Marine

BeachRay simplifies the boat into a flat, floating lounge

BeachRay simplifies the boat i...
The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists
The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists
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The BeachRay is designed to be towed by any vehicle
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The BeachRay is designed to be towed by any vehicle
The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists
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The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists
Lakin Boatworks is hoping its Kickstarter will put it on the track toward BeachRay production
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Lakin Boatworks is hoping its Kickstarter will put it on the track toward BeachRay production
The BeachRay is designed to keep the fun of boating while taking out much of the hassle and expense
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The BeachRay is designed to keep the fun of boating while taking out much of the hassle and expense
The BeachRay can be used as a platform for fishing, scuba diving, swimming and more
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The BeachRay can be used as a platform for fishing, scuba diving, swimming and more
The BeachRay is designed for calm, relaxing trips on the lake or bay
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The BeachRay is designed for calm, relaxing trips on the lake or bay
No cabin, riggings or other complications
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No cabin, riggings or other complications
BeachRay has built a prototype and hopes to streamline its production with help from Kickstarter
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BeachRay has built a prototype and hopes to streamline its production with help from Kickstarter
Two reclining chairs and personal coolers - just like a beach picnic
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Two reclining chairs and personal coolers - just like a beach picnic
The chairs and coolers remove quickly with quick-release mounting hardware
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The chairs and coolers remove quickly with quick-release mounting hardware

You don't have to own a Mercedes S-Class to get out on the highway, and you don't need a six-figure speedboat to get out on the water. Lakin Boatworks thinks that all you really need is a flat deck, a couple of lounge chairs and a cooler chilling your drinks and food. That's pretty much the BeachRay in a nutshell, with an outboard motor and simple controls to keep you moving.

The open water, she's a tempting vixen. Every nice summer day when I drive past my local reservoir filled with boats zipping to and from nowhere in particular, I make myself a promise that I'll save up and buy a boat. Then the reality slowly creeps in and it's not all that pretty. By the time I finish pondering the high price of buying a boat, the possibility of spending more time maintaining and repairing it than actually enjoying it, the hassle of storing it, and the old saying about the two best days of boat ownernership, it's late fall again and the idea slips quietly into hibernation.

It was a similar grappling with the ideal versus the reality of the boat that brought about the BeachRay. Designer Jarrod Scanlon was out on the docks one beautiful afternoon and got to yearning for a simple, stable boat that he could just hit the water with without too much expense or work. So he set to work on his own design and came up with what he describes as a "floating beach."

The BeachRay strips the boat to its most basic components: a floating deck that can haul passengers and gear by way of a drive engine with basic controls. The catamaran has foam-filled hulls supporting a flat, open deck that measures 14 x 6.5 ft (4.3 x 2 m).

The deck couldn't be more stripped down and utilitarian – it has two removable reclining beach chairs, two removable 48-quart (45.5-L) coolers, and a simple set of stick controls. Then, there's nothing but space, save for the rear-mounted battery and electricals. With its two chairs, it's optimized for two passengers but, Lakin told us that it meets Coast Guard regulations for four people and can hold up to 2,000 lb (907 kg). As you can imagine by looking at it, the BeachRay is not designed to venture out on rough water and is best used on simple, calm-water trips.

The BeachRay is designed for calm, relaxing trips on the lake or bay
The BeachRay is designed for calm, relaxing trips on the lake or bay

"The sealed fiberglass and simple controls allow for more time on the water, less time on repairs, and less money out of pocket for maintenance and upkeep," BeachRay manufacturer Lakin Boatworks explains. "The removable beach chairs and coolers allow customers to pull up to a quiet beach, remove said chairs and coolers and enjoy the afternoon."

The removable chairs and large, open deck also open the BeachRay up to a variety of uses. BeachRay mentions swimming, scuba diving, fishing and just cruising. By removing the chairs and coolers, you could also lie out and sunbathe on it. It would also be easy to build up and accessorize for different purposes, either on your own or with the help of BeachRay.

Lakin describes BeachRay maintenance as hosing the deck and hulls down and keeping the motor running. It says that the boat can be broken down and winterized in under 10 minutes with a simple set of tools. At around 330 lb (150 kg) out of the mold, the boat doesn't require a heavy-duty tow vehicle and is designed to be towed behind whatever you're driving.

The BeachRay is designed to be towed by any vehicle
The BeachRay is designed to be towed by any vehicle

Lakin finished its first BeachRay prototype last year and is now moving ahead with developing a mold for faster, more consistent production. It has turned to Kickstarter in an effort to raise US$65,000 to put toward that goal. It is offering the basic hull and deck at a pledge level of US$2,000, a full boat without the motor for $4,000, and the boat with 10-hp motor and trailer for $7,500. It hopes to begin production in August.

The $4,000 Kickstarter kit is the same basic, motor-less kit that is available on its website for a regular price of $4,995. It includes the drive controls, chairs, coolers, a 360-degree white navigation light, a six-gallon gas tank with fuel line and gauge, and a few other components. Lakin offers four-stroke Mercury engines from 5- to 25-hp, along with options like a folding awning, VHF radio and anchor.

Source: Lakin Boatworks

17 comments
Slowburn
It is a silly toy making it very expensive.
Adrien
I'd hate to be on that thing when another boat goes by. Susceptibility to wake and freak waves. You'd just get tipped or washed off. Could be ok to sunbathe on in a lagoon I guess. But nature has a way of making even the calmest water quite rough. That thing couldn't even handle 10 inches of chop.
The Skud
What a genius! He has found a way to charge $5K for a raft with a couple of patio chairs and cooler boxes ... OK, he throws in a small outboard as well. I wonder how he slipped around any safety regulations on hand rails or whatever to stop tipsy users falling straight off the open deck? Even the legendary Huck Finn's raft had rails around the outside.
BigGoofyGuy
The legendary Huck Finn raft was just a raft; logs tied together. I doubt it had rails. It seems bigger and not as fancy as the Craig Cat boat. They do indicate one can accesorize it to fit what one wants; either from the manufacturer of the craft or outside vendors. It does seem very promising. There is a photo of a Smart car towing the Craig Cat. It seems it might be light weight enough for a Smart car to tow. I guess it depends on how much accesories one adds to it and how much those accesories weigh.
CreativeApex
It must be exciting using this in any sort of waves. Whoosh there goes the deckchairs. Or imagine snooping up the mangroves in the gulf, mere centimeters away from hungry alligators!! The design of this boat does bring to mind what are called a "Wakeless launch"; flatwater boats used for crewing and sailing clubs. How this would be beach and by association ocean-worthy I'm not sure. I still love seeing new ideas showing up on kickstarter.
Paul Anthony
I don't think this will go into the water at the bayou! Why is there a big hole in the deck at the front? I look at this, and all I can think of is where would I sit, oh in the chair. Ok now where is my hole in the deck to plant my umbrella?
BG59
Much too expensive for what it is and can do IMO.
Ed
This is a very expensive do nothing!
Gregg Eshelman
It's a catamaran hulled airboat with an outboard instead of a propeller. Want one of those? Just go buy an airboat, cut the engine and prop stuff off and weld on an outboard motor mount.
Sailsman
Hello all and thank you for your feedback. My name's Jarrod and I'm the designer of the BeachRay. I would like to respond to some of your questions. Yes it is a silly toy. It is designed to go out and have fun on and relax. Just as a Jet ski ($10,000) or a pontoon boat ($20,000+) or kayak, etc. It meets all Coast Guard regulations. I have two large three ring binders of the regulations and am familiar with them as I live on and repair my sailboat frequently these last ten years. It handles wakes and waves just fine. However, It is for wearing bathing suits and having fun. If you don't want to get wet you simply go slower (we regularly go out in our normal cloths and do not get wet). The chairs and coolers are fastened securely to the deck with quick releases. The front forks are there because it is a catamaran hull design which makes it extremely stable. It is not tippy at all. You want tippy, try a kayak. And finally your umbrella will fit in a fishing rod holder! (or you can put a bimini top on it. Thanks again for your thoughts and questions. If anyone is in the RI area feel free to come by and get a free ride for proof to my comments! Cheers! Jarrod