This Jacked-Up Duck Boat Would Make the Charles More Interesting

duck boatWho would ever need one of these things? (Screengrab via the Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal had a report on these jacked up Duck boats yesterday, but it was tagged with nay-saying caption: “The amphibious car remains elusive, hindered by regulatory red tape, start-up costs and the inescapable question as to why such a car is even needed.”

The news guys saw that the super rich are the only ones who could afford/need one—or people who live on islands (which sounds like the very rich, too). But I have a better answer to their “inescapable question” on why an amphibious car is needed: Boston needs them for tourists.

We know a little something about amphibious vehicles here—in that we collect the decommissioned ones then send them with a full payload of tourists into the battle that is downtown traffic. But ours—at least one model, I’m told—tops out around 30 mph on the road and puts round the water slower than a paddle boat. Gibbs Technology, the New Zealand-based maker of the amphibious Phibian, designs their boat to hit 40 mph on the water and 100 mph on the street.

So what does this mean? It means tourists on Duck boats who are so carefully avoiding the terror and pandemonium of driving around here themselves can have their chance at adventure. Being afraid or lost or confused or on the verge of tears while behind the wheel in Boston is fundamental to our way of life. Anything less is a sham.

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