In englishEesti keeles


My name is Mait Nilson, and my life's dream has been to build an amphibious car and circumnavigate the globe.

I am a mechanical engineer who runs his own small stainless steel fastener e-shop ( I'm over forty years old, and I decided it is time to fulfill my life's dream. So I designed and built Amphibear. 

I started my journey in Amphibear in 2 November 2013 and plan to conclude it nine months later, though since anything can happen I won't keep a strict schedule. I'll drive Amphibear all the way: no ferry boats! The first sea crossing will be Strait of Gibraltar, the first river crossing is in Senegal, and the first ocean crossing is the Atlantic. 

Amphibear is ready for the circumnavigation, but its construction has exhausted all my resources. Funding for the journey still has yet to be completed. 

Amphibear will drive through countries where I'll interact with a total population of 1.3 billion people. The vehicle will be covered with sponsor logos and contributors names. This way everybody benefits as companies get more customers and I can make the epic journey. 

If you'd like to support this project personally, this is most welcome. As a mark of gratitude, all contributor names will be integrated into the design of Amphibear, so your name will travel with Amphibear around the world!


Mait Nilson


Here it is - rebuilt Toyota Land Cruiser 120 4D4. On water: length 9.9m (with drives) ; width 4.75m; waterline 0.4m (0.8m with drives); max speed 8 knots, two hydraulically powered stern drives; forward and reverse gears; turns around in spot. On land: width 2.46m, height 3.3m, max speed 110 km/h.

Safety gear on side panel, bilge pump inside side panel, stove on back door

Flat sleeping places made of storage boxes on rails, portable toilet. On the roof autopilot remote. Installed hydraulics system pump.

On left: radio-scanner, road navigation GPS, camera screens, marine plotter, VHF radio. In the middle: gear lever, hydraulic pressure gauge, handle for steering sterndrives and switchboard.

High resolution press pictures on land and water you can find here.


30 foot boat is really the smallest size suitable for ocean crossing. I plan to carefully choose the best forecast for first half of all legs on ocean and hope the best for second half. Amphibear can cover 120 nautical miles in a day in ideal conditions. Most legs last less than 5 days and can be covered when weather forecast is good.

As amphibious vehicle, Amphibear has some disadvantages when compared to a catamaran or a boat: higher center of gravity, less room for equipment and crew. Major advantage is really small wind drag, meaning less risk to capsize due to wind than sailing catamarans.

Consultations with wave scientists confirm that normal waves are not dangerous to Amphibear and all bigger than 4m breaking waves can be dangerous. That is why sea anchoring is the most reasonable option for higher wind and wave conditions.

As cruising speed and total mass are low compared to common power and sailing boats then structural strength requirements are not extremely high. Small rescue boats can survive the storms due to the same reason. There should be enough spare factors for winds and waves in the structure.

Big part of storage is planned for safety equipment, lifeboat equipped for ocean, desalinator, EPIRB, other com devices, flares etc. For rescue there is no more equipment to wish for, after I have finalized the funding.

And finally, to my mind safety is about decisions, not about equipment or technology.  There are right decisions for safe course, turning to the wave, using sea anchor and having your rest to become ready for more right decisions. As all quality systems define, if the floor is clean, then you can do the right step when one is needed. I have done the preparations and I am ready.

Let's Do It! Clean the world together!

This is my favorite charity program. It really makes the difference. Estonia is much more nice place after their cleanup action! I decided to promote their message on Amphibear, as you can see from the image of pontoon middle section design. Everyone who donates to the journey can also tick box to promote this action. Above the message you see donors names. These will travel with the car around the world. Let's Do It - Clean the World together asks to make small actions to help to clean up the world from trash. It can be mapping, organising or participating in cleanup actions. This is one of the most efficient charity I have ever seen. I have participated and encourage you to tick the box and also visit their website.


Amphibear is driven around the world as commercial promotional project by Amphibear Ltd, small private company established for the project and fully owned by Mait Nilson. All donations are regarded as purchase of advertising on Amphibear. For companies, this kind of spending is among common business expenses. For your security you can withdraw personal support made via Paypal during 14 days from making it. Just e-mail me over paypal contact and I will refund the transfer if you feel you made it by mistake.

Project company details are: Amphibear OU, Masti 5, 11911 Tallinn, Estonia. Paypal account and e-mail are and bank account in SEB Bank is IBAN EE301010220219648227. Company CEO is Mait Nilson.