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Publication numberUS1089338 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1914
Filing dateSep 10, 1913
Priority dateSep 10, 1913
Publication numberUS 1089338 A, US 1089338A, US-A-1089338, US1089338 A, US1089338A
InventorsErnest R Greene
Original AssigneeErnest R Greene
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Life-raft.
US 1089338 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

B. R. GREENE,

LIFE RAFT.

APPLICATION FILED SEPT.10,191S.

Patented Mar. 3, 1924.

2 SHEETS-8111131 1.

E. R. GREENE.

LIFE RAFT.

APPLICATXOEI FILED 10 191:2.

Patented Mar. 3, 1914.

Z wi

martin s'rarns PATENT OFFICE.

LIFE-RAFT.

Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Mar. 3, 1914.

Application filed September 10, 1913. Serial No. 789,099.

To on whom. it may concern Be it known that l, Ennns'r It. GREENE, a citizen of the United States, and resident of Hanover, Grafton county, New Hampshire have invented, a new and useful Improvement in LifeRafts, which invention is fully set forth in the following specification.

The present invention is an improvement in life rafts, particularly of the reversible and collapsible type.

Heretofore, it has been proposed to use a life raft composed of an annular buoyant member from which was suspended a net ting or hull in which the occupants stood. This structure, while effective to sustain a large number of people, was open to the objection that the occupants when standing therein. were half immersed, such a condition in cold weather being attended by serious and even fatal resultsif such immersion were continued. for any length of time.

The objects of the present invention are to provide a collapsible, reversible, non-capsizable life raft in which the occupants may stand and evensit without being immersed, and which device will, even though it fills when thrown into the water, automatically bail itself until. it is substantially empty.

A further object of the invention is to so support the body portion or hullas to relieve the buoyant member or members of all strain, the supporting means operating effectively whether one side or the other of the raft is uppermost; and to so connect the body portion or hull to the framework of the raft as to insure its ready reversibility, at the same time insuring that no water shall. enter the hull unless it washes over the side of the raft,

Briefly stated, the first-indicated object of the invention isa-ttaincd by providing in the bottom of any suitable reversible body portion or hull of water-proof material an automatic bailing device which will operate equally Well Whether the raft is flat on the water in one position or in a reversed position, said device, in the embodiment hereinafter described, consisting of bodies of flota tive material, such as rubber or cork, one beingarranged on each side of the bottom of the hull in association with a perforation therethrough. These bodies (preferably ballsl must be of such size, with relation to the size of the hole or perforation that they obturate, and with relation to the pressure of the water in the raft that the fiotative body or ball in the raft will remain out of engagement with the outlet and permit the water in the raft to freely flow through said outlet until the raft is emptied or the level of the water in the raft is the same as that of the supporting body of water. In other words, the buoyancy of the body or ball within the raft must be sufficient to cause the valve to assume discharge position under the action of the head of water in the raft tending to close the valve.

The other objects of the invention are attained by providing a framework to which a buoyant member or members are secured, a hull or body portion being connected to said framework, witha plurality of ropes pass- 'ing under and supporting said hull,v and with a second series of ropes passing over said hull, which latter will engage and support the same if the raft is turned over. The hull or body portion is secured to a continuous strip of waterproof material (which being secured to said strip on a line intermediate the top and bottom of said strip, and preferably midway thereof, thus insur ing ready reversibility of said hull and preventing water from passing therein except t over the sides of the raft.

The invention will be betterunderstood by reference to the accompanying drawings,

which illustrate one expression of the inventive idea, and wherein Figure 1 is a perspective view of a life raft embodying the invention; Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the same; Fig. 3 is a longitudinal vertical section; Fig. 4 is a crosssection on the line's-4, Fig. 3; and Fig. 5 is a detail view of the automatic bailing device.

a framework, two buoyant members conof saidilongitudinal members. A plurality is connected to the framework), said hullnected thereto, and a hull or body portion bodiment, the framework consists of longi Referring to the dratvings, there is shown ofpairs of bolts 1? connect transverse strips 13 and 14- and similar sets of bolts 18 connectstrips i5 and 16. The transverse strips at each end of the longitudinal members are nailed or otherwise secured to their as sociated braces 8, 9, l0 and 11. By this means a framework of great rigidity and strength isprorided whether said framework be metal or Wood Any suitable huoya' Jnien'iber carried by the frziineworlr, but as here shown two tube-like members 19 and 220 .are provided. r i .Inese members extend longitudinally of the framework, preferably in engagement with the longitudinal pieces 3, 6 and '7, 7, one end of each of said buoyant 'mcrnl'iers being held between transverse strips 13 and. 1%, and the other ends between transverse pieces 15 and 16, said buoyant members being held fixedly in position by the tightening of bolts 17 and 18.

A continuous strip 21 of water-proof niaterial such as canvas, covers the inner faces of longitudinal strips 6, 6 and 7, 7", said strip of canvas being secured in place in any suitable manner. As here shown each edge of-said continuous strip is provided with eyelets '2 (Fig. through which passes a cord or rope that also passes through eyelets 2tfastened to the lOIU ltlldinal strips of the framework. body portion which is of any suitable miter-proof i at rial, such ca1ii*az-i-,is pen. only at its lop and at its upper edge is secured at so, in any suitable manner to said continuous strip. Preferably the point at which the hull or body portion is secured to said strip is midwaybetween the top and bottom said strip so that said hull ill project through the framework an equal distance, whether in one-position or the other, thus possessing perfect reversibility. The connection between said hull and continuous strip is such as to prevent Water from entering at this point.

A large wooden grating 27 is secured to the bottom of the hull or body portion in any suitable manner, said grating having a? strong tendency to rise to the surface of the water.

The hull or body portion is suppo from the framework by a plurality of r 28, which as here snown eonnectej their ends to eyelets 53 said ropes engaging and supporting said hull when the parts hr in the position shown in the drawings. I the raft should be turned over, the hull would be supported by like ropes 29 also se-' cured at their ends to eyelets It will thus be seen that whenever the hull or body portion is fully extended in one cirection or the other, it wi l be effectively supported by ropes 28 or 29. There also preferably secured to eyelet-s 24 a plurality of ropes or cords 30 and 31'that extend nround the outnose The hull or side of buoyant members 19 and 20, and to which persons in the Water may clin It is of prime importance that the occupants of life rafts should remainas dry as possible, for. in severe weather even partial immersion if continued for any length of time usually results seriously and often times fatally. the stress of the excitement incident to a shipwreck to launch even a raft provided with a water-proof bull in such manner that it will ship no water. Indeed life rafts are usually simply thrown or tossed overboard, and with a. device such as herein described, it is practically impossible to prevent the hull from filling either wholly or in part.-

Accordingly, means have been devised whereby the hull will be automatically bailed after theraft rights itself the bail ing continuing; until the raft is'empty or until the level of the water in the'raft is the same as that of the supportin body of water.

As herein shown; the bailing device in question consists of a double valve mechanisrn associated with, and at the proper time obturatiug", a perforation 32 provided in a plate 33 carried in an opening in one of the slats 34- of the grating 27. The ends of this opening are preferably beveled and a body of flotative material, such as cork or rubber, and as here showne rubber ball 85, is associated opening. Ball 35 is contained in a cage 37 and ball 36 in a cage 38, said cages being se cured together and to slat 3'1; by bolts 39 passing therethrough. Cage 37 is provided with openings 40 and cage 38 with openings 41', said openings being adjacent to plate 33, and said openings are so positioned that, when water passes throughopenings 40, it will engage ball 35 below the center thereof, so as to act to elevate ball 35 in its cage 37.

Not every double ball valve will operate to automatically bail the water from the raft, and it has been found necessary to adaptthe diameter of the balls with respect to the water pressure and size of the outlet 32, so that the ball in cage 37 will float upward and permit the water in the raft to flow through openings 40, perforation and openings 41. If the balls are too small with respect to the size of perforation 32, the pressure of the superimposed, body of water may cause the bell in cage 37 to remain in the position shown in Fig. 5: and if the ball were too small and did not possess sullicientfiotative properties, even if it were jarred loose from itsnseatin the end of perforation 32, the momentum of the water rushing through said perforation It is almost impossiblegunderwith one end of said opening and a similar ball 36 with the other end of said would at once cause the ball to assume the position shown in Fig. For example, it has been found that an ordinary four inch hollow riibberball, as-

be accomplished by removing their Weight Y framework, and any suitable buoyant body sociated with an outlet 32 one and one-quar ter inches in dizuneter, will rise in nine inches of water. If the size of the outlet is decreased the ball will rise higher.

The operation of the device is as follows: The raft being thrown overboard, usually a quantity of water will be shipped. If we assume that the depth. of water in the raft after it rights itself is forty-two inches and I that the level of the water in the raft is ten inches above that of the supporting body of water, the Valve construction just described will operate. automatically to bail out the excess, and as the raft is relieved of the weight of the excess, the flotative effect of the grating 27 in the hull will cause an upward pres sure, thus maintaining the level of the water within the raft above that of the supporting body of water and the automatic bailer continues to operate until the raft is substan tially emptied. As soon. as the raft is emptied, the; ball 86v will engage and obturate outlet 32, by flotation. If new the grating 27 is forced downward to the position shown in Fig. l, the ball 36 will be held in position with added strength by the pressure of the water. It is pointed out that, when the bailing action is taking place, both balls 35 and 36 occupy a position in their respective cages away from the outlet 32,50 that the water in the raft may freely flow through the same. Preferably, a plurality of these automatic bailing devices are provided, and as shown in Fig. 3 one is secured in the centor of the bottom of the hull and one at each end thereof. Even if the raft were loaded and a wave were to wash over and fill the same the bailing device would remove the excess until the levels were equalized, even though the occupants were standing on the grating; and, if then, they wished to remove the water remaining in the hull, this could from the grating as by sitting on the frame work and buoyant men'ibers, and allowing the grating to float upward. This emptying operation could be facilitated by manually elevating the grating and the bottom of the hull by pulling on ropes 42 connected to the grating. The pressure of the Water bearing against the sides of the collapsible hull would act to facilitate the manual raising of said bottom.

lVhile, for the purpose of clearness, one expression of the inventive idea has been herein shown and described in considerable detail, it is to be understood that the inventive idea is not limited to the construction shown, but that it is susceptible of various mechanical embodiments conforming to the appended claims. For example, any suitable or bodies might be employed. Also the construction of the bailing device might be varied and there might be employed any automatically-operating means which permits the escape of water from the raft in either of its positions. If desired, the flotative bodies 35 and 36 may be connected to levers carrying valve members that act to ob'turate perforation or outlet It is to be borne in mind, however, that the size of the flotative bodies in such a structure must be large enough with respect to the outlet 32 and the depth of the column of water bearing on the valve, to float against the downward pressure of the water on said valve, and to resist the momentum of the water passing through outlet 32, which momentum tends to seat the valve.

That is claimed is 1. In a life raft, a framework, a buoyant member carried by said framework. a con tinuous flexibly mounted piece of waterproof niaterial secured to said framework, and a waterproof body portion or hull secured to said piece on a line between its top and bottom.

2. In a life raft, a framework composed of two spaced longitudinal strips, transverse strips secured at the ends of said longitudinal strips, a continuous piece of waterproof material arranged over the inner facesof 'said longitudinal strips, and a hull or body portion of waterproof material secured to said piece on a line between its top and bottom.

3. In a life raft, a framework composed of two spaced longitudinal strips, transverse strips securcd at the endsof said longitudinal strips, a continuous piece of waterproof material arranged over the inner faces of said longitudinal strips, and a hull or body portion of water-proof material so cured to said piece on a line between the top and bottom of said longitudinal strips.

4. In a life raft, aframework composed of two spaced. longitudinal strips, transverse strips secured at the ends of said longitudinal strips, a continuous piece of water-proof material arranged over the inner faces of said longitudinal strips, a hull or body portion of waterproof material secured to said piece on a line between the top and bottom of said longitudinal strips, and ropes car ried by said framework and passing under said hull or body.

5. In a life raft, a framework composed of two spaced longitudinal strips, transverse strips secured at the ends of said longitudinal strips, a continuous piece of water-proof material arranged over the inner faces of said longitudinal strips, a hull or body portion of waterproof material secured to said piece on a line between the top and bottom of said longitudinal strips, and two sets of ropes, one passing under and the other over said hull or body portion.

6. In a life raft, a buoyant member, a bull or body portion associated with said buoyant nee member, and two sets of loose ropes, one

passing under and the other over said huli or body portion and each adapted to engage and snppo "i said hull. v

7.111 a life raft, a framework, :1 buoyant member carried thereby, a hull or body portion supported by said framework, and two sets of loose ropes one passing under and the other over said bull or body portion and each adapted to engage and support said hull,

S. in a life raft, a' fran'iework, tmoyzvimember carriedihereby, a, continuous piec of Waterproof material supper framework, an bull or body port' proof inst in sccnreci to said strip :aioog a line intermediate its top and botto (i :1 piumhty of ropcspas '51 mp porting said hull.

9. In a life raft, a framework, a buoyant member carried thereby, a, continuous piece of Water-proof material supported by said framework, a hull or body portion of Waterproof material secured to said strip uiong a line intermediate its top and bottom, pinrzility of ropes pissing under and supporting said hull, and a second set of ropes passing over said hull, one 1 set of ropes being adapt ed to engage and support said huii.

10. In a life raft, the combination of a buoyant member, a reversible Woter-proof body portion provided in bottom piumiity of openings, and znoonmticaiiy operating means permitting the escape of Water through said openings in eith r of the positions of said body portion.

11. in a life raft, the. combination of buoyant member, a reversible body portion, and ant-omatmolly-operating in .115 permitting the escape of Water therefroi'n in either of its positions/ 12. in a. life fruit, the combination of a buoyant member, a reversibie body portion, and automaticaily-opcrating means carried by the bottom of said body portion permitl3. buoyant member, a reversible body porti and means incinrhng a double flotation i permitting the escape of water thereieither of its positions.

lei. In a life raft, the combination of a buoyant member, a reversible body portion, and automatically operating means incindi11 a doubie flotation ire permitting the In a life raft, the combination of :1

of Water therenoin 1h either of its POSIUOII",

in a hie wit, the cornbnl bnoyani; me ni on opening in HS bott-o '1 I 1 each or son; bottom,

e cage, stud cages bein openii gs near said. flowing out of said flotative bOdjJ in the Li.

in a raft, the combination of buoyant, member, a rever ic ho 1:1 ving u opening in its bottom, two idei iicai one secured on each side of said said opening, and iiOt? cage, said cages being near said bottom, in the raft being oeiow i in said cage a. life rf't. ti v t inembe :1.-

portion. a fiotatire body seen the In W iony whereof SPCfiC1ilOIl 1n the presence mg Witnesses.

ii. G331

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2916748 *May 10, 1956Dec 15, 1959Stahmer BernhardtKnock-down pontoon boat
US4744326 *Mar 14, 1986May 17, 1988Avon Inflatables LimitedSelf-bailing inflatable boat
US4790784 *Jul 14, 1986Dec 13, 1988Givens Buoy Liferaft Co., Inc.Life raft
US4890569 *May 31, 1988Jan 2, 1990Givens Buoy Liferaft Co., Inc.Life raft
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/43, 137/614.21, 137/512, 114/197
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/04