The WAM-V technology aims to complement, not replace, existing vessels and to open new possibilities. WAM-Vs are to conventional vessels what helicopters are to airplanes.
Manned, 85 ft and above, WAM-Vs have ocean crossing capabilities with a range of up to 5,000 miles. Once they have reached destination, their low draft allows operations in river deltas, shallow littoral waters and lagoons.
The front part of the inflatable pontoons can be beached on an undeveloped coast to deliver personnel and equipment.
Users with limited experience can learn to pilot her quickly because she has the responsiveness and maneuverability of a small powerboat.
Manned WAM-Vs are designed to be working boats. Although they can be adapted to pleasure cruising, typical applications include:
Examples of Applications
The 100’ technology demonstrator, a WAM-V named Proteus, was launched in San Francisco Bay in 2007 and sailed over 3,000 miles in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Aptly named after an early sea-god protector of all marine mammals and capable of changing shape at will, the name Proteus also suggests the first of its kind.
Configured as a cruising vessel and equipped with a detachable cabin with its own propulsion system, Proteus traveled for 7 months on a good-will mission for NOAA’s Marine Sanctuary Program.
Proteus, as all WAM-Vs, can be beached without damage, delivering cargo or personnel. The high length to displacement ratio and the small wet surface result in low fuel consumption even at high speeds. Her limited draft and inflatable hulls contribute to her maneuverability. The very wide beam and low wind resistance ensure a high margin of safety.
From October 2007 to April 2012, Proteus was stationed at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story in Norfolk, VA, under an ONR contract to assess and study the technology in cooperation with Combatant Craft and Virginia Tech.
Proteus launch and press conference in San Francisco
Capsule Recovery WAM-V designed for NASA
This 120 ft WAM-V was conceived as the choice option for recovering the new generation of Apollo-like capsules in case of an aborted mission. Capable of covering the entire patrol area with one vessel instead of two presently required, the WAM-V offers a low cost, always-ready solution.
The WAM-V technology is uniquely suited to this type of salvage efforts. Its geometry is such that the capsule can be lifted from the center area between the two hulls without the use of overboard cranes. The ability of the WAM-V to approach directly over the capsule and recover it vertically ensures that no damage is done to the capsule during the lift from the ocean surface. Other ships have to use cranes that haul the capsule over the side of the vessel away from the center of gravity. This becomes extremely dangerous in adverse weather conditions, as the capsule will swing side to side with respect to the vessel with potential for extensive damage to both vessel and capsule.
The WAM-V technology allows a relatively light displacement, high-speed vessel to lift heavy payloads that would otherwise require larger and considerably more expensive conventional methods. The WAM-V solution is extremely cost effective. The total cost of ownership, including operational costs, is a fraction of what other ships, suitable for this operation, would cost.
Shallow water operation
Proteus On The One Ocean Mission, Italy Department of Environment Marine Protected Area
Official launch in San Francisco
NASA capsule recovery
Mother ship lowering daughter vessel
Daughter vessel connected to wind tower
Mother ship in foreground, daughter vessel at wind tower in background