“Suspension... but for boats” sounds like the sort of thing you’d imagine when under the influence of the devil’s lettuce. But one company is actually making boats that can absorb the punishment of an angry sea, and it looks like the idea might actually work.
Nauti-Craft, the company that makes the boat, says that it doesn’t use a system of metal springs, like most cars, but rather uses a hydraulic system:
patented technology separates the vessel’s hulls from the deck and superstructure via a ‘passive reactive’ interlinked hydraulic system which provides increased levels of ride comfort, control and stability. Whole body vibration (WBV) is reduced by up to 75% providing unparalleled levels of shock mitigation.
The technology also offers a number of configurations, with options for active pitch and roll control, for example.
Well, it would offer options, if the technology was on sale yet. It’s been in development for years, and Nauti-Craft itself notes that it’s not a full-scale boat builder, but rather “a flexible ‘skunkworks’ style R&D company” that only builds things up to prototype stage.
So if you want to buy the tech, you have to build a boat company first.
Which isn’t to say that it’s not some one-off weirdo early-stage stuff. Many of the people behind Nauti-Craft also created the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which is used in a bunch of cars from Lexus and Toyota, Mitsubishi’s Dakar team, and Citroen’s WRC team, so I suppose they know what they’re doing.
But even if the technology works, is it cool?
“This is the boat for SQUARES,” my oft-incorrect colleague and Jalopnik’s Senior Boat Correspondent, Kristen Lee, said when she saw this wonderful, perfect boat. But no, it is not the boat for “SQUARES,” it is actually wonderful and perfect. How are you supposed to enjoy a tasty and delicious beverage out on the water if the water keeps moving?
How are you supposed to drink like a fish, thus becoming one with the ocean itself, if the ocean keeps spilling your liquids?
You cannot. This boat is clearly the answer.