US 3091207 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 8, 1963 c. H. SONGER 3,091,207
WATER SKI TOW ROPE CLAMP Filed July 10, 1961 i Char/es H. Sanger [563 6 INVENTOR. 68 Q BY 405 United States Patent 3,091,207 WATER SKI TOW ROPE CLAlVIP Charles H. Songer, Pine Bluff, Ark, assignor to Songer Manufacturing Company, Incorporated, a corporation of Arkansas Filed July 10, 1961, Ser. No. 122,796 3 Claims. (Cl. 114-199) This invention relates to a novel and useful ski rope clamp and more specifically to a ski rope clamp for providing a means whereby the forward end of a water ski tow rope may be readily secured to a towing boat in a manner whereby quick detachment of the tow rope from the boat may be effected.
Normally water ski tow ropes are semi-permanently secured in a boat at one end. This semi penmanent securement of the tow rope to a boat renders it difficult in some instances to conveniently store a water ski tow rope while it is not being used and accordingly, the main object of this invention is to provide a water ski tow rope clamp for removably securing the forward end of a water ski tow rope to the boat in a manner whereby it may be quickly detached therefrom.
In addition to rendering it easy for a water ski tow rope to be conveniently stored when not being used, the water ski tow rope clamp of the instant invention also enables a water ski tow rope to be quickly detached from a boat while the boat is moving at high speeds. Most water ski tow ropes are now constructed of buoyant material and the water ski tow rope clarnp of the instant invention enables the water ski tow rope associated therewith to be quickly detached from the towing boat in the event the water skier falls into the water. If the water ski tow rope is released immediately upon the water skier falling, the tow rope may be quickly retrieved by the fallen water skier and the towing boat may then circle to retrieve the fallen water skier without trailing 75 or 100 feet of water ski tow rope. While it is in most cases easy to ascertain visually whether or not a water ski tow rope is being trailed behind a moving boat in order to pull a skier, should the skier fall the tow rope often times is trailed slightly below the surface of the water and is very difficult to see by operators of other boats. Accordingly, other boats sometimes "cross over a submerged water ski tow rope while the boat to which the tow rope is secured is circling in order to retrieve a fallen skier. This of course results in the tow rope being severed and fouled about the propeller of the boat which crosses over the submerged tow rope. By providing the water ski tow rope clamp of the instant invention as soon as a water skier begins to fall the water ski tow rope may be released in which case the water skier may retain his grip on the tow rope and retrieve the latter as soon as he is able after falling into the water.
A further object of this invention, in accordance with the immediately preceding object, is to provide a water ski tow rope clamp which may be readily secured to a suitable supporting surface of a tow boat in a manner whereby the clamp is mounted for pivotal movement about an upstanding axis in order that the water ski tow rope clamp may pivot back and forth as a water skier moves from one side of the wake to the other.
A further object of this invention is to provide a water ski tow rope clamp including spring urged wedge means for wedging frictional engagement with a tow rope in a manner whereby a rearward pull on the tow rope will increase the wed-ging frictional engagement of the tow rope clamp on the tow rope.
A final object to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide a water ski tow rope clamp which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple conice struction and easy to use so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary top plan View of the aft portion of a boat shown with the water ski tow rope clamp of the instant invention pivotally secured to the upper end of the transom of the boat;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken through the transom of the boat showing the embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a somewhat enlarged top plan View similar to that of FIGURE 1 showing parts of the water ski tow rope clamp broken away and shown in section;
FIGURE 4 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by section line 44 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is a vertical transverse sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by section line 55 of FIGURE 3.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings the numeral 10 generally designates the aft portion of a boat which includes a transom 12 having an upper surface 14. The water ski tow rope clamp of the instant invention is generally designated by the reference numetal 16 and includes a mounting base generally referred to by the reference numeral 18. The mounting base 18 is elongated and one end thereof is provided with an upstanding bore 20 which includes a counterbore 22 at its upper end. A grommet 24 is disposed through the bore 20 and has a head portion 26 seated in the counterbore 22 and a bearing flange portion 28 disposed between the lower surface 30 of the mounting base 18 and the upper surface 14 of the transom 12. A pivot fastener 32 has its shank port-ion 34 passed through the grommet 24 and secured in the transom 12. The fastener 32 includes a diametrically enlarged head portion 36 disposed in end abutting engagement with the upper end of the grommet 24. In this manner, the mounting base 18 is pivotally secured to the transom 12 for movement about an axis defined by the longitudinal axis of the shank 34.
It will be noted that the mounting base 18 includes an upstanding tarcuate abutment Wall generally referred to by the reference numeral 38 and that the abutment wall 38 is provided with a concave abutment surface 40 which faces the fastener 32.
Disposed between the fastener 32 and the abutment wall 38 is an elongated wedge member generally referred to by the reference numeral 44. As can best be seen in FIGURE 4 of the drawings the wedge member 44 is provided with a bore 46 at one end which includes opposite end counterbores 48 and 50. An elongated cylindrical bearing grommet 52 is secured through the bore 46 and includes opposite end shoulder portions 54 and 56 which are seatingly received in the counterbores 43 and 51). It will be noted that the shoulder portion 56 extends below the lower surface 58 of the wedge member 54 in order to support the wedge member 44 in spaced relation relative to the upper surface 60 of the mounting base 18. t
The end of the wedge member 44 remote from the bearing grommet 52 is provided with an arcuate convex abutment face 62 and serrations 64 are formed thereon for wedging engagement with portions of the tow rope 66 disposed between the convex abutment face 62 and the concave abutment surface 40.
One end of a pivot pin 68 is secured in the mounting base 18 and extends upwardly from the upper surface 60 thereof. The pivot pin 68 is rotatably received in the bearing grommet 52 and is secured thereto by means of a threaded fastener 7 threadedly engaged with the upper end of the pivot pin 68. In this manner, the wedge member 44 is mounted for rotation on the mounting space 18 for movement about an axis generally paralleling the axis of rotation defined by the shank 34.
With attention now invited to FIGURES 3 through 5 of the drawings it will be seen that the wedge member 44 is provided with a downwardly opening recess 72. First anchoring means in the form of a fastener 74 is engaged with the mounting base 18 and has an abutment head 76 which projects into the recess'74. The first anchoring means :is utilized to secure one end of an expansion spring 78 to the mounting base 18 and second anchoring means in the form of an anchoring pin 80 is secured to the wedge member 44 and extends downwardly into the recess 72 and has the other end of the expansion spring 78 secured thereto. In this manner, the expansion spring 78 yieldably urges the wedge member 44in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURES 1 and 3. The abutment face 62 is engageable with the abutment surface 40 when the tow rope 66 is not disposed between the wedge member and the abutment wall 38 and the abutment defined by the head 76 is engageable with the portions of the wedge member 44 defining the end pocket 80, see FIGURE 3 for limiting movement of the wedge member 44 in a clockwise direction away from the abutment wall 38.
If it :is desired to engage the tow rope 66 with the tow rope clamp 16, the wedge member 44 is pivoted in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. Then, the tow rope 66 is disposed between the abutment face 62. and the abutment surface 40 and then wedge member 44 is then released enabling the expansion spring 78 to yieldably urge the wedge member .44 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawings. A rear pull on the tow rope 66 will of course increase the wedging frictional engagement of the serrations 64 with the tow rope 66 by having a tendency to further pivot the wedge member 44 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 3 of the drawings.
It will be noted that the stop means for limiting clockwise movement of the wedge member 44 is completely hidden and also that the means for yieldably urging the wedge member 44 in a counterclockwise direction is hidden.
The mounting base 18 is pivotally secured to the transom 12 in order that the rear end of the mounting base 18 remote from the shank 34 may swing from side-to-side 4 as a water skier moves from one side of the boat 10 to the other.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In combination with a boat transom, a water skitow rope clamp, said clamp comprising a mounting base including means mounting said base on said transom for rotation about an upstanding axis, an elongated wedge member pivotally secured at one end to said base for movement about an axis generally paralleling the axis of rotation of said base, an arcuate abutment wall projecting laterally from said base and including a concave abutment surface facing and disposed on the side of the axis of rotation of said wedge member remote from the axis of rotation of said base, the free end of said wedge member including an arcuate convex abutment face can fronting said abutment surface, said arcuate abutment wall having one end thereof disposed closer to the axis of rotation of said wedge member than the other end thereof and engageable with said wedge member for wedging engagement of a tow rope between said one end and said wedge member, means yieldably urging said wedge member toward a position with said abutment 'face engaging said abutment surface on said one end of said abutment wall, and coacting abutment means on said wedge member and said base limiting swinging movement of the free end of said wedge member away from said abutment wall.
2. The combination-of claim 1 wherein said wedge member has a recess formed therein opening toward said base, first anchoring means carried by said base in registry with said recess, second anchoring means carried by said wedge member, said urging means comprising spring means secured between said anchoring means and disposed entirely in said recess.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said first anchoring means comprises a fastener secured to said base and includes an abutment head portion on said fastener projecting into said recess.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS