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Inventor

in the long tradition of American inventors

Bill didn't eddy out after selling Perception Kayak.

In January 2005, he launched a new company called Evolution Kayaks. As he said, “I designed the boats as entertainment, to prove to myself that I could design a kayak using the Internet, CAD software and 3D printing.”

One of Bill's early inventions, the rotational kayak mold.

One of Bill’s early inventions, the rotational kayak mold.

Bill designed his Evolution series of kayaks using naval design software, which he found online. The kayaks feature a double step hull and unique parabolic shape “similar to a parabolic snow ski” for turning.

The designs went into rapid prototyping via a kayaker friend’s CAD skills and Bill continued to refine the design, perfecting a shape that would be fast and stable. He made his first prototype with a boat manufacturer in another country, managing development by email and videoconferencing.

Evolution kayaks also featured innovative plastics, lightweight, easily repaired materials offering extreme durability and stiffness, plus exceptional resistance to abrasion and ultraviolet light. With the boats launched and selling via selected retailers, Bill turned his attention elsewhere.

His interest in launching Evolution had always focused on product development and new ways to manufacture, so Evolution evolved, becoming an R&D and manufacturing facility, and offering product development, manufacturing, assembly and distribution to small start-ups.

The company is for sale, along with the related patents.

Piling up patents

By his reckoning, Bill has over 50 patents (this doesn’t count his patents pending).

He continues to refine and develop ideas, particularly in manufacturing and thermal transfer, but spends most of his time serving as a director, advisor and mentor.

Patent Number Title Filing Date
US4227272 Supportive framework for a boat January 22, 1979
US4247279 Rotational molding system April 18, 1980
US4440144 Heater apparatus and method August 25, 1980
US4407216 Frame system for kayak May 14, 1981
US4665492 Computer automated manufacturing process and system July 2, 1984
US4421150 Waterproof bag device for articles July 13, 1981
US4503799 Combination flotation storage and seating structures for boats Apr 28, 1982
US4480579 Kayak with adjustable rocker Juy 14, 1982
US4489028 Kayak improvements November 22, 1982
US4583480 Kayak cockpit cover February 6, 1984
US4589365 Open-cockpit kayak October 29, 1984
US4520747 Breakaway kayak cockpit and method February 27, 1984
US4681060 Kayak frame section and method October 7, 1985
US4744327 Kayak foot brace September 29, 1986
US4727821 Detachable pod and kayak September 29, 1986
US4715311 Variable volume kayak hull Apr 6, 1987
USD391916 Kayak May 27, 1997
US4820216 Adjustable kayak paddle January 25, 1988
US4942840 Foot brace for kayaks February 12, 1988
US4980112 Method for rotational molding June 24, 1988
US5134569 System and method for computer automated manufacturing using fluent material June 26, 1989
US5039297 Rotational molding apparatus September 13, 1989
US5094607 Thermoplastic mold for rotational molding November 23, 1990
US5216616 System and method for computer automated manufacture with reduced object shape distortion December 1, 1989
US5134964 Flexible security loop for kayaks December 31, 1990
US5189974 Kayak catamaran July 2, 1991
US5367975 Kayak cockpit cover with retention edge December 14, 1992
US5546313 Method and apparatus for producing three-dimensional articles from a computer generated design September 2, 1994
US5694324 System and method for manufacturing articles using fluent material droplets March 6, 1995
US5855180 Tilting dry dock for small watercraft May 2, 1997
USD518431 Kayak July 21, 2004
USD517974 Kayak Hull July 21, 2005
USD400155 Boat handling slots October 27, 1998
USD524674 Speaker timing device August 23, 2005

Bill Masters spends time working with venture capital groups and advising start-ups and young entrepreneurs.