FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - South Floridians have come to expect anything and everything as we venture along the highways, byways and waterways of our own backyard.
But there's a good chance that no one has ever seen anything quite like the Tiki Hut Boat that's been spotted sailing along the New River in Fort Lauderdale recently.
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Like peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs and Gilligan and the Skipper; the vessel is the perfect combo for people who love boating, but don't want to miss the party on shore.
The Tiki Hut Boat is the brainchild of Greg Darby and Cruisin' Tikis.
Darby says the boat was borne out of necessity and imagination, like all good contraptions.
A longtime Fort Lauderdale resident, Darby and his wife would often enjoy boating to lunch in their little dinghy. Unfortunately, someone swiped the dinghy, leaving the couple hitting the road on motorcycles.
But when the water came a'calling, that's when Darby, a sailor for over four decades, was hit with inspiration.
"Wouldn't it be funny if I had a Tiki Hut as a dinghy." Darby recalled thinking.
After 3 1/2 years of planning, the dream became a reality.
And not long after the Tiki Hut Boat's maiden voyage a few months ago, the ooh's and ahh's started pouring in.
With a wet bar, sink and captain's wheel, the boat can comfortably seat as many as 12 people and a fully-loaded model sells for $21,500.
Darby says the company already has orders to build three more Tiki Hut Boats.
The best part of Darby's voyages come whenever he passes the popular Jungle Queen tour on the New River, He claims the large tourist boat looks like it will tip over as passengers rush to the side to catch a glimpse of the strange watercraft.
As for the doubters who believed the Tiki Hut Boat would not be able to withstand a deep wake in the Intracoastal, Darby has a simple response.
"We've never spilled a beer."
Special thanks to the Fort Lauderdale River Rats Facebook site for the video.
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