The recent announcement of the partnership between amphibious boat manufacturer Iguana Yachts and Gulf Marine Services (GMS) marks the emergence of Iguana yachts into the global marine market. GMS, a reputed boat expert in the Middle East will now serve as Iguana Yachts’ representatives in the region.

Founded in 2008 by Antoine Brugidou, Iguana Yachts’ Iguana 29 design derived from the need for Brugidou’s desire for easy access to his waterfront home, but not in the form of a conventional tender. Sales manager, Steve Huppert told that the boats give a “real freedom you would not get on a standard boat,” explaining further that so far “no one has bought the boat as a gadget; all of our clients have got a use for it.”

Huppert emphasised the practicality behind the boats, which has been incorporated into the design and notably, the boats use tracks instead of wheels, which would be “very hard to integrate into the line of the boat” while the tracks “are extremely efficient, especially on soft terrain like sands or muds, you will always have limits when it comes to wheels.” He added that there is “no docking, no fenders and the landing gear goes up in eight seconds.”

Iguana 29 'docked' on a beach on its tracks.

A few changes are being made to the newest version of the Iguana 29, with version four being made entirely of carbon fibre: “we wanted it to be lighter and we changed the inboard engine which was originally a standard hydraulic, and powerful, American engine, to a German engine which is electronic. This gives us a lot of capabilities in terms of features, but also a great ability for remote maintenance.” With the use of Wi-Fi or 3G, local engineers can access the boats’ main functions including the hydraulic systems and the engine, so if there are any issues the best service can be given.

Gold plated ladder allows for easy access on and off the boat.

So far the most successful market has been in the Middle East, where Huppert said the “shallow water and all those islands” are ideal for the amphibious boat where they were able to target waterfront property owners. But further to their market expansion plans the company aims to focus on the superyacht industry: “We sell more and more of them as tenders, and it really is the perfect tender because it’s got lots of amenities and we’re an engineering company so we are really flexible on special requirements.”

The tracks go up in eight seconds as the boat emerges from the water.

Although they have been very strong in the Middle East it’s not going to be their main market. “One of the biggest markets is superyachts, because there are a lot more superyachts than islands in the Middle East because most of the islands are owned by the same family”. He added that, “in a couple of years - I’m not going to say we will be done with the Middle East - we’re still going to have a flow of demand if we make new models, but there are plenty of other places.” Huppert named the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, the many lakes in the United States and further north as potential territories. He concluded that the boats are “perfect explorers”, so their use with explorer yachts is a potentially lucrative market.

Iguana yachts are currently working on new features and they will be exhibiting at the Monaco Yacht Show.

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