US 3084653 A
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April 9, 1963 1'. LEPINE ETAL 3,084,653
HYDROFOIL DEVICE TO AID SWIMMERS AND J THE LIKE IN MANEUVERING IN THE WATER Filed July 19, 1960 m m m M .fl Mm MA M T .wW WM 5 AH i 1 m 3 I F fi m u United States Patent 3,084,653 HYDROFOIL DEVICE TO AID SWIMMERS AND THE LIKE IV MANEUVERING IN THE WATER Louis T. Lepine, 913 W. Magnetic SL, and Harley J. Adair, 917 W. Bluff St., both of Marquette, Mich. Filed July 19, 1960, Ser. No. 43,941 2 Claims. (Cl. 114-46) This invention relates broadly to amusement and exercising devices of the aquatic type and more particularly to a hydrofoil device for use by swimmers, skin divers and the like.
An object of the invention is to provide a hydrofoil device for use by a swimmer being towed through the water by a mot-or boat, the device enabling the swimmer to maneuver up and down beneath the surface of the water or maintain a given position at or below the surface of the water while being towed.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hydrofoil device of the above-mentioned character which may be used by skin divers in conjunction with underwater breathing equipment to thereby permit longer subsurface exploration and increased sub-surface maneuverability.
A further object is to provide a hydrofoil for swimmers and the like designed for easy passage through the water with the absolute minimum of turbulence, thereby providing excellent underwater visibility for the user of the device.
Still another object is to provide a device of the abovementioned character which is highly simplified in construction, economical to manufacture, very easy to use without the necessity for special skill and adapted to be made in whole or in part from materials which will float in water.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this application, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the hydrofoil device illustrating the use of the same in conjunction with a motor boat for towing the swimmer,
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged plan view of the device according to the invention,
FIGURE 3 is a side elevation of the same,
FIGURE 4 is a transverse vertical section taken on line 44 of FIGURE 2,
FIGURE 5 is a side elevation the surface of the water.
In the drawings, wherein for the purpose of illustration is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral designates a hydrofoil which is unitary and symmetrical and adapted to be formed from wood, plastics material or other desired materials which are preferably buoyant in water. If formed from metal or other non-buoyant material, the hydrofoil may be made hollow to produce the desired buoyancy so that the device will iloat and be readily retrievable when free in the water.
As shown in the drawings, the hydrofoil 10 is generally rectangular in plan and has preferably rounded corners and edges throughout to protect the swimmer from injury. The hydrofoil is elongated transversely of its normal line of movement and is symmetrical in cross section as shown by FIGURE 4. The leading and trailing edges 11 and 12 of the hydrofoil are rounded and streamlined, and
of the device in use below 2 the hydrofoil tapers smoothly and symmetrically fnom its central portion toward the leading and trailing edges as shown in FIGURE 4. The hydrofoil is relatively thin in comparison to its width and length, as shown.
Trunnions 13 are rigidly secured to the opposite ends of the hydrofoil 10 centrally thereof and the trunnions project outwardly from the ends of the hydrofoil and carry relatively large unitary loop handles 14, rigid therewith, adapted to be grasped by the swimmer as shown in the drawings. Through the medium of the trunnions 13, the handles 14 are rigidly connected with the hydrofoil, and the handles, 'trunnions and hydrofoil thus constitute a rigid unit. The loop handles 14 lie preferably in the same plane with the hydrofoil 10 and the handles may be of a size lengthwise substantially equal to the width of the hydrofoil along its normal line of movement.
A rigid towing yoke 15 is provided, including parallel longitudinal arms 16, disposed between the ends of the hydrofoil and the handles. The arms 16 carry sleeve bearings 17, rigid therewith, freely rotatably receiving the trunnion-s 13, as shown.
The towing yoke 15 which is generally U-shaped further comprises forwardly converging arm portions 18, and a suitable eye 19 is rigidly secured to the forward end of the yoke 15, at its transverse center, for attachment to a tow line 20 which is in turn connected with the towing motor boat 21.
In use, the swimmer, skin diver or the like grasps the handles 14 in the manner shown and allows himself to be towed through the water. When the swimmer desires to pass under the surface of the water as indicated in FIGURE 5, for example, it is merely necessary for him to rotate the handles 14 forwardly or in a direction which will lower the leading edge 11 of the hydrofoil relative to the horizontal and relative to the yoke v15 upon which the hydrofoil is pivoted. Depth control is regulated by the extent or'degree to which the handles 14 and hydnofoil are pivoted relative to the horizontal, as should be obvious. When the swimmer wishes to return to the surface or to a shallower depth beneath the surface, he need only manipulate the handles 14 in the opposite or rearward direction to elevate the leading edge of the hydrofoil to the necessary extent.
It should be apparent that by turning the handles and hydrofoil upon the axis of the trunnions 13, the swimmer can maneuver up or down beneath the surface of the water or maintain a given depth below the surface or travel on the surface of the water as desired. Furthermore, as should be obvious, by tilting the device laterally and turning the hydrofoil bodily from either side of dead center or the normal straight line of travel, the swimmer can steer himself in substantially any desired direction or back and forth from side to side behind the towing boat. All of this renders the device more attractive from .an amusement and exercising standpoint, as well as practical and useful during skin diving operations and the like.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A maneuvering device for swimmers and the like comprising a generally U-shaped yoke adapted for attachment to a tow line rearwardly of a boat and including spaced arms having bearing parts, a symmetrical streamdined hydrofoil disposed between said arms of the yoke, trunnions secured to opposite ends of the hydrofoil and journaled within said bearing parts, and a handle secured to each trunnion outwardly \of one arm of the yoke and rigid with the trunnion rand hydrofoil and turnable by the hands of the swimmer to pivot the hydrofoil upon the axes of said trunnions.
2. A maneuvering device for swimmers and the like according to claim 1, and wherein each handle is in closed 4 loop form and disposed substantially in the plane of said hydrofoil.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,709,266 Munn May 31, 1955 2,751,612 Shephard June 26, 1956 2,843,860 Grootveld July 22, 1958 2,928,367 McCormick Mar. 15, 1960 2,948,251 Repl'og le Aug. 9, 1960