Just when we think we’ve seen it all, 21st century technological innovations continue to amaze us. As new discoveries arise in the maritime world, we witness the power of human creativity and desire to go to uncharted territories to achieve the unknown.
From the first person to build a wooden watercraft to travel across sea, to modern innovations of powerful cars and vessels, inventors like Nikola Tesla and Elon Musk would be thrilled by what some of the world’s most creative water-lovers have birthed. Some are repurposed boats turned into inanimate objects, some are floating automobiles, and others are designed for high-speed performance — all are a sight to see. Check out the following novelty boats and unique designs from across the globe.
Purchasing a hot tub for your home is ultimate luxury living, but have you ever considered a hot tub for the boat? How about an all-in-one hot tub boat? This amazing invention is like none other, as you can cruise around at a gentle speed of 5 mph and lounge in hot bubbles powered-by a 24-volt electric motor. The throttle is submerged in the tub so even the captain never gets cold.
Shipwright Adam Karpenske was inspired to create Hot Tub Boats from his time seeking warmth while living on a houseboat in the cold, wet winters of Seattle. His business launched in 2012, and guests can visit Hot Tub Rentals Seattle to explore Lake Union while relaxing in warm bubbly style.
Houseboat rentals are popular among travelers, and liveaboards are dream vessels for many boaters. But when it comes to purchasing houseboats, how about a giant pirate ship-turned-houseboat for sale? Located along Virginia waters, retired firefighter Dan Corder’s Pirate Ship Houseboat, Surrender the Booty, is on the market for only $49,000.
He found the abandoned ship at Lewisetta, VA, marina and revived it with a twist — a pirate makeover. Corder is no stranger to repurposing old boats into oddities, as this is his 33rd pirate boat to date. The houseboat comes with a fully equipped galley and decorations of a full “skeleton crew” (human-sized skeletons dressed in pirate garb) and of course, a classic parrot or two.
You may have noticed a tiki-decorated boat cruising along a city harbor packed with a bachelorette or birthday party booze cruise, but you’ve probably never seen a tiki boat quite like this one. The circular-shaped barge fits up to six passengers and a captain and looks like a lively bar on a floating island. Book a cruise at one of the many locations across the United States.
Did you ever imagine you would see the day when cars drive on water? Well, get a load of the incredible amphibious vehicle, WaterCar. Established in 1999 out of Fountain Valley, CA, WaterCars were built for speed on both land and sea. The latest Humvee-style model, the H1-Panther, is the fifth and most advanced model to date. WaterCar CEO Jim Riley says, “Since 1999, we’ve built a few prototypes, a Camaro-style amphibious vehicle, and then the 2010 Python — which set the Guinness World Record for the fastest amphibious vehicle.”
“We were still looking for a high-speed reliable and easily maintained commercial model. The first Panther was released in 2013, becoming the highest-selling, high-speed amphibious vehicle in history. It was a fast and fun vehicle, in many ways a sports car on the water,” says Riley.
In 2020, after a lot of inquiries, the company decided to investigate building a more utility-type 4x4 all-terrain vehicle that could withstand brutal conditions from the roughest roads to the most challenging water conditions, thus the H1-Panter was born. The Chevrolet- powered gas engine allows highway speed on land and 35 knots on the water. The base price is $465,000.
The suspenseful music from the movie Jaws might play in your head when watching the Seabreacher zoom by, but have no fear — it’s just a unique vessel that looks like a hungry shark. Based out of New Zealand, this company’s watercraft design is a twist of marine mammals mixed with a fighter jet, and customers can choose from a selection of customiza- tions. Models include Shark style X, Killer Whale Y and Dolphin Z.
This innovative, compact yacht looks like a mini spaceship floating on water. Made with a cutting-edge hydro propulsion system, the Jet Capsule is a small oval shaped, enclosed contraption, but is large enough to fit a group of people who can sleep aboard in comfort. It’s equipped with single or dual engines ranging from 370 to 740 horsepower and interior designs are fully customizable. The Italy-based company was established in 2012 with a mission to bring the same level of luxury in the best road limousines and modern aircrafts to the water.
One of the most interesting novelty boats to date, the Guitar Boat, was built for musician Josh Pyke’s 2008 music video “Make You Happy.” Soon after the instrument-shaped watercraft cruised down Sydney Harbour in the video shoot, it became quite the mystery as it seemed to disappear, and the musician himself led Hydro Attack Queenstown a campaign to find it. Legend says the boat was sold to a charity auction on eBay, and Josh Pyke never sailed it again.
Meet Moby, the 62-ton whale-shaped boat with a grinning face bow and tail stern pointing to the sky. Built by Tom McClean, an adventurer who set records for solo rowing and yachting voyages across the Atlantic, the 65-foot long whale craft has been docked for quite some time along the shores of Scotland at Loch Nevis near Fort William. Moby once had big plans to set sail across the Atlantic back in the 1990s, and McClean resurrected this dream in 2016 with plans to cruise the boat from Scotland to New York. Moby hasn’t made this trip yet, but we hope one day to see McClean achieve his quest to conquer the Atlantic in a whale-shaped ship.
In May of 2011, Swedish shipbuilder Christian Bohlin sailed a giant duck- shaped ship across Stockholm Harbor, turning heads along the way. The unique waterfowl design is quite eye-catching with its giant green head and yellow beak above a brown body/cabin lined with heart-shaped windows. On the outside, the captain steers from the open upper deck behind the duck’s head. Inside, you find a kitchenette, two sleeping cots and a sauna.
Based on the Canadian hit children’s television series Theodore Tugboat, this life-size replica was built in Dayspring, Nova Scotia, in 2000. It voyaged along the eastern seaboard to Tampa Bay and then north to the Great Lakes. Theodore TOO was often docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where its main focus was maritime philanthropy. It became the ambassador of the U.S. National Safe Boating Council and mascot to the U.S. Coast Guard in tall ship events. In 2021, the tugboat left Halifax Harbour to further its philanthropic role in the maritime industry by becoming an ambassador for Swim Drink Fish and the Great Lakes Guide.
Because the main mode of transportation in Venice, Italy, is cruising the canals via boat rather than roads via car, it’s no wonder craftsman Livio De Marchi invented a wooden Ferrari boat to get around. Made out of pine, the Ferrari F50 weighs 2,000 lbs. and is just as suave as the automobile. In the past, Marchi has designed a few wooden car boats including a Mercedes and a Volkswagen Beetle, which are now located in the United States.
This Barbie pink Caddy boat was once a novelty smash hit along the Florida Keys. Created and operated by Captain Joe Fox, this Cadillac-style nautical stretch limo boat would take groups of up to six on sunset and sightseeing cruises, snorkeling trips and a cruise to Robbie’s Marina to feed the tarpons. The company was popular for hosting weddings, bachelorettes and birthdays. Unfortunately as of 2022, this experience closed, and at 85+ years old, Captain Joe sold his boats.
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