The Thunderbird watercraft is deemed to mark the beginning of a new era in recreational power boating. Coupling the evocation of the automotive lifestyle of the fifties with functionality and environmental awareness is the intrinsic concept behind this astonishing masterpiece.
The author of this boat is already a stand-out name: Daniel Humphreys, a British design student at Plymouth University, has already distinguished himself for his pretty smart ideas, which have lead him to be the first designer from UK to win the Abitare La Barca Concept Award design competition, and the current year’s Superyacht UK (SYUK) competition. In the latter contest Humphreys had the opportunity to draw a dismountable boat, in line with eco-friendly propulsion and natural or recyclable materials used throughout: it was in this occasion that this young and talented designer caught the attention of experts, due to his ability to match excellence in drawing execution with careful attention for details and aesthetic values.
The Thunderbird seems to be the perfectly consistent continuation of the ambitious path of this brand new designer: looking at the drawings of this concept boat, what immediately catches the attention, is the peculiar match between usefulness of materials and the exquisite aesthetic which reminds retro styles and fashions. As a matter of fact, the Thunderbird is openly inspired by classic cars of the glorious past and is purposely conceived to be highly functional and enjoyable, able to meet any emerging need of the user.
What is more appreciable, though, is the ability of this boat to effectively respond to the problematic issues of global warming and rising fuel cost: as a matter of fact, Thunderbird was specifically thought as a valid alternative transportation for anyone who wants to avoid increasingly expensive and detrimental petrol boats, since it is powered by an electrically driven impeller that does not causes any form of pollution, at all. All this smart boat needs to move is just a periodic recharging at the dock using a 240v power supply. Alternatively, it can be charged while at sea, where the user can deploy the “Lillypad” solar panels, which will top up the boats charge while he or she is sunbathing or fishing.
If respect for nature is a peculiar concept behind Thunderbird, the careful attention for its look isn’t no doubt left behind. The contained dimensions and the morbid curves of the exterior design make this boat look like a sophisticated and precious toy, with enough space left to the user to satisfy all his needs at sea; a smart detail is the small roof that can be rotated, according to the user’s preferences. Even the interior of this boat is pretty unique, an automotive inspired, evocative and sophisticated design that is able both to strongly enhance the fifties’ automotive lifestyle feel and to include practical and useful features: waterproof leather upholstered seats, for instance, ensure water beads straight off, while the aggressive acceleration handle bursting out of the central console indicates the boat’s superb performance. Finally, the stained Bamboo paneling complements the Bamboo clad deck and canopy, and the red accenting ties the interior to the exterior part of the boat, which is almost entirely dark red.
Thunderbird is an alternative and classy transportation mean, a valid option of coupling aesthetic needs with respect for nature.