The Microship is looking for a new pilot.
The infamous amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimaran created by Nomadic Research
Labs (with the help of 160 corporate sponsors, hired consultants, and dozens of volunteers) has been lying idle in the lab for a few years, while I have turned my attention to ships big enough to support open-ended global voyaging (now preparing to move aboard an Amazon 44 after a brief flirtation with a Corsair
36). As I have come to slowly accept that I will never launch the planned expedition that drove the Microship project from 1993 through 2003, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that she should find a new skipper
This is not a normal yacht, and finding a new home through traditional brokerage is absurd to contemplate (for a lot of reasons). The new owner of this engineering-intensive boatlet should be someone with motivations similar to my own... I pedaled 17,000 miles around the US on a computerized recumbent bicycle while writing books
and appearing steadily in the media, and this was conceived as a way to propel a full-time technomadic life into the aquatic domain.
The Microship needs to find a pilot who is mediagenic, geeky, and insanely adventurous. I would expect to spend a week or two with the new owner here in my lab, sharing all aspects of the design as well as the infrastructure it represents for an overlay of systems, and I'll also stay available for brainstorming and consultation as the new project develops. The boat sails
like a dream (heavy-hitter marine
architecture consultants were on the design team), and is the resultant of over a dozen man-years of focused engineering work. This is a powerful substrate for a high-profile expedition, and my test loop around Puget Sound
was just a teaser... she's barely broken in, as they say.
This boat won't be cheap
compared to "beach tris" of this scale, and she's certainly not for everyone. But for the right person, she could represent a huge shortcut in time and money
compared to the project that would be required to replicate this range of capabilities: pedal, electric
, and sail propulsion
; amphibian mode including folding akas and retractable landing gear
; 480-watt solar
integration; hydraulic controls; and much more.
For more information....
Article about the substrate (not including rig, thrusters, hydraulics, solar array, electronics, or landing gear)
Project home page
(including development status reports)
The boat is located on Camano Island, Washington
(in my lab). She only has about 200 miles under her keel
, and needs to get back on the water
I can help you brainstorm the "business model" of a Microship expedition to see if it might benefit from sponsorship, publishing deals, or other spin-offs (I wrote a book on this subject called Reaching Escape Velocity
, findable on Amazon, which may be a useful resource if you're into this sort of thing). Of course, she could instead just be a high-tech nautical toy for one with deep pockets and a yen for engineering. But personally, I would prefer to see the boat achieve her originally intended destiny of an extended public journey, and for the right person there is a good probability of corporate and media support (given the continuity of my work over the past 25 years).
This is kind of a long shot in this faltering economy - an expensive one-person amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimaran has a rather limited market. But I bet I have a next-generation kindred spirit somewhere out there who would love to shortcut the process of building such a machine...
I'm not posting
publicly because there are a number of variables such as solar-array inclusion, the level of my involvement in bringing her back online, and the soft-dollar value of "expedition continuity" that would continue to benefit me (versus getting stripped of geeky bits and used as a beach-cruiser, for example). It won't be cheap
in any case, but should come in at about 25% of the development cost. If you're seriously interested, please contact me
and we'll see if there's a fit.
A perfect shakedown cruise
would be the Watertribe challenge... followed by a multi-year adventure through coastal and inland waterways. After consuming a decade of my life, it's going to be awfully hard to watch her have all that fun without me.
(the multi-pane photo
below is a page from Make Magazine