Savior In Deep Waters

Generally the focus is always on rapid action response kinda systems that help provide relief during disasters. The flat-pack recovery Rescue Boat seen here is not for rapid response but for post-disaster scenarios. The focus is on a systematic, reliable vessel that will help recover cargo and victims. It is stored and transported in its stackable 9″-deep form, with pontoon tubes detached; till its services are required.

The pontoon tubes add stability to the design and are attached when the boat is set in the water. The sidewalls fold up to become handrails and rotate further to become ladders, to help up stranded folks. Depending upon the retrievals, it can either be used as a flat space for cargo or pull up the foldable seats to accommodate 26 pax.

A tent stored in the floor compartment comes in handy as temporary accommodation, when you bring ashore the vessel.

Facts and figures:

– L’ x W’ x H’: 14 x 8 x .75 (w/tubes 14 x 8 x 1.75)(w/tent 14 x 8 x 5.75)
– Material considerations: heavy-duty biopolymer (or aluminum) for boat body and pontoon tubes, steel sidewalls. Wooden or plastic oars, plastic or aluminum benches, canvas or synthetic tent, rubberized metal tent poles.
– Seating capacity: 10 comfortably, 20 full capacity, 26 maximum
– Sleeping capacity: 8 comfortably, 14 maximum

Designer: Matthew Spencer




Rescue Boat by Matthew Spencer


Here’s a look at some other commendable rescue missions covered on YD earlier

Rez-Q by Jacob Ballard


This one is a pretty basic canoe and stretcher mission.

TESEO+ARIANNA by Davide Anzalone


Ideal for Baywatch lifeguards!

Swim Guard Vest Steffen Reiter


A personalized savior vest.


  • Confucius says:

    Has anybody sat down and actually thought about what they’re “designing” here???!

    a: This thing has no hope anywhere with waves.
    b: Storage is wasted by the chair supports
    c: There is no way in hell you would fit 26 people in there
    d: Where does that outboard come from? and its gonna sink it for sure!
    e: Sharp ‘aluminium’ corners will maim.
    f: I could go on but I’ll leave it up to some other posters, this ones too easy
    g: I would rather swim

    a: Sidecar “floats” wont float, think people, that whole kayack supports 1 persons weight, now look at the size comparison between the two.
    b: Passenger is going to drown coz hes not supported.
    b: Sail wont do Shit.
    d: Sidecar is in the way of the paddler, so this, combined with the crap sail means you cant get anywhere, which means another rescue?!

    a: By memory this thing is powered by giant batteries and what must be an R/C motor. Meaning this is going to make a crap submarine
    b: The design is shown in pic A as going in one direction, so he cant push the guy coz he’l sink, and by the looks of things its not built to reverse.
    c: The rescuer, will quickly run out of energy and drown in that position.

    Jesus is a bit overweight.

    • M.S. says:

      Confucius, man of widsom:
      As the designer I’ll do my best to respond…

      a: Pontoons are especially notable for their stability in rough waters
      b: Chair supports fold into the seats, they waste no more space than the depth of the seat itself
      c: Even a cursory amount of research into natural disasters will show you that products are often used way over their ‘sensible’ capacity in emergencies. Please refer to the concept’s description where I note that it seats 10 comfortably, 20 fully, and 26 desperately.
      d: The outboard may be a bit misleading here; it’s just a placeholder to show that you could in theory mount an outboard in the rear. Again, with pontoons being difficult to sink, one motor is not going to topple a boat with two large tubes of trapped air supporting it.
      e: Good point, though this is only an initial concept. Assuming you mean the boat’s ‘edges,’ I would say future iterations will be filleted.
      f: Please give the post more than a skim. I don’t usually feel compelled to ‘defend’ my work but I believe you may have given this an unfairly fleeting glance rather than reading closely. But I do thank you for commenting, I appreciate all input

      • Pax says:

        Late to the party, but some thoughts for the designer:

        a. Have you considered a version with pre-attached *inflatable* pontoons, powered by compressed air cannisters? I can see rapid-responders in the area of a flood using somethign like this if that was a capability: drop it in the water, trigger the inflation cycle, and bam, flotation for several people. These could even be deployed by a boat that DOESN’T STOP. Especially if on-board storage contains some basic food, water, and first-aid supplies. Have that boat zip through, loudspeaker blaring, in the first couple hours. People have flotation and minimal supplies for the hours or day before the next wave of relief and rescue comes through.

        b. Skip the chairs, honestly. In an emergency, people are going to be surprisingly willing to sit on the “floor”. Providing some secure anchorpoints to lock down a wheelchair or stretcher/ hopsital bet would be a fery useful idea, though.

        c. Store some extra flotation devices in the available volume – things that can be throw overboard to people in the water, with a rope attached, to provide those people with (a) aid in keeping their head above ater, and (b) a tow, to someplace they can get completely out of the water without sinking the raft itself.

        d. You’re right, especially with cargo shifted forward to compensate. Also, especially not if you use a SMALL and lightweight motor – like one of the outboards intended for use on a canoe. That might not propel you FAST, but slow is better than NO. 🙂

        In general, I think the concept has some real, solid merit for use as an emergency system. Heck, a coast guard helicopter could drop a stack of 8-10 of these, plus one or two rescue swimmers and an MET, into a flood or similar disaster area, then resume more typical duties – or even go pick up *another* stack.

        • M.S. says:


          Thanks a lot for your comments. Getting a comment, especially a late one, is like a pleasant surprise.

          a. That’s a very interesting idea. It reminds me of the rapidly-inflating emergency shelters for use in arctic conditions.

          b. A valid point. I especially like the idea of anchor points in the floor; I had already decide that a later iteration of this concept would include perforated floors, and this just lends more weight to that.

          c. Doable
          d. Agreed

          Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Confucius says:

    You take criticism well Matt, which is a needed trait for a designer.

    Pontoons are stable, agreed, but the people won’t be, It could hold 26 people piled ontop of each-other, and no, the outboard isn’t a good look.

    You’ve gotta think that in an emergency people are panicking, (usually) wet, they’re tired, confused etc. They need something safe, quick and easy to use as a rescue device. Personally I don’t think that your concept has been thought through completely.

    The thing you must learn as a designer, is that our job is to improve existing products. Whether that’s aesthetically or practically, or my favourite…both.
    I find that with your concept, it hasn’t improved on the current inflatable emergency life-raft as used by thousands of boat owners worldwide. Nor does it improve on a plain ol boat in flooded areas.

    • M.S. says:

      I agree, I think handling criticism is both admirable and necessary for the field.

      I hate to beat a dead horse but I’ve gotta repeat, the 26 person metric was an absolute maximum. They’d be uncomfortable and it would be mayhem, but if your village is burning behind you, you’re likely to forgo comfort and even stability. The number was derived from every seat being 2 feet long, thus (uncomfortably) seating 20, plus six curled up in the aisle or squeezed in elsewhere. Yeah it’s impractical, but it’s no more cramped than any given ferry boat in Venice 😉

      I do welcome your criticism, however I must caution you that you’re veering dangerously close to arrogance when you start sentences with “the thing you must learn as a designer…” So I beg of you; please avoid preachyness.

      Of course I appreciate the role of designer you’ve mentioned here, though I must point out you are falling short in reading this concept. I do hope you give other products a more thorough read than you did mine:

      1. It’s an entirely different scenario than the inflatable life raft you’ve mentioned. That is outlined in the first two sentences of Radhika’s writeup.

      2. Plain ol’ boats do not stack, aren’t convertible shelters, and can’t stow seating to be used as empty cargo room.

      I’m glad you stopped by my post, but I’m still not convinced you were paying attention. Regardless, thank you for reading.

  • DaLk says:

    1) since it’s an rescue boat, how are you supposed to mount an outboard motor as you evacuate ?
    That platform looks heavy (why metal ?)clumsy and complicated to put in the water, unless you have some kind of “platformer-dispenser” installed ^_^
    Something that could be easily fixed : it lacks a water evacuation system 🙂
    The barriers are more of an hindrance than help ; could be easily replaced by nets. better hold on carried stuff, weight less and could be of some use “later”.

    3)with the pilot half immerged, it’s bond to be slower than any craft. Pilot, who has then a very limited sight. Both may prove fatal for the yet to be rescued

    • M.S. says:

      Hello DaLk, thank you for commenting:

      1. I believe you’ve misinterpreted…this is not a boat that civilians own ‘just in case,’ this is a boat used for recovery, and is dispatched by governments or aid organizations.
      The platform here is listed as being constructed of biopolymer, which is plastic. Aluminum is also a choice and aluminum is known for being a lightweight metal.

      2. The boat is launched like any other pontoon boat.

      Water evacuation…?

      I did consider nets, however they are easily tangled, could be dangerous, and could not act as hand rails. They are also messier to put away.

      3. This is a somewhat confusing sentence but I’m assuming you mean the pilot cannot see the water ahead. This is a good point, and is unfortunately a shortcoming of all simple outboard motors that are not equipped with a steering wheel system.

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