US 2956780 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 18, 1960 w, ox
FAIRLEAD Filed 001;. 17, 1957 United States Patent FAIRLEAD William P. Fox, Newton Center, Mass, assignor to Merriman Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass., a corporatlonof Massachusetts Filed Oct. 17, 1957, Ser. No. 690,655,
'1 Claim. (Ci. 254- 190) This invention relates generally to cable guides and particularly to the type of guide commonly referred to as a fairlead.
When installing fairleads, it is ordinarily preferable that the installation be made after the cable has been established generally in position, as in this manner the proper location of the fairleads can be most accurately determined. If the fairlead is of the ring type, it is necessary that the ring be divided so that it can be placed on the cable at the position required without having to thread the cable through the fairleads, as would be necessary if the ring elements were continuous.
The fairlead described hereinafter has been found to be particularly useful in connection with the positioning and guiding of steering cables on boats. In such installations, the steering cable runs from a steering drum at a forward position on the boat rearwardly along the interior of the hull and thence across the transom to the steering elements such as, for example, a lever member connected to the rudder or suitable portions of an outboard motor. A common types of cable now in use for this purpose is a multiple steel wire cable, preferably stainless and covered with a protective plastic tubular sheath. With a cable in position, fairleads made according to the present invention may be placed thereon and the supporting holders screwed to the boat structure at appropriate positions.
In the present construction, the fairlead is made from two elements, a grommet and a supporting loop adapted to be screwed to the supporting structure. The construction contemplates that initially the grommet, which may be grooved or ribbed, may be rotated within the loop after introduction of the cable therein whereby the grommet may be brought to a position at which the cable will engage that part of the grommet that has not been cut. Thereafter, when the supporting loop is screwed to final position, the loop will be contracted sufficiently to hold the grommet against further rotation. In this way the location of the severed portion of the grommet is maintained at the most desirable position,
A further object of the invention is the provision of a grommet made of slightly flexible material so that at the severed area it may be sprung apart slightly to permit the introduction of a cable slightly larger than the opening. It is contemplated that the opening be made preferably diagonally so that even if the cable should engage the inner wall of the grommet at the cut-away 'portion it will still be retained in the interior without likelihood of becoming jammed in the opening.
A further object of the invention is to provide a fairlead in which the relationship between the grommet and the supporting loop is such that the grommet will be engaged about more than 180 degrees of its circumference, thus preventing the two elements from becoming separated prior to installation.
These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds with the aid of the accompanying drawings in which 2,956,780 1C Fatented Oct. 18,1960
' diagonal slot.
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a modified construction in which a rib surrounds the grommet and the supporting loop straddles the rib. 7
By reference to the drawings in Figs. 1 to 4, it can be seen that the fairlead comprises two elements, a circular grommet 2 and a cooperating wire loop 4. The grommet may be of any suitable size and may be made of any desired material, but preferably it will be made of a non-.
corrosive material and in a preferred form has been made of plastic. The grommet has about its periphery a semicircular groove 6, the dimensions of which will be such as to properly accommodate the loop 4. As can be seen in Fig. 1, the loop 4 is positioned in groove 6 for a distance exceeding degrees, and as a result the grommet cannot escape through the opening between the terminal portions of the loop. The loop is bent outwardly away from the grommet at 10 and 12 to be formed into eyes 14 and 16 through which may be introduced screws 18 and 20 to secure the fairlead to any support, such as 22.
In order to introduce a cable such as cable 24 shown in Fig. 1, into the interior of the grommet without the necessity of threading the grommet on the cable from one end, the grommet is diagonally cut, as at 26, in such manner as to present two sides 28 and 30 of such length and angularity that the corner 32 overlaps the corner 34 when considered with regard to the grommet axis. Thus a cable within and extending parallel to the axis of the grommet can not escape from the grommet interior even if it should overlie the cut-away section.
By having the grommet flexible to a limited extent, it is possible to force through the opening 26 a cable 24 having a diameter slightly larger than the opening. The manner in which this is accomplished is shown in Fig. 4. On the other hand, cables smaller than the opening 26 can, of course, be used with equal facility as far as the guiding and positioning effect of the fairlead is concerned.
The fairlead as supplied to the customer is preferably in the form shown in Fig. l in which the grommet 2 is rotatable within the loop 4, and the eyes 14 and 16 are set in slightly diverging planes. Thus when the screws 18 and 20 are set up tightly the eyes will be brought into the same plane as indicated by the dotted lines 36 and 38 in Fig. l and this has the effect of contracting the loop about the grommet 2 to such an extent that the grommet may no longer be rotated within the loop 4 and the side 40 of the grommet may be in engagement with the surface of support 22. Thus if the tightening of the screws 18 and 20 is effected when the slot 26 is in the most favorable position with respect to cable 24 two desirable results follow, one, that the cable in normal use is not likely to engage that portion of the interior of the grommet at which is located opening 26, and secondly, there is no possibility of the grommet rotating to bring opening 26 to a position where it would be likely to be engaged by cable 24 in normal operation.
A modified form of the invention is shown in Fig. 5. In this fragmentary perspective view, the grommet is indicated at 42 but instead of having a peripheral groove as in Figs. 1 to 4 it has a raised rib 44 which is straddled by parallel circumferential loops 46 and 48. These loops terminate in a pair of eye members 50 (only one shown) which correspond to the eyes 14 and 16 of the loop 4. Grommet 42 may be cut diagonally in the same manner of the disclosure in Figs. 1 to 4. The planes of the eyes 50 may be arranged in the same manner as the planes of the eyes 14 and 16 so that upon screwing the eyes 50 to the supporting surface the loops 46 and 48 will hold the grommet 42 tightly against rotation. The loops 46 and '48 and associated eyes 50 may readily be made by stamping the same from sheet material. It is also pointed out that the single loop 4 could also be made from a stamping.
It is my intention to cover all changes and modifications of the examples of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
A fairlead comprising a circular grommet grooved about its outer periphery and severed at one place in its circumference to form .an opening through which .a cable may be passed to the interior of said grommet, a loop of rigid material disposed in said groove for more than 180 degrees whereby said grommet will be retained within said loop, the ends of said loop being turned in opposite directions from each other and formed into eyes, the under surfaces of which at the outer ends .of said eyes lie in a plane that is substantially tangent to .the outer periphery of said grommet, said eyes being in slightly divergent planes whereby when said eyes are screwed to a plane surface said eyes will be forced into substantially the same plane and the said plane surface will be tangent to said outer periphery and said loop will be tightened about said groove, the plane of each eye being substantially parallel to the axis of said grommet.
References Cited in thefile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 22,846 Morehouse Feb. 25, 1947 934,663 Folger Sept. 21, 1909 1,483,031 Winans Feb. 5, 1924 1,736,807 Thomas Nov. 26, 1929 2,291,430 Ingersoll July 28, 1942 2,451,530 Beard Oct. 19, 1948 2,561,675 Ross July 24, 1951 2,593,130 Flynn Apr. 15, 1952 2,631,819 Duncan Mar. 17, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 116,748 Great Britain June 17, 1918 322,731 Great Britain Dec. 10, 1929 OTHER REFERENCES Germany, Ser. No. L15,994, Oct. 18, 1956.