Publish date:

The Ultimate Hybrid

Author:
1.-On-water-4

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.

Related

CSP Joins ‘Thirty by Thirty’ Coalition

The Center for Sportfishing Policy and 54 coalition members submitted recommendations for the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative.

Entries Open for Neptune Awards

The Marine Marketers of America is accepting submissions for its annual contest in 23 categories through Dec. 6.

CSP Joins ‘Thirty by Thirty’ Coalition

The Center for Sportfishing Policy and 54 coalition members submitted recommendations for the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative.

Take Action Now

We must take action to push Congress to reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Here’s how you can help.

Southern Marinas Acquires Missouri Facility

Millstone Resort and Marina on Lake of the Ozarks is the fifth addition this year to the company’s portfolio.

Forbes Names Brunswick a World’s Best Employer

Brunswick ranked in the top 15 percent overall and in the top 10 for companies in the engineering and manufacturing category.

Fountaine Pajot Names Dealer

Atlantic Cruising Yachts Texas is the French builder’s exclusive representative for the Gulf Coast.

KingFisher Boats, Barnacle Form Partnership

The boatbuilder will offer Barnacle’s BRNKL remote monitoring system on several model year 2022 boats.