Electric-capable boat folds flat for transit and storage
Designed by Texas-based engineer Roland Heersink, the AquaNaut takes the form of two deep-canoe-like hulls that are joined together side-by-side via two aluminum crossbeams.
Platforms attached to those beams seat two passengers within each hull, plus a platform in the space between the hulls serves as a storage space, or as a bench seat for a solo passenger. A user-supplied electric motor gets mounted on the rear beam.
The hulls are made from pre-folded 4-mm UHPDE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene), and they fold flat – down to 3 inches (76 mm) thick – once the supporting crossbars are removed. Each one of them reportedly weighs 36 lb (16 kg), and together they can handle a payload of up to 650 lb (295 kg) – four average-weight adults, in other words.
According to Heersink, the whole AquaNaut can be put together or folded down within 10 minutes without any tools. In its "deployed" state, it measures 8 feet 10 inches (2.7 m) in length and 7 ft (2.1 m) across. Its top speed, needless to say, is determined by the size of motor used.
Some thought does need to be put into figuring out who sits where, in order to keep the twin-hulled AquaNaut balanced. Roland tells us that he hasn't run into any insurmountable problems, though, particularly with the availability of the center bench seat.
Should you be interested, the AquaNaut 270 is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$2,799 will get you one, if everything works out. The planned retail price is $3,999.
You can see it in use, in the following video.