Wheely Cool… 95% boat, 5% vehicle Rapidly becoming the norm in New Zealand (its place of manufacture), Sealegs — the boat with wheels — is about to take Australia by storm! Sealegs’ boats have the ability to seamlessly enter and exit the water, on wheels that go up and down at the push of a button.
Since their debut, Sealegs boats have been snapped up by New Zealanders as fast as they could be made. However, the hot news today is that production capacity has been quadrupled, and Sealegs boats now have become readily available to Australians at a lower cost and much shorter delivery time. The innovative design and award-winning ingenuity of Sealegs boats has been recognised worldwide — from tenders for mega yacht owners, through to an entire fleet which was recently purchased for the Italian Fire Brigade. In Australia, some perceptive ‘early adopters’ (having sourced directly from New Zealand) are already using Sealegs boats… from Sydney Harbour to Darwin Harbour, and from Port Philip Bay in Victoria to Bunka Bay in WA, the Sealegs revolution is rapidly taking hold.
Sealegs boats really come into their own for water-front property owners, who can drive their boat on wheels out of their garden, down the beach and into the water.
Sealegs amphibious boats (ranging from 6.1m – 7.0m) can be paired with 90–130hp standard outboard motors, propelling the boats through the water at speeds of up to 40 knots. On land, the all-terrain wheels are driven by a small independent four-stroke motor coupled to a hydraulic pump system powering the boat to speeds of up to 10kph. The hydraulics also lower and raise the wheels when needed, much like that of an aeroplane, ensuring zero drag in the water.
Originally founded in New Zealand, by Maurice Bryham, Sealegs now comes to Australia through newly-appointed, well-known, English ex-pat Will Burrell AM (Sealegs Australian Director), former owner of the multi-award winning El Questro Wilderness Park in Western Australia.
The key feature of the Sealegs concept says Will, is that from start to finish it is a single-handed manoeuvre. “It allows one person the freedom to launch a boat by themselves and when finished, clear the water without having to rely on help. Launching and landing no longer means getting wet.
“During my El Questro venture, I discovered that these boats could be used to take guests barramundi fishing in the huge Kimberley tidal estuaries. Post ELQ, I couldn’t help but get involved. Future indications are very positive.”