Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Marine

The BomBoard disassembles into four modules, and can be put back together in one minute

Personal water craft (or PWCs) have been around since the 1950s, and received a boost in popularity when the Kawasaki Jet Ski was released in 1973. Since then, we've seen the introduction of a number of makes and models, all boasting their own unique features. One of the latest, the BomBoard, is claimed to be the world's only modular PWC – and at a planned price of US$3,495, it could also be the cheapest.  Read More

Jim Smith on the water in his 3D-printed kayak

It doesn't seem too long ago that 3D-printers were astounding us by churning out cheeky little trinkets or small replacement parts. But the technology has quickly grown to cater for everything from rapid prototyping to slick-looking commercial products, and a quick snack for astronauts to bizarre models of unborn babies. Jim Smith of Grass Roots Engineering has been designing and building his own home-based, large-scale 3D printer since 2008, and the latest modification recently spent over 40 days producing 28 colorful ABS plastic sections that were bolted together to create a 16.7 ft-long kayak.  Read More

The Kitetender 400 is a one to two person monohull water vessel, featuring a sports kite

Dutch water sports enthusiast Peter Renssen, in collaboration with designer Peter Schermer, has created a hybrid recreational boat that merges kitesurfing with sailing. Dubbed, Kitetender the original prototype has undergone four years of tests and tweaks, resulting in the Kitetender 400, which is now ready for commercial release.  Read More

The Frausher 858 Fantom hits the water

It becomes difficult for boats to stand out when they're stuffed into an expo center segmented into row after row of seafaring vessels and marine hardware. Even massive yachts and striking boat concepts can start to look alike after a few passes through a boat show. One boat that did grab our attention at the Boot Dusseldorf show earlier this year is the new Frauscher 858 Fantom, a V8-powered craft inspired by German and Italian sports cars.  Read More

The bridge of 2025 will use a computerized workstation

Horatio Hornblower meets Jean-Luc Picard on the ship’s bridge of 2025 as Finnish applied research organization VTT and Rolls-Royce present their vision of seafaring ten years from now. Presented in 3D animation videos that projects current technology to the near future, the study shows a world where ship captains call on heads-up displays and high-tech workstations turn the bridge into an augmented reality command and control system.  Read More

The Flying Phantom catamaran seems to levitate above the water as it hydrofoils.

“It’s like removing the handbrake – suddenly everything gets smoother and faster in pure silence.” This gravity-defying US$40k catamaran rises completely out of the water at speed on a pair of hook-shaped hydrofoils. It looks like the work of David Copperfield, but it’s real, and it’s set to start a revolution in the sailing world.  Read More

Rendering of the robot ship of the future

Running away to sea has been a dream of escape for centuries, but unless you plan to be a tap dancer on a cruise ship, that door may be closing. In a report on the future of cargo shipping, Rolls-Royce Vice President for Innovation, Engineering and Technology, Oskar Levander, outlines a vision for a time not far from now when freighters and other ships are unmanned robots that cruise the oceans under remote control by shore based captains.  Read More

The Oar Board lets you row on your stand-up paddleboard

Given the recent announcements of products like the ElectraFin and the Rum Runner, it certainly looks like we're in the midst of a stand-up paddleboarding gold rush. One of the latest gadgets to get in on the action, the Oar Board, lets you convert your board into a single scull rowing boat.  Read More

The motorized ElectraFin slides into the existing fin box on stand-up paddleboards

As stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) continue to gain popularity, we're seeing something happen with them that always seems to happen with popular items – manufacturers are augmenting them. Just this week we heard about a modular SUP, which joins the ranks of ones that fold, and that can be converted into a tent. Now, Seattle-based Current Drives is offering an electric motor for SUPs, known as the ElectraFin.  Read More

The Rum Runner prototype hits the water

There are at least two things that you can say about stand-up paddleboards, or SUPs: they're popular, and they're big. This means that while a lot of people may want one, they might not have room to store or transport it. That's why Sweden's Point 65 is introducing its Rum Runner modular SUP, that can be taken apart in seconds when not in use.  Read More

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