Boat Show Finds – Seabreacher – Do you want to swim like a dolphin?

Boat Show Finds – Seabreacher – Do you want to swim like a dolphin?


Hey Sarah O’ Kelly here with Skipper’s
Review and I am with Rob of seabreachers
and this is today Skipper’s Review finds and it’s one hell of a find it’s
actually out on the water right now doing its tricks and hopefully it’ll
come up behind us as I’m talking to Rob so Rob tell me about this what are you a
mad scientist or what how did you come up with you know, I think I want to
build a thing that looks like a dolphin and works like a dolphin. We just
decided that regular boats are just way too plain, too boring the novelty wears
off all you can do is turn left and right and so what we did was basically
combine the flight characteristics of an aeroplane with a boat so it’s not a
submarine it doesn’t go super deep but you have full three access controls so
you can do a huge number of freestyle tricks from jumping 90 degrees you can
back flip it you can porpoise it like a dolphin. This particular model, which we
call a Z Model, can do 360 degree barrel roll. There two-seaters, they’re all
two-seaters. We do sharks, dolphins, whales, done sailfish we even did a manatee once.
Shut up! We did, we made a manatee for customers the ugliest boat we ever built
but manatees are ugly so I think we nailed it. So where did this come from
though I mean, was it you and your partner you have a partner Dan, right?
For 20 years it started out just as a hobby like we were just doing it tooling
around. The first ones we built we’re just complete garbage, I mean they
didn’t work and they broke and then just over time we refined it and we invested
more money in it and then when we started putting personal watercraft
engines in it that’s when they really started you know becoming reliable and
easy to maintain and of course you know having the vectored thrust of the jet
units made them a lot more maneuverable. So they have jetski engines in them. So
you can pretty much service that at a regular personal watercraft dealership
we mostly use Rotax engines but we’ve also done Yamaha and Kawasaki powered
ones they have about up to 300 horsepower supercharged engines. Are you
an engineer? I am what they call in New Zealand a backyard engineer which
basically means we trial and error things. So you don’t necessarily want to build a
skyscraper trial-and-error but we have built these boats through trial and
error and we have had a lot of error But now you know, if I can’t break
it we did a pretty good job and I’m I’m pretty good at breaking things.
So is it modeled basically around let’s say for instance a dolphin you
have a killer whale one too or is it an aeroplane
where is it all coming from? I mean obviously we take a lot of artistic
license I you know I want them to replicate the marine creatures and
sometimes they go a little too far in that direction. Like the sailfish that we
built is magnificent I mean it’s a stunning work of art but it’s got this
giant carbon-fiber sail and a water cannon out the front so we’re trying to
visually replicate them but the control systems are very different because you
have to think in three dimensions rather than just one. So are you a fisherman are
you into that end of things or you’re just more into the design and boating?
I’m a supermarket fisherman so I I’m pretty good at catching, I’ve I’ve caught
some good fish down at the markets. No I have not got the patience for
fishing, do I look like someone that has the patience for fishing? You don’t know no.
I have a very short attention span so you know the thing I really like about
building these is they’re all custom built so we’re constantly trying
something new pushing it and fortunately we’ve got the customer base now that
will allow us to do that. So the customer is involved in the design, they’ll come
up with suggestion you’ll try and work around it or. I mean that’s what I tell
them but I’m kind of a Soup Nazi so I’m like no I’m not doing that that’s ugly
no so yeah I I mean I do let them have some input and I you know I obviously we
have a tons of variety of interiors and exteriors but i’m kind of like an architect
you know your paying us to make your vision better so trust me I
know what I’m doing. The kind of people that are interested in in your seabreachers is there a particular type of person or it comes from all ends of the
world. Obviously started with very sort of quirky you know eccentric pretty
wealthy people that just wanted something new and crazy but our biggest
market now is commercial operations about 50% of the boats we build are
actually going to people that are taking fare-paying passengers so we have an
operation here in Boca that’s taking customers and I’ve got another one
starting in Miami and they’re doing pretty well you know there especially
with charter yachts it’s a good accessory to a charity yacht,
so they’ll bring it out take the passengers you know do it put on a
demonstration live shows like we have today with Nautical Ventures. Oh okay so
you’re connected with not a Nautical Ventures.
We are, yeah, yeah, yeah so they’ve sold a couple of them for us and we have brokers
throughout the world and dealers so obviously the most customers want to you
know have an involvement in it with the factory but you can still buy them
through dealers here in Florida. So are you gonna be going out pretty
soon. Yeah take another ride I mean you know it’s coming up cocktail hours so I
probably got to go to hang it up soon but no I I always like to come out of
retirement show the young punks that I’ve still got some game. We just have
and what what’s this gentleman’s name that’s pulling in now? This is Brandon
he is he’s a pretty new pilot but he’s taken to it pretty well you know I my
job is to break his spirit and tell him how awful he’s doing that was crap, awful,
embarrassing that was embarrassing yeah just just don’t even, don’t even bother.
Is there a lot of training involved before they can take on the role of being the
demo person? I mean the basics you can pick up in about three to four hours it
is like an airplane except without the consequences because with an aeroplane
may airplane you make a mistake you know you’re gonna plummet to the ground with
this you know as long as you don’t hit anything that’s fine the boat self-rights, it’s impossible to dive at too deep you just got to be mindful of
visibility and paddle boarders and manatees and you know all the regular
stuff. That was actually my next question, what about paddle boarders? I mean you’re half the time you’re underwater which I’m sure
distorts your vision with coming over the screen so how do you avoid that?
Generally I find paddle boards don’t damage the boat so I’m not really that
concerned. Yeah I figure if they’re in my way you know I mean yeah sometimes
they’ll put a bit of a scuffle leave a bit of blood on the front but yeah. So
you have good insurance then. Oh yeah paddle boarders don’t have insurance.
Yeah paddle boarders are just an annoying obstacle you know they’re like
buoys. So Rob you’re down at the Palm Beach Boat Show and you’re gonna be here
till Monday right? I leave Monday yeah but we’re packing up Sunday so we’re
gonna be doing demos out here in the Aqua Zone Friday Saturday Sunday can the
public come along and get it a go in this or. What we have been told is no. I will
occasionally not listen to that but mostly no. There are operations.. because
you have to sign waivers and there’s insurance and stuff. So basically we’re
just doing demos, show them what the boats can do. Unfortunate it’s a very,
very shallow out here in our little testing area. It’s only about eight feet
deep. At the deepest we can actually take the nose down to about 20 feet so we
sort of have to do be selective as to what sort of tricks we’re doing if we go
if we do a hundred degree jump the boats 20 feet long or 18 feet long so when you
jump and you come back down on the tail we’ll smash the tail on the bottom. So
you’re based in California right? Redding in California is where we build them. So
if you do smash the tail have you got backups? There is another one but it’s in
the Aqua Zone so no we’re not gonna smash it. I don’t crash that’s my policy
some people crash I don’t crash. Rob thank you so much and good luck with the
rest of the show. I appreciate it. Go to Skipper’s Review. yes do. Okay thanks bye

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