If you have marveled at the amphibious cars in spy movies and wondered when that would become a reality, you are surely not alone. The idea of a perfect car that flips into a water mode has enthralled innovators and enthusiasts alike for a long time, and we are not talking about a Tesla here. However, an experienced sailor will tell you that there is greater utility in a boat being able to tread the land than the other way around. A French company, Iguana has addressed this issue in a way that does not involve wheels.
Boats are tricky to use and maintain. Especially, if you are using one at the coast and not at the bay. You need to take the tides and the weather into account and ensure that you go out to the sea at the right time. But what would you do if you decided to go on land?
Inspired by the Iguana, a common reptile from the Central Americas that tucks its front legs in while swimming, Engineer Antoine Brugidou designed a retractable system for a boat, that could be used to tread the land when needed. The idea gave birth to the amphibious boat company.
The patenting and production of the Iguana took over three years, while it took another two for the first sale to be made, according to the company website. By then, the company had also completed patenting its design in eight important economic regions in the world. The company then started focusing on creating different variants of its boats for customers ranging from yacht operators, boating enthusiasts, owners of private beaches to waterfront resorts.
Over the last few years, the company has taken its leisure devices to an all-new level, reinforcing its utility with military-grade ruggedness to deliver performances in the most trying of situations. The PRO version of the Iguana boats is aimed to reach where traditional means of transport fail and where service delivery is of the essence. Maintenance of off-coast wind farms and rescue missions during natural disasters are a few of the examples the company cites for its PRO boats.
The US Army is also interested in the amphibious boat and has already purchased two boats in 2020 for extensive trials. Powered by two 450-hp motors, the Iguana PRO can hit a top speed excess of 50 knots. It has two separate 250-liter fuel tanks and can take a maximum tilt of 40 percent.
The boat is 32 feet (9.8m) long and 11 feet (3.4m) wide and the caterpillar track system, when deployed lifts the boat and can crawl at the maximum speed of four miles (seven km) an hour.
You only need to look at these bizarre boat-car concepts to realize the ingenuity of The Iguana.