A nutter is a mad or eccentric person. So what is a boat nutter? He is a person whose eccentricity is manifested in his singular obsession for a particular boat or design. His madness is defined by his idiosyncratic passion for the unusual which sets him apart from ‘normal’ boating enthusiasts. By definition he is not a person who commonly shares a liking for a class or type of boat, nor does he love boats in general, since these characterise the majority of aficionados.
My purpose is not to denigrate boat ‘nutters’, but to express the view that their free-thinking creativity has made a valuable contribution to the realm of boating. Their focus on achieving intrinsic objectives has resulted in tangible solutions previously thought unsolvable; for example, the creation of the amphibious vehicle, the hovercraft, the windsurfer, the windmill sail, rigid aerofoil sails, kite sails and the facing forward rowing machine.
I suppose one of the outstanding examples of the work of a boat ‘nutter’ – I’m being warmly supportive in the use of this term - has been the manufacture of ‘Microship’, a lightweight, one man cruising trimaran designed and built by Steven K. Roberts. (See http://www.microship.com/ ) He has incorporated several unusual features into his boat - things like an electric thrust propulsion unit and retractable wheels for easy transportation over land. ‘Microship’ has an integrated electronic system linked to a computer which is powered by solar panels.
I raise my hat and shout ‘Three Cheers!’ to all boat nutters who have wittingly or unwittingly made valuable contributions to the pool of knowledge relating to boat design.
Autogiro Boats http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~fsinc/yachts/auto/hist1.htm
Cardboard Boats http://www.blue-room.com/onetruth/archive/000591.html
Concept Boat http://www.conceptboat.com/cb2004.asp
The World’s Most Radical Boat Designs http://foxxaero.homestead.com/newsplash.html
Unusual Boat Designs http://foxxaero.homestead.com/indun.html