I’ve been to many yacht shows. And I’ve tested many, many boats ranging from little skiffs to large yachts capable of crossing oceans. But I have to admit, when it comes to speed, style and most importantly, “amphibious ability,” it’s pretty hard to top the innovative powerboat I took for a test “drive” during the Monaco Yacht Show late last month.
Now, amphibious boats are not new. In fact, some of the most famous, and ingenious amphibious boats stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. But, as effective as those military craft might have been at going from “sea” to “shore,” those rugged boats would never have been called “sexy.”
That’s where Iguana Yachts come in. These fully customizable, highly engineered speedboats aren’t the only amphibious speed boats available. But, as you can see in these photos and video, they may be the most stylish. They’re also fast on the water, and as I found out for myself when we visited a rocky beach near the show, the ability to literally drive out of the water on tank tracks that deploy silently from the side of the hull is impossibly cool.
I’d go as far to say that amphibious powerboats could be a must-have accessory for anyone that owns a beach house, or a large yacht. The ability to visit remote beaches where nobody assumes you could land on (with dry feet), or even “park” on land when the boat is not in use is a game changer.
Iguana’s get their special powers from hydraulic pumps that are controlled by a primary computer located at the console. The pumps power four jacks that deploy the landing gear and the engines that drive the tracks and can be powered with conventional fuel or battery power. The E-Iguana 29 uses quiet electric drive units that the company reports can provide 10 days of run time and of course, zero emissions.
Meanwhile. the frame of the landing gear is built of marine grade aluminum and treated with epoxy paint. The wheels that drive the tracks are mounted on carbon fiber blade suspension by pairs. And the sprockets are made out of stainless steel and are ingeniously welded to let sand and pebbles pass through without obstructing the passage of the rubber tracks that are custom made for Iguana Yachts.
It should come as no surprise that these boats were conceived by a Frenchman…Antoine Brugidou…and are currently being built in…Normandy, France.
In fact, the Iguana I tested in Monaco may be the ultimate Sport Utility Vehicle.