A Duck Boat of Your Very Own

Pop quiz: What’s your gut reaction when you think about Boston Duck Tours?

  1. Why that sounds like a delightful outing filled with history and charming factoids, capped off with a lovely ride on the River Charles.
  2. If I hear another quack as I’m trying to _______ (choose one: grab my lunch, sail my boat on the river, attempt to cross the street anywhere near Copley, etc.) I may need medication.
  3. Man, would I love to have an amphibious vehicle of my own.

Photo courtesy of Sealegs

If you answered 1, you’re probably a tourist. 2? You’re most likely a local. And if you answered No. 3, well, then head to Hingham, as Sealegs, the world’s leading manufacturer of amphibious boats, is opening its first U.S. flagship store at the Shipyard this month.

The New Zealand-based company’s boats-with-wheels are designed with easy launching in mind. A Honda all-wheel drive engine and waterproof wheel base are attached to the rigid inflatable frame. The boats move at about 6 mph on land (so no, it’s not street legal), and can be driven right into the water with passengers on board. Once you’re afloat, the wheels retract and it’s smooth sailing from there.

They sound kooky, but they seem to be catching on. Popular Science named them one of the 100 Best Innovations of the Year, and there’s a fleet now being used by the Royal Thai Navy. And apparently, 60 percent of U.S. owners of Sealegs vehicles currently live in New England, so you’ll have plenty of friends to pop wheelies with if you decide to get one. Just do us a favor and refrain from quacking.

The grand opening of the Sealegs flagship in Hingham is on August 11. Sealegs North America, 2 Essington Drive, Hingham, MA 02043. sealegs.com