Patent Number: 8,584,609

Title: Tapered tunnel for tunnel thrusters

Abstract: A tunnel thruster system for a vessel. The tunnel thruster system includes a thruster propulsion mechanism including a drive unit driving a transmission and propeller assembly located within a thruster tunnel. The thruster tunnel comprising a propeller section, first and second tapered tunnel sections interconnected with one another by the propeller section, the propeller section and the first and the second tapered tunnel sections oriented substantially transversely to a keel of the vessel and accommodating the transmission and propeller assembly. Each tapered tunnel section extends from the propeller section to a tunnel opening through a hull of the vessel. Diameters of the first and the second tapered tunnel sections corresponding to a diameter of the propeller section at the propeller section and taper outward toward a larger diameter at each of the corresponding tunnel openings through the hull of the vessel.

Inventors: Stasolla; Paolo (Bari, IT), Davis; Eric (Mequon, WI), Davis; Rick (Mequon, WI)

Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG

International Classification: B63H 25/42 (20060101); B63H 25/46 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 1/19/12018