Recent Posts

  • Maricuda is on a Power Trip

    Posted Aug 20th, 2012 in General News With | 18 Comments Power Image

    Building on last year’s visit to Tokyo, Maricuda are once more visiting Japan to present their new technology to leading engineering companies.

    Supported and assisted by the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), Maricuda will deliver presentations to a number of leading engineering companies and government bodies for:-

    • 6,000 person capacity ‘Neptune’ tsunami escape structures to protect fishing communities and dockland workers.
    • An 80MW Tidal Energy Turbine  design to provide clean, free power to hospitals, homes and industry.
    • A civil engineering scheme to protect the citizens of Tokyo in the event that a large tsunami strikes that region.

    If successful, a company on the South coast could be providing Maricuda designed watertight doors and hatches for tsunami escape structures within a year.

    The ‘Neptune’ tsunami structures can be 60 to 140m in length and hold from between 1,000 and 15,000 persons depending upon location. The structures are designed to resist the crushing loads of a huge wave and have a patented mooring system to improve their behaviour characteristics when the wave strikes.

    Neptune structures will shortly be offered throughout the region to other ‘Ring of Fire’ countries at risk from tsunamis.

    One of the most exciting projects that Maricuda has developed in recent months is the 80MW tidal energy turbine, fourteen of which can produce sufficient electricity to equal the output of a single nuclear reactor.

    David Aitken, Managing Director of Maricuda, was recently in conversation with a number of fellow directors from engineering manufacturing companies in the  Southampton area, and said . . .

    “A comparison of existing renewable energy sources reveals
    that only tidal energy can produce a constant supply of clean
    power in the quantities required by a global economy”

    David was asked the question ‘Why take your turbine design to Japan? Why not develop it here in Britain?’. He replied . . .

    “Like many other countries, Japan is a forward thinking industrialised nation with the will to adopt new technology and ideas for the benefit of its people. Britain has never been a serious contender in that particular race. We seem to put more effort into delaying projects than making them work.”

    Japan has the need, the resources and the ability, providing they have the desire to work with us then together we can make it happen.

    After an exceptionally busy period, Maricuda Special Projects will now be offering its ship energy products to shipyards in Brazil in the last quarter of 2012, along with its revolutionary new ideas pertaining to cruise liner lifeboat operation and passenger safety.

    Maricuda Marine Products have now identified manufacturing companies in the South who have the ability to produce goods to the quality and standard that has become synonymous with the Maricuda brand. These products are eagerly anticipated and will be appearing shortly.

    D Aitken MSc

    MD Maricuda Ltd

  • Change the way you think for better solutions

    Posted Jul 26th, 2012 in General News With | 12 Comments omaha-landing

    The original concept for a ‘landing craft’ revolved around the basic requirement to unload vehicles and men onto a beach. The vessel must remain in the edge of the breaker line because it’s a floating vessel which by definition requires water. The front part of the craft is a door which also acts as a bridge to make the process of unloading from a floating object onto solid ground easier. All good so far but there are some fundamental problems with this ‘old’ design philosophy.

    During a typical opposed landing, the enemy is expecting you so the beach is mined, and all of his defensive positions are focused on that narrow strip where the land meets the sea. As soon as the door drops on your landing craft, the enemy targets the hinge area with the result that the first vehicle becomes immobilized and acts as a very effective ‘bung’ to prevent the rest of the craft from unloading. Not good so far.

    In order for your assault troops to disembark, they too have to pass through this wall of fire which is focused on the doorway. If mines are present they then have another problem to contend with and they haven’t even got off the beach yet.

    The ideal scenario is, the landing craft approaches the beach at high speed, it doesn’t stop at the breaker line but passes right through it and carries on up the beach, as soon as the craft stops, vehicles and men pour off the sides so that they all are fully deployed in seconds, the craft then reverses off the beach as fast as it came.

    If I were a military commander and I was presented with a choice of landing craft, I would go for the high speed, rapid unloading and fully maneuverable option in preference to the one that dumps its cargo in a queue in the surf through a small opening with a ‘shoot here’ label.

    The modern hovercraft has undergone various design updates since its original conception by Sir Christopher Cockrell back in 1956. I have recently re-visited the hovercraft design with some dramatic results. In its present form the hovercraft can solve the problem of delivering men and machines beyond the breaker line, but there are other problems when operating a hovercraft, such as speed, noise, sea-state, damage susceptibility, maneuverability and stealth. This is not a complete list by any means but it is a list of problems that have already been addressed by Maricuda Ltd.

    If you base a new design on what has gone before you will simply end up with an improved version of an existing design. If you re-visit the requirement upon which the original design was based, there’s a very good chance that you will end up with a more efficient solution.

    Article submitted to the Royal Institution of Naval Architects on 24th July 2012 for inclusion in ‘Warship Technology’  journal.

    by D. Aitken

  • Tidal Turbine Power from Maricuda

    Posted Jun 6th, 2012 in General News With | 26 Comments Maricuda moon and tide image

    Marine engineering and innovation company ‘Maricuda Special Projects’ have this week designated its design of the massive 87MW tidal energy turbine as suitable for adoption by the Marubeni Corporation consortium.

    After the terrible tsunami in 2011 which left Japan with virtually no power, Marubeni Corporation formed a consortium comprising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Nippon Steel Corp and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Company to investigate generating power from floating windfarms in the open sea off the coast of Japan.

    Trading house Marubeni Corporation plans to build a large floating experimental wind farm off the coast of Fukushima prefecture which will generate around 12,000 kilowatts of power, which is enough to supply power to more than 100,000 households. It has been reported that the project is funded by Japan’s industry ministry with financing from a supplementary budget for reconstruction and is hoped to be in operation by as soon as 2016.

    Talking to a mixed audience of representatives from the renewable energy industry last week in Southampton, Maricuda Managing Director David Aitken said,

    “The Maricuda design is an immensely powerful machine which is capable of producing in excess of 80MW under average conditions, and this is exactly what the industry needs. Nuclear power plants can be 1100MW and in order to replace them we must be engineering large scale solutions for large scale results”.

    When asked by one representative “Exactly how big is big?”

    David replied “An offshore oil platform is the size it is in order to resist the forces of wind and tide and still do the job that it is needed to do. Tidal energy is no different; we have to identify what the forces are and design accordingly. As long as we have got a moon we will have tidal energy, we just have to tap into it”.

    Maricuda later exhibited its design for the tidal turbine at Seaworks International Marine Trades Exhibition in Southampton where delegates from around the world were invited to examine the Maricuda turbine and the 6,000 capacity tsunami escape structure, also designated for use in Japan, and many other designs by the company.

    by

    David Aitken MSc

    Managing Director of Maricuda Ltd

  • Maricuda at Seawork International 2012

    Posted Apr 28th, 2012 in General News With | 8 Comments Energy Exploration

    Maricuda has successfully linked with a leading mechatronics company to work on a multi-million pound tidal energy project in the English Channel. By combining the technology and expertise from the two companies, this high net worth project can finally be set on the road to completion. There is some way to go before Maricudas’ technology can be installed on the seabed but working alongside an established professional in this field will add enormous value to the project and ensure that the final product represents the best that Britain can offer. The field of tidal energy is still comparatively young but with the Maricuda turbine design capable of producing in excess of 32MW per module, the future has already arrived.

    In the same week, Maricuda has joined forces with Gosport based company STS Defence on a number of high value projects aimed at the marine market. STS Defence are a long established, innovative Engineering and Manufacturing Services provider with over 40 years experience in the Defence & Security, Aerospace and Marine markets.
    Maricuda has identified a gap in the market for a particular electronics based product and by using the special skills provided by STS, this particular product can be developed and brought to market. More product information will be released when the programme has been fully defined and final market assessment is complete.

    Come and see Maricuda at Seawork International 2012 on Stand SB77, 22nd, 23rd and 24th May, in the Canary Islands Fruit Terminal, 103-104 Herbert Walker Avenue, ABP Southampton Docks, Hampshire, SO15 1HJ

    See www.seawork.com and register for free entry.

  • Maricuda Goes Latin!

    Posted Mar 19th, 2012 in General News With | No Comments 133100376.aUAB0Yan

    Maricuda goes Latin!

    Maricuda has recently developed significant fuel saving projects which will contribute greatly to reducing the use of fuel by shipping worldwide.

    The first of these is specifically aimed at ocean-going cargo ships / freighters such as tankers, LPG and bulk carriers etc. and is suitable for new build or retro-fit applications.

    The main difference between the Maricuda system and others already in the marketplace is the control method and foul weather compatibility, which makes other designs an obstacle to progress as opposed to a benefit.

    The fuel saving from our system varies according to the type/spec of ship and the weather/sea conditions but is in the order of 26%.

    The second of these systems may also be retro-fitted and is very simple to implement. It eliminates the resistance to ships progress through the water caused by boundary layer friction (viscous shear). The shearing force in a dynamic fluid system is denoted as skin friction, and is one of  the main drag forces acting on a body moving through a fluid. Other significant drag forces are form drag and interference drag which when combined become parasitic drag which is the total resistance of the body due to movement though the air and/or water. By eliminating the skin friction of the hull we can save around 16% of the ships fuel burden for every trip under all conditions, not just fair wind.

    The Brazilian shipbuilding industry is currently undergoing a rapid expansion and Maricuda Commercial Director Martin Spooner will take a small team and deliver these significant ‘green energy’ projects to this lucrative market over the coming weeks.

    In addition to the above, Maricuda have invented a new ‘Ships Lifeboat Launch Mechanism’ which can be retro-fitted to the world’s ocean going liners and cruise ships as well as new build vessels. This system allows lifeboats to be launched simultaneously from both sides of the ship even when heeled up to 45 degrees. The new Maricuda system also allows easy access to the lifeboats by all passengers, not just the young and fit or able-bodied. A large number of passengers on cruise liners are elderly and possibly not in the best physical condition but this would not necessarily prevent them from boarding a lifeboat providing the Maricuda new design was fitted.

    As an industry, cruising has a safety record generally regarded as excellent. Over the past two decades, an estimated 90 million passengers have enjoyed a cruise without major incident with the overwhelming majority of deaths on cruise ships being from natural causes or suicides. That is not to say that improvements cannot still be made.

    Ship design and passenger safety are very emotive topics and have been the subject of numerous papers, design studies, reports and official investigations over the years, usually provoked by a major incident such as the recent Costa Concordia. However despite the opinions, professional and otherwise, the primary design criteria applicable to the operation of lifeboats is that they should be easy to access and easy to launch, even when the vessel is heeling at 45 degrees.

    This demands an intuitive system that is fail-safe and totally foolproof that can be operated by elderly passengers if necessary under the most difficult circumstances, in darkness, in bad weather and in poor visibility.

    This is the criteria to which Maricuda has subjected its design process, the result of which will be offered to the maritime industry  and leading cruise ship operators over the coming weeks.

    Note: The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime safety treaty that specifies minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships. In addition to SOLAS, the International Life-Saving Appliance Code (LSA) requires certain emergency equipment to be carried on each lifeboat and life-raft used on international voyages. Modern lifeboats today must also carry an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and either a radar reflector or Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) to further ensure the safety of cruise passengers.

    David Aitken MSc

    Maricuda MD and Naval Architect


  • MARICUDA INVESTS IN EASTERN ASIA

    Posted Jan 16th, 2012 in General News With | 37 Comments East Asia blog image


    We are off to a flying start in 2012. The company strategy to expand into the Japanese market has already resulted in no less than four capital projects being offered for possible adoption in Japan.

    Further to the presentation of tsunami escape structures to consultants and government departments in Tokyo in September 2011, we are now seeking to make contact with shipyards who possess solid commercial acumen in order that they might benefit from the latest fuel saving technology developed by Maricuda.

    These energy saving projects are aimed directly at fuel efficient propulsion and how economic power conversion can be most effectively achieved by large ocean going cargo ships such as tankers, bulk carriers and container vessels.

    Maricuda has designed these systems primarily for new build vessels but they can equally be retro-fitted to existing vessels by tailoring the design cases to suit the particular vessel while at sea and completing the structural modifications once in dry dock as part of a pre-planned maintenance programme.

    Possible the most significant project in terms of immediate impact on daily life is our tidal energy generator, capable of producing 7MW of usable power from a 1.5knot tidal flow. At these rates approximately 142 units would generate electrical power equivalent to a single nuclear reactor.

    The tidal generator has recently been successfully modeled to demonstrate the operating principles at the core of the design and is now locked into the patenting process.

    So why trade with Japan, why not our own country, why not Europe which is on our doorstep while Japan is almost 6000 miles away.

    Look at the facts. From 1963 to 1980 the percentage of world production of dry cargo and tankers produced by Japanese yards went from 36% to 47%. In the same period the equivalent figures for UK product went from 17.5% to 3.3%. If you are a marine innovation company with ship related technology, where are you most likely to sell it?

    Japan is geographically situated in a high tsunami risk area and also has the means to manufacture tsunami resistant structures. It would be totally illogical to offer a large structural shelter to a country that wasn’t at risk or didn’t have the engineering resources to manufacture the structures.

    Finally our tidal energy generator design is capable of providing a near constant supply of cheap, clean electricity. With earthquakes and tsunamis representing a daily threat to the integrity of nuclear installations, tidal energy is the only serious alternative in a seismically active area.

    Thus the answer to ‘why trade with Japan’ is plain and simple. Maricuda sells technology. We generate new ideas which we then sell to the highest bidder. Japan currently has a need for our products; add to the above a willingness to do business and embrace new ideas and the choice becomes much less difficult to make.

    David Aitken MSc

    Managing Director

    Maricuda

  • A Maricuda Christmas Story

    Posted Dec 5th, 2011 in General News With | 1 Comment Maricuda Xmas Blog Image

    The smoke of Christmas is visible on the horizon and where is Maricuda? We seem to have been ‘building our brand’ for a very long time now so where is the payback? What have we done? Where are all the products that we had such high expectations for? What have we been up to and what has happened to the Atlantic Challenge? All legitimate questions which I shall do my best to answer.

    First the Atlantic Challenge. With the UK economy on its knees, the funding for this project is currently being sought from a number of foreign sources. The new technology, which will enable this boat to make the fastest Atlantic crossing ever is too important for Maricuda to ignore, thus the hunt for a sponsor goes on. However, Maricuda is about much more than just an attempt to win the Blue Riband of the Atlantic.

    In the last few weeks Maricuda has taken on two new directors so we are now four. Go to www.maricuda.co.uk/maricuda/maricuda-directors to see who’s who. When I first formed Maricuda in 2009 I thought that we would just be making a range of unique manual bilge pumps and a folding anchor. The reality is, we now have over thirty products in various stages of completion and in the coming months we will be selling these products in a variety of different ways in order to create our revenue.

    Production Director Mark Cox will be manufacturing the Aquarion MP-160 in its now improved form along with the Stowaway folding anchor and the Triton anchor, which has recently undergone extra development to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding RHIB market. These products will be quickly followed by a smaller version of the Aquarion to be more compatible with the needs of the leisure boat market. There is also a brand new pump currently approaching the end of its development phase which will employ the same operating characteristics as the Aquarion but will fill the space for a highly reliable manual bilge pump which is light and compact to fit smaller craft. There are also a number of Maricuda designed products sat on the shelf waiting to be manufactured externally under the Maricuda brand.

    Commercial Director Martin Spooner is presently sourcing specialist companies within the marine industry who would benefit from adopting our designs either to supplement their present range or to introduce a completely new direction to their business. Martin’s extensive business acumen is invaluable in this difficult and demanding role as no two businesses are completely alike and every deal is custom made to suit individual requirements. Ultimately Maricuda will benefit from the sale of these designs by receiving royalty payments of the products manufactured under licence.

    Apart from all of the above, Maricuda has a growing number of capital projects in its portfolio. These include the tsunami escape structure which subsequent to a recent visit to Tokyo, is currently being assessed by a leading engineering company in Japan for possible adoption in high risk areas; a revolutionary tidal power generator which size for size is several times more efficient than its closest rival and a deep mine escape system which would have enabled the Chilean miners to have been sitting in their local within an hour of the incident. There are several other products in this group but probably the most relevant to the present global economic nightmare are those relating to the efficiency of ocean going cargo ships. Maricuda has two significant designs, which will have a direct effect on the economy of world trade by making international sea transport more cost-effective.

    The reason that we haven’t broadcast our ongoing development work is because we have to maintain client and product confidentiality in order to protect our ideas before taking them to market. Products that Maricuda are currently involved with are notoriously slow to evolve and have to be carefully managed until profits are returned. So the answer is, we have been busy, we are still busy and we are getting busier. Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all our friends and supporters.

    David Aitken MSc

    Managing Director of Maricuda .

  • The Maricuda Tsunami Escape Structure

    Posted Oct 9th, 2011 in General News With | 4 Comments Milestone Image

    Another problem, another solution and another winner for Maricuda.
    A major milestone in the life of a new product has been reached. The engineering design specification of the Maricuda Tsunami Escape Structure nears completion and will soon form the core document for costing, detail design and ultimately manufacture. The path between the fragile ‘green shoots’ stage of initial conception and the raucous fury of manufacture is strewn with obstacles, and for many new ideas, the first weak rays of daylight brings peer reviews, market appraisal, profit sensitivity analysis and a host of other threats, any one of which can snuff out a seemingly good idea in an instant. The Maricuda Tsunami Escape Structure has successfully progressed beyond the feasibility study stage and is now well down the road to completion.
    Since its conception shortly after the recent tsunami in Fukushima, this design has evolved into a complete and much welcomed solution for the thousands of people who spend their lives living and working in high tsunami risk areas on a daily basis.
    The patent for this design now contains the very latest thinking on escape structure design and will thus ensure that the Maricuda solution is the most robust and capable counter-measure to the tsunami threat to date.
    The tsunami escape structure has been a flagship design for the ‘special projects’ division of Maricuda and it is envisaged that the final product could be ready for construction as early as Q2-2012 and implemented in many tsunami risk areas shortly thereafter.

  • The Tread Boat from Maricuda

    Posted Sep 21st, 2011 in General News With | No Comments maricuda mt web logo
    Maricuda is pleased to announce that they have just added a revolutionary new small boat propulsion concept to its expanding portfolio.

    This simple design is called the ‘Tread Boat’ due to the stepping motion required to effect propulsion. The user stands on two step plates and effectively ‘walks’ the plates up and down while holding onto the hand bar to control direction.

    Aimed predominantly at the youth market and small boat user, the ‘Tread Boat’ will attain very high speeds with little wake and without the use of oars so fast travel in close proximity to moored craft is possible.

    The design was created on Thursday 4th August 2011 and pre Southampton Boat Show has already received interest from a leading manufacturer of small craft.

  • Engineering a Safer Future

    Posted Sep 17th, 2011 in General News With | 3 Comments japan_quake_02.standalone.prod_affiliate.4

    This week, Maricuda directors have returned from a business trip to Japan organised through the UKTI and the British Embassy in Tokyo.

    Maricuda has sought to establish a presence in the S.E. Asia region with the Tsunami Escape Project and is now poised to realise this ambition. Managing Director David Aitken delivered a PowerPoint presentation to a number of institutions, and organisations including engineering consultancies and government bodies, to demonstrate the principles of the tsunami escape structure and how its implementation might affect the economic recovery of the region. There is every indication that this project will now proceed as a result of this visit, and that the original intention that Japan should lead the world in tsunami escape technology will become a reality. This project is one of several currently being developed by Maricuda which will reduce the risk to human life, thus making some areas of the world a safer place to live and work in.

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