Thursday, February 02, 2012
Amphibious Inflatable Boat
One of the smaller, but clever vessels at the Pacific 2012 Maritime Defence Conference in Sydney today was the Sealegs amphibious rigid inflatable boat (RIB), designed and made in New Zealand. This looks like a standard RIB, but with three flip up wheels: one at the bow and two at the stern. These are hydraulically powered to allow the boat to be driven into and out of the water slowly. This saves having to launch and retrieve the boat from a trailer in many situations and allows the boat to travel short distances over land, for example in a flood rescue. Sensibly the designers have not made the system for high speed on land (maximum 10km/h) and have not integrated the wheel power with the boat motor (a separate hydraulic power-pack is used).