Saturday, February 2, 2008

Used Pontoon Boats - Desperate Measures

Homemade Amphibians for Crossing From Cuba

Hi gang, Rick here from Used Pontoon Boats with an amazing article of cuban desperation. Yeah yeah, we know illegal immigration is—well, illegal—but it's hard not to admire the determination of the handful of Cubans who have over the years converted their rides into boats for the perilous journey across the Florida Straits. Check out this Chevy truck, converted into a kind of pontoon boat, for an attempted crossing in 2003 (good to see everyone wearing life jackets—safety first!). I wish there were some clearer pics of this 50's Buick, which was reported to be cutting through the waves using its orginal V8. The most recent attempt I was able to find involved a 1948 Mercury taxi cab (pictured), which ferried thirteen people most of the way to the Florida Keys in 2005. Some of the people involved in engineering the first Chevy truck-boat were members of the later amphibious-crossing parties as well—check out Car and Driver's 2006 interview with one of the builders. I love how the style-conscious border-hoppers painted the boat-hulls the same bright colors as the car itself, but I cringe a little to think of all the salt damage, as well as the fact that the Coast Guard is believed to have sunk all three of the craft.
Thanks to Jen at for this.

Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway

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