Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Marine

Gizmag's Loz Blain comes to grips with the Sea-Doo Spark (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag.com)

The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.  Read More

The Flash Cat 67SC design incorporates an open, spacious indoor/outdoor flybridge

In designing the new Flash Cat 67SC, Spain's Flash Catamarans has attempted to redefine the shape and packaging of the large, dual-hulled vessel. To do so, it's lifted the cabin space out from its stuffy confines below deck, offering an open, airy interior with big picture-window views out to sea. The wide, above-deck design also provides better accessibility for disabled passengers.  Read More

Oceanographers run through a series of tests in preparation to deploy one of the ocean gli...

The use of "ocean gliders" for conducting research in oceanic conditions not ideal for regular methods has been catching on in the scientific community. Examples of this have been seen in the detection of endangered whales in the North Atlantic and a study of the Atlantic sturgeon. Researchers have now turned their robotic ocean helpers towards Antarctica, to study the rapidly-melting ice sheets on the coast of the western part of that polar land mass.  Read More

3D models created from the use of technology such as unmanned vehicles will allow official...

The observance in the United States this week of Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the American military, holds special meaning for those who lost loved ones when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during World War II. An underwater 3D imaging project is using modern technology to bring greater insights to this tragic historical event.  Read More

The electric-powered Quadrofoil

Unlike the U-boat Worx HP Sport Sub 2 that’s designed to outperform octopi under the water, the Quadrofoil has been developed to provide hydrofoil performance above it. When Gizmag first reported on the Quadrofoil back in 2012, the Slovenian craft was still in its prototype stages, but now it’s ready for production and available for global pre-order.  Read More

Scubus S - scuba mask with integrated camera, HUD and communications

Development is well underway on the Scubus S, a diving mask that integrates a flashlight, a video camera, a heads-up display and a diver-to-diver communication system into its waterproof housing. It's designed to make diving safer, as well as more fun.  Read More

The HP Sport Sub 2 with standard fit out is good for 3 knots on the surface, or 2 knots un...

Dutch firm U-Boat Worx describes the latest addition to its line of submersibles as a "subsea-Ferrari". Like many Ferraris, the company's new HP Sport Sub 2 seats two and comes in eye-catching red, but unlike most Ferraris, it can carry a pilot and passenger to a depth of 100 m (330 ft) beneath the waves for periods of up to six hours.  Read More

Belassi B3R Sport - the world's most powerful production PWC

Seven years ago, Gizmag's Mike Hanlon made a bold prediction: the 400-horsepower PWC cometh. With Benelli's top of the line V6 jet ski smashing out some 342 horsepower, and a series of supercharged Hondas, Sea-Doos, MV Agustas and Kawasakis nipping at its heels, it seemed a horsepower war was brewing. But in the aftermath of 2008's global financial system collapse, it seems things have gone back to slightly more sensible levels. We say *more* sensible, because Benelli has just rebranded its PWC business as Belassi and built a brand new, turbocharged engine pounding out 315 horses to take the mantle of the world's current reigning production PWC horsepower champion. It's not the 400-horsepower beast that Mike feared, but it still looks like a heck of a fun way to burn petrol.  Read More

According to Hydros, the HY-X is capable of 30 kn

Retractable hydrofoils have been quite in vogue throughout this year's boat show season. Major shows like Cannes and Monaco have hosted several retractable hydrofoils, including the shape-shifting Kormaran and the Sunreef 40 H. Now, Swiss hydrofoil outfit Hydros has demonstrated its HY-X, the prototype of an eventual 41-foot (12.5-m) yacht that will be able to motor across the water or fly above it.  Read More

The Ponam-31 is Toyota's latest boat

As the world's largest automaker, Toyota is quite well-known for land vehicles, including SUVs like the 4Runner and Land Cruiser. Lesser known is the corporation's marine arm, which sells several car-inspired boats in the Japanese market. The latest is the Ponam-31, a "sports utility cruiser" that puts a rather elegant cabin atop a hull that skips across the water by way of dual Land Cruiser engines.  Read More

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