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$1,492 pledged of $350,000 goal
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By James Womack
$1,492 pledged of $350,000 goal
backers

About

      Relax on Water    

       The MelloShip experience combines the two great sensations of relaxing in a hammock and floating on water. The combination is magical. Float with a friend in comfort on a gorgeous lake and enjoy nature in a whole new way. Add a silent motor (sold separately) and go for a hammock cruise. 

  • Built for Comfort: The MelloShip offers an incredibly comfortable way to relax on the water. 
  • Built for Two: Bring a friend - Two hammocks side by side. 
  • Safe:  Practically unflippable due to low center of gravity and wide pontoon stance. Pontoons built for class 5 rapids (i.e.: speed against rocks) and contain four separate air chambers. Step areas and floor have non-slip surfaces.
  • Customizable:  The MelloShip is designed to be used in many different ways. Single hammock, Two hammocks side by side, floor below you, or with no floor below you - just water; pop up seats; cooler mount; with paddles or with a motor; additional extra options to include: drink holders, shade umbrella, fold down desk, fishing pole holders, extended yoga floor ...
  • Environmentally Considerate:  No noise pollution. No water pollution. Designed to hold solar panel (sold separately) that allows you to charge battery as you use it. Battery compartment is attached to the frame, so even IF somehow you flipped it (almost impossible), the battery will not fall out. 

  

" The best innovation in leisure boating 

                                           since the invention of the yacht "      

                                                                                  -  Michael C. Ford. 

  Specifications:   Length: 13 feet. Width: 6ft 2 inches (outsides of pontoons); Height: 8 feet (to top of hammock support post):  Weight: 145 pounds (without motor or battery, which can add 75 or more). Pontoons are 18 inches in diameter and have two chambers each. The MelloShip holds up to 500 pounds and is designed to work with various electric motors, battery, and solar panels - all sold separately. 

Not-included : The MelloShip does not come with a motor or solar panel or battery, as those are not made by us and we cannot include them in a Kickstarter campaign. However, the MelloShip was designed to work well with these technologies and our website offers our recommendations for these extras.

Essence: The essence of the beauty of the MelloShip - floating on air and on water in a tranquil lake or river - is available without any extras. You don't need a motor to paddle the MelloShip to a great location, drop the anchor, and relax. All you need is a MelloShip and a lake.

Dial up the Decadence: Dial up the decadence as you wish: with some music, a delicious beverage, and a motor (see website) that allows you to pre-set cruising routes for your MelloShip. Step in, hit "go," and let it take you on a two-mile cruise. You don't have to touch anything. It becomes a ride.   

 

The Calculus of the MelloShip:

       Relaxing in a hammock . . . . . . . . . .     =    comfort 

       Floating on water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     =    pleasure 

       Relaxing in a hammock while floating on water  =   Pah-Lease !

 

                         Featured in 

Click for direct links to articles
Click for direct links to articles

 

 

Why Austin ?  Why do we have a Reward Category just for Austin ? We are asking for Austin, specifically, to help with this project because I have always heard that Austin supports weird things and I thought the MelloShip qualified. I have never been to Austin. But I love food and music and so does Austin - or so I've heard. And I have some great friends there. So Austin, this is me asking you (YOU) directly to step up and support the MelloShip. In return for your support, you get to enjoy an hour in a super souped-up version of the MelloShip with a friend, two T-Shirts and two MelloShip Fellowship memberships. 

Ideal places to own a MelloShip:

LakeFront Hotels:    Imagine offering your guests a ride in the MelloShip. 
"Good afternoon, welcome to the dock. Might we be up for a thirty minute cruise in the MelloShip on this fine day? Just step in, get comfortable, and it will take you for a ride out around that little island, then over there below those willow trees, then to the middle of the lake and back to the dock. Or drive it around as you wish. Either way, it's a perfect day for the MelloShip. Perhaps some lemonade for the ride ? "

Lakefront homes:  Imagine waking up, strolling down to the lake, hopping in your MelloShip with a thermos of fresh coffee and gliding out into the lake. Or an afternoon picnic with your partner. Or sunset cruise with your kid. Or whenever stress rears its head: The MelloShip specializes in stress reduction.   

Canoe / Kayak Rental Outfitters:  As with a canoe, there are many people who will enjoy using the MelloShip but for whom it will be impractical to own one. City dwellers need to get out in nature too. 

 

Solar Panel: The solar panel is sold separately. Visit our website for recommendations. The MelloShip is designed to work with a solar panel - or, indeed, two solar panels - which can charge the battery as you're cruising. 

 

Portability : The MelloShip is portable. The pontoons are inflatable and reduce in size to fit easily in the trunk of any car. The frame comes apart into 8 basic pieces, plus step areas and flooring. These parts can all be tied to the roof of a car. It comes with a pump. The pontoons can be inflated in about ten/fifteen minutes without breaking much of a sweat. The rest can be assembled with relative ease in about half an hour. 

T-Shirt
T-Shirt

 

Close-up of T-Shirt Image
Close-up of T-Shirt Image

Project Development: 

Initial idea: The idea of the MelloShip first came to me in 2012 when I was designing a roof-rack type structure to hold surfboards on my small Zodiac-type boat in Nicaragua. In drawing designs for this, it occurred to me that it would be nice if the frame were strong enough to hold a hammock. In playing with this idea further I thought "Hey, why not build the frame so that I could position the hammock in such a way as to be able to reach the throttle and drive the boat while sitting in the hammock." An idea was born. 

First Prototype: The idea lived only in my head until the spring of 2015 when I built the first prototype of the MelloShip at Equilibrio in Nicaragua. The first one was made out of 4-inch PVC tubes tied together with wire and holding a basic frame. The floor was a plastic dish-drying rack; the transom was a two by four piece of wood tied to the frame.  

    I built this as a hoot for myself. But on my very first ride down the Nahualapa river I realized just how sweet it was. The combination of floating in air and on water simultaneously was more incredible than I could have predicted. It was 10 times cooler than I had hoped it would be. I was quite literally embarrassed by how comfortable it was as I went cruising down the river passing by kids I know playing on the side of the river. They howled and screamed and laughed and dove in the water and swam after me. One kid even jumped out of a tree (see below video) and swam toward me. 

    That night I bought the website HammockMadness.com because I was so excited about how fun it was. Soon friends tried it, loved it, and encouraged me to make more. Some friends kicked in financial support along with thoughts and suggestions - all in order to help develop the MelloShip.

Various Prototypes and Patent:  In 2015 I returned to the USA and spent three months working on designs and building prototypes and then testing them, tweaking the design, more building, more testing, more tweaking. We worked with IP lawyers and filed the patent application (and currently have patent pending status). We made a video and put together a Kickstarter page and felt like we were ready to launch in Sept of 2015. But we hit a wall -- we didn't understand the manufacturing process. We hit pause before returning to the blackboard in 2016. 

Final Stretch : During the early months of 2016 I worked on new designs with engineers and an architect in order to finish the final design and make the technical 3-D drawings needed to get manufacturing numbers for the frames and flooring. We worked through the specifics of the frame with frame manufacturers in the USA and Canada getting quotes on materials, treatments, and labor costs for the frame and flooring of the final design. We researched and communicated with the pontoon companies (three) able to provide the stellar quality of inflatable pontoons needed to float the MelloShip.

     It has taken about 18 months, but we have come a long way: 

  • Built and tested various prototypes.
  • Finished the design process. Made technical drawings.
  • Covered the legal aspects: patent filed, trademark done.
  • We have manufacturing facilities available.
  • We have component sourcing partners organized.

    The MelloShip is ready to go into production.

Final Note on Safety. If you are reading this, you are not a fish and therefore the MelloShip, like any watercraft, poses some inherent safety risks for you, my fellow humanoid. While it is great to enjoy the MelloShip, don't forget that your number one goal is your safety and being considerate to other people and their safety. By following common sense along with the basic safety recommendations below, we are all more likely to avoid accidents or injuries. 

Users should always use life-jackets. You should always have an anchor. A whistle. A light. A phone. You should always be aware of other boats and other people in the water. If you use an electric motor, you should use a propeller guard on that motor. Never use the MelloShip in rough waters. It is built for calm water. It should not be used in water with strong currents, rapids, or waves. It should never be operated while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Risks and challenges

While the MelloShip is inherently fun, it is no joke. This is an ambitious project. We are making a completely new type of watercraft.
We have set an intentionally high funding goal in order to minimize the risks for the backers.
The higher the funding goal, the more likely we are to fulfill our promise at the highest level -- because we will have the financial resources to do so.
If we reach the funding goal I will be moving back to the USA to oversee all aspects of production.
As for the challenges of production. They will be real, but we are well prepared and with financing in place, we see no reason for major problems.
The MelloShip is made of various parts that all come together nicely. We understand all those parts. The parts we must make, we know how to make: we just need the funding. The parts we don't make, we know where to get them: we just need the funding.
There will be challenges, there always are.
We are well-prepared and persistent.
We will prevail.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    MelloShip Fellowship

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - a MelloShip Fellowship membership card.
    - Updates on project's progress.

    Welcome to the MelloShip Fellowship - loosely defined as the eclectic group of hammock-lovers, day-dreamers, tree-huggers, adventures, decadent hedonists, water enthusiasts, and those willing to step up and support a ridiculously sweet way to relax on water.
    Supporters at all levels help to bring the MelloShip into existence. Thank you !

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    4 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    MelloShip Joy

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - T-shirt : " I Kickstarted the MelloShip "
    - MelloShip Fellowship membership card.
    - Updates on project's progress.

    Your T-Shirt also comes with a special sense of pride you will feel for knowing that you helped make the world a little more interesting. There once was a world without the MelloShip. You helped solve that problem. No matter how many times you use, wash, or stain your T-Shirt, the pride never fades.

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    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MelloShip Argonauts of Austin

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - Voucher for 1-hour MelloShip ride for two
    - 2 T-shirts : " I Kickstarted the MelloShip "
    - 2 MelloShip Fellowship membership cards
    - Updates on project's progress.

    Take it for a cruise. Bring a friend. Ride is available for two people.
    Ride is redeemable in Austin, TX.
    Exact location yet to be determined, but within 30 minutes of Downtown Austin. Voucher is good for you, plus one friend, for a one hour ride.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    First 100 MelloShips

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - One of the first 100 MelloShips.
    - 2 T-Shirts : "I Kickstarted the MelloShip"
    - 2 MelloShip Fellowship membership cards
    - Updates on project's progress

    Each MelloShip will be numbered - in the order it was ordered - and signed by MelloShip inventor. Be one of the first people in the world to enjoy this phenomenal watercraft. Congrats !

    Includes:
    • Doubles accessory for suspending two hammocks
    • 2 hammocks, 2 seats, 2 drink holders, floor option
    • Motor mount, Solar panel mount, Cooler tie-downs
    • NOT included: motor, solar panel, battery, other accessories
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    Limited 0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    MelloShip Tropical Trip December 2016

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - 5 night visit for two guests to MelloShip birthplace in Nicaragua: at Equilibrio
    - 1 MelloShip (estimated delivery June 2017)
    - 2 T-Shirts "I Kickstarted the MelloShip "
    - 2 MelloShip Fellowship memberships
    - Updates on project's progress.

    Backers at this level get to see where the first MelloShip was conceived, built, and tested; try the original MelloShip as well as the latest version; tour the workshop with inventor; enjoy 5 nights as our guests at Equilibrio. Airfare is not included. Everything else is : you are our guest.

    Dates are firm: December 3 - 8, 2016

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,001 or more About $6,001

    MelloShip Tropical Trip January 2017

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - 5 night visit for two guests to MelloShip birthplace in Nicaragua, at Equilibrio.
    - 1 MelloShip (estimated delivery June 2017)
    - 2 T-Shirts "I Kickstarted the MelloShip "
    - 2 MelloShip Fellowship memberships
    - Updates on project's progress.

    Backers at this level get to see where the first MelloShip was conceived, built, and tested; try the original MelloShip as well as the latest version; tour the workshop with inventor; enjoy 5 nights as our guests at Equilibrio. Airfare is not included. Everything else is : you are our guest.

    Dates are firm: January 8 - 13, 2017

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    MelloShip Fleet

    Pledge at this level and receive:

    - 3 (three) MelloShips.
    - 6 T-Shirts : "I Kickstarted the MelloShip"
    - 6 MelloShip Fellowship membership cards
    - Updates on project's progress

    You could race them; lend them out to guests or friends; join them together in the middle of the lake, drop anchor, have a barbecue with five friends. Each of the three MelloShips comes with the below included items:

    Includes:
    • Doubles accessory for suspending two hammocks
    • 2 hammocks, 2 seats, 2 drink holders, floor option
    • Motor mount, Solar panel mount, Cooler tie-downs
    • NOT included: motor, solar panel, battery, other accessories
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
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Funding period

- (32 days)