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Inventor Profile:
Jack Moar

Amphibious Trailer

It must have been difficult to dispute the oddity of Jack Moar’s amphibious trailer at its unveiling on the North Saskatchewan River in 1962. Certainly, each of us is familiar with the "mad scientist" or "kooky inventor" stereotype, but is it true?

Jack Moar showcasing his amphibious trailerMoar created the amphibious trailer to be an easily transportable craft that would be just as comfortable on land as it was in water. Thirteen feet long and 12 feet wide, it consisted of a trailer and two pontoons filled with plastic foam. To function as a watercraft, the trailer was equipped with a 40-horsepower outboard motor. As a land vehicle, the trailer was not self-propelled, needing to be hitched to another vehicle.

Amphibious Trailer on landMoar intended to market the craft to weekend campers, tourists, prospectors and fishermen. While he built a prototype of the trailer, had it licensed by the government and travelled across the country displaying it at various boat shows, he could not obtain the patent for it and thus, it never went into production.

Although an amphibious vehicle may seem strange, there is a history of them dating back to the late 19th century. Moar’s vehicle, in comparison to those from other periods and countries, is designed to transport and house people, as opposed to the other designs that were created simply to move people over different types of terrain. It truly is a Canadian invention, built to withstand the vast and often isolated landscape.

For those who think the idea of an amphibious vehicle is farfetched, it has since gone into production in Canada. In 1998, Daniel Beauchesne of St. Isidore, Ontario invented what is now known as the Lady Duck Amphibus. In May of 1999, the amphibious craft began to be used for tours in Ottawa, in which passengers spend 45 minutes driving and 45 minutes on the Ottawa River. Jack Moar, quite simply, was ahead of his time.

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