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Author Topic:   Whaler Hull Construction Patent
jimh posted 03-29-2003 05:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Please use this message thread exclusively for comments or questions related to the Boston Whaler hull construction patent article.


jimh posted 03-29-2003 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
After seeing the patent drawings, the first thing that came to my mind was how all of the sawn in half hulls that I have seen pictured had been cut in such a way that the cross section never showed any of the shear braces.

One possibility is that the cuts were carefully made at locations where the shear braces would not be seen in the cross section.

Another possibility is that number and location of shear braces has been reduced from the original method shown in the patent.

TomNMiami posted 03-29-2003 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomNMiami  Send Email to TomNMiami     

There's a reference in your introduction to the patent of a "chain saw whaler" that Tom Clark disected. Are there any pictures of this?

It strikes me that, although it would be a horrible waste of a boat, a cool analysis of hull construction could be done by cross sectioning a whaler, 12 inches at a time, and photographing each section...sort of like the "Virtual Man" analysis that some Institution did with a frozen dead guy.

Interesting reading the patent...thanks,

Dr T posted 03-30-2003 12:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     

You may find reading the Chain Saw Whaler papers interesting. Go to


jimh posted 03-30-2003 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom Clark has sent me a wonderful set of photographs of "chain saw Whaler" and I plan to include them in a related article.
Dr T posted 03-30-2003 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     

The observation on shear braces is interesting. The patent covers the use of shear braces in the construction, but it does not specify how many.

This is as it should be since a patent should be made as general a possible to protect the inventor with the greatest degree of latitude.


kglinz posted 03-30-2003 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
When I did my Factory Tour I don't remember any mention of the shear braces. I'm sure others have been on factory tours. Any imput?Anybody have a MRI in their garage.
doobee posted 04-02-2003 11:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
Shear ties were considered top secret at Whaler. I had to sign a contract promising not to divulge their existence and was paid one dollar to make it official. I'm sure they purposely cut the hull in strategic locations so as not to expose them.

Years later I find this site, and mention of sheer ties in patent documents. Perhaps I should send Whaler their dollar back!

jimh posted 04-03-2003 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The patent granted to Fisher and his asignees the right to exclude others from using this technique for 20 years from the date of the application, which was in 1957. Thus sometime in 1977, or about a quarter century ago, the right granted by the United States to Fisher and his asignees to have exclusive use of this construction technique expired.

The application for a patent is, in a sense, a double-edged sword, since in order to obtain a patent one must disclose the nature of the invention.

jimh posted 05-26-2003 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I get the feeling that there was a little collective gasp in some circles when this article about the hull construction patent was published, and as commented above, the existance of "shear braces" was mentioned for the first time.

If you happen to have the 2003 Boston Whaler catalogue handy, take a look at Page-5.

Across the top of the page there is a panel of photographs of a hull in the process of being molded. The image on the left side has this caption:

"Inner and outer molded hulls are latched together while the resin is still tacky and uncured."

If you look closely at the inner hull (the upper one in the picture) I think you will see some shear braces making an appearance. They are the two off-white or yellow gizmos on the side of the inner hull.

Anyone familiar with the current molding process care to comment?

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