Boats & Gear
- Category: Boats & Gear
- Created: Tuesday, 22 February 2011 02:19
- Written by Charles Doane
Confession first: I did not locate the folding EzyBoat here at the Miami boat show. It is a very large show! But I did find this crazy amphibious Russian thing made out of aluminum, the Tupelov N007, designed by Aleksei Tupelov at the behest of the Russian military.
As the owner of an aluminum boat, I can easily relate to vessels like this. The design brief was for something that could be carried in a helicopter and could cross lakes and frozen tundra under its own power to retrieve cosmonauts who landed in Siberia.
The first prototype was built in 1965, but this one is billed as having been built in 1979. It has a 365hp nine-cylinder radial engine, weighs 3,100 pounds empty, and has a top speed of about 90 mph. The starting system for the engine uses compressed air instead of batteries, as this works better in very cold temperatures. It is not known how many of these the Russians built altogether.
You can read more about it at www.russianboat.com
I also found this RIB by AB Inflatables with an aluminum floor. A most excellent idea, IMHO.
Don't worry. I saw sailboats, too! More on that later.