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Entrepreneur gets his Sealegs at last

By Graeme Kennedy

Friday 14th February 2003

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Innovative IT specialist Maurice Bryham has turned to boating for his latest venture ­ a high-performance amphibian which takes the time and trouble out of putting to sea.

Mr Bryham has developed the Sealegs 4.7 Explorer, a boat which is launched simply by driving it like a car into the water where its aircraft-like undercarriage is retracted hydraulically for cruising. The procedure is reversed to get the craft back home or on to a trailer.

Sealegs International, 70%-owned by Mr Bryham's IT Capital and the rest by a private shareholder, unveiled its demonstration boat at the superyacht race to Kawau Island this week and will today announce details to the Stock Exchange.

"I live on the waterfront and often want to get out on the water but there is always quite a performance driving the boat to the beach and launching it," Mr Bryham said.

"It takes about half an hour just getting the boat in and out.

"There had to be a more convenient way and I worked through a series of concepts over four years until I came up with Sealegs."

An outboard engine will push the craft to 60 kph on the water while a 13hp Honda four-stroke drives the rear wheels and hydraulic motors.

Mr Bryham said he had received huge interest through his website sealegs.co.nz from Europe, North America and Australia as well as New Zealand and planned to start production of the $75,000 boat in Auckland during the second quarter of this year.

He said the major market would be waterfront boat-owners who wanted convenience although commercial applications could include aquaculture, search and rescue and as a superyacht tender.

Mr Bryham started IT Capital last year after selling his e.com software developer exonet to Solution 6 in 2000. He and business partner Sharon Hunter sold their hugely successful computer company PC Direct in 1997.

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