Fish Scales Reducing Boat Accelerations


Lehigh University has developed plates, similar to fish scales, that are mounted on the bottom of a boat. The plates are designed to deform and/or deflect under water pressure in such a way that the maximum vertical acceleration of the boat is reduced.


The invention is applicable to small high-speed boats, as they suffer heavily from vertical accelerations. The plates will provide increased rider comfort, reduce the drag of the boat and reduce fuel consumption. The plates can be an add-on to any existing boat.


Lehigh TechID# 080212-01



The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports US boat sales to be around 69,200 annually and this market size is estimated to be around $38.7 billion.  Injuries and damage to crew and craft due to accelerations are driving the growth of these technologies, especially among military applications. [1,2,3]


[1] “United States Special Operation Command, SBIR FY10.1 Proposal Submission.‖ U.S. Military Acquisition web site. (accessed January 13, 2012).

[2] ―Navy’s Confrontation with Somali Pirates Spurs Complaints From Reformers.‖ The Washington Independent web site. (accessed January 13, 2012).

[3] Gary Polson, ―Marine Stern Drive Production Volumes and Market Shares: an Overview,‖ Recreational Boat Building Industry web site, (accessed January 13, 2012).



Lehigh University is interested in co-development opportunities.
Mechanical Systems
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Joachim Grenestedt