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Title:
MONOHULL WATER-BORNE CRAFT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1997/022513
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A monohull water-borne craft having a hull (1) which comprises a bow portion (2), a stern portion (3) and opposite sides (33) characterised by a main hull portion (1) and an opposed pair of elongate stabilizers (8) extending along the said opposite sides (33) of the main hull portion (1) immediately adjacent to the main hull portion . The stabilizers (8) may be integral with the main hull portion or may be movable.

Inventors:
Azima, Farad
Application Number:
PCT/GB1996/000693
Publication Date:
June 26, 1997
Filing Date:
March 22, 1996
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MISSION YACHTS PLC AZIMA, Farad.
International Classes:
B63B1/04; B63B39/06; B63B41/00; B63B43/14; (IPC1-7): B63B43/14; B63B39/06; B63B41/00; B63B1/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO1989002390A11989-03-23
Foreign References:
US2544599A1951-03-06
DE4338333A11995-05-11
US5163377A1992-11-17
CH183583A1936-04-15
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 8, no. 12 (M - 269)<1449> 19 January 1984 (1984-01-19)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A monohull waterborne craft having a hull (1) which comprises a bow portion (2), a stern portion (3) and opposite sides (33) characterised by a mam hull portion (1) and an oppoεed pair of elongate εtabilizerε (8) extending along the εaid oppoεite sides (33) of the main hull portion (1) immediately adjacent to the mam hull portion.
2. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 1, characterised in that the stabilizerε (8) extend along the εideε (33) of the mam hull portion (1) from a position near to the bow portion (2) of the mam hull portion (1) to a position near to the stern portion (3) of the main hull portion.
3. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 1, characteriεed in that the εtabilizerε (8) extend from a mid region (10) of the mam hull portion (1) to a poεition adjacent to the stern portion (3) of the ma n hull portion.
4. A monohull waterborne craft according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterised in that the stabilizerε (8) are εhaped to create hydrodynamic lift.
5. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the craft is at least substantially without a ballast keel as herein defmed.
6. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the stabilizerε (8) are buoyant.
7. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised m that the stabilizers (8) extend downwardε below the main hull portion (1) .
8. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the stabilizers (8) are ballasted.
9. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 8, characterised by active ballast tanks disposed in the stabilizers (8) .
10. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised m that the stabilizers (8) extend laterally from opposite sides of the mam hull portion (1) .
11. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised by propulsion means housed the stabilizers (8) .
12. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 11, characterised in that the propulsion means comprise hydro et means.
13. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 11 or claim 12, characterised by sail means whereby the craft is convertible for uεe aε a εail craft and aε a power boat.
14. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised by lateral stability enhancing devices (36) on the stabilizers (8).
15. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 14, characterised by a retractable keel (36) in each stabilizer ( 8 ) .
16. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 15, characterised by ballast weights (35') on the distal ends of the retractable keels (36) .
17. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised by rudders (4) on the stabilizerε (8) .
18. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characteriεed in that the ma hull portion (1) and the εtabilizers (8) comprise external surfaceε which merge εmoothly together.
19. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characteriεed that the εtabilizerε (8) are narrow in width in relation to their length.
20. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characteriεed in that the εtabilizerε (8) compriεe bulges extending from each side (33) of the mam hull portion (1 ) .
21. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the stabilizers (8) comprise enclosures which are separate from the interior of the main hull portion (1) .
22. A monohull waterborne craft according to any preceding claim, wherein the stabilizers (8) are integral with the main hull portion (1).
23. A monohull waterborne craft according to any one of claims 1 to 21, characterised by means (27,29,31) movably mounting the stabilizerε (8) on the mam hull portion (1) and by means for moving the εtabilizerε relative to the mam hull portion.
24. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 23, characteriεed by power meanε for moving the εtabilizerε (8) relative to the ma hull portion (1) to alter the angles of their longitudinal axes with reεpect to the longitudinal axiε of the mam hull portion (1) .
25. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 24, characterised in that the power means is connected to each stabilizer (8) such that the stabilizers are independently movable .
26. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 23 or claim 24, characterised by pivot means (22,29,31) movably mounting the stabilizers on the mam hull portion, the pivot means being dispoεed at the forward endε of the εtabil zers .
27. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 26, characterised m that the axiε of each pivot meanε (22,29) is arranged such that the stabilizers are movable in a plane having a vertical component.
28. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 26 or claim 27 characterised in that the axiε of each pivot means (22,31) is arranged such that the stabilizers are movable in a plane having a horizontal component.
29. A monohull waterborne craft according to any one of claims 23 to 28, characterised by at least one recess (26) in the main hull portion (1) and that the stabilizers (8) are at least partly housed in the said at least one recess .
30. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 29, characterised by means (22,31) mounting the stabilizers whereby the stabilizers (8) are movable between poεitionε in which they extend laterally from the opposite sides (33) of the mam hull portion to positions in which they lie substantially flush with the main hull portion.
31. A monohull waterborne craft according to claim 29 or claim 30, characteriεed in that the εtabilizerε (8) compriεe wmglike portions (40) which extend inwardly below the mam hull portion.
Description:
TITLE: MONOHULL WATER-BORNE CRAFT

DESCRIPTION

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to water-borne craft, more particularly, but not exclusively, of the nature of pleasure craft such as yachts and power boats.

BACKGROUND ART Known single hull, i.e. monohull, sail craft require a substantial keel to maintain stability during sailing. Especially with larger yachts the keel must be substantial in terms of both weight and size that is to say m a range between 25% and 75%, and typically 40%, of the total weight of the boat. For this and other reasons such a sail craft when operated under motor power cannot compete in terms of performance with a conventional power boat. Nevertheless such monohull craft have popular appeal. Conversely a

conventional power boat is incapable of operation as a high performance sail yacht due to the lack of a large ballast keel.

Multi-hull sail craft are known and which obviate the need for the large and/or heavy keel of a conventional monohull yacht. The stability of a multi-hull craft is inherently good compared to that of a monohull craft, although once capsized a monohull craft is usually easier to right than is a multi-hull craft. Multi-hull sail craft can employ hulls which are narrow in beam n relation to their length which provides a performance gam but such craft are not without their own specific operational disadvantages. Thus catamarans achieve their stability by utilising a spaced pair of hulls. The hulls are conventionally narrow in beam m relation to their length to reduce hydrodynamic drag but the result is that the useful accommodation space in the hulls is somewhat compromised. At least where motor cruising catamarans are concerned this accommodation problem can be met by decking and superstructure between the hulls above the waterline, since compared to a sail boat, the problems of raised centre of gravity are less acute. Nevertheless it is also known to provide a sailing catamaran with a superstructure, but this will tend to raise the centre of gravity of the craft and can give rise to functional difficulties, e.g. reducing available space, reducing practicality as well as diminishing the aesthetics of the craft.

The problem of useful accommodation space is not so acute in a trimaran hull configuration, but here the compromise results in a craft with a pair of substantially sized stabilizing members, i.e. outrigger hulls, laterally spaced by a considerable distance from a central main hull which means that such a craft is wide n beam and is cumbersome in confined spaces, e.g. when manoeuvring in a marina. It is thus known to provide a trimaran having folding outriggers to assist in berthing. Also the dynamic stability of a trimaran may, when its outriggers are alternately wetted when the boat is in motion, lead to a variety of undesirable effects in use.

It is also known to provide a hydrofoil sailing craft in which the hydrofoils are arranged in a triangle. The advantage of a hydrofoil craft is to minimise wetted area and thus to improve performance at the expense of passenger comfort and ultimate stability since the craft tends to bounce across the water surface.

It is an object of the invention to bring at least some of the benefits of a multi-hull water-borne craft to a monohull water-borne craft.

It is another obiect of the present invention to provide a water-borne craft which is capable of operation both as a sail yacht and as a power boat. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

From one aspect the invention is a monohull water¬ borne craft comprising a hull having a mam portion and an opposed pair of buoyant stabilizers, the stabilizers being

positioned on opposite sides of the ma hull portion and being disposed closely adjacent to the mam hull portion. The stabilizers may be elongate and arranged with their long axes extending along the main hull portion. The stabilizers may be integral with the mam hull portion over a substantial portion of their lengths.

From a further aspect the invention is a monohull water-borne craft comprising a hull having a mam portion and an opposed pair of stabilizing pods extending laterally from opposite sides of the mam hull portion and closely coupled to the main hull portion, the arrangement being such that the pods provide stability by way of buoyancy.

From another aspect the mvention is a monohull water¬ borne craft comprising a hull having a ma portion and an opposed pair of stabilizing pods extending laterally from opposite sides of the mam hull portion and closely coupled to the mam hull portion, the arrangement being such that the pods provide stability by way of ballast disposed remote from the centre line of the main hull portion. From yet another aspect the invention is a monohull water-borne craft comprising a hull havmg a mam portion and an opposed pair of stabilizing pods extending laterally from opposite sides of the main hull portion and closely coupled to the main hull portion, the arrangement being such that the pods provide stability both by way of buoyancy and by way of ballast disposed remote from the centre lme of the main hull portion.

The craft may be at leaεt substantially without a

ballast keel. The craft may be convertible for use as a sail craft and as a power boat.

From another aspect the invention is a monohull water¬ borne craft comprising a hull havmg a mam portion and an opposed pair of stabilizing pods extending laterally from opposite sides of the ma hull portion and closely coupled to the mam hull portion, each of the pods housing propulsion means. The craft may be at least substantially without a ballast keel. The pods may provide stability by way of buoyancy and/or by way of ballast positioned remote from the centre line of the main hull portion. The craft may be convertible for use as a sail craft and as a power boat.

From a further aspect, the mvention is a convertible monohull water-borne craft adapted for use as a sail craft and as a power craft and comprising a hull having a mam portion and an opposed pair of stabilizing pods extending laterally from opposite sides of the mam hull portion and olosely coupled to the ma hull portion, and propulsion means disposed in each of the pods, the craft being at

-least substantially without a ballast keel.

From yet another aspect the invention is a monohull water-borne craft comprising; a hull having a main portion which comprises a bow portion, a stern portion and opposite sides defining a pair of beam extremities, an opposed pair of elongate stabilizers extending along the said opposite sides of the mam hull portion, and

a pair of propulsion means one of which is housed near to one of the said beam extremities and the other of which is housed near to the other said beam extremity. The craft may be at least substantially without a ballast keel as herein defined. The stabilizers may be buoyant and/or ballasted.

The stabilizers may extend downwards below the main hull portion. The craft may be a sail craft. The pair of propulsion means may be hydroiet propulsion means housed m the respective stabilizers. A retractable keel may be associated with each stabilizer. The craft may comprise means for moving the stabilizers relative to the ma hull portion and relative to one another. The stabilizers may be at least partly housed in one or more cavities m the mam hull portion.

In the present invention a craft which is at least substantially without a ballast keel is one in which the ballast keel represents less than 25% of the total weight of the boat. In the present invention, the stabilizers or pods are small in internal volume in relation to the internal volume of the main hull portion. Thus they may each have an internal volume in a range up to 15%, and preferably around 10%, of the internal volume of the mam hull portion, excluding its superstructure. In any case the internal volume of each pod will not exceed 25% of the internal hull volume.

In the present invention, the stabilizers or pods may

be integral with the ma hull portion, or may be movable relative to the main hull portion. The stabilizers may be movable from positions in which they extend laterally from the opposite sides of the main hull portion to positions in which they lie substantially flush with the ma hull portion. The pods may be movable up and down, and/or laterally to vary the geometry of the craft. The pods may be pivotally mounted on the mam hull portion. Alternatively the pods may be telescopically extendible. In this case it may be desirable to extend the pods in a generally fore and aft direction from a wide portion of the beam of the main hull portion so that the pods extend along the sides of the craft. Power means, e.g. hydraulic or mechanical means, may be provided for moving the pods between their different positions. Alternatively the pods may be inflatable. The pods may be independently, i.e. differentially, movable.

Two or more stabilizers may be provided on each side of the main hull portion. The uses provided by the pods may thus be single or multi-functional and may fall into one or more of the following categories, namely:-

(1) hydrodynamic, e.g. in the nature of bilge keels or static or differentially movable stabilizers, lift producing devices (which may for example lift the mam hull from the water in the nature of a hydrofoil) or steering devices;

(2) buoyancy;

( 3 ) ballast;

(4) when the pods are movable together or differentially relative to the mam hull portion and are used to house propulsion means, the angling of the pods may be used to produce thrust having a directional component tending to stabilize the craft;

(5) the utility function of housing for heavy and/or bulky components such as engines, generators, electric batteries, water and fuel tanks etc, and

(6) the safety functions of separatmg fuel etc. from the occupants of the craft, providing the possibility of jettisoning fuel or even the pods themselves in an emergency, providing a degree of side impact protection for the hull and providing additional buoyancy in the event of flooding of the mam hull.

The external surfaces of the mam hull portion and the pods may merge smoothly together. The pods may be narrow in width in relation to their length. The pods may form bulges extending laterally and/or downwardly from each side of the mam hull portion.

The pods may form enclosures which are separate from the interior of the mam hull portion. The pods may join the mam hull portions at their upper portions.

The pods preferably project downwardly from the mam hull portion, and the downward projection of the pods may be substantially vertical. Preferably the pods project

downwardly to extend below the mam hull portion.

The pods may oin the mam hull portion near to the waterlme of the ma hull portion. The pods may extend to the decklme of the mam hull portion. The pods may extend along the sides of the mam hull portion from a position near to the bow region of the mam hull portion to a position near to the stern region of the main hull portion. Alternatively, the pods may extend from the mid region of the mam hull portion to a position adjacent to the stern of the mam hull portion.

The pods may support or carry rudders and/or fm keels which may be fixed or retractable and which may be ballasted.

The pods may be ballasted with fuel tank(s), water tanks (s), electrical batteries, electrical generators or the like.

Active ballast tanks may be disposed in the pods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The invention is diagrammatically illustrated, by way of example, m the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Figure 1 is a side view of a sail craft in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 is an underneath plan view of the craft of Figure 1; Figure 3 is an end view of the craft of Figure 1;

Figures 4 to 6 are generally similar to Figures 1 to 3 respectively and show a second embodiment of the mvention;

Figures 7 to 9 are generally similar to Figures 1 to 3 respectively and show a third embodiment of the invention;

Figures 10 to 12 are respectively a side view, an underneath plan view and an end view of a fourth embodiment of craft accordance with the invention;

Figure 13 is a diagram indicative of righting moments of different monohull designs;

Figure 14 compares righting forces of a conventional keeled monohull and of a design in accordance with the invention;

Figure 15 is a diagram comparing the behaviour of known water-borne craft and a craft m accordance with the invention in a large beam sea; Figure 16 is a diagram comparing the roll behaviour of known water-borne craft and a craft in accordance with the invention m a short side sea under static conditions, e.g. in harbour;

Figure 17 is a diagram showing the hull outlines and immersed intersections in plan of an embodiment of a craft according to the invention, a conventional monohull, a catamaran and a trimaran respectively;

Figure 18 is a diagram showing the hull outline and immersed intersections in plan of the embodiment of craft of the invention of Figure 17 under different conditions; Figure 19 is an end view of an embodiment of craft in accordance with the invention and having movable pods;

Figure 20 is an underneath plan view of another

embodiment of craft m accordance with the invention and having movable pods;

Figures 21 to 23 are respective side views of an embodiment of power boat according to the invention and which show how the pods can be moved to alter the trim of the craft;

Figure 24 is a perspective view of the embodiment of power boat shown in Figures 21 to 23;

Figure 25 is a perspective view of a modified form of the embodiment of power boat shown in Figure 24;

Figure 26 is a perspective view of a further modified version of the power boat of Figures 21 to 23;

Figures 27 and 28 are perspective views of further modified forms of the embodiment of power boat shown in Figure 26;

Figures 29 to 31 are respectively a side view, an underneath plan view and a rear view of a power boat incorporating the movable pods of the embodiment shown in Figures 21 to 23, and Figures 32 to 34 show a modified form of the power boat of Figure 26.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION In the drawings there is shown a monohull water-borne craft which may be a sail craft, a power boat or a convertible sail boat/power boat. The craft has a mam hull portion which is generally conventional in form except for being substantially without, in the case of a sail boat, a conventional large ballast keel and which mam hull

portion is formed with an opposed pair of close-coupled stabilizing pods, extending laterally and/or downwardly from opposite sides of the hull. In the embodiments of Figures 1 to 12 the pods are formed integrally with the hull. However, in the embodiments of Figures 19 to 34 it will be seen that the stabilizing pods are movable, for the reasons appearing more fully below.

In Figures 1 to 3 there is shown a monohull pleasure craft convertible for use as a sail boat and as a power boat and having a ma hull portion 1 havmg a bow 2, a stern 3, sides 33 and a bottom or underside 34. A steering rudder 4 is disposed at the stern 3. The craft has a deck 5 and a superstructure 6 and rear cockpit 7. The craft is also provided with a mast and sails (not shown) m conventional manner.

The opposite sides 33 of the hull 1 are formed with a pair of laterally extending stabilizing pods 8 which are integral with the hull 1 and which extend lengthwise of the mam hull from a position immediately behind the bow region 2 to a position immediately ahead of the stern region 3. The pods 8 merge smoothly with the surface of the hull to form bulges from the sides of the ma hull 1 to increase the beam of the craft and extending from the deck level 5 and projecting substantially vertically downwardly and returning upwardly to extend above the waterlme 9 before rejoining the underside of the mam hull at a position 32. The mam hull may be formed with devices or means for increasing lateral resistance to improve windward

performance, e.g. a fm keel, centre board, centre plate, power thruster or the like (not shown) . Alternatively or additionally such devices or means, e.g. fixed or retractable fm keels, dagger or lee boards or blades may be provided on the pods 8 to increase lateral resistance. Such devices, if retractable, may be made differentially retractable e.g. as an aid to steering, stability, performance and/or to provide active ballast, see Figure 14. The pods 8 are buoyant to increase the stability of the craft. Propulsion units and their associated fuel tanks, along with other heavy equipment such as electrical batteries, generators and water tanks can be accommodated in the pods so that they do not occupy or intrude into the usable accommodation space m the main hull and so that the propulsion units etc. provide optimally distributed ballast positioned remote from the centre line of the craft, i.e. at or near to the beam extremities, to increase inertia about the longitudinal axis of the craft and thereby reduce roll angle. Also noise and smell associated with engines may be reduced by disposing the propulsion units etc. in the pods. The propulsion units may be coupled to drive propellers but they may be in the form of water jet propulsion units, i.e. hydrojets. The interiors of the pods 8 are preferably physically separate from the interior of the ma hull portion, although they may be connected if desired e.g. by water¬ tight doors, not shown.

The craft may have both pods in the water when static although during normal operation one or other pod may be clear of the water, e.g. when the boat is heeled over. It is also intended that the craft may operate in displacement, semi-displacement and/or planing modes.

The arrangement of Figures 4 to 6 is generally similar to that of Figures 1 to 3 above, but here the pods 8 extend downwardly from the sides 33 of the main hull from a position 11 below the decklme of the mam hull. The main hull 1 is formed with a fin keel 12.

In Figures 7 to 9 there is shown a monohull pleasure craft convertible for use as a sail boat and as a power boat and having a ma hull portion 1 having a bow 2, a stern 3, sides 33 and a bottom or underside 34. A steering rudder 4 is disposed at the stern 3. The craft has a deck 5 and a superstructure 6 and rear cockpit 7. The craft is also provided with a mast and sails (not shown) in conventional manner.

The opposite sides 33 of the hull 1 are formed with a pair of laterally extending stabilizing pods 8 which are integral with the hull 1 and which extend lengthwise of the mam hull.

The mam hull may be formed with devices or means for increasing lateral resistance to improve windward performance, e.g. a fin keel, centre board, centre plate, power thruster or the like (not shown) . Alternatively or additionally such devices or means, e.g. fixed or retractable fin keels, dagger or lee boards or blades may

be provided on the pods 8 to increase lateral resistance. Such devices, if retractable, may be made differentially retractable e.g. as an aid to steering, stability, performance and/or to provide active ballast, see Figure 14.

The pods 8 are buoyant to increase the stability of the craft. Propulsion units and their associated fuel tanks, along with other heavy equipment such as electrical batteries, generators and water tanks can be accommodated in the pods so that they do not occupy or intrude into the usable accommodation space in the main hull and so that the propulsion units etc. provide optimally distributed ballast positioned remote from the centre line of the craft, i.e. at or near to the beam extremities, to increase inertia about the longitudinal axis of the craft and thereby reduce roll angle. Also noise and smell associated with engines may be reduced by disposing the propulsion units etc. in the pods. The propulsion units may be coupled to drive propellers but they may be in the form of water jet propulsion units, i.e. hydrojets.

The interiors of the pods 8 are preferably physically separate from the interior of the main hull portion, although they may be connected f desired e.g. by water¬ tight doors, not shown. The craft may have both pods in the water when static although during normal operation one or other pod may be clear of the water, e.g. when the boat is heeled over. The craft may also operate in displacement, semi-displacement

and/or planing modes.

The arrangement of Figures 7 to 9 is generally similar to those of Figures 1 to 6, but here the pods 8 are disposed further aft to extend from a mid position 10 of the hull to a position close to the stern 3 of the hull 1. Such an arrangement facilitates the housing of propulsion means in the pods and facilitates further adaptation, see the embodiments of Figures 20 to 34 below. Also the pods are positioned to extend from the sides 33 of the ma hull from a position 13 relatively close to the water line 9.

In this embodiment, the pods rejoin the hull at a position on the bottom or underside 34 of the main hull portion 1 close to the waterlme 9, as will be seen from Figure 9. To some extent, the pods 8 thus resemble bilge keels and may be shaped to have the function of providing dynamic stability.

Figures 10 to 12 of the drawings show one example of craft similar to that of Figures 7 to 9 but intended purely as a sail boat so that the pods 8 are not arranged to house propulsion means. For this reason the stern portions 38 of the pods 8 are of canoe form, that is to say streamlined, to reduce resistance. The left-hand side of the craft shown in Figures 11 and 12 shows one possible pod form and the right hand side another possible pod form for use m such circumstances.

Figure 13 shows typical theoretical curves of righting moments for three different hull shapes. In Figure 13 G = centre of gravity

B = centre of buoyancy at 30° of heel M = metacentric height. The distance from G to Z gives the righting lever, shown by curve 14 for a round bilge hull 19, by curve 15 for a conventional fuller bilge hull 19a, and by curve 16 for a hull 17 in accordance with the present invention showing its superiority at 30° of heel.

In Figure 14, a craft in accordance with the invention s shown at 17 and a generally conventional monohull is shown at 19b. The conventional hull 19b is formed w th a keel 21 carrying at its distal end a bulb ballast weight 35. The opposed vertical arrows Z' indicate righting forces acting on the craft 19b. In the craft 17 of the present invention, the pods 8 are provided with differentially retractable fin keels 36 formed at their distal ends with relatively small bulb ballast weights 35'. In the drawings one keel 36 is shown extended and the other retracted to increase the righting moment as indicated by arrows Z". Such an arrangement may be desirable to improve the performance of a craft according to the invention at high heel angles where a conventionally heavily keeled craft such as that shown at 19b tends to perform favourably as concerns righting moments.

Figure 15 is a diagram showing the behaviour of a vessel 17 according to the present invention in a large beam sea 18, as compared to that of a round bilge hull 19 and a catamaran 20 and from which it will be seen that the behaviour of a craft according to the present invention may

lie somewhere between that of a round bilge hull and that of a conventional catamaran. The drawing is diagrammatic and ignores dynamic effects under sail or power.

Figure 16 compares how a round bilge monohull yacht 19 and a craft 17 according to the invention roll when static under the same conditions in a short beam sea 23, with the roll being suεtained in the case of the monohull yacht 19 by the pendulum effect of its heavy ballast keel 21. The monohull of the present invention may perform better in such circumstances, at least as concerns passenger comfort, due to the absence or reduction of the keel pendulum effect.

Figure 17 is a diagram showing the hull outlines in plan (wide shaded areas 24) and immersed areas (fine shaded areas 25), i.e. water plane sections or footprints, of various different craft. At 17 there is shown an embodiment of a vessel according to the present invention, at 19 a conventional monohull, at 20 a typical catamaran and at 37 a typical trimaran. These outlines and footprints are shown a static condition, i.e. when the vessels are stationary. It will be seen that a vessel 17 of the present invention may have three distinct water plane sections 25 under static conditions.

However as εhown in Figure 18 when laden the three footprintε may merge aε indicated at A to form a single footprint. When heeled over, one of the pods may be above water level as shown at B, and at speed the mam hull may be lifted substantially or entirely from the water as shown

at C. At D there is shown a modified version of diagram C with the mam hull substantially lifted so that only the bow region 28 of the ma hull portion contacts the water whereby the craft is supported on a tripod consisting of the pair of pods 8 and the bow region 28 of the ma hull portion somewhat in the manner of a hydrofoil craft.

In Figures 19 to 34 there are shown embodiments of craft accordance with the present invention and in which the pair of pods 8 are movable between positions as shown in full and dotted lines. The embodiments of Figures 19 and 20 may be particularly applicable to a sail yacht and the embodiments of Figures 21 to 34 may be more applicable to a power boat.

In the embodiment of Figure 19 the podε can be retracted to be received m cavities 26 in the main hull portion so as to be flush with the outer surface of the sides 33 and bottom 34 of the hull. The retraction and extension may be achieved hydraulically or mechanically or by inflation. The pods 8 are pivoted on the hull by hinges 27 at their tops 22 about an axis extending longitudinally of the craft for movement in the direction of arrow W. The pods 8 may be separately movable to provide both active buoyancy and/or active ballast.

As can be seen from the embodiment of craft shown in Figure 20, the pods are hmged on the ma hull portion about pivots 31 having vertical axes for lateral movement as indicated by arrow Y and as shown in dotted lines.

Figures 21 to 24 and 29 to 31 show an embodiment of

power boat which is a development of the embodiment of Figures 7 to 9 and in which the pods 8 are pivoted about pivots 29 near to their leading ends 30 on a common axis on the main hull portion at its mid position 10. The common axis of the pivots 29 is horizontal and extends laterally of the hull, whereby the pods can be moved up and down by power means (not shown) as indicated by arrow V to trim the craft.

Figures 21 to 23 show (under static conditions) how the pods 8 of the embodiment of Figures 29 to 31 can be moved upwards (see Figure 23 arrow V") or downwards (see Figure 22, arrow V) from the neutral position shown in Figure 21 to trim the craft under different operating conditions. The pods may be differentially movable to adjust the attitude of the craft especially under power, e.g. to assist in manoeuvring, such as m tight turns. Where propulsion means are provided in the pods, it will be appreciated that vertical angling of the pods will cause a correspondmg vertical thrust component from the propulsion means, which may be employed beneficially. The underεurfaces of the podε may be εhaped to encourage dynamic lift and/or planing behaviour.

Figure 24 is a perspective view of the power boat generally as shown m Figures 21 to 23 above and in which the pods 8 extend from a mid position 10 of the mam hull portion 1 towards the rear of the mam hull portion 1 and are disposed outwards of, and close to, the sides 33 of the main hull portion. The pods 8 extend below the bottom 34

of the mam hull portion 1. The pods are pivotally connected to the main hull portion close to their forward ends 30 for vertical movement as indicated by arrows V and dotted lines. The dotted lines also indicate that the pods may be moved independently and in opposite directions.

The embodiment of power boat shown in Figure 25 is generally similar to that shown in Figure 24, but in this embodiment the undersurfaces 39 of the pods 8 are extended inwards towards the centre line 41 of the main hull portion to form generally horizontal wmg or fm-like surfaces 40 which serve to increase the lift generated in motion of the boat. The wmg or fm-like surfaces 40 may be received, at least in their uppermost positions, in correspondingly shaped cavities 26a . in the underside of the mam hull portion.

In the arrangement of Figure 26, which is generally similar to that of Figure 24, the stabilizing pods 8 are received in recesεeε 26b in the main hull portion so aε to be disposed within the overall hull outline and are arranged for vertical movement m the recesεeε 26b aε indicated by arrow V. The εideε 33 of the main hull portion thus define the beam extremities.

The modified embodiment of power craft shown in Figures 27 and 28 is similar to that shown in Figure 26, but, like the embodiment of Figure 25, the pods 8 are extended inwardly at their undersides 39 to form generally horizontal wmg or fm-like surfaces 40 received in cavities 26a. m the underside of the main hull portion. As

22 shown by arrow V in Figure 27, the pods can move vertically. The arrow Y in Figure 28 indicates that the pods are alεo laterally movable.

The arrangement of power boat shown in Figures 32 to 34 s similar to that of Figure 26 but in this embodiment the stabilizers 8 are enlarged to extend laterally inwards so that their inner edges 42 are mutually adjacent and disposed cloεe to the centre-line 41 of craft. The enlargement of the stabilizers will facilitate the installation of large, powerful propulsion means in the stabilizerε. It w ll be seen that the εtabilizers are movable vertically, see arrows V and/or horizontally, see arrow Y, about pivots (not εhown) diεposed near to the leading ends 30 of the stabilizers. The retractable or movable pods shown in Figures 19 to

34 may be independently or differentially movable to improve the performance of the craft, e.g. by providing active ballast and/or active buoyancy, and/or steering.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY With the embodiments of craft described above, at speed when the main hull is out of water, and whether the pods are in displacement, semi-displacement or planing mode, benefits may ariεe aε follows:-

In all three modes the total wetted area may be reduced.

In displacement mode the pods may improve hydrodynamic efficiency by presenting two long and narrow hulls to the water. This efficiency gain may partly be derived from

favourable length to beam ratios. That is to εay, εhould the mam hull be immersed with the pods retracted, it will have a lower displacement hull speed than that of the pods for the same total resistance or transmitted power. In planing mode the pods may produce their highest degree of hydrodynamic efficiency in terms of performance versus effort, in that the wetted area is reduced εtill further.

Semi-diεplacement may reεult in characteriεtics somewhere between displacement and planing modes and the precise behaviour will depend on design parameters, load factors, speed, sea/wind conditionε and the like.

Under power with juεt the pods immersed, greater hydrodynamic efficiency may result in lowered fuel consumption. In addition the craft may tend to cut through the waves rather than ride on their εurface, thereby significantly reducing pitching motions and enhancing passenger comfort.

Equally, the wide effective beam produced by the twin pods may also tend to resiεt roll motionε enhancing paεεenger comfort. Again, the two εlender podε behaving like a catamaran can act to reduce wave-makmg resistance.

Where the pods are movable the following benefits also apply:- Should the pods be buoyant and be projected incrementally downwards mto the water, they may assist in correcting the squat effect produced under power.

Under power, the pods may be used in the same way aε

trim tabε to alter the attitude of the vessel to the flow of the water and assist in producing dynamic lift.

In addition where the pods have variable geometry to vary their orientation m the vertical and/or horizontal planes and incorporate propulsion units, they may facilitate the precise control of the thrust angle, to improve the transmission of power to water.

It is possible that movable stabilizers, for example, of the arrangement of Figures 19 to 34 could be made to behave analogously to the suspension of an automobile, e.g. by interposing resilient means e.g. springs and dampers. Alternatively the εuεpension may be active for example under the control of an intelligent control system such as a microprocessor, to improve the ride characteriεticε of the craft. Thuε the pods could be εubject to continuous adjustment, perhaps under the influence of dynamic feedback to counteract unpleasant, so-called "cork screwing" motion by moving the podε in equal and opposite senεes to counteract both pitch and roll. The benefitε of the hull designs of the present invention may include the following:-

1. The facilitation of convertibility between sail craft and power boat.

2. Enhanced safety in water-borne craft. 3. General improvements in convenience m water¬ borne craft. 4. The unitary or close coupled design of the mam hull and the pods may improve the strength of the

hull structure or at least makes it easier to achieve the required strength aε compared to conventional multi-hull craft.

5. The cloεe-coupled podε may be εmaller than those of a catamaran since they do not each have to support the weight of the whole craft when the craft is heeled-over e.g. under sail. This is because with the hull design of the present invention, the mam hull will assist in supporting the craft during such timeε since the main hull and the wetted pod can together form one contiguous buoyant volume.

6. The hull design of the present invention may permit improved or optimised weight distribution since much of the ballast, i.e. engines, fuel, etc. can be accommodated m the pods, i.e. near to the beam extremities. This also improves stability and roll resiεtance.

7. The hull design of the present invention may provide an opportunity for the use of twin propulsion units without intruding into usable space within the mam hull. Unlike a conventional monohull craft, the propulsion unitε can be εet far apart. Thiε in turn can improve manoeuvring at low εpeed. The uεe of twin engines provideε some degree of redundancy in the event of one engine failure. The need for bow thrusterε may alεo be removed or reduced.

8. The hull design of the present invention may allow at least some of the efficiencies of multi- hull craft while mitigating against the disadvantages of known multi-hull designε. Thuε the effective waterlme beam of the craft may be increased to improve roll resistance without an increase in wetted area. By careful distribution of ballast in the pods, pitching resistance may also be improved. 9. The invention may allow the subεtantial elimination of the need for a ballast keel when sailing while retaining advantages of a monohull. This may allow a large reduction in overall weight and may give the possibility of planing of the mam hull or of the whole craft when under sail or power.

10. The invention may provide the advantage of good hydrodynamic shape approximating to that of a catamaran or trimaran even when in displacement mode.

11. The craft of the invention may provide improved behaviour compared to that of a multi-hull craft and approximating to that of a monohull craft with respect to ltε εuperior angle of vaniεhing εtability when beam-on to wave and wind, under which conditions multi-hull craft can more readily tend to approach their point of vanishing stability.

12. The craft of the invention may allow reduced sail area for given performance approximating to that of a multi-hull design, and may improve fuel efficiency when under power at least partly due to the reduced or eliminated ballast keel.

13. The craft of the invention may provide the opportunity for the safer use of petrol engines since they and their fuel can be contained in the pods, i.e. isolated from the crew/pasεenger accommodation in the mam hull. Thiε also facilitates the jettisoning of fuel, e.g. petrol or gas tanks, under extreme conditions, and even the jettisoning of the pods themselveε, e.g. with the aid of exploεive boltε. 14. Where active ballaεt is employed, the ballast may be moved between the pods to increase the righting moment due to the diεtance between the podε .

15. The craft of the invention, when using independently movable pods, may enable the introduction of active buoyancy and/or active ballast.

16. The podε of the hull design of the present invention may provide a degree of side impact protection for the main hull. Also since the pods can extend downwards below the mam hull, any submerged static or floating objects such as rocks or the like will tend to contact the pods

rather than the mam hull.

17. The hull deεign is preferably such that the craft remains buoyant with one or both pods holed or with the main hull holed. The safety of the craft is thus increased in comparison to a conventional monohull or a catamaran or trimaran.

18. Sea water inlets and/or outlets, e.g. for propulsion units, generatorε and air conditioning equipment may be arranged in the podε to reduce the need for εea cocks or valves in the main hull as an aid to reducing the danger of flooding and the discomfort and nuisance of leaks. The reduction of leaks and moisture will also facilitate the performance of electrical equipment and since this will uεually include navigational and communication equipment, thiε can have a direct and poεitive effect on εafety. Similarly, fuel inlets may be arranged in the pods m the interests of general cleanliness of the craft.

19. Especially where the pods are integral with the hull they may form a stable support for the craft on dry land, i.e. in the nature of bilge keels. The podε may alεo be εhaped and uεed to provide roll stability to the craft in the way provided by conventional bilge keels.

20. By housing the propulsion means, fuel tanks etc, in the pods more accommodation room and cargo

capacity is created in the main hull portion. The novel craft shown in the drawings provide significant advances the state of the art.




 
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