Amphibious vehicles weren’t as rare then as they are today, when we came to terms with the idea that no matter what motivational books tell us, we can’t have the best of both worlds. They still exist today, like the Sealander we talked about last week, but their appeal is limited to a very specific type of customer for whom monetary concerns are non-existent.
In the early 1960s, Creighton Caravans, a manufacturer of motorhomes, trailers and mobile homes near Nelson Lancashire, came up with the Creighton Gull, an amphibious motorhome that would deliver just that, “The best of both worlds.” Prices ranged from £ 440 to £ 875 ($ 611 to $ 1,215 at the current exchange rate, but $ 5,900 to $ 10,800 in today’s currency), depending on the size and number of berths included. Still, it was on the affordable side.
In 1967, Creighton Gull was advertised on television sailing the Thames at Henley, as shown in the British Pathé video below. The following year, the same Creighton Gull was renamed CaraBoat, perhaps in an attempt to attract more attention, as the new name was more obvious: “caravan” and “boat” combined. What could be more appealing to the regular traveler than the promise of a towable that would work just as well on land as on water, offering maximum comfort for a couple or a small family, at low cost?
Stanley Creighton, who designed the CaraBoat, knew there was a market for this type of vehicle, and the number of inquiries he received confirmed this. Still, demand declined after a few years and he went bankrupt.
The CaraBoat used a 6.5 HP outboard motor for propulsion on the water and boasted of an easy launch, as long as you had your waders on and pushed them. The interior was basic but complete: you had a lounge dining area that could accommodate up to four people, a small kitchen and maybe a bathroom, although none are shown in the videos. at the time. Most importantly, you had the freedom to drop the car and wander the canals for as long as you wanted, before you had to come back to pick up said vehicle, which could be a small one like the Triumph 2000 shown in the video.
Creighton’s business was abandoned, but the idea took hold. In the 1970s, naval architect John Askham created his own version of the CaraBoat, first with a waterjet drive and a 4-stroke Lombardini internal motor, then an outboard motor. According to reports online, less than 100 of these vehicles were produced in this decade, and the nearly double the price must have something to do with it. As both of these companies are small businesses, it is impossible to get exact records, but one thing is clear: there is a CaraBoat club in the UK, with members exchanging information about the recovered examples, how to restore them and how to restore them and how to restore them. maintain, and schedules of meetings scheduled on England canals.
CaraBoats, generically, can have drawbacks, but they also have an undeniable appeal. They are still around today as they remain in production, although the name is not associated with the ’60s version or the man who designed it. There is a company in Australia that sells various models of CaraBoat, the most recent being launched last year.
CaraBoatmotorhomes from are now larger, with sleeping places for four, and well-defined and equipped living spaces, faster speeds thanks to two outboard motors, a roof for sunbathing, an extendable platform that serves solarium, solar panels, large water tanks (gray, dark and cool) and plenty of storage to navigate longer. You can still have tea in solitude, as the two Brits did in the Creighton Gull video, but you can also host a six-person party in the utmost comfort, just like you would with your own small yacht. . Which also rolls on earth.