The MARSHRIDER unit is a fully patent protected stern-mounted paddle-wheel drive system, steered by a patented bow-mounted, free-floating sweep rudder, which pivots upward to allow passage over underwater obstacles without incurring damage. This rudder introduces a new principle to the steering of watercraft. An outboard motor, an air-boat or a long-shaft marsh motor all utilize the principle of swinging the rear of the craft to the side to re-align with the front of the craft, which remains stationary during the change of direction. This works very well in open water situations.

However, in the terrain described above, they become very undesirable in that the obstructions on either side of the craft (tall saw-grass, thick vegetation, etc.) resist this sideways movement of the stern and steering becomes very difficult, if not impossible. The MARSHRIDER's bow-mounted rudder uses a new principle of steering by swinging the front of the craft to re-align with the rear of the craft. The obstructions (saw-grass, etc.) actually aid in the turn by supplying a sideways force to the rotated rudder.

The powerful thrust generated by the twelve blade paddle-wheel easily propels the craft upon which it is mounted over practically any obstacle encountered. Higher speeds are available when the unit is equipped with the Hydraulic Paddle Elevator option, for the following reasons.

The paddle-wheel, in the down position, is designed for maximum power and thrust to penetrate and push over and through obstacles. In an open water situation when greater speeds are desired, the throttle is increased and as the craft picks up speed, a wake is created behind the craft. This increases the depth of immersion of the paddles, thus creating a "digging-in" effect which produces a noticeable lift at the front of the craft and a laboring of the engine. By raising the paddles with the Hydraulic Elevators, the depth of immersion is restored to normal allowing faster revolutions of the paddles and yielding higher speed.