Regal Fastrac Hull Patent Dispute

Regal Fastrac Hull Design Controversy

In late 1997 a dispute over the design Regal's FasTrac hull was turned over to the court system. Harry Schoell, designer of the patented Duo Delta Conic Hull claims the Regal hull infringes on his patent. We have posted several items concerning the dispute.

Designer claims Regal's FasTrac is his

Soundings Trade Only
November 1997
Page 45
by Jim Flannery
article was summarized by RBBI
Naval architect Harry Schoell of Ft. Lauderdale FL is suing Regal Marine Industries, Inc. of Orlando FL claiming their FasTrac hull infringes on his 8-year-old stepped hull design. His Duo Delta Conic hull is licensed to several boat builders including Larson Boats (Genmar), Crestliner, Infinity Yachts, Yamaha, Challenger and Cayman Catamaran.

Regal released its FasTrac hull 2 years ago and won the industry's top award for innovation for its design. The hull is now used in 17, 19, 21, 25, and 27 foot models.

Schoell filed suit Sept. 25 in Detroit federal district court. He says he applied for a patent for the design in 1990 and it was granted in 1995, after FasTrac was on the market.

Regal's president Duane Kuck says they will contest the suit. Kuck said FasTrac was in costly prototype development and testing for two years. David Livingston of Seattle (designer behind Brunswick's U.S. Marine/Bayliner boats said he designed it from scratch. It features include a step to improve efficiency; tunnels aft that draw air and break the suction between hull and water; inverted strakes, which keep the hull tracking; laminar flow interrupters (small steps) along the strakes, which prevent instability in turns"; two pads aft for horizontal stability: and a 24-degree deadrise.

Livingston says Regal's inverted strakes and laminar flow interrupters are patented. "Our technical people definitely don't feel we are infringing," Livingston said.

Schoell says that after FasTrac's unique features are stripped away, the step design is his.

Schoell is being represented by John Nemazi of Southfield MI. He says his client is suing to protect his licenses. The licenses are complaining that is Regal is not paying, why should they.

Regal Marine denies infringing on Schoell's patent

Boating Industry
December 1997
Page 8
by Jeff Kurowski
article summarized by RBBI
Harry Schoell filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Regal and one of its dealers, Emerald City Harbor Inc of St. Clair Shores MI in U.S. District Court in Detroit in September. Schoell is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Regal from constructing hulls with the FasTrac hull design and an unspecified amount of damages, attorney fees and court costs. A jury trial was requested, says Bill Abbatt, attorney at the Southfield MI based firm, Brooks & Kushman which represents Schoell.

Although FasTrac and Schoell's design share a common trait, a stepped bottom, the geometry and hydrodynamics are altogether different, says Regal President Duane Kuck.

The purpose of the stepped hull is to funnel air rearward beneath the hull to reduce frictional drag. The aft hull is equipped with a narrow relatively flat keel that surfs across the water at planing speed. This design raises the boats top speed and reduces fuel consumption enabling manufacturers to use smaller engines while improving performance according to Schoell.

Related Patents

Since patent drawings are very important in understanding boat hull patents, we are sending you to the IBM Patent Server (a free patent viewing site) where you can see printed text of the patent abstracts and claims, plus full photocopies of the patents which include the drawings.

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