Electronic Devices: How The Gibbs Aquada Works

The Gibbs Aquada is a marvel of technology which combines a car, a boat, and luxury into one vehicle that is impressive and fast.

James Bond is not the only one who can own a car that turns into a boat. Now anyone with a bunch of cash and a desire to go from land to sea in a flash can own a Gibbs Aquada.


A high speed amphibian (HSA) is a vehicle that turns from a car into a boat. Probably the most notable of the HSA's are the amphibious vehicles used by the military to transport troops and equipment from the sea to land quickly and efficiently. An example is the landing at Normandy Beach in World War II. Some of these military amphibious vehicles were nicknamed "Ducks" for their ability to go from water to land.


The Gibbs Aquada, developed by Gibbs Technology of the United Kingdom, is actually more boat than car. Instead of a car body with doors, the Aquada is made up of a boat hull with no doors. The driver and passengers (it seats 3) step into it like a boat. Since the hull is sealed it keep the vehicle bouyant in the water. The steering wheel is located in the middle of the driving console with the passengers on either side of the driver. The engine is located in the mid-rear position directly behind the driver. The wheels retract into in compartments in the sides of the vehicle when the vehicle is ready to enter the water.

The engine is a 175-horsepower V6 engine which provides power to the aquatic jet. The aquatic jet is what pushes the vehicle through the water. Bilge pumps are also provided to move water out of the vehicle.

If there is any doubt as to the efficiency of the car or boat, the top speed of the vehicle on land is 100 mph and on water is 34.7 mph. Not too bad for a car/boat.


When the vehicle is ready to enter the water a button is pushed and in four seconds the car is a boat. First, the vehicle senses that it is in the water and the depth of the water. The engine power to the wheels is cut and the wheels retract. Road lights change to marine lights and the driver revs the engine which begins to power the aquatic jet. Trim tabs on the back of the vehicle keep it straight in the water.

There are no doors or side windows. There is also no hood. The Aquada comes with a weather cover (like a boat), but it does not cover like a convertable car hood. The Aquada looks like a fancy sports car on the road and a different sort of speed boat in the water.


The Gibbs Aquada was introduced in the Fall of 2003 and only 200 will be built by the end of 2004. At a heaping price of around $270,000.00 it is not cheap. If you want one of these HSA's, you will also need a driver's license and a water license. You will also have to live in the United Kingdom. The Gibbs Aquada is not available or legal in the United States.

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