There are four Amphicars heading to auction during the rare car silly season in January, the most that have gone to auction at the same time for at least a decade and possibly for much longer. The big question is how much they will fetch. They sold new for between US$2800 and $3300 between 1962 and 1967, and in 2011, one of the highly-prized German amphibious cars sold for $123,400. Gizmag has analyzed all 54 Amphicar sales of the last decade in order to make some sense of the market.
has begun licensing its amphibious boat technology. Already the world's largest amphibian manufacturer, Sealegs' first licensee under the "Powered by Sealegs" scheme is Dubai-based ASIS Boats, one of the world's largest manufacturers of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats. Sealegs current motorized, retractable and steerable wheeled system is suitable for boats up to 2.5 tonnes, but the company will launch an entirely new system suitable for boats up to 6.5 tonnes in June. ASIS will offer Sealegs amphibious technology across its entire range of recreational, commercial and military boats up to 12 meters. Gizmag spoke with Sealegs' CEO David Glen to get an outline the company's development plans.
A specially built military class 7.1 meter Seaglegs
amphibious RIB has completed a 1620 kilometer "circumnavigation" of the Malaysian Peninsula in a record time of 31 hours and 57 minutes. The boat completed its journey carrying up to ten Malaysian special forces commandos who are trialling the Sealegs to assess the capability and functionality of Sealegs amphibious craft for military purposes.
Tradition is ingrained in the marine world and there's a sense of fragility and mistrust which most boaties harbour for amphibious watercraft – so the successful completion of a 3015 km (1873 mile) circumnavigation of the rugged New Zealand North Island by a Sealegs
7.1 meter amphibious craft today might go some way to allaying those fears. The 7.1 amphibious RIB averaged 46 km/h (28.6 mph) over 65 hours of driving time.
December 7, 2007 Earlier this week we reported on a planned record attempt by Sealegs
to become the fastest amphibious vehicle in the World on water - a goal which the company achieved earlier today at speeds of more than 100kmh (62mph).
December 5, 2007 Sealegs
International is gearing up for a world record attempt as the fastest amphibious vehicle over 500m on-water.
July 19, 2007 Sealegs
new 7.1 metre amphibious boat is about to commence volume production following successful sea trials. The NZ$98,000 (US$77,600) 7.1m Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is the third and largest model released by the amphibious boat manufacturer and is expected to attract a lot of interest from tourism and water transportation operators. Its obvious strength is the additional space, which enables eight adults to be comfortably seated within its 700kg payload. It has a top land speed of 10 kph and with an 115hp motor can do up to 78 kph on water.
July 12, 2007 Since the last time
we caught up with the Kiwis behind Sealegs
, the amphibious boat
that can drive itself straight down into the water, worldwide sales have taken off. The eye-catching vehicle is a fully functional boat that drops "landing gear" much like a small plane to drive out of the water and overland at up to 6mph (10kph). Sealegs showcased their latest model in Australia recently at the Melbourne Boat Show - a 6.1 metre aluminium D-tube version that's essentially a ruggedized rigid inflatable - a bit heavier and around AUD$10K (US$8,600) more expensive than its predecessor, but it's a complete turnkey amphibious solution with extra armor for avid adventurers. A drive on trailer is now also available that adds high speed land transport to the equation.
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.
With waterfront property highly prized the world over, we see the amphibious market as one of the next great opportunities – the people with the greatest disposable income will have the greatest need for amphibians. At the same time, new techniques, technologies and materials are yielding a new breed of amphibious craft that are seemingly omnipotent. Most amphibious craft to date have been biased towards performance on land (such as the Splash
) or water (such as the Aerosan
or Sealegs here
, and here
). Only the Quadski
seems to have a balance of performance on both, and it is limited to one, perhaps two people. Now a new technology threatens to seriously disrupt this marketplace. Fast Track Amphibian
has entered the development phase for a product line of all-terrain amphibious vehicles using tracks as their means of propulsion on both water and land. Nearly all other amphibians comprise two drive systems – the FastTrack does it all with one, gaining a significant advantage in weight. The patent-pending technology that enables the tracks to work as the sole means of high-speed propulsion on water is unique. It enables a vehicle to “get out of the hole, over the hump and on to the plane from dead in the water. Videos of what this means in the real world can be found here
. FastTrack equipped vehicles can start, stop and cruise on water like a boat as well as traverse diverse terrain, from ice and snow to swamps, deep mud, mountains and deserts - all at very high speeds. The first technology demonstrator can achieve 39 mph on water and 55 mph on land, all in comfort thanks to the air shocks and massive suspension system, which can be retracted or extended to suit the circumstance. The technology demonstrator carries six people at high-speed almost anywhere, giving it seemingly limitless opportunity in the areas of recreation, utility, search and rescue, ship-to-shore and military operations. Potential recreational uses include sports and racing, hunting and fishing, wilderness touring and camping. This vehicle will take you up a muddy hill in the forest better than a motorcycle, take swamp and tundra and ice and snow in its stride and enter and exit the water in almost any conditions … it is a genuine all terrain vehicle and transitions from one medium to another seamlessly. It makes very soft, comfortable, water entries at 40 mph and similarly smooth egresses at 20 mph. The first vehicles the company produces for non-military customers will be hand built and custom made for those who can afford to be the first owners of this unique machine. These vehicles will have aggressive styling, two or five place plush seating and 300 plus horsepower for speeds of 60 mph on water and 80 mph on land. More videos are available here, showing the FastTrack 1 driving down a country road
, running on powder snow
, pulling two water skiers
, on the plane with tracks down
and tracks up
, a ramp entry into water at over 40 mph
, and watch how easily it crosses this river
. This short video shows the beastie doing 37 mph on water