Over sea and over land

18:25, Feb 05 2013
Sealegs owner David McKee Wright.

Adventurists travelling from Picton to Nelson yesterday aimed to cut the boat trip in half by using an amphibious boat.

David McKee-Wright, owner of Auckland-based boatbuilding company Sealegs, and his crew left Picton yesterday morning on a 7.7-metre Sealegs inflatable amphibious boat.

Instead of travelling 200 kilometres over water they travelled about 112 kilometres over land and sea.

The trip is part of a circumnavigation of the South Island to celebrate the company's construction of its 750th boat.

The crew planned to travel north from Picton to Tawero Point in Pelorus Sound, then cut west across to Cape Soucis in Croisilles Harbour where they will follow the coast down to Nelson.

The 7.7-metre-long cabin model has a top speed of 68 kilometres per hour on water, with the wheels retracted above the water-line, coping with swells up to two metres high; and about 10 kilometres per hour on land.

Weighing 1980 kilograms, the boat is land-powered hydraulically by a 24-horsepower air-cooled four-stroke motor under the seat.

The boats cannot be licensed to run on public roads.


The Marlborough Express