Who says there’s nothing new under the sun?
by Mark Rothfield
Certainly not the builders of this radical new houseboat from Getaway Concepts, which extends both upwards and outwards in a bid to be fully trailable.
The story apparently started when the founders were asked to help a friend with building a houseboat – an old-style box on a flat-bottomed punt. While functional, it lacked the versatility and efficiency demanded of a new-age motorhome on water.
A new class of boat demanded a trailer rethink as well. - Getaway Concepts
The physical limitations of trailering have long caused headaches for designers. To build houseboats narrow enough to tow, they lacked stability. They were harsh riding because of the flat hull sections, and difficult to manoeuvre … not to mention downright ugly.
For all that, they’re hard to beat in terms of space.
The Getaway team decided to redesign the whole concept and the 28-foot Reflection XXVIII is the innovative result.
There’s a number of ways of altering beam width in trimaran designs – some tilt up, others pivot laterally, but the Getaway cleverly uses telescopic arms to extend the 2.5-metre trailing beam to 3.6 metres once on the water.
The conventional boat trailer was also given a once over to accommodate the hull, with room to spare for canoes, dinghies, even PWCs. It's equipped with four electric actuators to lift the boat from its transport mode then lower.
Upon the catamaran sponsons rests the living pod, which in turn has an extendable roof with tinted window surrounds (not just plastic clears). The hard top slides down at the press of a button and becomes completely concealed.
A single 50hp outboard is all that’s required to push the torpedo-like hulls to around 14 knots, though the production version is likely to get twins. Displacement is two tonnes and trailable weight 3.5 tonnes, so it’s a fair lump of boat.
Getaway Concepts is continuing to look outside the square with plans for solar-powered versions and self-renewing energy sources. As well as the houseboat version there’s been interest in the concept for fishing, diving and resort use. Getaway Concepts website
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1:32 AM Wed 15 Jun 2011 GMT
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