10 Weird Boats Weirding It Up Across the Sea


Boats can be as strange as concept automobiles in terms of shape and size. These nautical inventions might push the boundaries of good taste and design, or even explore extraterrestrial realms. Sometimes they do little more than appear ridiculous. Here are ten instances.

The Zipperboat

Yasuhiro Suzuki invented the Zipper Motorboat in 2004, but it didn’t take off until 2010. It was an art project, like many great and extremely strange things, and was not intended as a practical mode of transportation. There were no passengers on this voyage because the vessel had not been tested for rollover risk. You can’t ski behind it, but you might be able to do some slow-speed tubing.

The Plongeur

Submarines have a very extensive history, dating back to 415 B.C. The French Plongeur, which used compressed air to drive itself, was the first submarine propelled by something other than human force. It was introduced in 1863 and was phased out by 1872. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was inspired by the submarine.

The Marjata


Radome with a bulbous shape for protecting radar dishes. Helicopter landing strip A clothes iron’s shape. The Marjata has everything. The Norwegian spy ship enters Arctic waters to monitor Russian activity. The model shown above first sailed in 1992, but subsequent variants have grown larger and less interesting in shape.

The Titan Mare Explorer


Some things are simply too wonderful and pure to exist in this world. That was the case with the Titan Mare Explorer, a proposed NASA mission to investigate the hydrocarbon seas on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan—the only other body in our solar system other than Earth to have liquids on its surface due to its dense atmosphere. After years of proposals, NASA has yet to approve the craft, and it is unlikely that it will ever be. Some unusual vessels will never set sail.

Duck tour boats


Duck tour boats are the worst of both worlds: bulky and slow on land, awkward and slow in water. Duck tours first appeared in the Wisconsin Dells in the 1940s and have since spread worldwide. When certain obnoxious coastal sports teams win the Super Bowl, the duck boats are frequently brought out.

The Kettuvallam


Houseboats are often practical pontoons rather than objects of art. However, in Kerala, India, a Kettuvallam-style houseboat with beautiful thatched roofs meanders through the waters, luring people onboard. The design dates back to 3000 B.C., when it was utilized to convey spices and travelers along trade routes.



A boat appeared at a University of California event in 2003 that would change the direction of maritime history forever. I’m kidding. The sail-paddle-pontoon, on the other hand, includes a reclining hammock from which to paddle yourself off to watery paradise. Unfortunately, it now appears to be only a distant memory.