Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Marine

Shark expert and marine biologist Luke Tipple navigated through shark infested waters

A convertible shark cage may be a complete oxymoron, but Volkswagen and partners have built one for Discovery Channel's upcoming Shark Week. More than just a stationary exhibit, the shark cage is a functioning watercraft with impressive capabilities. Gizmag talked to Luke Tipple, the marine biologist, shark diving expert and TV personality responsible for building and driving the craft, to find out more about what it's like to scooter around shark-infested waters in a skeletal Beetle ragtop.  Read More

From roofrack to water it takes only 60 seconds to get the Quickboat into the water

Think it takes more time to build a boat than make a French omelette? Think again. The Quickboat is the first foldable boat we've seen that a team of two can put together in a minute or less. That's insanely fast compared to the build times of other foldable boats we've covered, such as the Transporter (10 minutes) and the Smartkat (20 minutes). In fact, the boat is so easy to construct says Deryck Graham, the Managing Director of Australian company Quickboats, that one person with a beer in hand could assemble one in three minutes even with friends around to distract them.  Read More

The Warning Pattern suit is based on fish patterns that warn off attackers

Worldwide, around 100 people are attacked by sharks each year. The anxiety this produces isn't helped by the fact that traditional black wetsuits make divers and surfers look like seals, and it’s not a good idea to dress up as a shark’s favorite snack before going into the water. Australian company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is developing wetsuits designed to deter shark attacks rather than ring the dinner gong by using disruptive patterns that sharks have trouble seeing, or that make them think twice about attacking.  Read More

A sample piece of hull material painted with (bottom) and without the ivermectin-laced pai...

Barnacles may look nice and nautical on things like rocks, but they’re a major problem for watercraft of all sorts. On the hulls of ships, for example, they can drastically decrease the vessel’s hydrodynamics, causing it to burn more fuel and emit more emissions in order to maintain its cruising speed. The most common way of keeping barnacles off those hulls involves the use of environmentally-unfriendly paints. Now, however, a scientist from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg has developed what could be a less harmful alternative.  Read More

The DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) kayak, with its pontoons extended

Compared to human-powered watercraft such as canoes or rowboats, kayaks are certainly fast, plus they’re easy to paddle. Should you try to stand up and fish or scuba dive from one, however, it’s quite likely to capsize. With that in mind, California-based TrueRec has designed the DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) sit-on-top kayak. It features spring-loaded pontoons that fold out to the sides and lock in place for added stability when stopped, but that otherwise stay tucked in and out of the way.  Read More

Fraunhofer's prototype propulsion system

Along with their writhing tentacles, octopi and squid sport another interesting feature – they swim not by swishing a tail, but by expelling a jet of water. This allows them to move very quickly and quietly. Scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation have now copied this system, in a propulsion system that could ultimately find use in boats, recreational watercraft, or submarines.  Read More

The Ziphius is a remote-control aquatic drone, that’s capable of autonomous behavior

It wasn’t all that long ago that the product category of “consumer aerial drone” was created, thanks to the introduction of smart-but-relatively-cheap quadcopters such as the AR Drone. These remote-control aircraft can be a lot of fun, but ... what about those of us who prefer the water to the skies? That’s where the Ziphius comes in. It’s a smartphone or tablet-controlled camera-equipped aquatic drone, that’s capable of autonomous behavior.  Read More

After almost half a century in service, the revamped Alvin submersible is once again headi...

You would think that a little sub built almost 50 years ago would be sitting in a museum somewhere, but Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Alvin, which launched in 1964, is still going strong. Owned by the US Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Alvin has completed a major US$41 million redesign and refit. The revamped submersible set sail on Saturday aboard its mothership R/V Atlantis for certification testing off the coast of Oregon and California.  Read More

Earlier this month Adastra was presented with the 2013 World Superyacht Award for Most Inn...

Last year we provided readers with the first images of the US$15 million Adastra superyacht being constructed in China. The incredible watercraft has since traveled 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) through the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand and earlier this month was presented with the 2013 World Superyacht Award for Most Innovative Design.  Read More

The Turanor PlanetSolar arrives at the town of Marigot on the island of St. Martin

With its previous circumnavigation of the planet, it had already set the record for longest distance traveled by a purely solar-powered boat. Now, the Tûranor PlanetSolar (which is also the world’s largest solar-powered watercraft), has broken its own 2010 record for fastest Atlantic crossing by a solar-powered boat.  Read More

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