Unmet Need: Efficient high-speed hull configurations and structures

The demand for high-speed littoral vessels for military and commercial use continues to build.  Shallow broad-beam hulls continue to be desirable for coastal shipping capacity and port logistics in applications such as automobile ferries, but require high power propulsion and offer a limited range.  Alternatives such as hydrofoils and wave-piercing hull forms each have recognized shortcomings, including limited payloads and low-speed operations.

The Technology: Air induction system for marine vessel hulls

A system and vessels are presented which introduce air under pressure into under-hull cavities, converting the kinetic energy of water flowing under the vessel in a controlled manner to compress air or gas and release the air or gas to reduce hydrodynamic drag and to maintain an equilibrium pressure to provide buoyancy.


  • Coastal and ocean-going ferries, barges, utility tenders, and naval combatants and auxiliaries


  • Minimized marine growth and corrosion at the bottom of the hull
  • Reduced maintenance of the marine vessel
  • Enables more economical high-speed operations

Intellectual Property:

United States Patent No. US 6,575,106

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Eric Wannamaker
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
(509) 335-5004
Reference No: TECH-20/3364


Phillip Whitener

Key Words