Watercraft

  • ​It was back in 2012 that we first heard about the Oru, a touring kayak that can be folded up origami-style when not in use. Well, after releasing a couple of other solo-paddler models in the intervening years, its makers have now unveiled the two-person Oru Haven.
  • Pedal-powered paddle boat (pedalo) designs tends to swing between cutesy kitsch and blandly pragmatic, which is why Beau Lake's Runabout – a paddle boat that actually looks like a boat – is the most ironically out-there thing to happen to these little leisure craft to date.
  • ​Pedestrians and cyclists in the Norwegian city of Trondheim may soon have a quicker option for crossing the canal between the Ravnkloa fish market and the Vestre Kanalhavn dock. Engineers are developing an autonomous electric ferry that could be summoned like an elevator.
  • An interesting novelty from last year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, the GT Roof from GentleTent is billed as the world's first inflatable roof-top tent (RTT). It combines the convenience of a car-top tent with the ease and lightness of inflatable design – and it even doubles as a sheltered raft.
  • ​Among other things, Josep Rubau has designed cars for Volkswagen, and was the creator of the Tramontana supercar. Now, the Spanish industrial designer is CEO of RedShark Bikes, a company that sells a pedal-powered prop-driven trimaran which he invented.
  • Many of the autonomous watercraft we've seen so far follow traditional designs. The AutoNaut is a little different, packing solar-powered sensors for monitoring marine wildlife and ocean conditions and getting to where it needs to be using energy harvested from the waves it rides on.​​
  • Remote-control model boats may indeed be pretty neat, although all that you can really do with the things is drive them back and forth. The PowerDolphin, however, is different. Among other things, it allows users to find fish, and shoot HD stills and video both above and below the surface.
  • High-flying tree tents and roofed hammocks are all the rage and tents are getting as social as the internet. The basic ground tent was nearly more the exception than the rule in 2017, as tents that dangle from trees and cliffs, float on water, and ride atop motor vehicles hoarded the spotlight. ​​​
  • A memorable year, 2017 saw high-flying hydrofoils make a step down from boats to boards and bikes and new water toy debuts ranging from personal submarines fit for James Bond to underwater propulsion systems slapped on like a smartwatch. Here are our favorite water toys of the year.
  • ​​You could say that the the aquatic equivalent of the car is the motorboat, and the aquatic equivalent of the motorcycle is the Jet Ski – but what about the equivalent of the e-bike? That would be the Manta5, an electric-assist pedal-powered hydrofoil.
  • Dubbed the "ultimate sea toy," the Seakart 335 was recently on show at the Cannes Yachting Festival Boat Show and the Monaco Yacht Show. The smart looking inflatable boat is available in two versions that can seat three or five passengers.
  • For some people, there's nothing quite so exquisite as a classic wooden motorboat. Well, Minneapolis-based entrepreneur Kevin Fitzke has taken that aesthetic and applied it to the stand-up paddle board.