Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Marine

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

Sunreef says its new hydrofoil system will allow for speeds up to 80 mph (70 kn/130 km/h)

For just over a decade, Sunreef has been building super yacht catamarans, including last year's 80 Carbon Line and the One Fifty, which was billed as the world's biggest luxury catamaran when we covered it in 2008. While large and luxurious, its line of seagoing vessels isn't necessarily the pinnacle of speed. Sunreef is set on changing that, injecting a serious mph upgrade by pulling its dual hulls out of the water with a new retractable hydrofoil system.  Read More

The Exosuit uses a series of rotary joints in order to allow the pilot a high degree of fl...

Thanks largely to Hollywood blockbuster franchises, humanity seems to be in the grips of a global obsession with exosuits. The fixation is informing the designs of future military tech and may even play a role in how we operate in space. Canadian based Nuytco Research hopes to bring its own Exosuit to the sea floor, allowing divers to safely operate at depths of up to 1,000 ft (305 m) with none of the nasty pressure-induced side effects that so often ruin a deep sea diver's day.  Read More

The Samson is designed to be rowed from New York City to Paris

Like many fathers with young children, experienced rower Andras Bakos is concerned about what sort of shape the environment will be in by the time his son grows up. That's why in 2011, he began planning a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition to raise awareness of environmental issues. The boat that he had custom-built for the trip is now ready to go, and it looks like it could just as well be used for rowing to Mars.  Read More

Originally designed as a 'family house2 for recreational use, Chopi Chopi boasts immense p...

Recently on display during the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show, CRN shipyard's Chopi Chopi boasts immense proportions and is more like a floating mansion compared to your traditional superyacht. The 80 meter (262 ft) luxury megayacht was built in collaboration with Italian architects Laura Sessa, Giovanni and Paola Zuccon and is one of the biggest of its kind. Worth over US$110 million, the entire yacht took 660,000 hours to complete and the displacement hull was built from aluminum and steel.  Read More

A concept rendering of the robotic ship of the future (Image: Rolls Royce)

Earlier this year Rolls Royce outlined a future where giant robot cargo vessels ply the world's sea lanes without a human crew on board. That scenario is now coming closer to reality as the EU project MUNIN looks into the feasibility of robotic freighters and the hurdles they must overcome.  Read More

Monohull, catamaran, trimaran and hydrofoil become one

The Kormoran from the Austrian company of the same name can speed on (and above) the water as a catamaran, trimaran, monohull and hydrofoil, making it one of the most versatile vessels to ever hit the high seas. A pair of hydraulically actuated hulls allows it to transform before your eyes, even while in motion.  Read More

The Radinn in action

Wakeboarding sure looks like a lot of fun, but it does have at least one limiting factor – you need to find someone else to go out on the water with you, to pilot the boat. Swedish entrepreneurs Alexander Lind and Philip Werner decided to do something about that, and created the Radinn electric wakeboard. While it doesn't provide you with a wake on which to do tricks, it does let you go out when and wherever you want.  Read More

The AlumaSki is intended for recreational use, along with rescue and defense applications

Jet Skis are certainly able to squeeze into narrow waterways, although you probably wouldn't feel comfortable scraping one's hull against a rocky riverbed. Steel-hulled jet boats are considerably tougher than Jet Skis, but they're not nearly as nimble. Alaska-based Mackinnon Marine Technologies' AlumaSki, however, attempts to combine the best of both worlds. It has the form factor of a personal watercraft, along with a one-piece quarter-inch-thick aluminum hull.  Read More

The Old Town Predator XL kayak

Sometimes you feel like a paddle; sometimes you don't. The new modular Predator XL kayak from Old Town keeps you happy in either case. With the help of a drop-in electric motor module, you can leave the paddle onshore and navigate the water with 45 lb (20.4 kg) of thrust and a foot-controlled rudder system.  Read More

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