Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Boats

The Flash Cat 67SC design incorporates an open, spacious indoor/outdoor flybridge

In designing the new Flash Cat 67SC, Spain's Flash Catamarans has attempted to redefine the shape and packaging of the large, dual-hulled vessel. To do so, it's lifted the cabin space out from its stuffy confines below deck, offering an open, airy interior with big picture-window views out to sea. The wide, above-deck design also provides better accessibility for disabled passengers.  Read More

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

The ONR's robotic boats are designed to autonomously swarm an attacking vessel (Photo: ONR...

In an age plagued by terrorism, the threat posed to the world’s navies and merchant fleets by small craft laden with explosives or crews with automatic weapons is a very real and present danger. To help combat this, the United States Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) is developing a fleet of robotic patrol boats that can not only act as escorts for larger warships or merchant vessels, but can also autonomously swarm around a threatening craft and destroy it.  Read More

MIT's prototype contraband-searching robot

Maritime smugglers will often hide contraband in false hulls or propeller shafts within their boats. While there are ways in which port authorities can search for such stashes, the smugglers often have time to ditch their illicit goods before those searches can be performed. However, what if there were stealthy, inexpensive, underwater hull-hugging robots that could check the boats out, without the crews even knowing they were there? That's just what a team at MIT is developing.  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 Revolver GT44 is designed to be a seaworthy grand tourer

Boats posing as sporty, four-wheeled coupes and roadsters is a theme we've been seeing all year in designs like the Frauscher 858 Fantom and Reversys Boat. As its name suggests, the Revolver 44GT aims at being a speedy but comfortable grand tourer of the seas. Its sports car-inspired design and seamless convertible hard-top make it the most sports car-like boat we've seen.  Read More

The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists

You don't have to own a Mercedes S-Class to get out on the highway, and you don't need a six-figure speedboat to get out on the water. Lakin Boatworks thinks that all you really need is a flat deck, a couple of lounge chairs and a cooler chilling your drinks and food. That's pretty much the BeachRay in a nutshell, with an outboard motor and simple controls to keep you moving.  Read More

The Helicat 22 'takes off'

What's that? A boat, a helicopter, some type of seaplane? It's the Helicat 22. This unique watercraft won't take off into the air, but it uses a helicopter-influenced catamaran design for a fast, stable ride over choppy water.  Read More

The Reversys Boat goes from fully enclosed to fully open within a matter of seconds

A retractable hardtop for the open seas, the Reversys Boat is a sleek concept designed to go from closed to open cabin in a matter of seconds. In fact, its electric roof system offers three different configurations, allowing the captain to quickly react to the changing weather and changing moods of the passengers.  Read More

The Mokai ES-Kape

Designed to give sportsmen and outdoor explorers a motor-powered means of reaching more distant waters, the MOKAI ES-Kape is an innovative boat with an integrated jet drive system. It eliminates the need for trailers and racks by breaking into three pieces that nest inside each other, allowing it to fit inside an SUV.  Read More

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