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Watercraft

The Wokart  (Photo: Wokart)

The Wokart is a featherweight asymmetric catamaran with a centrally-located 70 hp outboard motor that's designed to have the driving characteristics and power-to-weight of a go-kart. The automotive seating and controls make it just like driving a car ... and in four years of development and testing, no-one has flipped one over. Production begins next month and at €20,000 it offers all the fun of a PWC with a fraction of the environmental footprint. Unlike most toys, a horsepower upgrade is as simple as bolting in an 85hp motor, which makes it "unsuitable for the general public," a nice way of saying, "you can't handle this."  Read More

The Platypus prototype takes passengers beneath the waves

Vehicles such as the EGO semi-submarine boat and Adventure-Doo are designed to bring the underwater action within reach of those without the time or inclination to put in the training required to get behind the controls of personal submarines like the offerings from U-boat Worx. But the Platypus underwater exploration vehicle from François-Alexandre Bertrand ditches the waterproof hull while giving users a taste of life beneath the waves. We first looked at the Platypus in concept form in 2011 and a prototype has now hit the water as it navigates the often-treacherous waters to commercial availability.  Read More

Italian design studio Lazzarini recently presented its first 'mini yacht' during the 2013 ...

Italian design studio Lazzarini recently presented its first "mini yacht" during the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show. The Jet Capsule is a compact water craft measuring 7.5 meters (24.6 ft) long and 3.5 meters (11.5ft) wide. The futuristic looking vessel can be customized to suit a myriad of purposes including a water taxi, emergency water vehicle, patrol boat, scuba diving vessel or recreational cruiser.  Read More

The Tender Toy concept on display at the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show (Photo: Gizmag)

Spare a thought for the super rich. Not only do they have to worry about whether their luxury yacht is up to snuff, but they also have to make sure their tender can ferry guests to it in style, their day boat is well equipped for a day away, and their shadow boat has enough room for all the watertoys. French company EAMS believes it has the answer with its Tender Toy concept that it says is "3 tenders in 1."  Read More

Ross Kemp's latest Asap prototype

Frankly, what I know about water sports can be written on the dorsal fin of my imaginary surf board (what do you mean they don't have dorsal fins?), but I'm not going to let that stop me telling you a bit about Asap, an electric watercraft which combines elements of Jet Skis, body boards and catamarans.  Read More

One of the Tandem prototypes hits the water

While it can be fun canoeing with another person, there is one problem with the setup of a traditional canoe – the front passenger has to turn around in order to see the back passenger’s face. British engineer Joe Rutland decided to do something about that, so he designed the Tandem canoe. Not only do the two passengers sit facing each other, but instead of paddling the boat, they pedal it.  Read More

Shark expert and marine biologist Luke Tipple navigated through shark infested waters

A convertible shark cage may be a complete oxymoron, but Volkswagen and partners have built one for Discovery Channel's upcoming Shark Week. More than just a stationary exhibit, the shark cage is a functioning watercraft with impressive capabilities. Gizmag talked to Luke Tipple, the marine biologist, shark diving expert and TV personality responsible for building and driving the craft, to find out more about what it's like to scooter around shark-infested waters in a skeletal Beetle ragtop.  Read More

A sample piece of hull material painted with (bottom) and without the ivermectin-laced pai...

Barnacles may look nice and nautical on things like rocks, but they’re a major problem for watercraft of all sorts. On the hulls of ships, for example, they can drastically decrease the vessel’s hydrodynamics, causing it to burn more fuel and emit more emissions in order to maintain its cruising speed. The most common way of keeping barnacles off those hulls involves the use of environmentally-unfriendly paints. Now, however, a scientist from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg has developed what could be a less harmful alternative.  Read More

The DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) kayak, with its pontoons extended

Compared to human-powered watercraft such as canoes or rowboats, kayaks are certainly fast, plus they’re easy to paddle. Should you try to stand up and fish or scuba dive from one, however, it’s quite likely to capsize. With that in mind, California-based TrueRec has designed the DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) sit-on-top kayak. It features spring-loaded pontoons that fold out to the sides and lock in place for added stability when stopped, but that otherwise stay tucked in and out of the way.  Read More

Fraunhofer's prototype propulsion system

Along with their writhing tentacles, octopi and squid sport another interesting feature – they swim not by swishing a tail, but by expelling a jet of water. This allows them to move very quickly and quietly. Scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation have now copied this system, in a propulsion system that could ultimately find use in boats, recreational watercraft, or submarines.  Read More

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