Boat Inventions

Scores of amazing inventions for improving the technology of watercraft have been invented and forgotten since the 1920s. Here are a dozen for you to reconsider:
Spiral Roller Boat
Tait: Tractor Boat
Spiral Propeller
Cone Sails
Lesh: Rotor-Sail
Roller Boat
Brasher: Air Bubble Breakerwater
Heudorf: Fish-Submarine
Wave-Powered Boat
Strode: Hull
Ford: Air Motor

Popular Science (December 1947)

"Buglike Boat Rides The Waves"

The "feelers" jutting out from this novel boat follow the ups and downs of waves and troughs. In turn these "jockey" skids change the angle of the hydrofoils to provide extra lift so that the Hydrofin boat rides the wave crests in rough water. The result is a smoother, faster ride, according to the craft's British inventor, Christopher Hook. The first commercial model, expected to be in coastal service early next year, will be 30 feet long, and will accommodate a dozen passengers plus a crew of two.

The Hydrofin at rest, its hull in the water. In the lower picture it gathers momentum and rises out of the water on its hydrofoils.

The Hydrofin climbs even the short waves of choppy seas as a car would climb a hill. The varying angles of the underwater hydrofoils, activated by the advance team of jockey beams, do the job.

Popular Science (May 1936)

"Spiral Rollers Drive Odd Speed Boat"

Cleaving the water at express-train speed, a propellerless powerboat of new design may shatter existing speed marks if it fulfills the hopes of its West Easton, PA, inventor. Its slim hull rides upon three buoyant, barrel-shaped rollers, of which the forward two are connected to the power plant and revolve at high speed. Helical fins, encircling them, sweep water astern and drive the boat forward. The water is also driven to each side, so that at high speed a trough is formed beneath the hull.

Outriggers shaped like airplane wings support the rollers and provide a lifting effect that aids the boat in skimming the surface. A freely rotating, fluted pontoon, that diminishes friction, supports the after end of the boat and a conventional rudder is used for steering.

Popular Science (October 1935)

"Odd Tractor Boat Skims Water"

Will paddle wheels for boats state a comeback? A Chicago inventor has designed what he declares to be a modernized concept of this historic form of marine propulsion. His plan calls for a boat that runs upon a pair of endless tracks, after the fashion of a land tractor, the tracks consisting of moving belts carrying a series of paddles. When power is applied to the belts through driving drums near the stern, they cause the paddles to sweep backward through the water, impelling the boat forward. At the same time, the planning action of the inclined paddles tends to lift the boat clear of the water, with the result that the hull skims the surface with a minimum of resistance. In consequence, the inventor maintains, a tractor boat of this type could attain high speed and could travel with a marked economy of fuel. The angle of inclination of the paddles would be suited to the weight of the craft; a heavy boat would have them mounted at an angle approximately 45 degrees, while a lighter craft, requiring less lifting force, could employ more steeply inclined paddles to obtain greater forward traction.

R. E. Tait ~ US Patent # 2,007,550: Boat Propulsion (July 9, 1935)

Popular Science (May 1946)

"The Worm Turns"

The new type of boat illustrated below has been specially designed for propulsion by a kind of turbine in reverse. The after end of the hull is recessed to accommodate the propeller mechanism, which is in two cylindrical sections, one inside the other. The inside division is stationary and houses the power unit, while the outside section, which revolves, is fitted on its exterior with a spiral fin or blade. When this turns, boring through the water like an auger, there is a long-continued thrust that sends the boat forward at a steady speed. Unlike the conventional propeller, the device makes a continuous "bite" at the water over a considerable distance. Forward of the propeller is a cabin with control apparatus. The man who invented the boat is Harold B. Harvey, Pensacola FL.

Popular Science (July 1934)

"New Sailboat Has Spinning Cone In Place Of Sails"

Using a three-vaned spinning cone instead of the usual canvas sails, a new sailboat has just been developed with which the inventor hopes to steer almost directly into the wind. The vanes, which on full-sized boats will be of light wood and fabric construction, will be reversible according to the direction of the wind, reducing the necessity for tacking and avoiding the keeling over common to conventional sailing craft. According to the inventor, his sails will develop three times as much propelling force as those of canvas.

Popular Science (July 1933)

"New Rotor Ship Sails In Lightest Wind"

Looking like whirling surfboards, strange new rotors will furnish the power on a boat now nearing completion at Chicago. Laurence J. Lesh, pioneer aeronautical engineer, is designer of the craft.

Unlike the Flettner rotor ship, which attracted wide attention a few years ago, his boat will depend entirely upon the wind for propulsion. No engines will be required to keep the rotors turning, as was the case with the high "chimneys" of the German craft. Once the pointed, vertical wings of the Lesh boat being spinning, they keep on until the wind dies down or the brakes are applied. The lightest of breezes, tests have shown, will start them whirling and move the ship.

For more than a year, Lesh has been experimenting with miniature rotor ships in the model boat basin in Jackson Park, besides conducting various wind-tunnel tests. His researches have shown that the spinning wings of his models will pull the boat directly into the teeth of the wind and that they give almost four times the propelling power of ordinary sails. They spin equally well in either direction, an improvement over the S-shaped rotors of the Finnish inventor Savonius, which require a complicated mechanism to shift the halves of the rotor when a ship heads about and takes a new course in the opposite direction.

The full-sized experimental boat, nearing completion, will be used to try out rotors of various sizes and constructions. Different rotors of the same size will e covered with canvas, plywood and aluminum and tested to discover which material is best suited for the work. To drive a 70-foot cabin cruiser, Lesh says, three rotors would be needed.

Popular Science (July 1930)

"Boat Rolls Along 80 Miles An Hour"

A remarkable craft that rolls through the water on five large cylinders has recently been launched by an Austrian inventor.

The curious arrangement of the drum-like pontoons which support the boat suggest a steam roller, except that the novel water scooter is said to attain the terrific pace of 80 miles an hour. Inclosing the five cylindrical pontoons, which literally make up the hull, is a steel framework upon which is supported a 500-horsepower motor driving an airplane propeller.

Torpedo-shaped pontoons, at right angles to the big cylinders, extend from each side of the craft as aids to balance it. The unusual craft is controlled from a rear cockpit.

Popular Science (1943)

"Air Bubbles Employed To Form Breakwater"

A new type of breakwater consisting of nothing more than air bubbles recently was devices for quieting even the highest waves of the sea. It is the invention of Phillip Brasher, an American. One of the units is said to have been operated successfully at El Segundo, CA, to protect a concrete pier.

The air breakwater consists of a perforated pipe that is laid along the sea bottom and connected with a land air-compressing station. In rough weather it is merely necessary to allow the compressed air to escape from the holes in the pipe, the air bubbles quickly rising to the surface. The wall of bubbles is said to break up the waves and retard their forward motion. When the water from a broken wave flows back to form a base for the next incoming wave, it finds no support and the next wave curls over and breaks.

The repetition of this process is said to result in a smooth surface beyond the pipeline, no matter how rough the weather. A simple installation of the pipe system, the inventor says, is sufficient to provide a harbor of smooth water in exposed points around coasts that have caused trouble in the past.

US Patent # 2,325,937

Method & Apparatus For Collapsing Water Waves

Phillip Brasher

(August 3, 1943)

My invention relates to an improved method of and apparatus for use in connection with water waves, being more particularly adapted for collapsing water waves to produce a relatively quiescent area of appreciable size in proximity to a ship, whereby planes can be launched from the ship without the use of a catapult, and may be picked up again without the necessity of the ship coming to rest.

More specifically the present invention provides for collapsing water waves continuously from a ship which may be proceeding at 12 or 15 knots or even at higher speeds, the quiescent area thus produced overlapping in extent to permit the launching of a plane from the moving ship without a catapult and to permit the plane t be picked up again without stopping the ship.

My invention, it will be appreciated, is of great practicable worth in connection with combating submarines, in that any ship large enough to carry a plane, but which may be too small to carry a catapult, can be employed for reconnaissance purposes and for actual bombing of submarines, launching and picking up of the plane being feasible and practicable with the ship under way so that she may be maneuvered if desired.

It will be seen from the description hereinafter given that the equipment necessary for the practice of my invention is simple, and takes up only a fraction of the space required for catapult launching apparatus. The plane can be launched and picked up with a crane. As a consequence the number of ships which may carry one or more planes is enormously increased as compared with existing practice.

In the accompanying drawings I have shown an embodiment of my invention more or less diagrammatically:

Figure 1 showing the invention in plan; and

Figure 2 being an elevational view.

Referring to the drawing in detail: 2 designates a ship carrying an air compressor 4, to which an air hose 6 is adapted to be coupled. The air compressor is mounted at the forward part of the ship, and as the hose 6 is to be towed overboard, its length will depend upon the height and length of the ship. In practice it should be long enough to extend rearwardly of the ship about as shown in the drawing. This hose is flexible and open at its outer end 8.

In practicing my invention the hose is thrown overboard and towed by the ship when a plane is to be launched or picked up. As above noted, launching and picking up are performed with the ship traveling at say 12 or 15 knots which will give it the desired steerage way and maneuverability. The open end 8 of the hose 6 is to be submerged to a depth of 75 to 100 feet. For this reason and in order that the open end of the hose may be maintained at the desired distance from the ships' hull, and will not simply trail beside the ship, I equip the hose with a paravane 10.

When an elastic fluid such as air is discharged by the compressor through the submerged outer end of the hose 6, air and water will be forced to the surface to provide in effect an upwardly moving wall or damp against which approaching waves will dash and be collapsed. Back of this fluid breakwater or dam, that is, between it and the ship, there will be a quiescent area 12 of substantial proportions into which a plane may be launched from the ship simply by lowering the same overboard and from which a plane may be picked up. This quiescent area will be maintained even on intermittent operation of the compressor for two or three minutes after the compressor is shut off.

Inasmuch as the quiescent area persists some two or three minutes after the compressor is shut off, it will be apparent that with a ship proceeding at say the equivalent of 5 miles per hour I can produce a quiescent area one-half to three-quarters of a mile long and of substantial width. The width of the quiescent area will depend, of course, upon the distance between the outer end of the hose 6 and the ship.

It will be appreciated, furthermore, that not only will the provision of such a quiescent area enable a plane to be launched from the ship without a catapult and to be picked up, but the ship itself will be in this area so as to provide a steady gun platform for both horizontal and antiaircraft fire should demands require it.

It is to be understood that for illustrative purposes I have shown but a single hose 6. Several may be employed if desired from the same or from opposed sides of the ship.

It will be seen that the equipment necessary for the practice of my invention is simple and inexpensive, requires by very small space on shipboard, and that no expensive controlling mechanism is necessary.

I wish it to be understood that any dimensions above mentioned as to length of hose, depth of submergence, size of hose, etc., are illustrative and not for purposes of limitation, and that the same may be changed within the purview of my invention.

What I claim is: --- [Claims not included here]

Popular Science (July 1933)

"New Submarine Model Swims Like Fish"

Observing the motions of swimming fish, Franz Heudorf, German inventor, resolved to test their method of locomotion as a means of propelling watercraft. Recently he demonstrated, with working models, a new drive, dispensing entirely with propellers, which the inventor maintains is especially adaptable to submarines. Small rotating fins on each side of the vessel are operated independently of one another, and may be set to cause the craft to go forward or astern, turn to port or starboard, and dive or come to the surface without pumping ballast. Plans are reported under way for the construction of a man-carrying submarine using the new system of fins as propellers.

Popular Science (April 1935)

"Wave Power Runs Model Boat"

Using the power of the waves to drive a stationary power plant has been proposed before, but it remained for a Long Beach CA inventor to design a wave-operated mechanism to propel a boat. Models used to try out the odd principle are reported to have shown surprising speed in tests, one miniature 18-inch craft attaining a pace of 5 miles an hour. Similar gear, the inventor suggests, could be applied to any full-sized craft, and could be attached or removed at will. The equipment comprises three fins attached to flexible joints, which are set vibrating by the slightest motion of the water, and are interconnected in such a way that they transform the vertical movement of the waves into impulses that drive the boat forward.

Popular Science (March 1933)

"Sea Gull Boat Skims Water At 70 Miles An hour"

Skimming the surface like a gull, a speedboat that rises clear out of the water has just completed its first trial runs successfully at Marshfield, OR. It resembles a hybrid between an airplane and a watercraft. Plywood-covered fins, shaped like airplane wings, extend from the sides in three successively smaller steps. By lifting the boat into the air, they virtually eliminate water friction on the hull and permit 70-mph speed without using unusual power.

Seated behind a small windshield in the one-man cockpit, the pilot operates a 55-hp motor of outboard type that dries the new boat. It behaves like an ordinary craft until it attains a speed of 45-mph. At this velocity, which corresponds to the takeoff speed of an airplane, an abrupt change occurs. The pilot can feel the boat rise from the water as the fins take hold on the air. Only the propeller beneath the hull remains I the water where its full thrust is effective. A small water rudder used a t low speed is now ineffective, and an air rudder, resembling an airplane tail fin, steers the boat. Most noticeable to an occupant is the absence of the bumping sensation experienced in fast watercraft. The cushion of air between the hull and the water acts as a shock absorber; the boat is literally riding on air.

Other advantages of the strange craft are pointed out by the inventor, Victor W. Strode, of Portland, OR., who has been granted a patent on the unconventional design. The boat turns in an abnormally short radius, with little tendency to tip. It possesses unusual stability largely because of the care with which the propeller was placed after a series of experiments --- about one-third of the way back from the bow of the boat to the stern. Complete streamlining minimizes air resistance and fuel consumption. While the hull weighs twice as much as one of the standard type, its extra weight is more than offset by the lift of the wings.

Since the first model is an experimental one, the inventor has made no attempt to provide seating accommodations for passengers. Its success in further trials may presage the building of similar, larger craft with enclosed passenger cabins. They would be suitable for use as pleasure craft, as mail or naval dispatch boats, or for high-speed passenger transport over inland water routs and might be used for express service for commuters.

Popular Science (May 1936)

"Novel First-Aid Boat Hits High Speed"

Designed to reach a top speed of more than 50 miles an hour, a unique streamlined marine ambulance has just been placed in service by the Portland, OR, fire department. Stubby wing sections of gradated size, at each side of the hull, act like airplane wings, enabling the boat to rise from the water and skim the surface. The craft embodies a design that the inventor, Victor W. Strode, demonstrated with an experimental model 3 years ago.

US Patent # 1,898,322


V. W. Strode

(February 21, 1933)

My invention relates to the construction of sections for purposes of buoyancy and is beneficially applicable, probably in the order now given, to various uses:

First, for what is known as floats or pontoons on seaplanes;

As a design for the hull portion of flying boats;

As a hull section for speedboats and high speed watercraft generally.

The objects of my invention are to provide a hull that will utilize the lift afforded by a properly designed airfoil section and at the same time be efficient as a support when resting or moving on water.

Another object of my invention and one of the primary ones is to provide such a section and means for changing the angle of incidence of the section with respect to the angle of the primary wing surface of a seaplane of which it may be an essential part.

Another object of my invention is to provide a float, pontoon or hull section for a plane that will have decided attributes of lateral stability.

A further object is to provide a float of the general character indicated that may be brought into contact with a water surface at high speed and that will exhibit characteristics of shock absorption hitherto unattainable in constructions of this character.

These and other objects which will be apparent in the subjoined specification and claims constitute the primary purpose of my invention.

The following drawings accompanying and forming a part of this specification are directed to that exemplification of my invention applied to what is known as pontoons for seaplanes, though my invention is by no means limited to such a device.

In the drawings, Figure 1 represents a side elevation showing relative vertical displacement of sections hereinafter explained in detail;

Figure 2 is a front end view looking in the direction of the arrow at the left of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a section taken at 3-3 of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a top view of Figure 1;

Figure 5 and Figure 8 are alternate constructions representing substantially the same structure, both being partly in section;

Figure 6 is a cross-section on the line 6-6 of Figure 5;

Figure 7 is a section on the line 7-7- of Figure 5;

Figure 8 represents Figure 1 in normal flying position and is sectioned to show the means of accomplishing the displacement diagrammatically;

Beginning now with Figures 1 and 3, the struts 9 and 10 are broken away and serve to indicate the means commonly employed in attaching such a structure to a plane.

It will be noted by examining Figure 3 that the hull as a whole is made up of a plurality of sections; in the present instance the center section 11 has a greater depth than the sections 12 and 13 next adjacent to it, and these in turn have greater depth than the sections 14 and 15, laterally disposed with respect to sections 12 and 13.

It will be understood that the bulkheads to vertical partitions when used, such as 16, 17, etc., are watertight with respect to their outside surfaces and to each other and in the present instance 13 and 15 are made rigid with respect to each other on their vertical lines as are 12 and 14, and that 12 and 14 are movable a s a unit with respect to their vertical position on the side of 11 as are also 13 and 15.

In the present exemplification they are arranged to be moved together, the purpose of which will be hereinafter explained.

In Figure 8 will be noted a pivot, 19, and it will also be noted that the strut indicated numeral 9 contains a cylinder 20, a piston 21, to which is operatively attached a piston rod 22, operatively connected to a trunnion pin 23, movable in a slot 24, the said slot 24, it will be understood, being formed interiorly in the element 11, and the trunnion operable by the trunnion pin 23, is movable vertically under the influence of the piston 21, and the shoulders 25, 26, 27 and 28 are adapted to engage and move the sections 12, 13, 14 and 15 in unison with respect to 11.

A fluid pressure supply pipe 29 is shown and will be presumed to be attached operatively to a reservoir of fluid pressure which is not shown since such things are old and well known and need no explanation. Suitable valves or other means of control will be supplied between the said reservoir and the supply pipe 29 to permit actuating the piston 21 selectively by fluid pressure.

No means are shown or required for the reverse of the action produced y the piston 21 since as soon s the wing is in the air the lift of the wing itself will accomplish this function.

In operating a plane having pontoons for landing gear up to this time the pontoon has served a single purpose --- that is, to act as a float upon which a plane could be landed in the water and upon which it would rest due to the buoyancy of the pontoon when the plane was not being used.

A great deal of thought and study, testing in wind tunnels and the like has convinced airplane designers generally that what is known in the terminology of aeronautics as "parasite drag" was unavoidable. The ordinary pontoon from the moment of its being lifted clear of water upon which it rests starts to fight the horizontal rudders and to a degree dependent upon the air speed and increasing with the square of the speed until the plane is again landed on the water. This characteristic of the ordinary pontoon has reduced the payload of a seaplane to which they are attached, greatly increased the consumption of fuel and substantially subtracted from general reliability.

It is well known in the state of the art that "taking off" from the surface of the water with a seaplane is accomplished with greater facility if the surface of the water is somewhat rough from the wind has wavelets traveling toward the plane that will give the pontoon a jump as a wave strikes the pontoon.

One of the may features of my invention is found in that my upper surfaces, that is surfaces that are always in contact with the air, are of airfoil shape and will in most cases conform very closely to the upper surface of the wing of the plane upon which they are intended to be used. The under surface will also be curved somewhat but less and will ordinarily be made as straight as can be safely done.

Since a surface, as the underside of a wing, adapted to air pressure, is not normally the same thing as a surface adapted to  water contact such as a boat bottom or the underside of a pontoon, somewhat of a compromise is necessary; the under  or wetted surface as illustrated in the drawings fairly represents the state of present knowledge on the subject though it is expected to be modified somewhat in the light of experience. This compromise surface being a practically new intangible, will for the purpose of this specification and claims be referred to as a "dual surface".

It will be noted also from the drawings, well illustrated in Figure 2 and Figure 3, that the several sections such as 11 to 15 inclusive are stepped on both their upper and lower surfaces from companion sections. This affords what amounts to a plane surface such as the projected area the width of which is indicated by numeral 30. This is intended to prevent drift either in the water or in the air, when making a turn either in landing or taking off from the surface of the water.

It is generally agreed among aeronautical engineers that roughly 75% of the lift of an airfoil is due to vacuum on top. It is notable, however, that only about 15% of the 75% is available unless air is also in contact with the underside of the wing or airfoil section. It therefore appears that for the most part the actual lift comes from the underside and that the vacuum on top of the airfoil merely lowers the resistance against which the wing is acting.

In taking off with a seaplane equipped with pontoons made after the pattern of my new hull, each separate section, such as 11 to 15 inclusive, will exert lift in a small amount while its undersurface is wetted and is a true airfoil the instant it breaks contact with the water. Let us take for example the two sections indicated by numerals 14 and 14 and assume that 14 has an upper area of 5 square feet and that all of the other similar surfaces, such as 15 on the same pontoon and 14 and 15 on the other pontoon, have equal areas, then the total area will be 20 square feet. Assuming that a speed over the surface of the water in taking off has been attained that will lift these four sections clear of the surface and assuming that at that speed the wings of the plane have a lift equal to 8 pounds per square foot, then the instant these four section are lifted clear of the water the total lift, due to sections 14 and 15, will at assumed conditions be 160 pounds, or the effect on the plane precisely a if a 1660-pound sandbag were thrown overboard. This produces that highly desirable jump heretofore mentioned as an assistance in taking off and to a degree and in a manner far better than can be produced by a wave on the surface of the water. It will also be remembered that this jump will in most cases allow air to get under the next adjoining section when an additional and greater lift will be instantly effective.

It will thus be seen that a plane equipped with pontoons made according to the plan of my new hull will lift a larger load, and load conditions being equal will leave the surface of the water quicker at a given speed or will actually take off at a much lower speed than with the conventional pontoon.

When flying the hulls eliminate parasite drag and add their area to the wing surface area. The takeoff speed of the plane will be affected favorably by changing the angle of the outside sections as shown in Figure 1. This change is also desirable alike in landing as in taking off. When it is desired to land the control device, of which the fluid pressure means shown is an example, will change the relative position of the outside sections with respect to the inside section 11, so that contact with the water will occur first well back on the bottom and if the fluid pressure control is used it may act as a substantial and efficient shock absorber to prevent the shock of landing on the surface of the water being transmitted through the struts to the fuselage of the plane. This is a very valuable feature that may be attained without extra first cost or increased weight.

Figure 5 is a modification of Figure 1 in that the pivot 19 supports also the strut 10a, and the angle of incidence then of the whole hull will be changed at once. This is shown as an alternative construction and is not thought at present to be as desirable as the form previously described in detail. In a flying boat, that is to say an airplane having a fuselage adapted to be landed directly on the water, it will be difficult to make the several sections such as 11 to 15 inclusive movable with respect to each other and it is believed that making them so movable would not have advantages sufficient to offset increased cost and excess weight. This will also be true in a hull such as that for a speedboat or any craft intended to remain upon the water.

My new hull, in a flying boat will have the effect of adding a substantial amount of wing surface and reducing the parasite drag, and in a speedboat it will have the effect of lightening the craft by the amount of lift afforded by each section as it comes clear of the water. In the speedboat as in the flying boat, lateral stability will be enhanced and the lifting power of an airfoil will be available to lighten the craft as the speed increases and to provide a stability heretofore unattainable.

Many variations of the construction illustrated and/or described may be possible now that the basic idea is disclosed. I therefore do not desire to limit myself except as specifically stated in the following claims: [Claims not included here]

Popular Science (February 1924)

"Claims Air Motor Bucks The Wind"

An air motor, which its inventor claims will move a boar or vehicle directly against the wind and will virtually manufacture its own wind when no air is stirring, has been developed by Charles R. Ford of Lema, WA.

The contrivance consists of a series of fans, or windmills, mounted on the same shaft and enclosed in a cylinder. Between the fans are stationary pieces of metal, which the inventor calls "air straighteners" and which he says so distribute the currents passing through the housing that each fan generates the same amount of power.

US Patent # 1,491,688

Power Generating Apparatus

Charles R. Ford

(April 22, 1924)

This invention relates to a power generating apparatus, designed primarily for use in propelling marine vessels, but it is to be understood that a power generating apparatus in accordance with this invention can be employed for any purpose wherein it is found applicable, and the invention has for its object to provide in the manner as hereinafter set forth, a power generating apparatus including and operated by a plurality of rotors driven by directed air currents for generating power which can be utilized for driving purposes, more particularly the propeller mechanism for a marine vessel.

Further objects of the invention are to provide a power generating apparatus for the purpose set forth which is simple in its construction and arrangement, strong, durable, inexpensive to operate, readily set up, efficient and convenient in its use, and comparatively inexpensive to install.

With the foregoing and other object in view, the invention consists of the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts as hereinafter more specifically described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein is shown an embodiment of the invention, but it is to be understood that changes, variations and modifications can be resorted to, which fall within the scope of the claims hereunto appended.

In the drawings wherein like reference characters denote corresponding parts throughout the several views: ---

Figure 1 is a sectional side elevation of a marine vessel showing the adaptation therewith of a power generating apparatus in accordance with this invention.

Figure 2 is a fragmentary view, in vertical section, of a portion of the apparatus.

Figure 3 is a section on line 3-3 of Figure 1.

Figure 4 is a section on line 4-4 of Figure 1.

Referring to the drawings in detail, 1 denotes the hull of a marine vessel, 2 the propeller which is carried by a propeller shaft formed of a section 3 and a section 4, which are operatively connected together through the medium of a clutching mechanism 5. The section 4 of the propeller shaft is provided with a beveled gear 7, carried by a vertically disposed transmission shaft 8. Bearings 9 are provided for the shaft sections 3 and 4, and bearings 10 and 11 for the vertically disposed shaft 8.

Mounted on the flooring 12, or other support, is a vertically extending hollow tubular element 13, which is of a length as to project up through a vertical frame 14 secured on the upper deck of the vessel. The top of the frame 14, is indicated at 15, and is formed with a vertically disposed opening 16, for the passage of member 13. Carried by the top 15 and arranged to align with the opening 16, is a flange collar 17, formed with groove 18, for the reception of bearing balls 19. The tubular member 13, is mounted in a bearing 20, carried by the flooring or support 12, and is also rotatably supported on the collar 17, through the medium of the balls 19, extending into a flanged collar 21, which is fixedly secured to the member 13., near the upper end thereof. The collar 21 overlaps the bearing balls 19, and also the collar 17.

Connected to the upper end of the member 13, and bodily movable with said member 13, is a conduit 22, which is disposed lengthwise with respect to the length of the marine vessel, and the conduit 22, at its forward end, is funnel-shaped or flaring as at 23, and has projecting from the rear portion thereof, a plurality of vanes 24. The conduit 22, has depending therefrom, a plug 25, which is fixedly secured to the conduit 22, through the medium of hold fast devices 26. The plug 25 is provided with a centrally arranged opening 27, which registers with an opening 28, formed in the bottom of the conduit 22.

The transmission shaft 8 extends up through the member 13, plug 29, the opening 28, into the conduit 22, and has its upper end provided with a beveled gear 29.

Extending longitudinally of the conduit 22, and terminating at a point removed from the flaring end 23 of said conduit 22, is a shaft 30, which is mounted in bearings 31, carried by transverse supports 32, secured within the conduit 22.

The shaft 30 is provided with a series of rotors 33, in the form of wind wheels and each of which consists of a hub 34, an a series of closely arranged radially extending blades 35, which are disposed obliquely with respect to the hub 34. The blades 35 extend in close proximity to the inner face of the conduit 22. The rotors are arranged in two sets spaced from each other.

Carried by the shaft 30, and arranged between the rotors 33, are stationary guide elements 36, and each of which consists of a hub 37, and a series of radially extending arms 37, having angle-shaped terminals 38, which are secured to the inner face of the conduit 22. The number of arms 38 of a guide is less than the number of blades 35 of a rotor.

Secured to the shaft 30, intermediate the ends thereof, is a beveled gear 10, which meshes with the beveled gear 29.

The conduit 22, and guides 36, provide means for directing an air current against the rotors 33, whereby the shaft 30 will be operated, and owing to eh meshing of the gear 40, with the gear 29, the transmission shaft 8 will be driven, causing thereby the operation of the propeller shaft, as the shaft 8 is operatively connected with the propeller shaft through the medium of the gears 6 and 7.

The clutching mechanism 5 is so set up, that the shaft 3 can be driven in either direction.

Owing to the manner in which the conduit 22 is set up, that is to say with respect to the member 15, it can swing in the desired direction, so that air currents from any direction can be utilized in driving the rotors 33. The currents passing through the conduit 22, will be held in a straight course, through the medium of the guides 36, so that the blades 35 will be uniformly impacted by the currents causing thereby the driving of the shaft 30.

From the foregoing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, a power generating device is set up, which can be employed for propelling marine vessels or driving machine parts, and although the referred embodiment of the invention is as shown, yet changes in the details of construction can be had without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed is: --- [Claims not included here]