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Marine Log

Antrim cat

October 20, 2006

Antrim inflatable cat attracts attention

A curious looking cat has been getting a lot of attention since being spotted in the San Francisco Bay area and in the Port of Ilwaco, Wash.

The vessel received widespread attention when someone posted some pics on flickr.

Despite it's gray, hull it is not some hush hush ONR project. According to latitude38.com, it's been designed by yacht designer Jim Antrim of Antrim Design based on a concept by Ugo Conti of Advanced Marine Research, Inc.

Ugo Conti holds a U.S. patent issued last year for flexible ocean-going vessels with surface conforming hulls.

The patent is for "an entirely different type of vessel that creates the minimum possible disruption of the waves. In other words, this vessel does not push, slap or pierce the waves but instead 'dances' with them.

The invention "utilizes flexibility to change and adjust the vessel's structure and form to the water surface, instead of adjusting or changing the water to conform to the vessel."

"The vessel has a pair of flexible hulls flexibly coupled to a 'cabin' between and above the hulls, thereby allowing the hulls to independently follow the surface of the water. Motor pods are hinged to the back of the hulls to maintain the propulsion system in the water, even if the stern of one or both hulls tends to lift out of the water when crossing swells and the like."

Antrim Design describes its vessel as an experimental 100 ft inflatable power cat and says the design was developed entirely with Autodesk Inventor Professional.

The vessel's 100-ft catamaran hulls are, in fact, inflatables and were reportedly manufactured by Wing Inflatables of Arcata, Calif.

The assemblies on the catamaran hulls that look like the way a windscreen wiper blade attaches to its arm are massive shock absorbers and support the structures from which the cabin is suspended.

The craft is said to be capable of cross-ocean voyages and a press conference is coming in a few weeks.

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