US 3116925 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1964 w. E. WELCH 3,116,925
ANCHORED BIRLING FLOAT Filed July 3, 1961 INVENTOR Wzzzz'dwzvxza/g BY/ZZZ ATT/ORNEYS United States Patent 3,116,925 ANCHORED BHRIJNG FLOAT Wiliiarn E. Welch, 23 Royal Oaks Drive, Roseburg, Greg. Filed July 3, 1961, Ser. No. 121,706 4 Claims. (Cl. 272-1) This invention relates generally to amusement and exercising devices in the field of aquatic sports, and in particular to a cylindrical float adapted to freely rotate about its axis while held against any substantial movement of translation, laterally or axially.
Birling, as a contest of skill and agility, has long been practiced among the workers in timbering operations. This involves a pair of contestants treading a freely floating log, with each striving to dismount the other by rotating the log about its axis, by treading with the feet, in a manner calculated to upset his equilibrium. In this sport, the logs are of considerable size and mass, and therefore possessed of high inertia, so that, whereas axial rotation is easily effected, there is little tendency for the log to move about on the surface of the water. The hardness and inertia of the log also increase the chances of serious personal injury.
By the device of the present invention I have contrived to bring the attractive features of this sport within the spheres of action of all areas of aquatic sports, while eliminating the hazardous features.
It is therefore a general object of the invention to provide a birling device which shall have universal application in areas of aquatic sports. More particularly, it is an object to provide a floating, cylindrical object which, while of substantial size, is nevertheless relatively low in weight and inertia. A related object is to provide a low inertia, cylindrical float having end attachments with swivel features for mooring or anchoring lines, whereby to constrain the float against movement of translation, while permitting axial rotation. Yet another object is to provide an anchorable float in which protruding parts are avoided.
These and other objects which will be apparent to those skilled in the art, are attained by the present invention, a preferred form of which is described in the following specification, as illustrated in the drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a swimming pool, showing the cylindrical float secured by lines attached to opposite sides of the pool;
FIGURE 2 is an axial sectional View through the float;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view, to enlarged scale, of the rightward end of the float of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 4 is an end elevational view of the float, as seen from the right in FIGURE 3.
Referring to the drawings by characters of reference, there is shown, in FIGURE 1, two side walls it 12, and an end wall 14, of an outdoor swimming pool, holding a body of water 16. Embedded in Wall is an eyebolt 18, anchoring a rope or cable 29, the outer end of which is attached to one end of the float 22. A similar eyebolt (not visible) in wall 12 anchors a rope or cable 24, the outer end of which is attached to the other end of float 22. Lines 20 and 24 carry conventional floats 26 at suitable intervals along their lengths, and these may be of cork, wood, plastic, or other low density material.
As seen in FIGURES 2 to 4, the float 22 has the general form of a right circular cylinder, and in the case illustrated the buoyancy is attained by employing a hollow, metallic shell, of aluminum or the like, with a thin wall, waterproof throughout. In order to render it freely rotative about its axis the float 22 has swivel connections with anchoring lines 20, 24, and in order to 3,116,925 Patented Jan. 7, 1964- locate the coupling hardware so as to avoid contact by users of the float, the ends of the float are recessed inwardly, as shown by the conical end faces 28. Each end face 28, at its apex carries, externally, an eye 30 to which the anchoring line is connected through the swivel. The latter, which is of conventional form, is shown as having a central, journal housing 32 in which is mounted, for rotation on a common axis, a headed member 34 having an eye 36 interengaged with eye 30, and an opposite, headed member 38 having an eye 40, to which the end of line 24, (or 20) is secured.
With the arrangement shown, the float is held against both endwise and sidewise movement, but is freely rotatable about its axis. Thus, the rotational feature may be brought into full play, without the troublesome disadvantage which would arise if the low inertia float had freedom to move in a horizontal plane. In other words the float diflers from a common log in its low inertia and safety features, and the inertia compensating device of an anchorage. This anchoring feature also presents novel features over known floats in having axially directed anchor lines which hold the float in a fixed position, while permitting rotation of the float, and with no external mounting structure between the ends of the float which would interfere with a full 360 turn of a person rotating with the float.
In lieu of the hollow float shown, the cylinder may be made in solid form, from low density material, such as a porous plastic, a fiberglass reinforced polyester, or any of a variety of known materials which have come into use by virtue of their high floatability and permanence. Like the hollow cylinder, these will be of sufiicient rigidity to resist deformation of the cylinder in normal uses during aquatic play, have high strength to weight ratio, have a smooth surface, and be non-corrosive. The enjoyment of the device depends upon its ability to float lightly, rotate freely, and be harmless. Recessing the couplings places them where they will not bruise or scratch the users. All welds or joints are smoothed to eliminate projections which would scratch skin or tear clothing. The low inertia of the float is also a safeguard against injury.
Besides the matter of safety, the low weight of the float makes it easily handled, and carried about, even by children.
While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, while I have illustrated substantially a true cylinder in the drawings and have employed this term in the specification and claims, it is intended to include by this terminology other geometrical shapes such as floats having an octagonal cross section or other bodies of essentially cylindrical shape. Accordingly, the invention should not be deemed as limited except insofar as shall appear from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A rotatable float for aquatic play, comprising an elongate, hollow, water-proof cylinder having inwardly dished end faces of conical form, with vertices on the axis of the cylinder, an external eye carried by each end face at its vertex, and a swivel housing at each of said faces having a first rotatable loop interengaging with said eye, and a second rotatable loop axially aligned with said first loop, and adapted for attachment to an anchor line.
2. A rotatable float for aquatic play comprising an elongate, floating cylinder, having inwardly dished end faces of conical form, with vertices on the axis of the cylinder, an external eye carried by each end face at its vertex, and a swivel housing at each of said faces having a first rotatable loop interengaged with one of said eyes, and a second loop rotatable on a common axis With said first loop, and adapted for attachment to an anchor line.
3. A rotatable float for aquatic play comprising an elongate, floating cylinder, having inwardly dished end faces, an external eye carried by each end face, and a swivel housing at each of said faces having a first rotatable loop interengaged with one of said eyes, and a second loop rotatable on a common axis with said first loop, and adapted for attachment to an anchor line.
4. A rotatable float for aquatic play comprising an 4 elongate, floatable cylinder, having inwardly dished end faces, an external eye carried by each end face, and a swivel link interconnected with each of said eyes and adapted for connection with an anchoring line.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 621,726 Wiemer et al. Mar. 21, 1899 2,088,251 Walters July 27, 1937 10 2,175,197 Kent Oct. 10, 1939 2,945,468 Payne July 19, 1960