These weird boats will change the way you think about water travel

Since their beginnings, ships have served war purposes, whether defending territory against invaders or crossing the sea in search of conquest and land acquisition. The largest and most impressive ships of all time have been hailed by the most powerful navies from ancient times until today. The US Navy is the most powerful maritime military organization in the world and looks through the US Navy’s more than 200 years of historywe can find many examples of organizations advancing shipping as a form of national defense.

The Sea Shadow was an experimental Cold War-era craft that borrowed ideas from the highly successful F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft. The stealth materials used in the Nighthawk to defeat radar detection could also be applied to evasive sonar. Lockheed Martin built the Sea Shadow in secret and produced a menacing-looking object that hovered above the waters, supported by two long runners on either side of the ship, similar to a catamaran. It’s known as the SWATH (Small Water Area Twin Hull) vessel, and its design makes it much faster and more stable than conventional boats, according to Lockheed Martin.

Only one was built and, although it had great potential, the results of the sea trials were disappointing. The crew experienced atypically large wakes, which turned out to be a cause of the propellers installed backwards. Although this problem was quickly corrected, the ship never entered production and was scrapped in 2006, according to DARPA.

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