By Ben Bowers
on 11.28.11
Photo by Iguana Craft

We’re pretty sure we imagined a boat with retractable tank treads out on the playground, but Iguana Yacht founder Antoine Brugidou claims the idea came to him while navigating unique locations like the bay of Mont St. Michel, where low tide is known to reveal miles of sandbanks and rocks. This complicated terrain inspired him to create every guy’s mechanical fantasy, dubbed the Iguana 20 Ground Boat.

As you’d expect, the integrated caterpillar tracks enable the craft to launch up to 8 passengers into the water, literally anywhere where there’s a stretch of land that slopes gently into the sea. Max speed on the ground is limited to a turtlely 5 mph, but out on the water, this mechanical amphibian could beat Poseidon’s steeds in a drag race, thanks to a max speed of 40 knots. Once retracted, the treads also protect the wave piercing bow and semi-planing hull in a similar fashion to external fenders, without disrupting the continuity or nautical capabilities of the ship. The boat can just as easily crawl aground by lowering the treads and engaging the traction — all while maintaining nautical propulsion.

Your black cards will have to remain sheathed for now, however, since the 29 Ground Boat is currently only at the prototype stage. If it ever does go into full production, though, expect to pay somewhere in the ball park of $287,000 for the freedom to storm beaches at will. Until then, we’ve got a video teaser of the vehicle in action and a slew of extra photos available after the break.

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