A new boat design is the result of some clever thinking about ways to improve the less interesting parts of boating – finding a park for the trailer and getting the boat in and out of the water as quickly as possible.
The result is the Penguin, with an ingenious integrated trailer that is road legal, allowing the boat to be hooked up directly to the tow bar.
The family-size, 4m boat is light and balanced enough for one person to walk it up and down the boat ramp. The wheel is lifted up via a lever once the boat is afloat, and put down again as you approach the beach or ramp.
The first production boat was launched in May, after several years of research, development and trials on the Waitemata Harbour by David Gibson and the team at LOMOcean Design.
LOMOcean Design includes two people who know the Hibiscus Coast well – Keith Torkler and Tim Patrick.
Keith says the Penguin is ideal for the Coast’s low gradient, hard beaches and boat ramps with limited numbers of trailer parks. “We can see a big market for those who live near the beach, as the boat is so convenient and fast to launch and retrieve,” Keith says. “Those who find themselves frequently launching and retrieving on their own or with young kids will especially appreciate how much safer and easier this makes the boating experience.”
It’s a lot cheaper than a Sealegs, costing around $15,000 (depending on the owner’s choice of outboard motor). The Sealegs also needs to be towed on a trailer.
Keeping the price down meant taking the manufacturing to Indonesia although a number of the components (especially critical components involved with the wheel system) are sourced from NZ companies.
The first Penguins are expected to arrive in the country in 2–3 months.