We are looking for an investor...
to provide funding to develop and market
marine propulsion system, invention.
ex-commercial helicopter pilot, has invented, made, and
tested and successfully utilised a new marine propulsion
It has many advantages over existing ones. They are:
1. Efficiency - proven by achieving water
speeds over 5kts with a plywood catamaran weighing 120
kg plus the weight of two people pedaling.
2. Simplicity of design - the first model
tested was hand-made in a primitive workshop.
3. Robust and durable - the same model
still performs as above after 14 months of heavy use by
Versatility - could be scaled up to any size to transmit
any available power supply without needing any rotating
of this it is silent and all the people who have tried
it are impressed with it's effortless user-friendly
aspects with no skill requirement.
Ken has spent the last eight years developing the system
and has made 3 models all of which perform up to the
He has filed a NZ patent through A J Park of Wellington
who are urging the extension of this to a world cover.
Production on Rarotonga would be a practical way to
establish an industry that could soon go global.
With a injection of
capital Ken could soon establish production of the
drive system in a small workshop locally.
The best way to test
the first production models would be to hire them on
the lagoon where they would provide a solid cash
Investor will take out a 50% (NZ$1,000,000) interest in
the business by providing the capital to progress from
this point and shoulder the responsibility of marketing
Ken, although of retirement age, would be keen to
continue perfecting the existing design and leading the
development of scaled up commercial vessels with the
advantages of the K S F D S (Kingsbury Swinging Foil
The Treddlecat story;
sixty years in the making
Ken Kingsbury taxed the
patience of parents and teachers alike with his
questions from an early age.
"How does that sailboat go that way when the wind is
going the other?"-was one that marked a critical stage
in the development of his fascination with boats.
Although he ended up flying helicopters as a means of
financing his marriage and family, getting afloat was
his favorite recreation.
Right from the start the limitations of the various
craft he took command of irked him. It always seemed to
Ken that most of these limitations were inadvertently
built in by the designers and manufacturers. In his mind
he automatically worked out ways of pushing back these
limitations. He soon realized there was always a way of
doing this by modification of the original design.
In this way he learnt a wide range of first principles
of mechanics and dynamics and could apply them to almost
anything that caught his interest.
Much later in life Ken realized that evolution has
mindlessly found the most efficient way of converting
energy to forward motion through aeons of trial and
error. He was amazed that intelligent men seemed to
consistently ignore the conclusions of Natures millions
of years of research in the pursuit of survival.
Half a century of modifying and redesigning boats and
windsurfers as a hobby eventually led him to tackle the
problem of propelling boats with human muscle.
The catalyst for this was being asked to make a "pedallo"
for hire at a resort on a coral lagoon.
While examining these ridiculously inefficient
man-powered boats a number of ideas of improvement
jumped into his mind.
Memories of being towed around in a boat by a large fish
on the end of a line made him realize the superiority of
the fish's propulsion system.
His preparation started with the establishing two first
1.The higher the proportion of available energy being
used to disturb the water the less is left to move the
2.Water being a liquid, the less time it is given to
move in response to the driving force applied to it the
less the energy wastage.
After studying fish in motion he arrived at this
conclusion; the fish moves its fins in such a way as to
make them track forward through the water taking the
fish's body with them.
The concept of the "Kingsbury Swinging Foil Drive
System" took shape.
Although the first trial of the first version of KSFDS
exposed a number of mechanical miscalculations it showed
Over the next year the system was extensively modified
until it appeared in a small catamaran called the "Cruzicat".
Using the leg muscles of two persons sitting in the
hulls this vessel could sustain 8 kph with the energy
needed for a brisk walk.
Hiring it out on Muri Lagoon soon uncovered its
weaknesses. After a few years of repairing and modifying
the Cruzicat, during which time a second improved design
was introduced. Because both had mechanical linkages
from the pedals to the swinging foils the vessel was
doomed to be repeatedly damaged due to the foils being
unable to swing back on encountering obstructions.
The radical change in design that produced the
Treddlecat seemed in retrospect an obvious solution. In
solving many problems it resulted in improved efficiency,
simpler construction and dramatically improved
resistance to damage.
Ken's predictions were uncharacteristically pessimistic
in picking 5 knots for the top speed of the Treddlecat.
The Mk I prototype reached 5.4 and the Mk III, 5.7. with
Kens arthritic knees doing half of the work.
He is currently working on a Mk IV which is intended to
demonstrate the efficiency of the system by beating the
local racing canoes.
Although quantitative analyses has yet to prove it the
KSFDS seems likely to be the most efficient man-made
marine propulsion system.
From your point of view as the user of the Treddlecat
for leisure the most important feature is its ease and
comfort and the fact that you can virtually do no wrong.
When the Treddlecat
enters the world market it will offer ordinary
people a level of enjoyment above that of any other
People without any
boating skills will experience a ride that is swift,
smooth and silent.
The two persons
providing the motive power will find they can hold a
conversation without raising their voices or
twisting their necks.
They can carry an
equal number of passengers in comfortable forward
facing seats with sheltered stowage for cameras and
The only navigating
consideration needed will be the steering via a
light touch joystick in front of one of the pedaling
The stability will
make for easy climbing on board after snorkeling or
The hands free
operation makes fishing, photography or picnicking
when under way a natural activity.
All occupants of the
Treddlecat's seats can safely change places while
No athletic prowess
is required to propel the Treddlecat against a 7kph
current or a 20-kph wind.
Transporting from a
dry parking spot to afloat and back again is never a
problem due to the retractable beach wheels fitted
There are no worries
about rain, sand or rubbish entering the sealed
hulls of the Treddlecat making it acceptable to be
left outside for extended periods between sorties.
More about the
Ken is now a pensioner. Although he does not make many
concessions to his long departed youth he has to accept
a few limitations. He still makes an effort to rig and
sail his own design windsurfer when weather is perfect
for it but his main concern now is future financial
A full time occupation inventing leading edge marine
devices would suit him (and his patient wife of 46 yrs,
Elizabeth). This should not be such an unrealistic
ambition as he has a string of them lined up in his head
just waiting for the opportunity to be made
Any potential investor should be encouraged to visit
Raro to try for themselves the leisure version of this
If you know of anyone
who might be in a position to take advantage of this it
would be mutually beneficial to pass on this
The KSFDS (Kingsbury Swinging Foil Drive System) can
be powered through a single ram hydraulic link from a
simple linear motor (electric) or a simple single piston
steam engine with no requirement for any rotating parts.