Mako: The Personal Hydro-Dragster…designed by idiots, for idiots.

Mako personal hydroplane multiview

Yeah, the model is wearing jeans and a shirt. Isn’t that what you wear when you take your “personal hydro-dragster” out for a spin?

This is the definition of flawesome. And I designed it. Yes, I am ripping on critiquing myself, to show you that designers are indeed human, and with being human comes imperfection…and stupid designs. The year was 2006, and I was on my way to being an awesome designer…except I had two more years of school. The objective of this project was to design a personal watercraft vehicle, and create a 3D computer model of it. And to make sure whatever was designed was rendered in the worst colors imaginable. Okay, not really. That didn’t stop me, though. Because this industrial design student liked to push the boundaries of good taste when it came to exterior colors of personal watercraft vehicles.

This post will be a bit different than other posts, because this is my own design, and I can give you some background on my thought process. I have to be honest, the designer I am today is pretty much saying “What the fuck was wrong with me back then??” regarding this design. I really have no answer, except I was an idiot. “Design a personal watercraft, eh…?”, I said six years ago, with enthusiasm. I immediately started thinking and sketching, and thought of Formula 1 cars, and their front wings, and massive spoilers and side pods. I drew out some side profile forms. I started thinking about drag racing motorcycles, and catamarans, and hydroplanes. Things that go fast, that don’t conform to rules. I did some sketches of a hydroplane that was like a motorcycle, with two side pontoons. I thought about the sea, and the ocean, and said, “This needs to look like it belongs in the water.” I looked at my sketches.

It looked like a lobster. And I went with it. For real.

I remember thinking “Yeah! A lobster! With claws…that glide across the surface of the water!” I assure you I was not on any psychoactive medications at the time. I was just…stupid. And I created this form, that looked like a lobster. A lobster you straddle and ride like a motorcycle…or more like an incredibly prone version of an Imperial Speeder Bike from Return Of The Jedi. As with all projects in school, there wasn’t much time to think about this more. I needed to model it, and get it presentation ready.

It’s named the Mako™ Hydro-Dragster. It looks like a fuckin’ lobster, yet I named it after a shark. Why?? There are so many other questions that need answers. Why is it green and turquoise? Is this thing actually buoyant? Can you even steer it? I don’t think so. I mean, I put a steering wheel/handlebars in there. Besides the incredibly messed-up ergonomics of trying to steer while simultaneously using your arms to support your upper body, there is a single rudder flap at the rear…to direct the thrust of one propeller shaft that will supposedly propel this vehicle to rocket-like speeds. Sure, I do state in the description that “…the engine is in the back, under the rider, to lower the center of mass.” That’s some sound physics. But did I think of the physics of making sure the vehicle would be buoyant? Of course not! Who cares when it has pontoons that look like giant green lobster claws, and has the name of a shark!

SMH, designer-student-me from six years ago. SMH.