US 2544599 A
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March 6, 1951 F. A. KEELEN RowBoAT SAFETY PoNTooN 2 Sheets-Sheefl l Filed June 28, 1947 March 6, 1951 F. A. KEELEN RowBoAT SAFETY PoNTooN 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 28, 1947 nvcntm' @ma d fe/@m Q- MOURH Patented Mar. 6, 1951 UNITED STATES PTTENT yOFFICE.
2,544,599 ROWBAT SAFETY PNTON' Fs'tus Aeneas' Keele, Zwolle, Iza.y
Application June 28, 1947 Serial No. 757,861'
(i2-Claims. (GL- 9&1)V
1 My invention relates to pontoons generally" but more in particular to a typeof pontoon that may be detachably afnxed to small water craft such as an" ordinary rowboat or skii.
The prior art types of pontoon has' had so many disadvantages that the general public has not adapted them for use on the ordinary rowboat,. but has relied upon life preservers carried in the boat for they safety of the occupants Should an accident occur orfthe boatspring a le'ak, all thought is' given to the occupants and the boat is left to float or sinkw as it will;`
Many of the' occasional` iishernen" areh'esitant about entering a doubtful rented craft and positively refuse' to t'ake children or' other members ofthe family' out in a boat simply because there is no protection onered against the boat overturning and sinking. Hundreds' of 'lives have been lost during an unexpected Squall and many valuable motorsl as well as other property have gone down tothe bottom of a lake or' stream with the sinking boat'.
The main disadvantage of the prior art type of pontoon has been its design, which usually followed the idea of theancient Outrigger canoes used by natives on some South Sea island'. This construction consisted of permanent brackets attached to the gunwales of theY boat' with long extensions reaching outwardly over the waters surface. On the ends of these extensions" were ordinary flat boards or some kind' ofnoat or pontoon with high buoyancy to act as stabilizers'. and keep the boat riding'on an even keel inthe water'. Some of the extensions were made foldable ornexible in order to draw in the pontoons when it was desired to maneuver the boat into a narrow waterway. Others were constructed to be' dismantled from theV boat' which; leftvv the brackets projecting upwardly from the gfunwales in a manner as tobe dangerous whenloadin'g' orY unloading the boat or when maneuvering' it intoV a narrow waterway or in wooded sections of a lake, stream or' the like.` Former designs of pontoonslfor the ordinary rowboat have been such that their" portability has been hampered; hence'the occasional fisherman who eitherowns or 'rents a small boat does not bother with any type pontoonbut' relies poh' a lifepre"serverv for his safety. ALives have been" lost even whenv the occupants ofv small boats' have provided them` selves with life preservers';` for; when the boat' is accidentally overturnedv there is no time tog'rab the life preservers and'putth'em onyso theboat Y witn'motor and contents`-sinksftojtnebottoni and the unfortunate occupants arerlt'to recover floating life preserver for themselves or' accomira-:ny the boat and its contents to the bottom.
It is an object, therefore, of my invention to provide aV safety pontoon for a small rowboat or the like which may be attached' either singly or in pairs to the sides of the boat to increase the buoyancy thereof' and to prevent the boat from accidentally tipping' over' or sinking;
further" object of my' invention is' to provide asafety'pontoon` for asmall rowboat or the' like which is pr'eerably made of Sheet-'metallic mat'eria andY which is provided with a double air com rt rit; the pontoon being arranged for vattaclimer-it', at any portion along the linear sides ot the' boatl Anether" object of iny invention is to provide a safety pontoon which may be" attached either singly or in pairs to a small boat or thev like' and which; is arranged to lie nat along the linear side of the boat` to minimize the Water resistance' when' the boat is in motion.
Another object of my inventionA is to provide a safety" pontoon for a small rowboa-t or theV like wherein the upward buoyancy or the water assists" in' keeping the pontoon pressed against the sides of the boat.
A- further object of my invention is to provide a l'nairfofl detachably joined pontoons which may be: used either? 'singly' or in joined relationship along' the'isides'of aboat or'the like' for the purp"ol e1ofv extra' buoyancy or at places where extra buoyancy is mostv4 needed.
Further objects-and advantages will appear in the following detailed description when viewed together with the-v accompanying drawings in which:
Figure" 1` is" a top plan view showing*A an ordinary small fish-ing boat with my invention in safety pont'oo'nsv attached;
Fig; zg-is'a-perspective'of one of the pontoons;
Figi; 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines-y 3"-"3` of Fig l;
Fig. 4 is" astopplan view showing a modificationof my'inventionin safety pontoons as atl tached toth'e sides of aboator the like;
Figi 5 is a broken perspective viewwshowngv the joined-1 end portions of themodiedpontoon illu'stratedin Fig. 4; and
Fig. S'is a brokencross-sectional viewv showing a slid'able mounting brackety as' used oneither the preferred or modified? forms'of my invention in a` safety pontoon;
Intliefpreferred embodiment of my invention (l'igs'. 1-'- through numeral llly designates the the boat sides.
Y pontoons is brought into effect.
for fishing or for pleasure. Numeral I I designates generally my safety pontoon, two of which are shown in this instance attached to the sides of the boat IIJ toward the stern thereof.
My pontoon is preferably made of some metallic material such as sheet aluminum or the like and of a length suiicient to be carried in the rear luggage compartment of an automobile. It will be noted that the inside surface I2 of the pontoon which is placed next to the boat side is :made slightly concave in its length to allowit to conform more readily to the linear contour of Such an arrangement will prevent any volume of water from coming between the sides of the boat and the inside l2 of the pontoon which would have a tendency to tear the -pontoon loose from its mounting.
The forward end I3 of the pontoon is substantially feathered or Vpointed and converges outwardly and with slight concavty toward the rear end Such a shape will minimize any resistance lthat it might offer when the boat is propelled through the water. The rear end I4 of the pontoon may be rounded as shown or may be left square as desired.
In cross section, my pontoon simulates an airplane wing, with the upper wall extending outwardly and bent in a downwardly converging line toward the bottom of the inner wall I2 Where it is joined thereto. Through the horizontal length of the pontoon II I have placedv a baille or partition I5 thus dividing the inner area of the pontoon into two separate compartments. While I have shown only a single partition, as many as desired may be placed within the pontoon II for the purpose of dividing it into separate water-tight compartments or bulkheads and to help brace the outside wall I6. The advantage of the construction shown is that if a snag or other projection is encountered while handling the boat, which rips or punctures the bottom compartment or compartments, there will be suicient buoyancy in the other watertight bulkheads to prevent the boat from tipping over or sinking until the necessary repairs can be made.
Should a leak occur in the sides or bottom of the boat, it will only sink to a point where it is overcome by the buoyancy of the pontoons and the boat will not sink further even though the entire bottom gives way; and if the occupants will remain in the boat, they may propel it to safety without endangering their lives.
It will be noted in Fig. 3 that only a small portion of the pontoon normally extends below the water line, but the heavier the boat is loaded, the more of the extra buoyancy supplied by the Also when the boat is tipped to one side, the greater will be the resistance to tipping offered by the pontoon. My pontoon is designed in such a manner as to employ the buoyancy of the water as well as the static pressure to keep it pressed tightly against the sides of the boat. Since most of the conventional boats have downwardly slanting sides, my pontoon, when in place, will assume the angle of the side and the upward buoyancy of the water will hold the bottom foot 2U tightly against the bottom of the boat. The pontoon Vwill not dislodge itself from the boat even though the upper clamping screws 2l become loosened. Since the pontoon is positioned at an angle slightly off vertical, a turning moment is created around the upper clamping screws, and the pontoon is fur- .ther held against the sides of the boat by the buoyancy and pressure of the water I'I acting as a component force against the downwardly converging side wall I6 of the pontoon.
My pontoon would perform equally as well on a boat `with substantially rounded sides if the lower edge of the pontoon were positioned inwardly from a vertical plane extending from the upper clamping screws 2l.
My pontoon is attached to the sides of a boat by means of a pair of adjustable brackets I8 firmly axed to the end portions of the pontoon II. These brackets are identically constructed and consist of a backing piece I9 which is either riveted, welded or otherwise afxed to the inside surface I2 of the pontoon and toward either end thereof. The bottom end 20 of the backing piece I9 is bent inwardly at an approximate right angle and is provided with corrugations or serrations 2I which grip the under side of the boat I0 when the pontoon is attached. Extending through the upper end of the backing piece I9 I have provided a guide pin 22 and a threaded locking pin 23. These pins are arranged to slide in an elongated slot 24 provided in the outer leg of a U-shaped clamping member 25. Thus, by raising or lowering the U-shaped member 25, my pontoon will accommodate itself to` various heights of boat sides. When the proper nt has been made a threaded lock nut 2B is tightened and additional clamping is had by tightening the threaded wing screws 2'? against the top and side of the boat gunwale.
This adjustable, clamping arrangement allows the pontoon to be positioned forward or backward along the sides of the boat according to the desire of the occupants or according to the manner in which the boat is loaded. For instance, if two people desire to use a boat for fishing and one of them is considerably heavier than the other. the pontoons would be placed along that portion of the boat where the heavier person would sit. The extra buoyancy of the pontoons would make the boat ride on a perfectly even keel and thus permit easier propelling of the boat as well as giving perfect safety against tipping and sinking. trated, it will be remembered that the entire length of the backing piece I9 of the mounting brackets I8, as well as the outside leg of the U-shaped clamping member 25 may be indented in the inside wall I2 of the pontoon to permit it to lievflush along the sides of the boat.
In actual practice a leaky, waterlogged fishing boat was rendered perfectly safe, easily maneuverable and unsinkable by attaching a pair of my safety pontoons.
It will be remembered that my invention in a safety pontoon is to be used principally on the conventional rowboat which seldom exceeds 16 feet in length. In some boat camps, however, on larger lakes and rivers, boats often exceed this length with no protection against sinking or the safety of the occupants except ordinary life preservers. My invention in a safety pontoon may be used equally as well on these longer boats as shown in'Figs. 4 and 5 of the drawing '-wherein a pair of pontoons 28 in modified form are attached to the sides of the boat 29 in the l manner formerly described. This modified type While not illust will be noted in Fig. 5 that one of the pontoons is provided with a projecting plate on one of its ends having a vertical slot 3| into which is hooked a bent projecting plate 32 placed on an end of another of the pontoons. Thus two of the pontoons may be detachably connected and placed in any .suitable position along the sides of the longer boat 29 according to the desire of the occupants or the load to be carried. When removed from the boat the pontoons 28 may be disconnected and carried or stored in a relatively small space until used again.
While I have described my invention in detail both in a preferred and modified form, it will be understood that various other changes in construction may be made without departing from the spirit and scope `of the invention as Vdei-ined by the following claims.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is as follows:
l. A safety device for use on row boats or the like comprising an elongated oat, said iioat provided with a substantially vertical side wall portion adapted to lie adjacent to an outwardly slanting side wall portion of a row boat or the like and an attaching means for mounting said iioat on the side of a row boat or the like comprisingy a pair of adjustable brackets attached to said float, one of said brackets consisting of a backing piece attached to an inner wall portion of said float; said backing piece provided with an inwardly turned bottom foot provided with a roughened upper surface adapted to frictionally engage a bottom surface portion of a row boat or the like, said other bracket consisting in an inverted adjustable U-shaped member slidably mounted on said float adapted to be hooked over the side of a boat for adjustment to various heights of boat sides said bracket provided with a means for holding said float in desired vertically adjusted position on the side of said boat.
2. The device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said second mentioned bracket is provided with a clamping means adapted to exert a pressure on the upper surface of the side wall of said boat to force said foot of said rst mentioned bracket into pressure contact with the bottom wall surface of said boat.
3. The device as claimed in claim l wherein said second mentioned bracket is provided with a clamping means adapted to draw said float tightly against the side wall of said boat.
4. An attachment for boats comprising a pair of vertically disposed bracket members each having an inwardly directed bottom foot engageable beneath the bottom of a boat and terminating in a pair of spaced linearly slotted members, a hook member engageable over the gunwale of the boat and having a linearly slidable portion coacting with said linearly slotted members, each of said linearly slotted members including means for clamping the linearly slidable portion of each of said hook members in position with respect to the coacting vertically disposed bracket member for maintaining the linearly slidable portion of said hook member and said strip member at the side of the boat extending from the bottom to the gunwale thereof, and a pontoon supported by said bracket members for improving the buoyancy of the boat.
5. An attachment for boats as set forth in claim 4 in which the hook members include adjustable screws for fastening the hook members to the gunwale of the boat.
6. An attachment for boats as set forth in claim l in which the hook members include a pair of screws one of which engages'the top of the gunwale of the boat and the other of which engages the inside of the gunvvale of the boat and coacting with the gunwale and bottom of the boat to clamp the foot of the vertically disposed bracket member into binding relation with the bottom of the boat.
FESTUS AENEAS KEELEN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,622,508 Harper Mar. 29, 1927 1,736,157 Harter Nov. 19, 1929 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 76,939 Germany Aug. 24, 1894 302,341 Great Britain May 30, 1929