1994 - Volume #18, Issue #4, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Built-From Scratch Amphibious Car
The car/boat runs 60 mph or better on land and up to 30 mph on water and, unlike other amphibious cars that have been built in the past, Roycroft says it handles as well as a conventional car or boat in either con-figuration.
Roycroft built the car/boat in order to get to work faster and easier. He lives in Manukau Heads, which is across a harbor from Auckland, the capital of New Zealand. To get to his engineering job in Auckland, he faced a 2 hr. commute every day around the harbor through heavy traffic. He decided he could get to work a lot quicker by taking a short cut - across the harbor.
On land, he says the prototype is easy to handle with normal steering and a comfort-able ride. It handles just like any other car. In water, it's powered by a jet boat system that moves it along like a high-powered speed boat.
Converting the boat from land to water is simple. He just drives into the water and then flips a switch to raise the wheels up into the elevated fenders. The bowed shape of the boat's keel holds the four corners of the vehicle up out of the water so there's no drag from the wheels.
"The handling, turning and stopping are comparable to any jet-driven cruiser on the water," says Roycroft, who's now seeking private investment to bring the car-boat to market.
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