A year and a half ago, BomBoard introduced a prototype of what was billed as the world's first modular personal watercraft, weighing in at a total assembled weight of 150 lbs (68 kg) and kicking out around 40 hp. The company took what it learned from that model and will be launching a new version with a larger engine and other upgrades, resulting in an almost entirely new and more powerful machine.
Bugatti has partnered with watercraft maker Palmer Johnson to design a bespoke luxury yacht. Called Niniette, the carbon fiber yacht will be available in three models starting at 42 feet and features styling elements based loosely on classics from the Bugatti lineup. Prices start at a cool €2 million (US$2,176,700).
With the goal of drawing attention to the mass extinction of species caused by human activity, a mother-and-son team from South Africa is aiming to cross the south Atlantic on a customized boat powered solely with a pedal system. Experienced adventurer Davey du Plessis (27), a raw vegan environmentalist, author and speaker, will lead the 6,450-km (4,008-mi) crossing that is expected to launch in late November, weather permitting. His mother, Robyn Wolff (50), who is also vegan, will be on the boat pedalling with him.
Transporting cars, equipment and even people across bodies of water could get a little less cumbersome, thanks to the inflatable Ferryboat built by Slovenia-based Hovercraft. Coming in one size large enough to transport a car and another sized for more personal use, the Ferryboat can be quickly inflated and launched from just about anywhere.
We all like a relaxing holiday, but what if you could literally float away from all your worries? The Floatwing floating home lets you do just that. Whether used as a romantic getaway, a place to stay with friends or a watersports base camp, it can move leisurely around the calm serenity of a lake.
Fish farming seems like a great idea on paper. But a host of environmental problems can plague coastal fisheries, most due to the large amounts of waste generated by these floating factory farms. eFishery, a company based in Indonesia and run with the involvement of TED Prize director Amy Novogratz, hopes to alleviate waste problems that result from both over and underfeeding of fish with the development of a smart feeding device that bases the amount of feed dispensed on fish behaviour.
Serial amphibian creator Alan Gibbs has used the American International Motorcycle expo in Florida to launch three new outrageous recreational vehicles. Not satisfied making ridiculously fun-looking amphibious quadbikes, cars and trucks, Gibbs has now built two-and three-wheeled motorcycles that you can ride straight down a boat ramp into the water. At the touch of a button they convert to jet skis, retracting wheels out of the way and switching to jet propulsion. There’s almost no delay – the switch from road mode to water mode is done in less than 5 seconds, so you barely even lose momentum as you ride in or out of the water.
In the waters near Portsmouth Naval Base, a small black boat recently roared about with no one at the controls. It hadn't run amok after the pilot fell overboard, but was instead a demonstration of a new robotic system developed by ASV and BAE Systems. The technology package can be retrofitted to the Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) used by the Royal Navy (RN) to turn them into high-speed, autonomous, unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance platforms.
Autopilot systems for yachts and inboard boats are a common backup that gives the captain an occasional rest. But these systems are designed to react to changes in conditions after they occur, which may be too late in certain circumstances, whereas the safest, most ideal system will preempt threats and react in anticipation of a coming danger. Google and others have been developing such systems for driverless cars for years, and now a startup spun out of the University at Buffalo hopes to sell preemptive marine autopilot systems to small and mid-size recreational boat owners.
With designs like the 858 Fantom, Austrian shipyard Frauscher has helped make its name by reinterpreting the forms of exotic sports cars into fast, beautiful yachts. The all-new 1414 Demon is the largest example of its handiwork yet. Like one of the world's great roadsters, the new yacht features an open, speed-driven form, carbon fiber-dressed air intakes, and more than 1,000 hp of power at the rear (stern). It also has the high six-figure price tag to go along with all that.