The Ultimate Hybrid

Publish date:

In 2004, John Giljam, president of Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International in Bluffton, S.C., built the Terra Wind, an amphibious motor home. Because he could. “We built it for ourselves,” he says. “We’ve taken it coast to coast, and it’s the flagship of our company. We haven’t sold another one, but there’s always interest.”

Giljam built the 42½-foot, 15½-ton vehicle to show the abilities of his company, which manufactures amphibious tour buses. The Terra Wind has a top speed of 80 mph on land and up to about 8 mph on the water. Power is a rear-mounted diesel that drives the axle on land and twin inboards in the water. The propellers spin in tunnels in the aluminum hull. Depending on options, the price is about $1.2 million.

CAMI has also built 79 amphibious passenger tour buses that are used in 27 countries. They meet all emissions standards, Giljam says, and they’re unsinkable. “We designed a way to encase flotation foam,” he says. “If you put a 6-inch hole in the bottom, the foam forms a pontoon on each side of the hull within itself, so the water only floods the hull center. The vessel is unsinkable even fully loaded.”

The tour vehicles price out at $500,000 in the United States and $550,000 for those that head overseas. They are about 39 feet long and carry 49 passengers and two crewmembers.

Gijam has no plans to build more Terra Winds.

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue.


Freedom Boat Club Buys N.Y. Franchise

The latest acquisition is Brunswick’s sixth corporate-owned Freedom operation in the United States.

In-Person NMEA Conference Announced

The electronics conference, in conjunction with the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, is scheduled for Sept. 20-24 in Orlando, Fla.

Vesper Appoints U.S.-based Manager

Damien Frye will drive sales of the New Zealand-based company’s Cortex product line.

Groupe Beneteau Sells CNB

As part of the conglomerate’s realignment, the Groupe has inked an agreement with Italian yard Solaris to purchase the bluewater sailing brand.

IBEX Hires Education Director

Patty Lawrence will manage the show’s preconference sessions, seminars and workshops.

Organizers Plan for In-Person Metstrade

The show is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 in Amsterdam and will incorporate virtual elements.

X Shore Secures $17M in Funding

The Swedish company’s 26-foot Eelex 8000 electric boat premiered at the Palm Beach show last month.