Wiggly Boat Proteus

El Cerrito firm unveils the Proteus, 'a new class of vessel'

It is named the Proteus, and is the first of what might be a long line of wave adaptive modular vessels -- WAM-V for short -- developed by Ugo Conti, an engineer and inventor. Conti calls it "the prototype of a new class of vessel."

Using technology developed by Conti's El Cerrito Marine Advanced Research Inc., the WAM-V is "a new class of watercraft ... that delivers a radically new seagoing experience." It has twin hulls, like a catamaran, connected to each other and a control cabin by four metal legs. The legs ride on titanium springs -- like shock absorbers -- that allow the WAM-V to adjust to the surface of the water -- to flex like knees.

The cabin, which sleeps four, can be lowered into the water -- "like a helicopter landing," Conti said -- and sail off on its own.

Jim Jessie, a yachtsman who has been sailing San Francisco Bay for more than 65 years, has never seen anything like it. "It's different," he said as he watched the Proteus slink over the wake of a passing boat, its hulls flexing. "It wiggles like a porpoise or a whale," he said.

More here.


8 Responses:

  1. ammutbite says:

    I am dreadfully sorry for an entirely off-topic comment.

    During my recent visit to Sf, I attended the Bootie Mashup event at your club, and, being a grizzled and scarred relic of 80s underground, did not dance throughout the night as 98% of the audience did. Instead I wandered about, taking in the sounds and correlating past posts in your journal with locations in the club.
    Suddenly, on a balcony/DMX control bridge I noticed a person twiddling a complex looking panel of knobs and sliders and intermittently firing the fog machine.
    I was tempted to yell something to ascertain whether it was indeed you, but decided not to for a number of valid reasons. Having returned to snow-covered Midwest, however, I can't help wondering whether that was indeed you. Was it?

  2. andr00 says:

    Finally, some closure. That thing showed up in a marina in WA about 3 months ago and all I ever heard about it was, "duh?" Now we know. It's a prototype wiggly.