The flat-decked BeachRay or Chilli Island's floating lounge chair look like great ways to relax at the beach, but what if you could take one of the comfiest places to park your butt on dry land and put in on the water? Mounting a hammock on a boat, the MelloShip does just that, letting users hang out on the water or attach an electric motor to cruise in comfort.
The humble hammock is no slouch in the progress department, with recent projects putting plenty of work into leisure time, making them more comfortable, more communal and even turning them into hanging hot tubs.
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Continuing this trend, the MelloShip is basically a pontoon with a hammock frame on it, measuring in at 13 x 6.2 x 8 ft (4 x 1.9 x 2.4 m) and supporting up to 500 lb (227 kg). Mounts for an electric motor, solar panels and batteries are built in, but those components themselves are optional extras, so paddling the boat yourself might be the preferred option.
According to its creators, the craft is practically unflippable, thanks to a low center of gravity and a wide stance. Each pontoon measures 18 in (45.7 cm) across and has two air chambers, and are built for Class V – or violent – rapids, although this probably isn't the vessel to tackle those with.
The MelloShip is designed for more chilled out days on the water. Along with a rack that changes out to support either a single hammock or two side-by-side, there's a removable floor, including an option specifically for yoga. A pair of pop-up seats face each other from either end, and the addition of a light folding table (with beverage holders) could make a great setup for picnics.
As relaxing as the MelloShip looks, the idea of owning one does bring up some questions of practicality. Its creators state that the cumbersome craft comes apart into eight basic pieces for storage and transport, and assembly is said to take 10 to 15 minutes to inflate the pontoons, plus half an hour to put the rest of the frame together. That's not too bad for those who live by the water or are camping lakeside for a few days, but might be a hassle for day trippers.
Permanent setups, like resorts or watersport rental services, seem to be where the MelloShip would be most at home, and those are also the ones more likely to be willing to pay the price of entry.
The MelloShip is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where pledges start at US$2,500. That includes two hammocks and the accessory that supports them, two seats, two drink holders, the removable floor and a couple of t-shirts. If all goes to plan, the MelloShip should ship in June 2017.
Check out the campaign pitch video below.