Highlights from Interbike 2014

Boat

Loon solar powered pontoon boat

The Loon is a well known North American water bird that appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin (hence the "Loonie") and it's also the name of a solar equipped pontoon boat from Ontario based Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company that is in the process of receiving a major design overhaul courtesy of the team responsible for the radical teardrop shaped Aptera 2e electric car. The 22-foot long revamped Loon design can cover an estimate 35 miles a day at a maximum of around seven knots using solar energy and features a light-weight twin-hull composite construction with a flexible interior configuration and removable side-rails made from bamboo, natural fibers and recycled plastic.  Read More

Image copyright Steb Fisher photography

January 5, 2009 Australia’s Macquarie Speed Sailing Team is seeking ratification of a new World Sailing Speed Record set on December 19, thereby claiming the title of the world’s fastest sailing boat. Macquarie Innovation was timed over the 500m qualifying course at 48.57 knots and recorded speeds in excess of 51 knots during the 20 second run on December 19, 2008. It is expected that the final ratified speed will be reduced to 48.15 knots due to tidal influences experienced on the course – albeit still the fastest speed ever recorded by a sailing boat. What makes the attempt so significant is the boat’s remarkably efficient use of wind energy – the speeds were recorded in just 17 kt winds, and when the team gets the 20 knot winds it has been waiting for, the outright record of 50.57 kts set by French kite-boarder Alexandre Caizergues in Namibia on October 4, 2008 will almost certainly be bettered.  Read More

Sealegs – boating without the hassles

May 14, 2007 Viewed from one angle, Sealegs is the world’s most advanced amphibian, but from another, it’s boating without the hassles. While getting a boat in the water is not exactly a herculean task, it nonetheless prevents many people from going boating every day. Sealegs takes the entire process of launching and docking a boat out of the equation – just get in, drive into the water and reverse the process at the other end. The current Sealegs offering is essentially a 5.7 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat with Sealegs retractable 3-wheel system embedded. The addition of the system costs around US$20,000 to the cost of a normal inflatable and adds 100 kg for the ability to drive up any surface from which you can launch a boat. There’s an optional drive-on boat trailer as the boat isn’t registerable for the open road. On land it runs at 6 mph but it does considerably better on water with a top speed of 35 mph thanks to a 120 horespower engine. There’s a 7m version coming soon that can handle a 150 horsepower motor. In Australia, the 5.7 metre version costs AUD$ 49,000 plus another AUD$14,000 for a 120 horsepower motor. The new 7metre unit fully decked out with options will run to AUD$110,000. Demand is growing with a 12 month wait for orders already, the manufacturer is gearing up to increase production capacity by 400% which means the queue won’t be as long in the future.  Read More

Radical boat design

November 12, 2006
Radical boat design

November 13, 2006 The Urban Legends and Folklore section of About.com has some fascinating images of an extremely unconventional watercraft which will keep your brain active for hours just looking at them. Don’t let the inappropriate section title fool you – they’re real, and the craft is believed to be this Experimental 100' Inflatable Power Cat based on an original concept by Ugo Conti of Marine Advanced Research. The cabin is suspended on flexible legs about 15 feet above and between the hulls, allowing them to glide independently over the surface of the water. The vessel is 50 feet wide and powered by twin diesel engines mounted in the rear of the inflatable pontoon hulls.  Read More

It’s a plane, it’s a boat - it’s the insane all-terrain Storm Launcher!

September 13, 2006 As electric motors get more powerful, and materials get lighter and stronger, the toys we are creating get more fantastic with each passing year. Toy creator Spin Master knew it had a winner on its hands long before it announced the Storm Launcher to the world, but it didn’t quite expect the reaction it encountered when a pre-sale went on-line and sold out in five days, making the omnipotent flying, floating, go anywhere toy arguably the most anticipated R/C vehicle of all time. The Air Hogs R/C Storm Launcher is a ground-effect all-terrain vehicle that has no wings but flies and no wheels but rips across any surface. If you are in any doubt about wanting one, check out this video and if you’re an aspiring toy inventor, read the story of inventors Michael Connally and Ernest Butler who SpinMaster signed ahead of other hungry toy companies with a handsome advance for the rights to their invention, and five per cent ongoing royalties for the US$80 category buster.  Read More

Sealegs amphibious boat now boasts all-terrain capabilities

Sealegs International today announced that it has developed a new all-terrain version of its amphibious marine craft. The new 5.6m Sealegs All Terrain Amphibious Craft (ATAC) can carry a payload of 500kg (6 adults) on land and sea will sell for US$65,000. The Sealegs ATAC has a top speed of 10kmh on land but is far more capable as a water-going amphibian. Once driven into the water, the Sealegs ATAC hydraulically retracts its wheels to allow speeds of up to 60kmh. Later this year Sealegs will make an attempt on the world record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle. Gizmag has covered a wide range of amphibious vehicles in recent times, including the original launch of Sealegs, the Gibbs Aquada Sportcar, the Gibbs Humdinga 4WD amphibian, the Platypus 4WD amphibian, the Rinspeed Splash, the Phibicat and the Amphicar.  Read More

A whole new boating category begins – electric boats

March 8, 2005 American company Johnson Outdoors has launched a significant new line of electric boats that creates a new category of watercraft – whisper quiet, pollution free and very easy-to-use. Designed to be used by boaters and non-boaters alike, the new Escape brand Electric Touring Boat, Electric Chaise Lounger and Electric Fun Boat all feature a simple “flip-the-switch-and-go” electric propulsion system, intuitive steering and lots of comfort features.  Read More

Concept Boat of the year winners

February 12, 2005 The winner of the 2004 Concept Boat of the Year competition is 'Dynaplane', a futuristic powerboat, an extremely energy-efficient design that offers significant potential to reduce emissions, yet maintains the ability to achieve high speeds. The design offers reduced fuel consumption and the possibility of using alternative fuel sources such as a fuel cell.  Read More

Cutting-edge Concept Boat competition entries displayed

Organisers of the Concept Boat competition recently revealed the 16 finalists that are a step closer to receiving the coveted crown of Concept Boat winner 2004. The shortlisted designs were displayed at the Southampton (UK) Boat Show from 10-19 September 2004. Concept Boat is the annual competition to design a boat of the future run by the British Marine Federation and supported by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. This year, sponsored by the Environment Agency, judges challenged entrants from around the world to design a recreational or commercial craft that either makes increased use of renewable resources, are energy efficient or are of a low emission or non-polluting design.  Read More

Free Spirit

Concept Boat is an annual boat design competition run by the British Marine Federation and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects which challenges entrants from around the world to design a vessel that could take boating to new levels, either by encouraging new waterborne activities, by satisfying a previously unfulfilled need or by representing a significant advance on an existing craft designed for a similar use.  Read More

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