Inflatable ferry supports the weight of a car
Transporting cars, equipment and even people across bodies of water could get a little less cumbersome, thanks to the inflatable Ferryboat built by Slovenia-based Hovercraft. Coming in one size large enough to transport a car and another sized for more personal use, the Ferryboat can be quickly inflated and launched from just about anywhere.
Made from Hypalon (the same material found in most rigid inflatables), the Ferryboat is evidently quite stable when it's inflated, as the bottom becomes completely flat and the sides become more rigid. The company says the double-walled construction of the fabric adds to the stability, making it practically unsinkable and incapable of overturning, even if the load somehow ends up heavier on one side.
The large version of the Ferryboat comes in at 26.25 ft (8 m) in length, has a 10.5-ft (3.20-m) beam and is 661 lb (300 kg) in weight, with a maximum load capacity of 11,000 lb (5,000 kg) and a displacement of over 22,000 lb (10,000 kg). An electric pump can inflate the boat in minutes, and an available solar cell can make the vessel electrically self-sufficient.
A shallow draft of about 2 in (5 cm) per 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) of load means the Ferryboat can also get its cargo to and from places most other boats can't manage – like islands, yachts and shallow water. Hovercraft says that its own 5 hp (3.7 kW) electric outboard motor can power a fully loaded Ferryboat at a speed of 4 knots, and its low weight means it's using less fuel to do so.
Hovercraft says that the Ferryboat can be used for everything from flood rescue to transporting construction equipment, produce and animals. It comes with aluminum ramps, which means you can also load it from just about any shore, pier, or another vessel.
Prices will start at €6,000 (about $6,889) for the smaller basic model and at €10,000($10,648) for the larger model. The type of material used (PVC or Hypalon), and the number of layers, chambers and accessories required will affect the final price. Hovercraft expects to start shipping the Ferryboat sometime in 2016.
Take a look at this video to see how the Ferryboat works.