FRANCE, Brehal. Founded in 2008 by Antoine Brugidou, Iguana Yachts has announced changes to its Iguana 29 model, a design derived from Brugidou’s desire for easy access to his waterfront home. These changes will be presented at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show.
The changes will be implemented in version four of the Iguana 29, an all-carbon fibre edition. "We wanted it to be lighter,” says sales manager at the French firm Steve Huppert, “we also changed the inboard engine which originally was a Kohler – a standard hydraulic powerful engine, to a Volkswagen air-cooled engine, which is electronic and gives us lots of capabilities in terms of features and ability for remote maintenance.” Huppert explains that just like modern cars, the boat can be accessed anywhere thanks to a new app, as long as there is access to a 3G or wireless connection. This in turn enables servicing by local engineers for virtually any part of the boat. “The remote maintenance access also applies to the landing gear and all the hydraulics but not to the belt it self,” he added.
As our conversation continues Huppert recalls when Brugidou first met with designer, Antoine Fritsche. “They started sketching out ideas and played with the idea of using tracks instead of wheels,” eventually creating a system that transforms at sea with the lowering of tracks mounted on either side of the boat, allowing it to pull itself onto the beach.
Huppert emphasises the practicality in the incorporation of tracks instead of wheels, as they “are extremely efficient, especially on soft terrain like sand or mud, as you will always have limits when it comes to wheels.” He adds that there is “no docking, no fenders and the landing gear goes up in eight seconds.” Huppert added that the Iguana Mobility system is also available to designers that would like to integrate the landing gear into their own boat.
The Iguana 29 comes in three lines, Exclusive, Classic and Adventure. The Exclusive line includes leather trim and a gold plated stairway. The Classic, embraces the original design with no additions. The Adventure has extended load space and an optional roll bar, which provides the layout to fit a surfboard, wake board and even bicycles.
So far the most successful market has been in the Middle East, where Huppert says the “shallow water and all those islands” are ideal for the amphibious boat. 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.”
He concludes 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, which they will be exhibiting at the Monaco Yacht Show.