Boat Suspension




Lehigh University has developed a boat suspension system that absorbs, deflects and otherwise mitigates undesirable hull motions while increasing rider comfort, vessel stability and maneuvering performance at high speeds.


There are on the order of 18 million pleasure boats in the US, a substantial fraction of which are powerboats. Most of these suffer from three major issues: high slamming loads leading to high vertical accelerations which cause personnel injuries; pitch instabilities at higher speeds leading to rough rides and sea sickness; and high hydrodynamic drag. The proposed suspension has been demonstrated to reduce vertical accelerations, improve ride quality, and reduce hydrodynamic drag.


The technology is directed at light weight and high speed boats. Boats suspensions are provided for sponsons, hulls, pontoons and combinations thereof.


Lehigh Tech ID# 111507-01



It is estimated that over 3,000 fast boats are projected to be built over the next 20 years and 40% will be in the smaller patrol boat category. Additionally, 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 expanding to $6.2 billion by 2013.  Injuries and damage to crew and craft due to accelerations are driving the growth of boat suspension technologies, especially among the military.



Lehigh University is ultimately looking to out-license this technology, but is also interest in co-development opportunities.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Utility United States 12/435,939 8,220,404 5/5/2009 7/17/2012 10/25/2029
Mechanical Systems
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Joachim Grenestedt