Iguana X100 White Edition

Problem solved.

by Chuck Warren

There have been some amazing innovations in the marine industry recently. Some new products are the evolution of tried-and-true solutions, while others represent leaps forward to solve a problem or find a better answer.

Photos Courtesy of Iguana

The new Iguana Yachts X100 is a perfect example of both.

If you live on the water and can’t build a dock due to environmental or regulatory constraints, or if you just don’t want a dock, Iguana has the solution. A boat that can drive out of the water on treads and park on land.

The ’50s produced an amphibious vehicle, which was a car that could drive into the water and cruise a little like a boat. While innovative, the solution had some pretty big limitations.

First, cars do not make very good boats and if the water wasn’t calm, the low freeboard would soak everybody’s shoes in short order. Not to mention, it had all the performance of a car forcing its way through the water.

But, what if you went the other way? Why not make a boat that can drive onto land?

The boat doesn’t have to go very far. You just need to get it out of the water where it’s protected from stormy weather and secure from unwanted attention.

Iguana Yachts looked at the issue from the boater’s perspective and designed an amphibious vessel that is first, and foremost, a boat.

Instead of a novelty item like the amphibious car, Iguana created a truly useful, great performing day boat with the ability to deploy its caterpillar-like landing gear and drive right up onto terra firma.

Problem solved.

From land to water

Now, the first question that comes to mind is, why not use a trailer?

For waterfront homeowners who can’t build a dock, the Iguana removes the need to hitch up, drive 20 miles to back the boat down a ramp, and then haul the boat back out of the water and drive back home to put it away.

For many people, the trailering process removes the opportunity for a spontaneous cruise with friends or family.

Iguana owners can (and do) park their boats on their property, then drive into the water, fire up the outboard engines, and head off to their destination — all while dressed up for a nice night on the town.

On the way up to test run the boat in Elk Rapids, MI, I wondered if the X100 was truly a boat with the extra ability to “stretch its legs,” or if its superpowers added weight and drag that would take away from its primary purpose. I didn’t know it, but I was in for a very pleasant surprise.

When I got there, I felt very weird about climbing aboard a boat knowing it was about to drive down the street, but up the boarding ladder I went.

At the helm, a glass panel provides control over all of the boat’s systems except a few, such as starting the outboards. Almost everything else can be controlled with a finger on the screen.

A touch starts the auxiliary power plant under the center console which powers the hydraulic system and deploys, retracts and drives the tread system.

Two small levers to the left of the helm control the treads making it feel a little like driving a Bobcat on land. The operator can choose between Fast or Slow modes, and then down the street or across the yard it goes.

People stare at the Iguana X100 while it’s standing still. Once it starts moving, cars stop, joggers trip, and people reach for their phones to grab a picture or video. Riding down the street and waving back at people while standing at the helm feels like being in a parade.

All of the hydraulics and drive gear are designed for longevity and low maintenance, and all of it stows in a recess in the hull creating no extra drag.

After driving forward down the ramp, we retracted the landing gear, stopped the auxiliary engine, and a twist of the keys brought the Mercs to life.

At that point, the Iguana X100 was all boat.

A powerful solution

The test boat featured twin Mercury 225s, although it can be ordered with a single 250 hp engine or with a max of 600 hp which will push the X100 to a top speed of 50 mph.

A push on the throttle brought the boat up on plane like any other 32-foot open bow. At 3200 rpm, the X100 cruises comfortably at 22 mph. Wide open, the twin 225’s push the Iguana up to 40 mph with a smooth, quiet ride and the performance and handling you would expect from any other boat its size.

Although it may seem like a novelty item, the Iguana Yachts X100 is anything but. The company’s quality and craftsmanship can be easily seen in the 10-year-old Iguanas that are still in regular use. It comes in many different configurations based on the same hull; the model tested was essentially a rigid inflatable, but with tank treads.

Whether in use as a private vessel for a beachfront house, private island access, or the tender for a bigger yacht, the Iguana Yachts X100 can be the right solution where docking issues are best solved by the next link in technology’s evolutionary chain.

Outstanding build quality.

Seats with gas shocks.

Easy to operate and control the system.

Some freshwater or a small sink would be great (some models include freshwater).

Specifications

  • LOA: 31’
  • Beam: 11’
  • Weight: 7,495 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 2 x 70 gals.
  • Power (as tested): 2 x Mercury 225
  • Base Price: Contact Elk Rapids
  • Website: iguana-yachts.com
Dealers

Source: https://lakelandboating.com/iguana-x100-white-edition-3/