Heretofore watercraft designs and construction methods confronted the following five problems:
1. Hull and Deck Cost - Watercraft small enough to be moved intact on normal roadways without special permits are usually manufactured inland at one or more centralized manufacturing facilities. They are limited in living space, significantly less than what is average living space in a house. Conversely watercraft too large to be moved on roadways without special permits are built at extensive and expensive shoreline based facilities. These facilities are usually drydocks that incur the high cost of coastal land. The drydocks are limited in where they can deliver their production, usually only where there is waterway access to the drydock. Floating drydocks bypass some of these problems but are still expensive to construct. A watercraft with 1000 ft2 of living space, small by today’s housing standard, cannot be manufactured at near the cost of a land based structure and is therefore prohibitive for most people.
2. Complexity - All modern ships’ hulls and decks are constructed using a multitude of different materials and equipment. Manufacturing requires specialized knowledge and expensive, often difficult to obtain, custom components. In none of the prior art is there a watercraft’s hull(s) and deck constructed using only a single basic component (triangle) that is strong, durable, easily mass produced and easy to add on to (i.e. extensible).
3. Superstructure Cost - use of a strong superstructure to reinforce the hull strength of the largest ocean liners of the world today is common, because it reduces the structural strength and therefore cost necessary, in constructing the hull of the ships. In the prior art there are no large watercraft of today using an inexpensive, easily-manufactured superstructure. (The Geodesic Dome)
4. Inflexibility and Lack of Extensibility in Hull Design – Prior art watercraft are limited by design inertia in their manufacture. They require a myriad of parts, large expensive shore-based facilities, and have little extensibility. Once they are built, there is little or no flexibility to cost effective additions to the watercraft size. In no prior art are there watercraft that can be built, used, and then added onto cheaply and easily to increase usable space. Prior art hull design requires rigidity in design size and shape along with prohibitive capital expenditure in their manufacture. There is no gradual method of expanding a smaller completed unit without very costly overhauls.
5. There are many expensive and complex systems in a self-propelled watercraft. Some of these include propulsion, steering, fuel storage and handling, navigation and control systems. In no prior art is there a paddle wheel apparatus that transfers the existing capabilities of the aforementioned systems of a motor vehicle to that of a watercraft.
The present invention comprises a watercraft which overcomes the foregoing and other problems which have long characterized the prior art.