Amphibious Water and Road Vehicle

by deano911 in Lincoln

Amphibious Water and Road Vehicle
Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

A Multi Purpose Head-Turning Runabout for the Water and Road

by deano911 in Lincoln

Project Aim

To Create a Multi Purpose Head-Turning Runabout for the Water and Road

About the Project

To make a car that can travel on land and water! There are those who love messing about on rivers and a good drive in the country.... there are those who live on flood planes and well frankly there are those who'd like an awesome looking car.

To build a prototype vehicle which is  :- amphibious, water car or swimming car. (Call it what you want).  We're going to put it into production, both kit form and full build

The vehicle is loosely based on a old world war II concept, but with a modern twist, like leaning towards the Beach Buggy Fun Machine of the 1970s. This will make it more acceptable as a vehicle that people would love to own.

Presenting The Swimbug!

The Swimbug will have a variety of uses... 

The Fun Times

  • Great for towing behind your Campervan.  Do you ever find yourself wishing you had brought a little runabout rather than a boat, or vice versa? Well wish no more
  • Can be used daily for small runs or swim!!
  • Sunny days... taking it down to your favorite water way or lake
  • Fishing from Vehicle in water or Swimming in water from the Vehicle
  • Drive down to your local beach and take your vehicle swimming
  • Easy to get in and out of water on any “common” water entry ramp/causeway

The simple point is you can do so much in this one vehicle that would otherwise require you to purchase several other types of vehicles to do what this one vehicle can! Replaces: ATV/UTV, Boat, Canoe, Dune Buggy.


Rescue and Emergency

  • Search and rescue. If things do turn nasty then you might be glad of a Amphibious Vehicle
  • Get people to dry land and beyond

  • No worry of depth of water

  • Vehicle for Rescue Services

The services can not get to stranded people by boat or vehicle as the water is too deep or to shallow. A Swimbug can go through any situation and could be a real life saver.


Progression of Design

Based on "Donar Car" build.  The Swimbug will be built using the Volkswagen old shaped Beetle. ("A Bug") Based on "Donor Car" build.

The VW Beetle is available world wide. 15 million was produced so plenty of Donors. Dune Bugs and Beach Buggy's are created in this way standard procedures are written up for this type of conversion.

The basics of build are:-

  • Body removed from VW Beetle
  • All components to be used on Swimbug.
  • Shortening off wheel base.
  • Swimbug Body onto VW Beetle chassis
  • Water Propulsion Installed  

The project is well under way. The "Science", the Concept and Methods have all been worked out and confirm all is achievable. To date we have acquired Polygon CAD of vehicle. With a good “curvy" shape redesign


Computer-aided design (CAD) Diagram

On this CAD drawing, we have pinched and squeezed to achieve, the more modern stance. We need to focus on the CAD designing. This is so important as the fiberglass body has to fit around the beetle chassis perfectly. Where bolted to the chassis, has to be exact. There can be no room for error, so measurements and changes will be done until we are completely satisfied

Temporary Timber Frame To Create "Master Mold"

 Once satisfied with CAD drawing a timber frame will be assembled around VW Beetle Chassis

Sections cut from CAD using a CNF cutter.

A "master" mold will be taken from wooden frame.. We can then make 1000s of SwimBug body's using the Master. We have completed a section of wooden frame as a test, This was very successful and is passed as one of the methods for the Vehicle build


Chassis and Engine has been acquired and prepared, ready to except Timber frame. 

Chassis and Engine are very easy to prepare to this stage. Anybody with a beginners mechanical knowledge can easily achieve this. Which is great for the Kit Building Market.

Water Propulsion

The SwimBug needs a propulsion system to drive it through the water.The Swimbug will use the latest in technology with electric pod motors driving the craft through the water. 

The propeller will be a commercial unit as used in water ski impellers.

The electric motor will probably go through a reduction gear of 4:1 to reduce the power requirement to move the propeller.

1000 RPM on the motor will have 250 RPM on the propeller, giving the motor four times the power effort required to move the propeller in water.

This will reduce the ampage required on the motors considerably.

The electric pod motors do not need to rotate or move direction, as the front steering of the wheels will give all the direction and steering required generally. The speed controller could be configured to drive more power to one pod motor than the other to generate effective steering by adjusting thrust from one side of the craft to the other.

Battery Charging for Propellers

The Swiwbug will have three 12V batteries connected in series to give 36V of running power. These will be charged up while the buggy is driving through a 36V 180A alternator and a charger rectifier. When the Swimbug is running in water, it will have the petrol engine running at low revs. Enough to charge the battery's. This will give us the ability to remain in the water indefinitely.

As soon as the buggy is driving with the engine, the batteries will be automatically recharged to replace energy used during a boating excursion.

Completion of Build

You can see from the above that all we need to do now is put these plans together. This will then give us a working protype that can demonstrated to the Markett. Protype will be used in Media and Shows (motor boats shows) to generate sales.

Swimbug WHERE? (Will the money go) 

  • Timber

  • CAD Drawing

  • FibreGlasser

  • Foam for filling

  • Auto Electrician

  • Parts. Lights Tank etc

  • Resin poured onto Body and Sanded down.

  • To Fibreglasser to create Molds.

  • From Molds, Body can be cast.

  • Fitting to Chassis.

  • Water Testing. Weight and waterline... distribution of weight... location of Ballast if required

  • Complete refit of all fixtures, Brakes, Electrical, Steering. Painting

  • Commission all working parts

Once we fabricate the parts we'll have templates to make others and the whole process will just become more cost effective.

Everyone who has pledged to get on the buyers list will get their own beautiful little amphibious vehicle...


Mechanic and all Engineering £8500

Auto Electrician Complete wiring of Vehicle £3500

Water Propulsion Manufacturing and design of Water system. PODS Motors, Speed controller. Controller. Propellers Gearing. Traction Battery's, Instaling £4500

Parts IE Tank. Front screen. Alternator. Wheels tyres. Seats. Driving equipment £7000

Preparation and Painting £2500

CAD Drawings Completion of Chassis and Fibreglass body to fit £2500

Send to Fiberglass company.  Fiberglass Complete Mould and cast Pattern making. the mold.. making of first product. . This will gives us the molds, so if you wish you can have a Fiberglass body to build your own."Swimbug"   Fibreglasser. Time and Labour make-king full pattern 5 sections. shaping right. smoothing. ..            £18500

Commissioned, Safety and Certification £1500

COMPLETION of 1st product  Total £46,000

Schwimbug WHO?

Dean Wright-Project Manager

I've always loved making and breaking stuff. I've restored an Alvin Stalwart 6 Wheel Drive Amphibious truck and an 8 wheeler Argocat. I have the Dream!

John Paradine - Project Mentor and Automotive Legend.

John has 30 years experience in creating prototypes and production models. You read more about him here...

David Coxon - Project Wizard and Narrow Gauge Genius

When he's not at the Helm of David is in our Garage designing pod motors and flux capacitors!! 


The "Science" and the workings have been done and there is a million beetle chassis out there.

It is then not rocket science to take the beetle body off and bolt the Swimbug body on. Propulsion kit on and away you go.

As far as molds and build run. That is a big YES. Amphibians Cars are the Future.

Production Run

Build of Swimbugs for Sale and maybe Hire

Selling of Kits

We will take the orders for a Fiberglass Body Kit and can be sent anywhere in the world. You will get a full build manual and Telephone support. This is aimed at the Kit Car people of the world. So their local workshop can easily do the conversion.


Our reward? To create a profitable Business and leave a legacy in life (oh and maybe a Nobel prize :) for services to the public.!!


Take a look to on the left to see how you can get involed. You can contribute a small amount or become the Investing Partener. 

Remember if we don't succeed in the pitch we get nothing... so  dig deep in your hearts and help us realize a dream we'd had since we were all little boys... Help us bring Swimbugs into this world.

Give me a call on 44 1522 681402 


 Dean Wright




This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Your name will be recognized on the YouTube "Maiden Voyage" Video. Your name will scroll across the video in recognition of your donation.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Pledge at this level and you'll receive a Swimbug mug. Be happy in the knowledge that as you drink from your mug, there is a Swimbug also getting wet

£200 or more

£200 Reward

You will be kept posted of any Events and Shows that a Swimbug is at in your country. You and a friend can come along and have a go. Have fun, messing around on the road and waterways. Plus you'll receive the Schwimbug mug

£500 or more

£500 Reward

Model of a SwimBug. You will get a personal thank you letter, A ride at a Show, A SwimBug Mug and a 1/48 scale model of a Swimbug! Shipping date may vary.

£2,000 or more

£2,000 Reward

You will go on the Kit or Build list. "First come, First served" bases. Pledge and be sure of owning a Swimbug. You also get the same as a £500 pledge.

£46,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£46,000 Reward

Become a Business partner, with a great Opportunity and Team. Your Investment will give you 20% of the company. You can be involved, as little, or as much as you want. Give me a call if you are serious about coming on board.

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