Safety Propeller makes the cut

New Inventors winner in talks with manufacturers with a view to beginning production

Safety Propeller makes the cut
Safety Propeller makes the cut

The inventor behind a propeller that can prevent injuries to people and marine wildlife is currently "in talks with manufacturers with a view to beginning production" after his product was judged to be the 2009 invention of the year on last year’s The New Inventors program on ABC TV

The Environmental Safety Propeller was created by Colin Chamberlain, a Mackay-based powerline construction worker and boatie who likes to invent in his spare time.

device is very similar to a regular propeller, except for the flat and blunt leading edge on each blade. This new feature allows the operator to literally place a limb into the spinning blades without sustaining injury, a quality that was personally demonstrated by Chamberlain on The New Inventors.

Chamberlain said he began work on his design back in 2000 after he had heard about an incident in which a girl was severely injured by a propeller. He said he tried around 600 variations before he was satisfied with the final prototype.

The Environmental Safety Propeller is said to be suitable for outboards starting from 2hp. The reduction in performance due to the unusual shaped leading edge is claimed to be minimal, and it is also said to reduce cavitation.

As part of the win on The New Inventors, Chamberlain has received support from AusIndustry, Austrade, IP Australia and CSIRO. He said he is focusing on the US market due to production costs, and that it had attracted interest from overseas markets.

The Environmental Safety Propeller is to be presented to the US Coast Guard at the Miami Boat Show in February.

An extensive analysis on the potential challenges and benefits facing the invention in the US market can be found at

A web page is also said to be in development.

IMAGE: Colin Chamberlain shows off his invention (image courtesy of The New Inventors, ABC TV).

Bookmark and Share


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.