The Dutch firm Ugur Sahin Design (USD) have made a niche for themselves as a go-to company for wealthy clients who want a one-of-a-kind vehicle, or for small-volume manufacturers looking for some outside design expertise. The Runabout concept has been commissioned by an unnamed client wanting a bespoke motor yacht which will stand out from the crowd.
Not much is known regarding the specific details of the Ugur Sahin Design Runabout as the vessel is still in the early stages of development. But apparently the styling has been signed off so this is pretty much what it’s going to look like. The boat has a fairly unique appearance with an automotive-inspired design.
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The Project Habbakuk aircraft carrier was one of the most unusual, and bizarre military projects ever conceived.
During the height of the second world war, Great Britain was slowly being choked of supplies by the relentless attacks of German U-Boats on Atlantic convoys bringing much-needed supplies to the island. Aircraft could provide some cover for the ships at either end of the journey, but due to their limited range, in the middle of the atlantic ocean, all they had for protection were a limited number of naval escort vessels.
Geoffrey Pyke was a mentally unstable Cambridge undergraduate who also happened to be a genius. He had strange mannerisms, and even stranger ideas on how the war could be won. From his hospital bed in a psychiatric ward he came up with the idea of a gigantic aircraft carrier made from ice which could provide air cover for the vulnerable convoys in the middle of the north Atlantic.
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There are shed projects, and then there are shed projects. This is the latter. The superbly named Archduke Grand Excelsior is a homemade semi-submersible built by Cal Giordano from Alaska. The 32-foot vessel is built using a discarded 500-gallon propane tank, a recycled industrial buoy, some scrap metal, old trailer wheels, and a Johnson outboard motor. It weighs in at a hefty 3,000 lbs (1,360 kgs), and has a top speed of 10 knots.
The Archduke Grand Excelsior is a semi-submersible, meaning that it’s not capable of going fully under the water, but it can take its single occupant up to 8-foot below the surface, while the rear portion of the craft remains above the water. The vessel dives by adjusting the front bow planes downwards while moving forwards. This forces the cockpit underwater, however it can only stay underwater while moving. If the speed drops below 3 knots then it rises back to the surface.
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Pieter Schelte, the world’s largest crane ship, a vessel capable of lifting entire oil rigs, is nearing completion. The Pieter Schelte was commissioned by Allseas, a Swiss company which specializes in offshore pipline installation, oil rig installation and decomissioning, and undersea construction projects.
While the Pieter Schelte easily holds the record for the largest crane ship, some also believe it may hold the record for the largest ship period. It’s certainly not the longest, that honor goes to the oil tanker Seawise Giant. But due to its extreme width it has a much larger deck area. Although amazingly the vessel won’t hold its title for long, as a sister ship which is due for completion in 2020 will be both longer and wider.
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ABS Hovercraft are a British manufacturing firm specializing in large hovercraft construction. Their current model is the M-10, and it comes in a variety of configurations, military, commercial and cargo versions to name but a few. But back in the late ’90s the firm were involved in a project along with a team of German engineers, headed by Albert Blum, to build an experimental 6-seater hovercraft called DONAR.
The DONAR hovercraft was built using lightweight composites and had a sleek, fully enclosed cabin. The vehicle was used to experiment with a range of technologies and innovations the company could introduce into its production models. But at the same time the company kept the possibility of a production model in mind.
The DONAR prototype featured a number of eye-catching features. Firstly, although it might look a little dated now, in the 1990s its spaceship like appearance made it look like something out of a sci-fi movie. It had gull-wing doors too, and the 6-seat interior featured air-conditioning, a GPS system and a sportscar like layout for the driver and front seat passenger.
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The Neptune Despina, and its sister ship Neptune Larissa, are large offshore supply vessels which were designed to undertake inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) operations in deep waters around the world.
Both vessels were designed by the Ulstein Group, built by Sinopacific’s Zhejiang shipyard in Ningbo, China, and are owned and operated by Neptune Offshore based in Norway.
The vessels’ unusual bow shape is one of the stand-out features of the design. This feature, which is exclusive to the Ulstein Group, is called the X-Bow, and is designed to assist in rough waters and reduce fuel consumption. The shape also offers higher speeds when navigating in adverse weather conditions. Another benefit is a reduction in interior noise and vibrations.
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The Dutch company U-Boat Worx has been building commercial submersibles for a while now. Their subs come in a variety of models, in fact they make no less than 7 different machines, ranging from 2-person light duty subs and 5-person leisure subs, to deep water (330 ft / 1000m) exploration subs. But one thing which stands out with U-Boat Worx submersibles is their styling. They always look like something out of a sci-fi film.
The latest addition to the U-Boat Worx lineup is the HP Sport Sub 2. It’s a compact and ultra-lightweight sub which has been designed to act as a luxury toy for superyacht owners. Illustrating its small size and weight, the 2-man sub can even be towed behind a car.
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If you find yourself torn between buying a tank or buying a boat, then Iguana Yachts have got you covered. Their Iguana 29 power boat is a remarkable fusion of the two. In the water it looks like almost any other modern, minimalist watercraft, but when it comes time to get out of the wet stuff, well that’s when the Iguana 29 comes into its own.
At the flick of a switch, two rubber tracks descend from the hull and lock in place to allow the boat to haul itself up the beach. On land it doesn’t have the same sort of performance as it does in the water. 5 mph is the top speed. Roughly a brisk walking pace. But that’s still a hell of a lot faster than most boats on land! The fact it uses tracks instead of wheels also means the Iguana 29 is less likely to sink into soft sand, and it is also stable when out of the water due to its large footprint.
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The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first in a new class of aircraft carriers which will slowly replace the Nimitz-class of carriers currently prowling the world’s oceans. The USS Gerald R. Ford is scheduled to enter service in 2016, although as with any new and highly complex military hardware, schedules are almost always overshot. In fact Admiral Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations has already said a 2018 date is more likely. The other carriers with a scheduled build date are the USS John F. Kennedy (scheduled for a 2020 commission), and the USS Enterprise (2025). Ten Ford-class carriers will be built by the end of the program.
The carrier’s cost is an estimated $12.8 billion, with a further $4.7 billion having been spent on research and development. It is one of the most sophisticated and expensive pieces of military hardware ever built. It is said that the USS Gerald R. Ford has double the combat power of all the warships deployed during world war 2 combined!
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The 315-horsepower Belassi B3R Sport is currently the world’s most powerful production PWC you can buy new. A few years ago you could go out and purchase an HSR-Benelli Series-R Race Edition jet ski which pumped out 342 horsepower. But since Benelli re-branded, moved production to Thailand, and merged with Lasselsberger Engineering to form Belassi, 315 horsepower is now the new benchmark power-output for a PWC.
The Belassi B3R Sport is powered by a forced-induction 1.6 litre 3-cylinder engine, which Belassi say is the most powerful 3-cylinder engine on the planet. The four-stroke engine features a turbocharger and an intercooler, as well as dry sump lubrication. The B3R Sport will be sold in two versions, mainly to comply with US Coast Guard speed regulations. US buyers will have their machines limited to 65 mph, while buyers in other countries will be able to fully exploit the B3R Sport’s 80 + mph capabilities.
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