MINI Convertible boat cruises the Charles River


October 24, 2012

The MINI Convertible boat, in Cambridge

The MINI Convertible boat, in Cambridge

Image Gallery (6 images)

No, you can’t buy one. The MINI Convertible boat is the only one of its kind, and is in fact not even a true MINI. It is an actual boat, however, and you may see it sometime soon, should you be near a waterway in the eastern U.S.

The vehicle was the idea of the MINI USA Eastern Region office, and was part of the brand’s Not Normal Sales Event, in which regional staff and dealers were encouraged to come up with “not normal” ways of celebrating the MINI.

Pennsylvania-based ACI Composites built the vehicle, starting by taking a mold of a 2004 MINI Hardtop. A fiberglass convertible body was made from that mold, and mounted to a boat hull. MINI parts were then added, including headlights, taillights, grille, steering wheel, badges, wheels and tires. Power is provided by a 6-horsepower outboard motor.

The MINI Convertible boat made its on-the-water debut last weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Head of the Charles Regatta – it was used by a regatta official to monitor the safety of the rowers, on the Charles River. Plans call for it to be used at other events in the region.

Source: MINI USA

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Just for comparison purposes, In 1970 Dan Hanebrink made a mini-car that DID float. Using just a 500cc Kawasaki engine, it would do the Quarter Mile in 13.5 seconds right at 100mph!

It also had 4wd AND 4-wheel Steering.

It was featured on the cover of "Modern" Mechanix:

We need more work in the directions of enhanced efficiency&simplicity that people can actually afford and maintain- instead of expensive promotional concept vehicles that just reinforce "The Stagnant Quo".

It's cute and all, but I shudder to think what they paid for that.

We could have actually made one float well here for less- it's not hard. You just need to use enough foam. 1 cubic foot floats 62 lbs.of weight.

A slightly larger foam-filled bumper on the front would balance it out and a trolling motor could move it around.

This one may be faster on the water but such mods would be cheaper,easier and.... it would be real instead of just another illusion.

We are currently doing a mod-rod car with mucho foam in both ends for aero-styling&safety- I guess we'll have to make it float now after all!

We had talked about it but we just didn't want to emphasize that potential aspect, but after this....


I think the best implementation of the amphibious personal vehicle was realized in new Zealand several years ago:

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