As you are most likely aware, an old WWII DUKW has sank in Branson and there are many casualties. It is important that you know that our Hydra-Terra is far and above the World War 2 era vehicle. The DUCK boat seems to have sunk due to low side freeboard among other factors and the water from waves easily flooded the boat causing the loss. Our boats have 4 full feet of side wall height and are unsinkable. This tragic loss could have been avoided in many ways. Specific points of difference between our Hydra-Terra and the old DUKW vehicles.
Details, we have designed the hull in a specific way that we have patented. The engine is in the middle of the vehicle including the radiator in what we refer to as the tunnel. Along both sides of the hull, we have fabricated many box compartments made of aluminum. These are then filled with urethane flotation foam approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. There are no wires, mechanics, or fluids, running into or through these filled compartments. The construction from the top then resembles a large pontoon or sponsons on each side of the engine room tunnel. So in the event of flooding, the only place water can accumulate is in the very center of the vessel, it cannot go freely from side to side increasing stability not losing it. The amount of flotation foam is the entire weight of the vehicle, full weight of all gear, seats, fuel, etc. and then the U.S. Coast Guard calculates each sole aboard is 185 lbs. Or about 5 tons. Then we add a reserve above this amount of generally 1,000 lbs. so when we remove all the drain plugs and allow the water to free flood the center tunnel, with full load of passengers aboard, we are still about 8" ABOVE the water line and passenger's feet are still dry. If you were to take a saw and run it down the entire side of the vessel cutting into the compartments, it will still not take on water as the foam is in place.
The Hydra-Terra has a patented design of the hull that is unique to us. Our center of gravity is exceptionally low. This translates into safer operations on the water. In fact our vessels are all rated at partially protected waters for the U.S. Coast Guard stability. Protected waters are defined below by the U.S. Coast Guard where we typically could go out as far as 20 miles from shore. Exposed Waters - These normally include vessels on an Oceans or Coastwise Route. Partially Protected Waters - Includes vessels on a Limited Coastwise route, not more than 20 miles from a harbor of safe refuge. Protected Waters - Includes vessels on certain lakes, bays, sounds and ICW. No DUKW has a rating above protected waters.
This is really important, fully loaded with passengers our distance from the water up to the top rail of the sides is 4 full feet! DUKW's have something like 16 to 18 inches. I think (never measured exactly). We have taken the inspectors from N.Y. district in NYC out on the Hudson river and they wanted to have me demonstrate seaworthiness. So they arranged for 2 of the big N.Y. Waterways ferries to turn maximum wake and do figure 8's around us as we sailed up the river against current. The waves easily exceeded 10 feet high! No water came into the boat even in these extreme conditions.
Every highway regulation and U.S. Coast guard regulation is followed. Our vehicles are all inspected during their manufacture to assure all federal regulations for passenger safety are installed. Passenger escape, access doors, isle widths, distance from seat to door are all included in the approvals we have. DUKW's had grandfather protection The old DUKW's had numerous special exemptions from a law called a NAVIC. and the isle ways are much smaller, doors are smaller, emergency egress is more difficult than our vehicles.
Our hull is marine grade aluminum. OLD DUKW's are very thin steel subject to rusting in water environment.
Our hull is designed to international standards adopted by many governments including the U.S. Coast Guard. ABS high speed craft rules are written by a society of naval engineers to assure safe vessel construction. The design for our Hydra-Terra had to be fully inspected and approved PRIOR to any construction of the hull. There are countless calculations performed on the design. What we did was engineer and design the hull ourselves. Then we hired an outside naval architect firm to again run all of the numbers engineering wise for stress as well as stability of the vessel. Only then after their full review, did we submit to the Coast Guard our hull plans. Their procedure is to also completely review all drawings, design, materials, welding procedures, and material testing, etc themselves and not relying of anything submitted for approval. Our hull was fully signed off from the U.S. Coast guard as meeting all requirements of "T" boat regulations. These are the current laws for all commercial vessels. We comply without any such NAVIC exemptions. In addition to all of the above, we had the design put into the super computers for a full finite element analysis. This is the same thing supersize ships are tested with like supertankers. We passed with no modifications required.
The vehicles we manufacture are built with all current mass produced technology. We utilize all new components and meet the model year DOT requirements. So all of the anti-lock braking systems for example are installed just like any new bus on the road. There is nothing old or used in the construction, we do not take old vehicle VIN numbers and "rebuild" an old vehicle side stepping new standards in effect.
We use current engines and all that they entail which means we install the DPF exhaust systems in their entirety. Keeping the environment clean is all of our duty.