WAM-V®: Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels

The WAM-V is a new class of watercraft based on a patented technology that delivers a radically new seagoing experience. These ultralight flexible catamarans are modularly designed to allow for a variety of applications and to fit the requirements of specific users, missions or projects.

WAM-Vs are designed for either manned or unmanned operations. Typically, manned WAM-Vs range from 85 ft to 150 ft. Unmanned WAM-Vs currently range from 12 ft to 33 ft.


Wave Adaptive

Unlike conventional boats, the hulls of a WAM-V conform to the surface of the water. A WAM-V does not push, slap or pierce the waves. She utilizes flexibility to adapt her structure and shape to the water surface. Instead of forcing the water to conform to the hull, she gives and adjusts; she “dances” with the waves.

A superstructure is flexibly connected to specially designed pontoons by several components that actually move in relation to one another. A WAM-V has springs, shock absorbers and ball joints to articulate the vessel and mitigate stresses to structure, payload and crew. Two engine pods, containing the propulsion and ancillary systems, are fastened to the hulls with special hinges that keep the propellers in the water at all times. The inflatable pontoons act like the tires of a car, absorbing the high frequency waves.



The payload module on a WAM-V can be switched with a different one in less than 5 minutes for the 12’ and 14’ WAM-V USVs or less than 30 minutes for the 100’ WAM-V, transforming the WAM-V into another vessel for a different use.

In the unmanned version (WAM-V USV), guidance system packages can be switched quickly from the most basic remote control to the most sophisticated satellite guidance system.

WAM-V USVs can carry mission-specific payloads such as UUV or surveillance cameras. These payloads can be swapped in a matter of minutes.

The payload module of a manned WAM-V can be a self-contained craft, which can lower to the surface, detach and operate under its own power. Some examples of possible payload modules for the manned version include:

  • emergency response unit
  • passenger transport
  • lab for marine biology or oceanographic research
  • scuba diving platform
  • luxury cabin for two

The engine pods are mechanically separate from the main hulls and can be switched to other pods with a different propulsion system:

  • from diesel to gas
  • from propellers to jets
  • from inboard to outboards

Alternatively, two sets of identical engine pods keep the vessel operational at all times, when engines have to be serviced or repaired.


Other Characteristics

The WAM-V can be custom designed and built for easy disassembly so that all parts can fit into standard shipping containers or an 8 ft box in the case of a 12’ WAM-V USV.

WAM-Vs can be built in different lengths to match specific applications. Marine Advanced Research, Inc. has designed, manufactured and tested 8 ft radio-controlled models, a 50 ft personal watercraft, a full size 100 ft prototype, 12’ and 33’ WAM-V USVs.

The WAM-V technology is environmentally friendly by its very nature and design. In spite of the large size necessary to negotiate the open ocean, the WAM-V produces a minimum wake. Being ultra light, its anchors are those of a much smaller vessel, thus decreasing disruption to the ocean floor. Fuel consumption is significantly less than that of other vessels with comparable characteristics. The WAM-V, with her light weight, very low draft and soft hulls, is kind and forgiving to everything she comes in contact with.

Introducing the WAM-V



Wave Adaptive Technology: Hinged Engine Pods


Hinged attachments allow the engine pods to follow the shape of the waves and keep the propellers in the water at all times


Wave Adaptive Technology: Articulation System


Ball joints allow the forward arch to rotate such that the hulls can move semi-independently. This reduces the stresses on the structure


Wave Adaptive Technology: Inflatable Pontoons


Flexible hulls adapt their shape to the water surface


WAM-V Technology: Modular Payload


12’ WAM-V USV’s tray can receive different guidance systems


WAM-V Technology: Modular Payload


100’ Manned WAM-V: Mission specific payloads can be swapped quickly


WAM-V Technology: Modular Propulsion Systems


Showing simple steps to remove (or attach) engine pod