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Publication numberUS20070163480 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/335,353
Publication dateJul 19, 2007
Filing dateJan 19, 2006
Priority dateJan 19, 2006
Publication number11335353, 335353, US 2007/0163480 A1, US 2007/163480 A1, US 20070163480 A1, US 20070163480A1, US 2007163480 A1, US 2007163480A1, US-A1-20070163480, US-A1-2007163480, US2007/0163480A1, US2007/163480A1, US20070163480 A1, US20070163480A1, US2007163480 A1, US2007163480A1
InventorsOren Cotton
Original AssigneeOren Cotton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Through-hull connector for boats
US 20070163480 A1
Abstract
A through-hull connector is used in connection with a hull of a boat. The through-hull connector comprises a body extending between opposite first and second ends, and having a central axis. The body has an outside surface and a bore through it. Hose barbs are provided for attaching a conduit to the second end. External threads with a generally quadrilateral cross-section are provided for fastening the through-hull connector to the boat hull. The external threads on the body have a gap extending longitudinally along the outside surface of the body, so as to lighten the connector. A nut engages the external threads. A flange extends outward from the body first end for seating against the hull outer surface. The flange has an annular groove to retain sealant. A notch extends transversely through the body adjacent the second end. The notch engages a screwdriver to hold the body from rotating.
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Claims(21)
1. A through-hull connector for use in connection with a hull of a boat, the hull having an outer surface and an inner surface, the through-hull connector comprising:
a body extending between opposite first and second ends, the body having a central axis, the body having an outside surface and a bore through the body from the first end to the second end;
attaching means for attaching a conduit to the second end; and
threaded fastening means for fastening the through-hull connector to the boat hull, the threaded fastening means having threads with a generally quadrilateral cross-section.
2. The through-hull connector of claim 1, wherein the threaded fastening means further comprises:
external threads on the body, the external threads having a gap extending longitudinally along the outside surface of the body, so as to lighten the connector; and
a retaining member having internal threads adapted to engage the external threads.
3. The through-hull connector of claim 1, further comprising a flange extending outward from the body first end, the flange having a first surface facing the first end and a second surface facing the second end, the flange second surface being adapted for seating against the hull outer surface.
4. The through-hull connector of claim 3, wherein the flange further comprises an annular groove on the second surface of the flange so as to retain sealant.
5. The through-hull connector of claim 1, further comprising a flange extending outward from the body intermediate the first and second ends, the flange having a first surface facing the first end and a second surface facing the second end, the flange first surface being adapted for seating against the hull inner surface.
6. The through-hull connector of claim 5, wherein the flange further comprises an annular groove on the first surface of the flange so as to retain sealant.
7. The through-hull connector of claim 1, wherein the attaching means further comprises at least one hose barb adjacent the body second end.
8. The through-hull connector of claim 1, wherein the body further comprises a notch extending transversely through the body adjacent the second end, the notch being adapted to engage an elongated tool so as to preclude rotation of the body during installation.
9. The through-hull connector of claim 1, wherein the body further comprises a key in the bore of the body, the key being adapted to engage a tool inserted in the bore so as to preclude rotation of the body during installation.
10. The through-hull connector of claim 1, wherein the through-hull connector is a casting, and is cast from a material selected from the group consisting of:
stainless steel;
bronze;
monel;
thermoplastic resin; and
thermoset resin.
11. A through-hull connector for use in connection with a hull of a boat, the hull having an outer surface and an inner surface, the through-hull connector comprising:
a body extending between opposite first and second ends, the body having a central axis, the body having an outside surface and a bore through the body from the first end to the second end;
attaching means for attaching a conduit to the second end; and
threaded fastening means for fastening the through-hull connector to the boat hull, the threaded fastening means including external threads on the body, the external threads having a gap extending longitudinally along the outside surface of the body, so as to lighten the connector.
12. The through-hull connector of claim 11, wherein the threaded fastening means further comprises:
the external threads having a generally quadrilateral cross-section; and
a retaining member having internal threads adapted to engage the external threads.
13. The through-hull connector of claim 11, further comprising a flange extending outward from the body first end, the flange having a first surface facing the first end and a second surface facing the second end, the flange second surface being adapted for seating against the hull outer surface.
14. The through-hull connector of claim 13, wherein the flange further comprises an annular groove on the second surface of the flange so as to retain sealant.
15. The through-hull connector of claim 11, further comprising a flange extending outward from the body intermediate the first and second ends, the flange having a first surface facing the first end and a second surface facing the second end, the flange first surface being adapted for seating against the hull inner surface.
16. The through-hull connector of claim 15, wherein the flange further comprises an annular groove on the first surface of the flange so as to retain sealant.
17. The through-hull connector of claim 11, wherein the attaching means further comprises at least one hose barb adjacent the body second end.
18. The through-hull connector of claim 11, wherein the body further comprises a notch extending transversely through the body adjacent the second end, the notch being adapted to engage an elongated tool so as to preclude rotation of the body during installation.
19. The through-hull connector of claim 11, wherein the body further comprises a key in the bore of the body, the key being adapted to engage a tool inserted in the bore so as to preclude rotation of the body during installation.
20. The through-hull connector of claim 19, wherein the through-hull connector is a casting, and is cast from a material selected from the group consisting of:
stainless steel;
bronze;
monel;
thermoplastic resin; and
thermoset resin.
21. A through-hull connector for use in connection with a hull of a boat, the hull having an outer surface and an inner surface, the through-hull connector comprising:
a circular cross-section body extending between opposite first and second ends, the body having a central axis, the body having an outside surface and a bore through the body from the first end to the second end;
external threads on the body for fastening the through-hull connector to the boat hull, the external threads having a gap extending longitudinally along the outside surface of the body, so as to lighten the connector, the external threads having a generally quadrilateral cross-section;
a retaining member having internal threads adapted to engage the external threads;
a flange extending outward from the body first end and completely encircling the body first end, the flange having a first surface facing the first end and a second surface facing the second end, the flange second surface being adapted for seating against the hull outer surface; and
at least one hose barb adjacent the body second end for attaching a conduit to the second end, the body, the external threads, the flange, and the hose barb being a unitary casting, and being cast from stainless steel.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of through-hull connectors for boats, and more particularly to a cast stainless steel through-hull connector with square threads.

Through-hull connectors are commonly used on boats to direct wastewater and effluent overboard, and as inlets and outlets for engine cooling water. Commonly used materials for through-hull connectors have been bronze, various plastics, and stainless steel. The through-hull connectors typically have a flange disposed against the outside of the hull, a threaded body passing through the hull, and a flange nut tightened against the inside of the hull. A gasket or bedding compound is employed to waterproof the connection. The flange nut can be made of plastic or metal, but plastic is far less expensive, and does not corrode or gall. The threads on the body can be any shape, such as V form, buttress, acme, or square threads. V threads tend to develop tangential or hoop stresses in the nut as it is tightened, due to a radially outward vector component of the axial force on the sloping thread. In the case of a plastic nut with V threads, one mode of failure is breaking under tensile stress. Another mode of failure is the nut expanding under the hoop stress, and the female threads slipping over the male threads. One way to preclude these failure modes is to form the threads in a quadrilateral, preferably a square section, thereby avoiding any radial vector component. Axial forces only will then result from tightening the nut. External quadrilateral threads, such as square and acme threads, are known to be stronger than V threads. Furthermore, V threads are prone to damage at the thread apex or crown, where the section becomes thin.

Square threads can be machined, but heretofore have been difficult to cast. This is because the mold must be opened perpendicular to the axis of the part, and the opposite helix angle on opposite sides of the thread tends to lock the mold halves together. Splitting the mold in four directions is necessary in this case.

Stainless steel is expensive, and some means of minimizing the amount of material in the product would be advantageous. A means of retaining the sealant or bedding compound between the flange and the hull would also be desirable.

Through-hull connectors are known, and have taken a variety of configurations in the past. Some examples of connectors in the prior art are to be found in the following patents:

Green, U.S. Pat. No. 6,736,081; Green, U.S. Pat. No. 6,477,971; Shields, U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,867; Smith, U.S. Pat. No. 6,038,992; Gross, U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,339; Sharpe, U.S. Pat. No. 5,456,499; Meisenburg, U.S. Pat. No. 4,875,884; and DePersia, U.S. Pat. No. 3,565,031; all show a circular fitting with a bore completely through it. The inner end is adapted to accept a hose or tube by means of hose barbs or threads. A flange on one end fits against the hull outer or inner surface, in some cases with a gasket. A nut on the opposite end tightens the fitting on V-threads. None of these connectors discloses a square thread. None shows any way of minimizing the material required. None displays any structure for retaining sealant against the flange.

Accordingly, there is a need to provide a through-hull connector for boats that is made of stainless steel for strength, long service life, and corrosion resistance.

There is a further need to provide a through-hull connector of the type described and that employs quadrilateral threads for strength, and to preclude hoop stresses and consequent failure of the nut.

There is a still further need to provide a through-hull connector of the type described and that will minimize the material required for fabrication.

There is a yet further need to provide a through-hull connector of the type described and that will retain sealant between the flange and the hull.

There is another need to provide a through-hull connector of the type described and that can be manufactured cost-effectively by casting, in large quantities of high quality.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a through-hull connector for use in connection with a hull of a boat. The through-hull connector comprises a body extending between opposite first and second ends, and having a central axis. The body has an outside surface and a bore through it. At least one hose barb is provided for attaching a conduit to the second end.

External threads with a generally quadrilateral, and preferably square, cross-section are provided for fastening the through-hull connector to the boat hull. The external threads on the body have a gap extending longitudinally along the outside surface of the body, so as to lighten the connector and save material. A flange nut engages the external threads.

A flange extends outward from the body first end for seating against the hull outer surface. The flange has an annular groove to retain sealant.

The body has a notch extending transversely through the body adjacent the second end. The notch is adapted to engage an elongated tool, such as a screwdriver or a drift pin, to hold the body from rotating as the nut is turned during installation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained from consideration of the following description in conjunction with the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded assembly perspective view of a through-hull connector for boats, constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a right side elevational view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 a is a close-up view of a thread of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken at detail 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 b is a close-up view of yet another embodiment of the thread of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken at detail 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 c is a close-up view of still another embodiment of the thread of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken at detail 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 d is a close-up view of a further embodiment of the thread of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, taken at detail 5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an exploded assembly perspective view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 1, juxtaposed with the two halves of the mold in which it was cast;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of another through-hull connector for boats, constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 7, taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is an exploded assembly perspective view of yet another through-hull connector for boats, constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 10, taken along lines 11-11 of FIG. 10; and

FIG. 12 is a top view of the through-hull connector of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawing, and especially to FIGS. 1-6 thereof, a through-hull connector is shown at 20, and is for use in connection with a hull of a boat (not shown), the hull having an outer surface and an inner surface. The through-hull connector 20 comprises a body 22 extending between opposite first 24 and second 26 ends, and having a central axis. The body 22 has a circular cross-section, an outside surface 28 and a bore 30 through the body 22 from the first end 24 to the second end 26. Threaded fastening means is provided for fastening the through-hull connector 20 to the boat hull. The fastening means has external threads 32 with a generally quadrilateral cross-section, as shown in FIG. 5 a as a sharp-edged square thread 32 a. FIG. 5 b shows the same square thread with radiused edges 32 b. FIG. 5 c illustrates an embodiment known as an acme thread 32 c. FIG. 5 d depicts yet another embodiment, this being a buttress thread 32 d. While not explicitly rectangular, the acme 32 c and buttress 32 d thread types are understood to be generally quadrilateral in cross-section. A thread having a cross-section with a sloping surface with respect to the central axis will develop a radially outward vector component of the axial force on the sloping thread surface, resulting in tangential or hoop stresses in the nut as it is tightened. A thread having a cross-section with a surface that is perpendicular, or nearly so, with respect to the central axis, will develop little or no radially outward forces on the nut. The advantage is that a plastic nut can be used with a metal connector, with no danger of the weaker component failing in a critical location, namely below the waterline. This results in a substantial cost saving.

The external threads 32 on the body 22 have a discontinuity, or gap 34, extending longitudinally along the outside surface 28 of the body 22. Preferably, there are two such gaps 34, spaced apart on opposite sides of the body 22. The gaps 34 save material and lighten the connector, resulting in a further cost saving. Another advantage of the gaps 34 is that when the connector 20 is fabricated as a casting, a mold 29 comprising only two halves is needed, as shown in FIG. 6. The ends of the thread segments 35 have an angle θ in FIG. 4 of no more than 90 with respect to the mold parting line 33, and preferably less, to allow draft for molding. The mold opens in the direction of arrows 31. In contrast, continuous threads require a four-part mold to cast. A retaining member, specifically a flange nut 36, engages the external threads 32.

The body 22 has a notch 38 extending transversely through the body 22 adjacent the second end 26, the notch 38 being adapted to engage an elongated tool, such as a screwdriver or a drift pin (not shown), so as to preclude rotation of the body 22 during installation.

A flange 40 extends outward from the body first end 24 for seating against the hull outer surface. The flange 40 has a first surface 42 facing the first end 24 and a second surface 44 facing the second end 26. The flange second surface 44 is adapted for seating against the hull outer surface. The flange 40 has an annular groove 46 on the second surface 44 to retain sealant.

Attaching means, specifically one or more hose barbs 48, is provided for attaching a conduit (not shown) to the second end 26. Other attaching means, such as threads, may be used.

The through-hull connector 20 is preferably a casting, and is cast from a material selected from the group consisting of stainless steel, bronze, monel, thermoplastic resin, and thermoset resin. The preferred material is 316L stainless steel.

Turning now to FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, another through-hull connector is shown at 120, and is similar to through-hull connector 20 in that connector 120 comprises a body 122 extending between opposite first 124 and second 126 ends, and having a central axis. The body 122 has a circular cross-section, an outside surface 128 and a bore 130 through the body 122 from the first end 124 to the second end 126. Threaded fastening means is provided for fastening the through-hull connector 120 to the boat hull. The fastening means has external threads 132 with a generally quadrilateral cross-section. A flange nut (not shown), engages the external threads 132.

A flange 140 extends outward from the body first end 124 for seating against the hull outer surface. The flange 140 has a first surface 142 facing the first end 124 and a second surface 144 facing the second end 126. The flange second surface 144 is adapted for seating against the hull outer surface.

Attaching means, specifically one or more hose barbs 148, is provided adjacent the second end 26.

Connector 120 differs from connector 20 in that the external threads 132 on the body 122 are continuous and extend longitudinally along. the outside surface 128 of the body 122. There is no gap in the threads 132. The flange 140 has no annular groove to retain sealant. The body 122 has a key 138 projecting from the bore 130. The key 138 is adapted to engage a circular tool with a keyway (not shown) so as to preclude rotation of the body 122 during installation.

Referring now to FIGS. 10, 11, and 12, another embodiment of the through-hull connector is shown at 220, and is similar to through-hull connector 20 in that connector 220 comprises a body 222 extending between opposite first 224 and second 226 ends, and having a central axis. The body 222 has a circular cross-section, an outside surface 228 and a bore 230 through the body 222 from the first end 224 to the second end 226. Threaded fastening means is provided for fastening the through-hull connector 220 to the boat hull. The fastening means has external threads 232 with a generally quadrilateral cross-section. The external threads 232 on the body 222 have a discontinuity, or gap 234, extending longitudinally along the outside surface 228 of the body 222. Preferably, there are two such gaps 234, spaced apart on opposite sides of the body 222. A flange nut 236, engages the external threads 232.

The body 222 has a notch 238 extending transversely through the body 222 adjacent the second end 226, the notch 238 being adapted to engage an elongated tool, so as to preclude rotation of the body 222 during installation.

Attaching means, specifically one or more hose barbs 248, is provided adjacent the second end 226.

Connector 220 differs from connector 20 in that a flange 240 extends outward from the body 222 intermediate the first 224 and second 226 ends. The flange 240 has a first surface 242 facing the first end 224 and a second surface 244 facing the second end 226. The flange first surface 242 is adapted for seating against the hull inner surface. The flange 240 further comprises an annular groove 246 on the first surface 242 of the flange so as to retain sealant.

Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the best mode of carrying out the invention. Details of the structure may be varied substantially without departing from the spirit of the invention and the exclusive use of all modifications that will come within the scope of the appended claims is reserved.

PARTS LIST Through-Hull Connector for Boats

Part

No. Description

  • 20 through-hull connector
  • 22 body
  • 24 first end
  • 26 second end
  • 28 outside surface
  • 29 mold
  • 30 bore
  • 31 mold opening arrows
  • 32 external threads
  • 32 a square thread
  • 32 b square thread radiused
  • 32 c acme thread
  • 32 d buttress thread
  • 33 mold parting line
  • 34 thread gap
  • 35 ends of threads
  • 36 flange nut
  • 38 notch
  • 40 flange
  • 42 first surface
  • 44 second surface
  • 46 annular groove
  • 48 hose barbs
  • 120 through-hull connector
  • 122 body
  • 124 first end
  • 126 second end
  • 128 outside surface
  • 130 bore
  • 132 external threads
  • 138 key
  • 140 flange
  • 142 first surface
  • 144 second surface
  • 148 hose barbs
  • 220 through-hull connector
  • 222 body
  • 224 first end
  • 226 second end
  • 228 outside surface
  • 230 bore
  • 232 external threads
  • 234 thread gap
  • 235 ends of threads
  • 236 flange nut
  • 238 notch
  • 240 flange
  • 242 first surface
  • 244 second surface
  • 246 annular groove
  • 248 hose barbs
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8136466 *Aug 21, 2009Mar 20, 2012Gsc Technologies CorporationSelf-bailing watercraft valve
US20150010372 *Jul 8, 2013Jan 8, 2015Lockon LlcRatcheting fastener
EP2020377A1 *Jul 28, 2008Feb 4, 2009Plastimo FranceWater removal pipe culvert, in particular for a boat
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/197
International ClassificationB63B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63B13/02, F16L41/08, B63B2231/40, B63B2231/06, B63B2231/14
European ClassificationF16L41/08, B63B13/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 6, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ORCAS MARINE PRODUCTS, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:COTTON, OREN;REEL/FRAME:018375/0935
Effective date: 20061005