Amphibious vehicles make a splash

Amphibious vehicles make a splash

Entrepreneur Alan Gibbs' latest invention is making waves around the world.

It's called the Humdinga -- a high-speed amphibious water truck that can be used as a taxi service for big cities. 

Mr Gibbs is one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs and he's also a passionate boaty.

So when his vehicle kept getting stuck trying to get to his boat, it started him thinking.

"And I thought, 'Dammit, I'm going to have to build a boat with wheels'," Mr Gibbs says.

And he did. He's spent a good part of the past 22 years developing a range of amphibious vehicles. 

His first boat was built locally in Kumeu, but he's since created an entire range.

"We've developed 10 different vehicles and we're looking for people to make them," Mr Gibbs says.

His latest model, the Humdinga, was trialled on London's river Thames at the weekend.

He was approached by the owner of a 5-star hotel to help his guests get from the airport across the river.

"They asked, 'Could we have a taxi made out of one of these to do the job?'," Mr Gibbs says.

The Humdinga can carry nine passengers and reaches speeds of up to 35 knots.

Mr Gibbs says no other vehicle can go on land and in water as fast as this one.

He even thinks it could help solve Auckland's traffic woes.

"That'd be very good in Auckland, whizzing people across from the North Shore past all those horrible traffic jams on the bridge."

And he believes it won't be long before amphibious vehicles are a common sight.

"In 10 years or so there will be tens of thousands of high speed amphibians all around the world," Mr Gibbs says.

And then his idea will really have legs.


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