Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3113528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1963
Filing dateJul 1, 1960
Priority dateJul 1, 1960
Publication numberUS 3113528 A, US 3113528A, US-A-3113528, US3113528 A, US3113528A
InventorsBacon Karl W, Morgan Edgar A
Original AssigneeArrow Dev Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Boat ride apparatus
US 3113528 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1963 E. A. MORGAN ETAL BOAT RIDE APPARATUS 1 m mm a m #1 m WNW S N 1 A. a m 3 6 r F a 2 M @M m Flled July 1 1960 Dec. 10, 1963 E. A. MORGAN ETAL 3,113,528

BOAT RIDE APPARATUS Filed July 1, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 PM; 5 P154 and INVENTOR5 Edgar A. Marga/1 X4 14 5400.!

afwxaw United States Patent 3,113,528 BOAT RIDE APPARATUS Edgar A. Morgan, Palo Alto, and Karl W. Bacon, Mountain View, Calif., assignors to Arrow Development (10., Mountain View, Calif., a corporation of California Filed July 1, 1960, Ser. No. 40,303 7 Claims. ((11. 104-43) Our invention relates to amusement park apparatus and particularly to a passenger boat traveling a fixed or predetermined course in a lake or stream.

One of the objects of our invention is the provision of guide means, preferably submerged, and in fixed location, by which a predetermined and fixed path is provided for a boat to travel about the body of water in which the guide means is installed.

Another object of our invention is the provision of means including a guide wheel carried by the boat and cooperating with the submerged guide means to order or govern the course of travel of the boat within the limits set by the submerged guide means.

Another object of our invention is the provision of fixed guide and boat-mounted cooperating means free of complexities and complicated controls, wholly automatic in operation and beyond change or adjustment by the boat passengers.

Still another object of our invention is the provision of means by which a plurality of boat ride courses or paths may be arranged simultaneously on the same body of water with no interference.

Another object is the provision of switching means in the submerged guide means by which the boat may be directed from one guided or controlled course to another.

The invention possesses other objects, some of which with the foregoing will be brought out in the following description. We do not limit ourselves to the showing made by the description and drawing, since we may adopt variant forms of the invention within the scope of the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevation partly in vertical section, and showing a boat, the fixed submerged guide means, and the cooperating boat-mounted guide wheel for controlling the course or path of travel of the boat.

FIG. 2 is an elevation showing the side view of the boat floating in its channel, and with a guide wheel adjacent each end.

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view in plan. It indicates a possible installation of my boat ride channels in a lake. The scale is 1 to 150 or more.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a switch and switch controls.

FIG. 5 is an elevation partly in section and with portions omitted to reduce the length of the figure. It shows the mounting of the guide wheels and the means by which the Wheels may be raised or lowered.

FIG. 6 is an elevation partly in vertical section, and showing a boat having a pair of spaced guide wheels adjacent each end and with a guide wall between them.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view in elevation showing the pivot rod mounting of the switch panel.

In terms of broad inclusion our invention comprises a guide wall provided with a substantially vertical face which constitutes a smooth race-way, and which customarily is arranged at a predetermined depth below the surface of a body of water within an amusement park. A passenger boat floating in the water above the guide wall is provided with a shaft adjacent each end, which extends downward from the boat bottom. Each shaft mounts a rotatable guide wheel, the tread of which is engageable with the race-Way. When two guide walls in parallelism are used, the two wheels underlying the boat are confined "ice therebetween; and the course of travel of the boat is definitely fixed within narrow limits over at least part of the course when the guide walls are installed in the lake or stream bed. If desired, the spacing of the guide walls may be widened during part of the course to provide an extended area in which the boat may be steered temporarily independent of guide Walls. It is to be understood that the guide walls are distinct from the means, either natural or man-made, which confine the lake or stream on which the boat floats.

The boat is usually provided with propulsion and steering means to facilitate general handling, although the rudder is inefifective when the course of travel of the boat is determined by the guide walls. In such a case, the engine drives the propeller, and the boat with its load of passengers, moves over its predetermined course from starting point to end, with no further attention.

A single guiding wall as shown in FIG. 6 may be used, with a two wheeled rig, for example, in a stream bed where rapids are arranged for an added thrill to the pas sengers, rocks otherwise dangerous, are flanked by a single guide Wall; and since these may be located on both sides of the stream, collision of the boat with the rocks is prevented, while at the same time the boat may be rocked in a most realistic and satisfying manner.

Means in the guide walls are also provided for switching a boat from one guide channel to another, or to embarking and disembarking piers or storage areas.

In the drawings, FIGS. 1 to 4, we have shown our invention embodied in apparatus using two guide walls. In FIG. 6 we have shown another modification using a single guide wall between a pair of wheels at each end of the boat.

In greater detail our invented boat ride comprises a boat body or hull structure 2, having a bottom 3 and equipped with a motor driven propeller 4 and rudder 6, all of conventional type. In both FIGURES 1 and 2, the boat is shown floating in a lake or stream or other body of water, the water line of the loaded boat or level of the Water being indicated by the broken line 7.

Rigidly mounted in the bottom 3 of the boat'is a stainless steel tube 8, FIG. 5, sealed to the bottom by bolts 9 through the tube flange 12 and annular gasket 13. In the boat illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, there are two tubes 8, one adjacent each end. The tubes are about the same length, and extend upwardly from the boat bottom to somewhat less than the height of the sides, as shown.

Extending into each of the tubes 8 is a stainless steel shaft 14, positioned therein by annular gasket sleeves 16 and 17 of deformable material such as soft rubber or neoprene. These sleeves act as shock absorbers when lateral stresses are applied to the shaft during the operation of the boat.

Journaled on the lower end of the shaft is a wheel 18,

equipped with preferably a low pressure tire 19. A bail 21 is welded to a nut 22, threaded on the upper end of the shaft, so that the shaft can be pulled up in the tube to raise the Wheel to lie closer to the bottom of the boat as occasion may demand. A protective hood 23 is threaded on the upper end of the tube in normal use of the boat.

The purpose of the two wheels below the boat is to guide it along a predetermined course, fixed by a guiding wall. In FIG. 1 two concrete guiding walls 24 and 25 are shown, erected in a substantially vertical position on a base 27. The essential shape of the rectangular twin Wall concrete structure is that it shall provide a pair of oppositely disposed smooth raceways 28 and 29, at their minimum, a few inches further apart than the outside diameter of the tire 19, but which may spread apart widely as shown in FIG. 3, as the course dictated by the guide walls opens into the body of water in which our ride is installed, so that the boat may be independently steered, of course within the wide limits fixed by the guide walls. Frequent openings 30 in the walls at their low points promote circulation within the channel and help in cleaning the bottom if necessary.

Ordinarily the closer spacing of the guide walls 18 used in the approaches to the platform 30 of embarkation of the passengers. The same location may also serve to discharge the passengers.

In the event that our boat ride is to be installed in an artificial body of water, the concrete base 27 of the guide walls may extend over a part or over the whole bottom and on the land or beach side, extend to the shore line and provide foundation and support for the passenger loading and discharge facilities. Located at this point also is the control center 31 containing means for operating the switches which are desirable if more than a single course is to be operated. FIG. 3 suggests the use of three separate courses, requiring two switches.

FIG. 4 illustrates a typical installation of a switch panel 34 operated from the control center 31. This view differentiates from FIG. 3, which is merely a diagrammatic plan view of a possible installation, in that the direction of travel in FIG. 4 is opposite to that indicated in FIG. 3, as shown by the arrows in each view. The guide walls 24a and 25a branch off from the wall 25 at an appropriate angle and at an interruption in the wall. At the intersection of walls 24a and 25, a plate 36 suitably anchored in the concrete, together with a similar plate fixed in the concrete a short distance lower down, provide mounting for a vertical pivot rod 37 about which the switch panel 34 moves from one of its two positions to the other, to guide the boat through the channel between the walls 24 and 25, or divert the boat into the channel between the walls 24a and 25a. The switch panel ends above the bottom of the channel but extends across the zone of contact with the guide wheels.

Means are provided for swinging the guide gate or switch panel from one position to the other. Fixed rigidly to the upper edge of the switch panel at its hinged end is a plate 38 the free end of which on one side is pierced by the pivot rod 37, and at the opposite side is pivotally connected by the pin 39 to the piston rod iii. This spacing between rod 37 and pin 39 provides a short lever arm utilized in moving the switch panel by its con nection with the piston rod. The piston end of the rod 40 reciprocates in the cylinder 41, pivotally mounted on the plate 42, fixed rigidly at the juncture of walls 24a and 25.

Opposite ends of the cylinder are connected by conduits 43 and 44 to the valve 46 operated by the handle 47. With handle 47 in position shown, air under pres sure from the tank-compressor combination 48 flows through the conduit 43 to the cylinder 41 to swing the switch panel into the position shown. Throwing the bandle 47 over to the position indicated by the dotted lines opens the valve passage into the conduit 44, putting pressure on the piston to throw the switch panel into the position shown in dotted lines 49. In this position, a boat would be diverted from the course or channel between the guide walls 24 and 25 to the course or channel between the walls 24:; and 25a.

The tank-compressor combination is driven by the electric motor 50 in a conventional arrangement with automatic controls to maintain constant tank pressure so that air under pressure from the tank is supplied to the cylinder and held therein to keep the switch panel in the position to which it is moved. Air under pressure is also available to the two valves 51 and 52, which are connected respectively by conduits 5354 and 5657 to a switch operating unit, similar to that described, so that all switches are connected for operation to one control center.

A typical lay-out of three courses requiring but two valves 46 and 51 is seen in FIGURE 3. The direction of travel of a boat in the diagrammatic arrangement illustrated in FIG. 3 will of course be in a direction opposite to that of a boat in the installation illustrated in FIG. 4. It is to be noted that in each course or channel, there may if desired, be a widened area 60 within the limits of which the boat may be steered by an occupant.

In FIG. 6 we show only a single guide wall 62, rising vertically from the base slab 63. In this case a pair of guide wheels each with tire 19 are disposed at each end of the boat, with the guide Wall 62 between them. Both faces of the wall in the zone where the wheels can touch constitute raceways, and same as for the twin or double walls, the raceway is preferably as smooth surfaced as practicable to prevent unnecessary wear on the rubber or neoprene tread of the tire.

On occasions when it is necessary for the boats to be free of guide walls, the hood 23 is unscrewed from the tubes, and the bail 21 is engaged to lift the shaft 14 and its guide wheel above the level of the guide wall.

We claim:

1. In a boat ride apparatus for installation in a pool of Water confined by suitable means, a pair of spaced guide walls distinct from said pool confining means and each having a substantially vertical face constituting a raceway arranged on the pool bottom, said guide walls being parallel at the beginning and ending of their course with the space between said guide walls widening over an intermediate portion of their course.

2. A boat ride apparatus as set forth in claim 1, in which the widening of the space between the guide walls is irregular.

3. A boat ride apparatus for installation in a body of water, comprising a guide wall having a portion thereof the housing and vertically movable therein, and a rotatable guide wheel carried on the shaft and having a tread engageable with the raceway.

4. A boat ride in accordance with claim 3 in which the shaft is provided with means for absorbing laterally directed shocks, and the wheel is equipped with a low pressure pneumatic tire.

5. A boat ride apparatus for installation in a body of water, comprising a pair of substantially parallel guide Walls each having a face constituting a smooth raceway and arranged at a predetermined depth below the water surface, a boat buoyantly supported on the surface of the water, a tubular housing fixed in the boat structure, a vertically adjustable shaft arranged in the housing, and a rotatable guide wheel carried on the shaft and having a tread engageable with the raceway.

6. A boat ride in accordance with claim 5 in which deformable annular gaskets are interposed between the tubular housing and the shaft.

7. A boat ride in accordance with claim 5 in which the boat is provided with means for propelling it through the water.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,440,661 Dickinson Jan. 2, 1923 1,591,566 Schmidt et al July 6, 1926 1,593,213 Hodges July 20, 1926 1,917,837 Haddlesay July 11, 1933 2,064,035 Rynearson Dec. 15, 1936 2,161,314 Randall et al June 6, 1939 2,190,073 Knudsen Feb. 13, 1940 FOREIGN PATENTS 381,748 Great Britain Oct. 13, 1932

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1440661 *Oct 11, 1922Jan 2, 1923Dickinson William HAmusement device
US1591566 *Nov 6, 1924Jul 6, 1926Schmidt George AAmusement device
US1593213 *May 18, 1925Jul 20, 1926Tunnels Transp Ation CompanyEndless conveyer for passengers
US1917837 *Apr 6, 1931Jul 11, 1933Haddlesay Charles SSwitch operating means
US2064035 *May 24, 1935Dec 15, 1936Eugene RynearsonAmusement apparatus
US2161314 *Sep 24, 1936Jun 6, 1939Marx & Co LouisSwitch and signal mechanism for tracks and vehicle toys
US2190073 *Feb 4, 1937Feb 13, 1940Knudsen Charles TTrain control system
GB381748A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3404635 *Apr 16, 1965Oct 8, 1968Walt Disney ProdBoat amusement ride
US4392434 *Feb 10, 1981Jul 12, 1983Mannesmann Demag AgTurbulent waterway
US5403238 *Aug 19, 1993Apr 4, 1995The Walt Disney CompanyAmusement park attraction
US5456184 *Aug 19, 1993Oct 10, 1995The Walt Disney CompanyLateral energy absorbing device for slot guided vehicle
US5473990 *Aug 19, 1993Dec 12, 1995The Walt Disney CompanyRide vehicle control system
US5583844 *Jun 19, 1993Dec 10, 1996The Walt Disney CompanyIn an electronic control system
US5623878 *Nov 16, 1995Apr 29, 1997The Walt Disney CompanyDynamic ride vehicle
US7437998 *Dec 19, 2005Oct 21, 2008Mack Rides Gmbh & Co. KgWater-ride facility
US8091483 *Mar 31, 2011Jan 10, 2012Disney Enterprises, Inc.Amusement park ride with underwater-controlled boats
US8375864 *Jul 29, 2011Feb 19, 2013Disney Enterprises, Inc.Floating omnimover ride
US8453579 *May 20, 2011Jun 4, 2013Disney Enterprises, Inc.Water ride with improved boat capture mechanism
US20120291657 *May 20, 2011Nov 22, 2012Disney Enterprises, Inc.Water ride with improved boat capture mechanism
DE2921629A1 *May 28, 1979Dec 11, 1980Demag Ag MannesmannWildwasserbahn
EP2403753A1 *Dec 5, 2010Jan 11, 2012Ozkul, TarikSelectable destination underwater towed cable ferry system and guidance mechanism
U.S. Classification104/73, 104/247
International ClassificationB63H15/00, A63G3/00, E01B25/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63G3/00, E01B25/00, B63H15/00
European ClassificationB63H15/00, A63G3/00, E01B25/00