound system, fresh water shower, refrigerator, stainless steel handrails, retractable cleats and ... much more.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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8 Comments

Sounds interresting. More than the other solutions with legs... Question : What\'s the price? Question : Will they be present at Paris Boat Show :-)

Ariel Dahan

Definitely your idea is new and will work. Our Co. has developed a design wherein the boat can function as amphibious vessel more efficiently and in water it can achieve speeds higher than 100 knots easily. If any body is interested how can I get this off the drawing board. Alexander. alexandervk@yahoo.com

AlexanderVK

The Iguana 29 will be priced around EUR215,000 (US$287,300). Last sentence in article. It is a very good idea but it looks really heavy. What kind of trailer and truck is needed to trailer it down the roads ?

Jim Andrews

Brilliant! I would never have thought of combining retractable treads with a wave-piercing hull. I used to spend my summers in Normandy and know the bay of the Mont St-Michel, with its legendary quicksand beds and extremely rapid flood tide, which has to be seen to be believed. I must say this kind of vehicle would actually make me feel safer off the causeway than any other kind of conveyance. One question I have is payload and usable volume: wave-piercing hulls have very little buoyancy forward (a necessary condition for wave-piercing), so they tend to be restricted in total payload and usable volume forward of the c.b. With the additional weight of the track mechanism, a separate engine and drive train for it and the battery pack in the hybrid version, I wonder what is left over in the way of useful load...

piolenc

Another stupid toy for the rich. Any money spent on this thing could be better spent.

Nelson

Iguanas are reptiles not amphibians.

Ethan Brush

Iguanas are reptiles but the marine iguana is amphibious in that it feeds at sea and lives ashore. But was the comment necessary?

Adrian Chriswell

Find out more about the Iguana Yachts Amphibious boats on http://www.iguana-yachts.com

Georges Langeard
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