There truly are some strange boats floating around the world – some even more radical than we could ever imagine. We’ve taken time out to research some of the stranger ones, so you can marvel at them too!
Here’s what made the cut.
The Zipper Boat
The ‘Zip-fastener ship’ was designed and created by Japanese artist, Yasuhiro Suzuki. As you probably guessed, the boat itself looks like a giant zipper. Better yet, when the boat travels, it actually looks like it is unzipping the water as it glides.
Suzuki said inspiration for the art piece came from seeing boats coast along from the birds-eye view of his aeroplane seat. He said they appeared to split the water like a zipper as they travelled. The nine-metre art piece first set sail in 2010, and was featured in the 2020 DESIGNART Tokyo Festival.
As the name suggests, these lightweight boats are designed for skating over ice. They have a sail and aerodynamic structure, with runners or skis that enable them to glide over frozen lakes and rivers.
Iceboats were used way back in the 19th Century in northern Europe, before gaining popularity in Canada and the US. Some come with side cars, for transporting extra passengers, and there are even ice yachting races, where ice sailors can reach up to 78 knots.
Titan Mare Explorer
The Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) was supposed to be the first vessel to explore the extra-terrestrial seas of Saturn’s moon, Titan. The design was proposed in 2009, and would have been the first nautical exploration in outer space.
A miniature mock-up of TiME was tested on a lake in Chile, which helped researchers understand how the floating lander might handle on Titan’s methane seas. However, funding for the design was capped at AUD$588 million (not including launch costs) and was never approved.
The Seabreacher is a semi-submersible vessel designed to look like a dolphin. The craft mimics the movements of an orca too – diving five feet below the surface, leaping out of the water and hitting speeds of up to 43 knots.
The Seabreacher comes in three models – the Shark, Killer Whale and Dolphin, and is customised to the specifications of the buyer. It was designed by New Zealand boat builder Rob Innes and Dan Piazza, a certified machinist who specialises in engineering and custom fabrication.
The Sea Shadow (IX-529)
The Sea Shadow is an experimental stealth ship that used automation to reduce the amount of crew required onboard, while also testing stealth technology. It was built by Lockheed Martin for the US Navy in 1984, and was used in secret until going public in 1993.
The small-waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH) design was sleek and modernist, with two nacelles, which powered the boat just below the water’s surface. This helped the vessel remain stable, even in waves of up to 18 feet. The Sea Shadow was decommissioned in 2006.
Need cover for your vessel?
Even though we’re not able to cover boats like the ones listed here, we can assist you with cover for new and second hand vessels. (So long as they are not shaped like sharks or giant zippers.)
If you’d like more information about the different kinds of cover we provide, including an obligation free quote, please get in touch.