It may look like a child’s model, but the four-foot boat skimming the surface of the Snake River is a prototype of a new kind of watercraft—a boat that can run up on shore to be unloaded, scoot over marshy ground without tearing up the sensitive vegetation, and zoom over snow on its way to remote outposts.

Designed and built by Konstantin Matveev, an assistant professor in Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and mechanical engineering students Zach Malhiot ’07, Ryan Soderlund ’08, and Alex Ockfen ’07 B.S., ’08 M.S., the vehicle can go much faster than conventional cargo boats carrying the same amount of weight—plus it has that nifty ability to move on land. The PARV, or Power Augmented Ram Vehicle, could be especially useful for landing operations and transport in the arctic.

Illustration

The PARV, or Power Augmented Ram Vehicle (PDF, requires PDF reader such as Acrobat Reader)

Fast boat illustration. Aaron Ashley.

Illustration by Aaron Ashley