The Ego - new toy for exploring underwater with dry feet
by Lee Mylchreest on 26 Feb 2011
Love to explore the underwater world from your sailboat but don't want to get your feet wet?
The Ego - looks like a turned-turtle peddle pontoon boat .. .
Want to give granny or the kids a real thrill?
Here's something you could trail behind the yacht for an underwater weekend that you'll remember forever.
It's not out until October, and we don't have a price-tag, but what a blast!
It's the Ego, a compact semi-submarine, manufactured in Korea, which has just been featured for the first time at the Miami Boat Show.
Looking a little like one of those pedal pontoon boats that's turned turtle, (you know, the ones that drive you crazy in some anchorages because they drive blissfully at you when you have no room to manoeuvre) the all-electric Ego has the ability to function as both a motor boat - a kind of dinghy - above the water and also as a semi-submarine. It allows two to sit just below the water's surface, in a clear, waterproof seating capsule.
The electric motor is similar to those used on golf carts and the manufacturer says it will operate for 4-8 hours depending on use. However it takes 6-9 hours to recharge, so it won't do you for anything longer than a day trip.
Manufactured by Korean company Raonhaje, it drives similarly to a car, with a foot pedal accelerator and a steering wheel. A simple toggle switch controls backwards and forward motion.
The Ego doesn't have a price tag yet, but reports indicate the vessel will be available to consumers sometime in October.
Raonhaje plans to sell fleets of Ego semi-submarines to resorts while single units will be available for individuals to purchase. Seemingly designed only for leisure users, color choices will include Lime Green, French Rose and Persian Pink. Raonhaje has insisted, though, that units can also be outfitted for scientific and research purposes.
Because of its all-electric motor, it is certain to be far quieter than standard boats, or compact semi-submarines, which is a boon for marine life already subject to human-generated noise pollution.
Even the fact that it has been announced without a price tag suggests that it won't be cheap, but then, the Koreans have a way of making things that are not too expensive.
So until the price is announced, we can at least keep on dreaming of being able to take granny or the kids for a real underwater adventure in lime green, French rose, or Persian pink!
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