Found: Akwakat Turns Your Mountain Bike into a Pontoon Boat

Akwakat water bike turns any bicycle into a pontoon boat

The Akwakat Waterbike Kit turns any mountain bike into a pontoon boat. The kit breaks down pretty small, compact enough to fit in a bike trailer if you’re looking to combine activities into a fully self contained trip. We think this would make a great addition to an adventure race.

The kit diverts your chainring to power a gear box connected to a propeller shaft. The bike mounts to a stainless steel frame, which connects to two inflatable reinforced PVC hulls. When not in use, it folds down into it’s own carrying bag and weighs about 15kg (~33lbs).

Cruising speed is generally between 4-8mph on calm water, and the hulls sit high on the water to make it easy to beach the craft. It’s designed and manufactured in New Zealand. US retail is $1,560, video and more pics below…

Akwakat waterbike kit turns any bicycle into a pontoon boat

Set up and assembly doesn’t seem too difficult, which means that their claimed 10-15 minutes should be more like half an hour the first couple times. Curious, check their video guide here.

Comments

carl - 12/12/12 - 9:38am

Praise the lord….. the wait is over! Now can they change my road bike into a ski boat?

Chris S. - 12/12/12 - 9:40am

Hmm… how much more weight are we bringing on our mountain bike ride?

Tyler (Editor) - 12/12/12 - 9:44am

Chris – just added that to post, about 15kg.

WannaBeSTi - 12/12/12 - 9:46am

I wonder how they keep the bike chain from getting in the way of the chain going to the gear box. I could see at 1:23 the bike chain is still passing through the rear derailleur.

It would be interesting to see what kind of speed a true cyclist could do. The people in the video have a cadence of about 60rpm.

Interesting idea, but how am I going to get my son’s trail-a-bike to attach?

Editor - 12/12/12 - 9:56am

Wanna – watch the install video at the link, the chain remains in the bike as normal, but is pulled off the chainrings so a shorter chain can run on the driveshaft converter. That part attaches to the chain stays directly behind the bottom bracket. I agree, would be fun to see how fast you could get them going!

David R. - 12/12/12 - 10:11am

That’s a lot of air to push with a mini pump…

Nicholas - 12/12/12 - 10:27am

Looks like I need to bring my 20mm fork adapter. What about my rear 142×12 maxle. I guess I’ll have to just stick to riding singletrack.
If I ever get into boating I can by a kayak…

Rob E. - 12/12/12 - 10:40am

I guess it depends on what you mean by a “self-contained trip.” My thought would be a trip where you bike to a waterway, float across the waterway, and then continue on. For that to work with this set-up, you’d need a way to not only carry the pontoon set up on your bike, but also to carry everything on the floating bike set up. Might be doable if you could carry the gear on a rear rack, and then attach you wheels to rear rack when floating. It looks pretty cool, and I like the concept, but for actual, self-contained trips, I’m going to keep lusting after an Alpacka pack raft, which is cheaper, far lighter, and the bike part is completely optional. Still, I could see enjoying riding this around a lake.

yesplease - 12/12/12 - 11:01am

Does it turn?

Sancho - 12/12/12 - 11:25am

I would rather use somebody else’s bike for that.

Gillis - 12/12/12 - 12:09pm

I bet that could get pretty fun in rougher water. It could get to be quite a workout.

weekendwarriorwally - 12/12/12 - 12:51pm

do they offer carbon pontoons? i must have the best.

stack - 12/12/12 - 12:55pm

The biggest problem with design is that there is almost not wetted surface and tons of windage, so if there is any breeze at all, you are going not going to be able to overcome it and will simply drift downwind. It needs skegs running off the bottom of the pontoons. The prop seems to have been designed for its ability to pack flat, which means it has a ton of pitch, which means that it ought be spinning at a really low RPM, but it seems to me you’d want the exact opposite, since the relative effort of pedaling through the water is so easy, you are going to want to spin at a high cadence, and since there appears to be almost no change in the gear ratio, the prop is going to have really high rpm, so your’d be better off with really low pitch, and probably longer blades, which would generate a lot more power, albeit no more speed, but I think help overcome the the issue of getting blown around.

You are also going to want to bring some chocks for your brakes, so if you accidentally pull the lever you are not SOL when you try to put your wheels back on.

Keith - 12/12/12 - 2:19pm

I’d have to buy a $99 bike so I wouldn’t care about the corrosion….

carl - 12/12/12 - 4:01pm

30 plus years ago when I was working as a photographer I took photos for a magazine spread of one of the first kinetic races at Boulder Res. I remember they had just changed the rules because a lot of guys were riding their bikes to the water, taking an inflatable raft out of their backpacks, pumping it up, throwing the bike in and paddling away. When they got to the other side they just left the raft and rode away. What the organizers wanted was the vehicle you rode to also be the vehicle that crossed the res. There were a lot of long faces at the start line…….

Lev - 12/13/12 - 7:43am

I would like to take it over a sweet jump.

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