ADVENTURE - Sealegs RIB does the Murray-Darling
First amphibious trip of the Murray-Darling river system
A team from Australian inflatable-boat distributor Sirocco Marine are in South Australia preparing to become the first to drive the length of the Murray–Darling river system in an amphibious boat — upstream.
David Seargeant and Liam O’Halloran will depart on Sunday from Coorong, near the Murray River mouth, in a Sealegs 6.1m amphibious RIB.
They will head along the Murray and turn left when they reach the Darling River (near Wentworth, NSW) and power north until they run out of water, hopefully to Bourke, the official headwater of the Darling River.
Their 1700km trip has several unique features. They intend to drive around the many Murray River obstacles (barrages, dams, locks and weirs) by using the Sealegs’ unique ability to drive on dry land. The New Zealand-built RIB, powered on water by a conventional outboard, uses a Honda four-stroke inboard to lower the landing gear and provide propulsion on land.
It should be the fastest trip ever done up the Murray-Darling, the Sealegs has a top speed of around 35kts on water and a land-speed of almost 10kmh. David and Liam will camp along the river bank at night.
Their timing is right: this is the first time in many years the river system has had enough water to support such a trip. (It is not uncommon to here bush stories in some of the towns on the NSW-Qld border of paddle-steamers traversing the Murray-Darling river system from Adelaide into Queensland during flood years, way back before man-made constructions blocked passage. — Eds note).
A Sealegs 6.1m amphibious RIB.
Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.