Mr Herbert 0, Fyfe describes in 'Pearson's ' the wonders of the Vautonaut,' a boat that propels itself, but can only move in rough waters : — The fact is that the boat is propelled by the action of the waves : in perfectly still water she would not move at all, unless she was caused to pitch artifically. The secret of her propulsion lies in a couple of pieces of apparatus, not unlike gridirons, fixed, one at the bo^r, and one at the storn, about on a level with the keel. These are what the inventor, Mr H. Linden, of the Zoological station at Naples, calls * feathering fins.' They are strips of hardened steel with their free ends pointing ,in the reverse direction to the course of the boat. Eacli ffjfme holds four of theße. They are twenty inches long and ten inches wide ; they ore seven-tenths of an inch thick at their union with their "frames, and taper off to One-tenth of an inch at their free ends. The effect of oil on troubled waters has passed from a proverb into a regular adjunct of navigation, but there has always been one very serious drawback. It is of no use unless a vessel is going with the wind. If a vessel beating | against the wind were to put oil_ over the side it would simply be blown to leeward of her and do no good. Now the peculiarity of the Autonaut is that she will go just as well against the wind and waves as with them; in fact the more bumpy the waves are. the better she goes. Therefore, it occurred to Mr Linden that his boat would serve admirably to carry oil and distribute it in front of fishingboats, life-boats, and vessels riding at anchor in a heavy, broken sea. It is thus of use as a sort of advance guard of peace, preparing the way by oil distribution to the windward of the ships in troubled seas.
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'THE AUTONAUT.', Bay of Plenty Times, Volume 22, Issue 3814, 22 February 1899
'THE AUTONAUT.' Bay of Plenty Times, Volume 22, Issue 3814, 22 February 1899
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