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Homes where you can live under the sea

Homes where you can live under the sea

Underwater hideouts may be the domain of James Bond villains and Gerry Anderson's Stingray puppets but people in the real world are also dreaming about living at the bottom of...

03 Sep 2014 Thunderbird 2

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These Dudes Made a Boat Out of Plastic Bottles… Now They Are Sailing Over 500 Miles!

These Dudes Made a Boat Out of Plastic Bottles… Now They Are Sailing Over 500 Miles!

Jan Kara, 22, a student, and mechanic Jakub Bures, 21, like many of us, are tired of seeing pollution all around the world. In their Czech town of Nymburk, the duo...

20 Aug 2014 Thunderbird 2

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A superyacht-friendly submersible

A superyacht-friendly submersible

Tired of being told that the recreational submersible you want is too tall to fit into your superyacht? Dutch submersible manufacturer U-Boat Worx knows how you feel and is launching...

05 Aug 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Life-Saving Luxury Raft Turns Sea Water into Drinking Water

Life-Saving Luxury Raft Turns Sea Water into Drinking Water

Dangers of the ocean are well documented: sharks, storms with gargantuan waves, seasickness and, if one’s boat has sunk, swimming for shore through a mine field of stinging jellyfish or...

15 May 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Turkish team set to compete in Volvo Ocean Race

Turkish team set to compete in Volvo Ocean Race

A group of young dashing racers are training and going through their paces in Lisbon’s harbor these days. There is sun, good wind and a magnificent boat to sail –...

06 May 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Suspension-packing 2Play catamaran smooths out rough seas

Suspension-packing 2Play catamaran smooths out rough seas

Water may seem soft enough when you're in a bathtub full of the stuff, but as anyone who has smacked across the waves in a speeding motorboat knows, it can...

02 May 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Brilliant Boats in Superyacht Magazine

Brilliant Boats in Superyacht Magazine

An article about  us in Superyacht magazine. CLICK HERE to download the PDF version.

16 Apr 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Brilliant Boats' Thunderbird 2

Brilliant Boats' Thunderbird 2

An article about our Thunderbird 2 in Yachts International magazine, April 2014 issue. CLICK HERE to download the PDF version.

16 Apr 2014 Thunderbird 2

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The Mast Walk

The Mast Walk

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28 Mar 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Watch a large ship getting deformed from the inside in a heavy storm

Watch a large ship getting deformed from the inside in a heavy storm

On the left, a ship in a heavy storm as seen from the deck, going through giant waves. On the right, a ship in a heavy storm seen from a...

26 Mar 2014 Thunderbird 2

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The Flying Phantom: US$40k sailboat levitates two feet above the waves

The Flying Phantom: US$40k sailboat levitates two feet above the waves

“It’s like removing the handbrake – suddenly everything gets smoother and faster in pure silence.” This gravity-defying US$40k catamaran rises completely out of the water at speed on a pair...

11 Mar 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Amphibious trimaran is made for more than just water

Amphibious trimaran is made for more than just water

Here's one you might not have heard before ... Whaddaya get when cross a hovercraft, an airboat and a pontoon boat? Give up? An ATASD, or Amphibious Trimaran with Aerostatic...

24 Feb 2014 Thunderbird 2

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5 security measures that every yacht owner should take

5 security measures that every yacht owner should take

Sailing the open seas can be one of the most thrilling endeavors that anyone takes on, however even the most experienced sailor will warn you about the great risk that...

19 Feb 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Thunderbird 2

Thunderbird 2

Thunderbird 2 has launched in Antalya Free Zone, Turkey! Brilliant Boats and BB Yacht are proud to announce the launch of Thunderbird 2. Fans of Gerry Anderson will understand immediately what this...

03 Feb 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Discovery Channel: Superyachts (5 episodes)

Discovery Channel: Superyachts (5 episodes)

The Discovery Channel visited some superyacht builders in the Netherlands and give some insights of the high quality superyacht building. Here are five of six episodes. Enjoy!   Balk Shipyard {youtube}vM6qt_hd9E8|700|450{/youtube} Hakvoort {youtube}T4ozSE_meFM|700|450{/youtube} Vripack 1 {youtube}i2ez55KJRfQ|700|450{/youtube} Vripack 2 {youtube}oOze8e65--k|700|450{/youtube} Icon Yachts {youtube}IwjwvlI3jwM|700|450{/youtube}

16 Jan 2014 Thunderbird 2

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Wokart: The 70 km/h go-kart for the water

Wokart: The 70 km/h go-kart for the water

The Wokart is a featherweight asymmetric catamaran with a centrally-located 70 hp outboard motor that's designed to have the driving characteristics and low power-to-weight of a go-kart. The automotive seating and...

10 Dec 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Rolls Royce to design ship that carries fish as passengers

Rolls Royce to design ship that carries fish as passengers

Building a ship to carry fish as passengers may seem like a phenomenal case of missing the point, but Rolls-Royce has signed a £5.8 million (US$9.5 million) contract to design...

09 Dec 2013 Thunderbird 2

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The Biggest Ship in the World Has Floated For the First Time

The Biggest Ship in the World Has Floated For the First Time

The Emma Maersk was dethroned as the world's largest seafaring vessel this morning when this ship, longer than the Empire State Building, left its dry dock in South Korea for...

06 Dec 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Manta Resort offers a private island where you sleep beneath the waves

Manta Resort offers a private island where you sleep beneath the waves

Underwater accommodations seem to have become a trend among hotels in recent years, but a resort off the coast of Tanzania is now putting a unique spin on the concept. The Manta...

21 Nov 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Stunning night images of a nuclear ice breaker in the middle of nowhere

Stunning night images of a nuclear ice breaker in the middle of nowhere

Sergey Dolya took some incredible photos in an expedition to the North Pole on board a RussianArktika-class nuclear ice breaker. In the words of Buzz Aldrin, "Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation." By the...

08 Nov 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Jet Capsule Miniature Luxury Yacht

Jet Capsule Miniature Luxury Yacht

Although by definition, it’s not technically a yacht, the Jet Capsule aims to bring the same luxury experience on the water (with family and friends) through a much smaller, more maneuverable solution. Designed...

24 Oct 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Costa Concordia operation could spew toxic soup of rotting food and chemicals into sea

Costa Concordia operation could spew toxic soup of rotting food and chemicals into sea

There are fears that the operation could pollute the pristine waters of Giglio, the Italian island where the ship capsized last year. The Costa Concordia was at the start of a week-long cruise...

16 Sep 2013 Thunderbird 2

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World's largest solar-powered boat cruises into London

World's largest solar-powered boat cruises into London

It is one of the most iconic ports in the world, the dramatic backdrop to everything from ancient Roman sailing ships to World War Two military vessels and gas-guzzling speedboats. Now...

09 Sep 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Billionaire death race: inside America's Cup and the world's most dangerous sailboat

Billionaire death race: inside America's Cup and the world's most dangerous sailboat

Capsized yachts and a sailor’s death cast a pall over this week’s finals The finals of the 34th America's Cup are days away, but they will take place in the long shadow cast...

05 Sep 2013 Thunderbird 2

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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 07:22

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The Wokart is a featherweight asymmetric catamaran with a centrally-located 70 hp outboard motor that's designed to have the driving characteristics and low power-to-weight of a go-kart.

The automotive seating and controls make it just like driving a car ... and in four years of development and testing, no-one has flipped one over. It promises all the fun of a PWC with a fraction of the environmental footprint and production is set to begin in January 2014 and at EUR20,000 (approximately US$27,400). Unlike most toys, a horsepower upgrade is as simple as bolting in a larger 85 hp motor, which makes it "unsuitable for the general public", a nice way of saying, "you can't handle this."

The Wokart is the latest of a plethora of new watercraft designs that have emerged in recent years that are well outside the realms of traditional naval architecture – from floating islands to floating cities through to a range of water toys such as the Flyboard, Jetovator, Jetlev, Samba, Seabreacher, Subwing, hydrofoil designs such as the Quadrofoil, Wfoil, and even towables such as the Manta Ray and KiteTube.

Indeed, Wokart designer Dr. Theo Christen delights in regaling tales of "boaties" across the world identifying him as a marine "outsider" based on the simple premise that if he were an insider, constrained by traditional marine design thinking, he couldn't have come up with the concept in the first place.

From the first time he showed his design to an established naval architect, to the crowd reaction when the Wokart was first displayed at the Stockholm Boat Show, Christen's Wokart has been greeted with astonishment and invariably, disbelief that an outsider could have conceived something like the Wokart.

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The Wokart enters production at CMI in Thailand next month, completing a remarkable journey for Christen whose PhD is in Economics, not the academic discipline one might expect of the creator of such a promising new marine design.

Christen has offered Gizmag a drive in the Wokart which we'll be taking up as soon as possible, but here's what we know right now.

The Wokart is powered by a centrally-located 70 hp outboard motor, giving it similar performance and handling characteristics to a go-kart on the water. Top speed is beyond 40+ knots (75 km/h or 46 mph) and with an 85 hp motor it's beyond spectacular.

Each of the three Wokart partners I have spoken with have raved about the speed and agility of the aquatic go-kart, and its ability to instantly turn through 90 degrees at high speed.

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Where Wokart might really hit the jackpot is that the design uses a modest 70 hp outboard of any manufacture (the EUR20,000 price does not include the outboard motor) this means it will be much more environmentally friendly than a PWC if you use a modern four-stroke power unit and potentially as quick if you use something like Torqeedo's Deep Blue electric outboard which is designed to replace a 75 hp traditional outboard.

Interestingly, in discussions with Wokart designer Dr. Theo Christen, I asked if a carbon fiber version had been considered, and whilst he acknowledged it had been, he said there would be a lot of testing involved because they had gone to a great deal of trouble to get the weight right, and lightening the Wokart might compromise its turning abilities. So the jury is out on the benefits of adding an electric outboard such as Deep Blue and its 55 pound battery pack.

Regardless, because it is technically an outboard watercraft, it can go places where jet-powered Personal Water Craft such as Kawasaki's Jet Ski and similar machinery from Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Honda cannot.

Finally, we all know that hitting waves at speed can be very jarring to the body, particularly if that shock is transmitted directly up the spine because you are sitting down. That was one of the few downsides of the Seabreacher we tested a few months ago.

I asked Christen about this and he said that between the drawings and the first prototype, he had expected to fit a sprung seat to avoid this spinal compression, but that there's something about the centrally located outboard that acts as a shock absorber and once the first prototype was in the water, they found that it didn't require the sprung seat.

So there you have it – yet another radical new marine design challenging years of convention.