Amphibious Details

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by HGR, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. HGR
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    Location: New Zealand

    HGR Junior Member

    Hi, I'm new to the forum and appreciate the fact that I don't have any history here. I have been reading for some time and am in the process of gathering up some information on Amphibious craft.

    I have had a few side projects recently and have begun construction on a reasonably large build. At this stage I would like a bit of feedback from some other people "in the know" on these types of projects. Particularly around retractable gear and how to avoid the pitfalls that can come with complications.

    I see a historical post that had a few photos from @myark and I was wondering the best way to get an update on some photos. This is the page in reference. amphibian https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/amphibian.48528/page-4
     
  2. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Should the gear retract?

    Is this for fun or commercial use?

    What length, what displacement, how many passengers, what type of use in what type of waters/seas?

    Oh, and welcome to the forum.
     
  3. HGR
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    Location: New Zealand

    HGR Junior Member

    Hi BlueBell, thanks for the welcome. I likely should have highlighted what I was after a bit further. Looking at that other forum that was referenced above around patents etc I'm really nervous about asking for any assistance around some build aspects. There are some photos on there that are really close to a fairly popular NZ amphibious boat builder and I'm wondering if there is any ability to chase up the original source of those photographs. Would be of great assistance to see where they came from and if it's possible to speak to the designer of that craft about how they navigated some patent issues.
     
  4. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    This is not a very good venue for talking about a patentable idea, being public domain and all. Are you staying you need help/advice with the patent process?
     
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    HGR,

    I don't read between the lines very well.

    What is your question?
     
  6. HGR
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    HGR Junior Member

    Hi guys. There are some photos posted by @myark on the mentioned topic that are very similar to a commercial amphibious boat builder's product. What I'm looking for is a reason that why, if that boat came out first as claimed, was it not able to be protected via copyright or patent protection. Seems that if someone came out with an idea, even for private use, getting ripped off by a commercial outfit would be a pretty significant issue. I am wondering if anyone has any further background data on those photos or that boat and could elaborate. I have a few items going through the patent protection process now and if the claim that the boat pictured was ripped off by a commercial operation I may need to rethink my approach.

    Point blank what I'm wanting is some background on the boat that was built and potentially copied. If anyone has any data that would be really beneficial.
     
  7. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    So what you are really asking about is the can 0' worms that is the whole patent/Intellectual Property(IP) mess...

    The patent system notionally is designed to protect inventors and enable them to profit from (or at least use) their inventions while at the same time contribution to the body of "prior art", or knowledge. It only protects you if you "play the game" though, which I assume you know by now is not much fun. Also a patent is only good if you can defend it, which requires lawyers (in fact the patent system is designed to provide a good living to an entire species of lawyer...). This is why its not a good idea to "just build something" or even talk about something, before filing at least a provisional patent for it. Which is why the patent system is choked with millions of ridiculous patents for mundane things that will never have practical commercial application or by people who's sole purpose with their vague patents is to wait in ambush for someone to come along with another patent or product that makes use of their general concept and tries to shake them down for a license. But I digress....

    Bottom line is that if you make something and people see it and/or post pictures online or a magazine and its method of construction or function is obvious (ie; isn't a "trade secret") it becomes "public domain" and thereby not-patentable (or at least you've made your IP lawyer's job of defending you very hard). And if you never file a patent for it at all, or someone beats you to the punch by "filing first", you are fair game for anyone else to copy and steal ("derive" in polite company) it for fun and profit.
     
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  8. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    As I understand it, a patent enables your ability to sue people/companies that may reproduce your project without permission and with the intent to profit from it.

    It might not protect you from a hobbyist duplicating your efforts for their own educational purposes.

    If someone in China copies your design, good luck collecting as the Chinese are notorious for not honoring intellectual property rights.

    Chances are if someone here likes your design they will attempt to improve upon it and may have their own set of rights protecting their modifications and or changes.

    I'm no lawyer, this is just my own understanding.

    By all means, post some of your sketches so your can get some feed-back. You can always hold a few important cards back. You do not have to share every idea, and if the process gets you closer to defining what you want to do, then you will only gain by having more eyes on it, and more opinions about it.
     
  9. HGR
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    HGR Junior Member

    Continuing to chase a bit of feedback without putting myself too far out there, does anyone have any knowledge of where these photos came from?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Seems there are a few boats in the market with a similar rear system and just wondering if it's really a novel idea. The original thread states that it was built around 2000. I see several similarities to an existing amphibious craft including the hydraulic drive, retraction mechanisms, overall shape, etc.

    I would really like to know the history of this craft and why the owner was not able to seek any legal recourse if he was in fact copied. That would answer my legal queries and then we can get on to chatting about more fun things, like actually building one.
     
  10. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Is this from someone in NZ? I don't know about elsewhere but the US Patent Office (and Google...) has a searchable index of all of its patents. You could look up all the patents related to this kind of contraption and see the prior art and who still has a current patent.

    I am willing the bet the basic concept of a boat with deployable wheeled outriggers is loooong since expired and any designs will all tend to look similar. It could simply be that there just isn't a viable market demand for such a thing. People are always trying to reinvent the latest-greatest self licking icecream cone (flying cars, personal transporters, etc. ) but they fall flat because the tech or market isn't ready for them. So they pop up and then fade away until the next guy gives it a go until his or his investor's money runs out.
     
  11. HGR
    Joined: Aug 2018
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    HGR Junior Member

    Hi James, I agree. There is a NZ company who holds patents that are still current which are almost identical to the design in the photos. Trick is those patents start in 2003 so if the above boat was built prior then one would have to think that those patents are not valid and there is also no claim for copyright. So, if anyone has some data on that boat in the photos it would clarify this whole thing quite a bit for me.
     
  12. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Are you referring to "Sealegs"? If they hold the patent then they pretty much have the design and it doesn't matter what anyone else did before hand. For all I (you?) know, those are photos of their prototype and the claimant is just another internet loon. If he did have a valid case, lawyering up isn't hard, but it is expensive, which is why some get away with it. Life an't fair.
     
  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    You could try and start a private conversation thing with MYARK as he would know more about it. He manufactures things in China and Thailand I believe and Kean Foo sounds Asian. If he doesn't answer you could do the same with Tom Kane and maybe find out how to get hold of MYARK as they are good friends. Tom Kane posted immediately before the post that the photos came from.
     
  14. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    October 2 2015
    Sealegs: 10 Years, 1000 Boats

    Sealegs: 10 Years, 1000 Boats https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/boating/72636245/sealegs-10-years-1000-boats
    Working at home with models of Lego and wood, he came up with a concept for an amphibious boat – one that could drive down the beach and into the water and out again under its own power.

    Satisfied his concept would work, Maurice (Bryham) sourced the components he would need for the drive system and purchased a 4.8m fibreglass RIB. He parked his brand new boat in his driveway and drilled holes in the hull...........................

    Then he bolted on three motorised wheels on retractable stainless steel legs.

    "It took a fair bit of courage to take to my new boat with an electric drill," Maurice says, "but with a bit of trial and error, everything came together."

    Maurice is an electrical engineer by profession. He used sealed electric motors to drive the wheels, which were mounted on pivoting, manually retracted stainless steel legs.......................

    The importance Sealegs International Ltd places on its intellectual property is demonstrated by numerous patents, design and trade marks registered around the world.
     

  15. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    kach22i Architect

    RE: Old Thread
    amphibian https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/amphibian.48528/page-4

    Post #59 does say electric motors and hydraulic drive, whereas "Sealegs" is electric hub motors.

    That is probably enough difference to avoid any expensive patent challenges.

    I'm wondering if the Sealegs patent covers all three methods listed in the link below, and maybe hydraulic and other types of hydrostatic drives.

    Kinaye MotorSports: Direct vs Mid vs Geared-Hub Drive https://kinayems.com/Support/ChoosingDDvsMDvsGH

    Seems to me that Sealegs was hub drive from the start and remains so today.

    EDIT: Okay, now I'm officially confused.

    2011
    Sealegs 7.1m RIB https://www.tradeaboat.co.nz/reviews/1108/sealegs-71m-rib
    [​IMG]
    The usefulness of the additional drive wheel and traction is supported by the introduction of the Extended Run Time. Previous Sealegs RIBs were fitted with a 16hp Honda four-stroke engine for powering the hydraulic system – the pump used for lowering/raising the legs as well as the actual drive system on the wheels.

    EDIT-2:

    I re-read the 2015 article, they experimented with direct electric hub drive then went to the other drive system. I'm guessing hub motors didn't have the torque.

    Article link once again:
    Sealegs: 10 Years, 1000 Boats https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/boating/72636245/sealegs-10-years-1000-boats
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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