Neither of us could figure out just what it was. It didn’t look like a commercial vessel, nor did it resemble any familiar version of a recreational boat. Puzzled, we went back our boat, consulted with Professor Google and learned a little about the concept behind Footprint Boats.
The Footprint Boat is a 27-foot tent-trailer/catamaran developed by a man named Ian Collombin and was designed and tested in the Victoria, B.C. area. Intended to provide “affordable family accommodation on the water,” according to the company’s website (which has some interesting photos), the boat’s design favors function over form, emphasizing “what it must do, not how it should look.”
The boat’s features include a beam that can be adjusted from 8’6″ to 11’9″, sleeping room for six, a retractable roof, hydraulic steering, a removable dinette, a galley and head. It’s made primarily of anodized aluminum panels for easy maintenance, is powered by twin 40-horsepower outboards and weighs just 5,500 pounds, according to the website.
The design was informed by Collombin’s travels and is inspired by the canal boats of Europe, Airstream trailers, campervans and trailerable boats. The boat debuted at last year’s Toronto International Boat Show, but it’s unclear how many have sold so far, or what the listing price is.
It’s an interesting concept — and proof that taste in boat design is as varied as boaters themselves.