Proteus Prototype Watercraft

The front page of today’s San Jose Mercury covered the unveiling of a new high-tech watercraft called Proteus:

Dr. No, your escape vehicle is ready. The 100-foot, spider-shaped contraption skimming around San Francisco Bay looked more like a James Bondian vessel than it did a new class of watercraft. But that’s exactly what its inventor, Ugo Conti of El Cerrito, says he’s achieved.

This thing looks really wild. It’s hard to judge the size from the pictures, but the specs say the beam is 50 feet (15.2 m), so it’s probably 100 feet (30.5 m) in length.

The WAM-V, short for Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel, was built by Marine Advanced Research. Check their home page for specs and more detailed pictures. They have an interesting list of sponsors as well:

  • Autodesk (Autodesk Inventor 3D design software)
  • Cummins (Cummins MerCruiser diesel engines)
  • Twin Disc (gears and propulsion)
  • Timet (titanium springs)
  • HP (computer systems)

For a video of the Proteus on San Francisco bay, check the Mercury News Photo site.

Proteus WAM-V Prototype