What is a Pilot House Boat?

The first time I was introduced to the concept of a pilot house boat, I was watching the film George of the Jungle. George had decided to climb the Golden Gate Bridge and the only way Ursula could get to him safely was on a pilot house boat (it was being used as a tug boat and ferry).  Contrary to what you might think, the pilot house boat isn’t like a regular houseboat. While it is kept near shore typically, and it does have a small cabin, it isn’t used as a year-round living arrangement.

So what exactly is a pilot house boat? It’s a small boat with a “pilot house”, an enclosure that can hold two or three people in case of inclement weather. You can walk all the way around it usually, and the boats are often used as fishing boats or recreational vehicles, as they are small enought to pilot near shore (most of the boats are between 20-30 feet long). Allmand Boats boasts twelve designs for pilot house boats, some recreational and some work-related, and either comes with customization fit for a king.

Whether you’re just curious about different types of boats or you’re interested in potentially purchasing one in the future, you will want to see one of these beauties up close and personal before you buy. They’re beautiful, with strong, sharp lines and you’ll want to take it all in before you take it home.


We have all heard of vehicles with strange technological names, but for many, the Nauti-Craft is new. These words describe Marine technology suspension. The Nauti-Craft technology works by separating the vessels’ hulls from the deck by using, what is called, a passive reactive interlinked hydraulic system. This system allows for a more comfortable ride, along with the vehicles’ control and stability.  The Nauti-Craft stabilizes the vehicle so that the occupants experience less shock and bouncing back and forth upon release from the deck. The creators, Nauti-Craft Pty. Ltd. is proud to receive awards for this outstanding and impressive technology. One if its awards was won from the Australia Maritime Industry Innovation,  a well respected award in the industry.

This prestigious award was presented by the Minister of Defence Industry, the Honorable Christopher Pyne, MP in 2017, at the International Maritime Exposition in Sydney. The award that was received was the Civil SME Innovation Grant for the technology that provides a smooth ride and more safety for Marine vessels, particularly during high speeds and rough waters. Chris Heyring founder and Chairman of the company along with Managing Director, Ken Johnsen, accepted the award at the official presentation ceremony. Ken Johnsen stated after receiving the award, “It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award as it recognises the efforts of the dedicated team at Nauti-Craft in developing a technology that can deliver tangible work place health and safety and operational benefits to vessels in the defence sector as well as range of civilian applications”.

Technology, such as, the Nauti-Craft, is highly important for the occupants of Marine vessels, because they are always seeking a more controlled and stable deck departure and a smoother ride on high seas. Nauti-Craft Pty. Ltd. has created technology that will make Marine vessels easier to drive and increases the safety of that ride. Nola Marino, Federal Member for the Seat of Forrest, brings up the Nauti-Craft technology in a discussion in Parliament. The technology was among only fifteen Australian innovators, among the Defence and Civil sectors. The award recognizes only the best and most innovative in the naval and maritime industries.

The Nauti-Craft is now displayed at the Seawork International Marine Exhibition with the Strategic Marine and Carbon Trust. Ken Johnsen and Development Manager, Alex Robertson, were there available to discuss all of the Nauti-Craft technology benefits with onlookers and Marine technology experts. Many leads for the technology were developed as the Nauti-Craft steals the show. The technology received great support from both organizations, the Strategic Marine and the the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator.

Return of the Amphicamper

A truck, a boat, a camper, it’s all three and it’s called the Amphicamper. Quite an unusual vehicle to say the least, the amphicamper is back after a hiatus, better than ever.  The official Avion boat camper is for those looking for something different on which to enjoy the water. For 60 years at least, there has been a connection between campers and boats, and now the Animal Planet’s Flipping Ships digs back in recent history and showcases the amphicamper. Truck Camper magazine reports that a little over 38% of their readers say that they often tow their boats behind their trucks, during a 2016 magazine survey. Clearly, boats, campers, and trucks combine nicely together. The survey appears to show that avid campers also want to have their boats with them while camping and you certainly need a truck for that trip.

There is a long history of truck campers and boats, so it only makes sense that an innovative few would come up with this boat, truck camper combo hybrid. Hybrids are very popular these days because adventurers would prefer to have one vehicle that does everything. This 1960 Cee-Camp is the original Amphicamper and so due to consumer demand, it has returned with more campers looking for a hybrid vehicle like this, more than ever these days. The Amphicamper original, was the subject of a 1960 article in the Ford Times. The title of that now famous article was, “Amphibious Pickup Camper: Recreation Unlimited in the West. There were three pictures of the original Amphicamper, which was a Pontoon Sports Body truck camper created by Copeland Engineering.

The original vehicle was a 1000 pound, 10 foot Cee- Camper, which was mounted on to a pickup truck just as a standard truck camper would be mounted. Launching the vehicle was quite a new task. It was launched by using two pontoons, the owner would swing the two pontoons 180 degrees from the camper top to ground. The pontoons were secured with pins once the owner had them in the sea-going position. The turnbuckles were then released and removed and then the truck which carried the Cee-camper would backup into the water about 7 inches so that the pontoons could become bouyant. The owner would push the Cee-camper into the water, move the truck from the loading dock and climb the pontoon used as gang planks to enjoy his/her cruise in the water. As you can see, a lot of steps were involved in this adventure before the complete hybrid came along.

De-mounting was also quite a job. The owner would lower the pontoons into sea-going position onto 5 inch blocks which were secured with pins. The blocks were used to raise the apparatus enough so that the truck could drive underneath and load it again. This may seem like an awful lot of work if you’re not a camper and sea adventurer, but for those who are, it was simply steps to a wonderful boating and camping experience. The 1960 Cee-Camp could transform itself from land/truck to sea and back to land/truck again, the beginnings of a true hybrid. The Avion boat camper has the boat permanently attached. This is today, what is considered, a true hybrid. It may not be as flexible as the truck/Cee-camper we described above but it’s an all-in-one fun vehicle.

You can see our gallery for this one below. All the images on our website expand when you click them, so you can get a better look.

For more from Truck Camper Magazine, find them indexed in our vehicles, trucking and RVing directory. You can search for the company’s name and look for suppliers and dealers in an area near you by looking at our regional headers. And to see more Boats, click here