US 3154799 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 3, 1964 J. G. JALOWIECKI 3,154,799
RETRACTIBLEI RUNNING GEAR FOR BOAT TRAILERS Filed April 22, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR .lerzy G. JALOWIECKI A TTOR NE Y Nov. 3, 1964 J. G. JALOWIECKI 3,154,799
RETRACTIBLE RUNNING GEAR FOR BOAT TRAILERS Filed April 22, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 v. c912)" I W '2'- E INVENTOR i9 Jerzy G. JALOWIECKI ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,154,799 RETRACTlELE RUNNING GEAR FUR BUA'I TRAEERS .lerzy G. .Ialowieeki, 1715 De Seve St, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Filed Apr. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 274,451 11 Claims. (Cl. 9-1) The present invention relates to improvements in retractible running gear forming a part of or attached to relatively small boats for the purpose of towing boats to and from the water.
While there are many and varied types of separate boat trailers available which are adapted to support and carry a boat to and from the water, these in general still present a problem in their loading and unloading which in many cases is a very difiicult job for one person. To overcome this problem attempts have been made to provide boats with retractible wheels which are incorporated into the structure of the boat so that it need not be lifted. Examples of these devices are shown in United States Patent 2,740,135 which issued April 3, 1956, United States Patent 2,539,693 which issued January 30, 1951 and United States Patent 2,893,019 which issued July 7, 1959. The structures shown in these patents all include some form of retractible wheel supporting structure which can be operated to retract the wheels into wheel wells forming a part of the boat hull. There is one common feature in these boat constructions, and this is also true of all such boats having retractible Wheels known to the applicant, and that is that the wheel receiving wells are constructed as extending inwardly from the bottom of the boat hull. The resultant breaks in, or deformations of, hull contour effects the performance of the boats when in operation, particularly if utilized with relatively high speed outboard motors as is the trend. Further, since the running gear, by reason of the location of the wells, is constantly immersed in water when the boat is in use requires extra care if corrosion is to be avoided particularly if the boat is utilized in salt water.
The present invention recognizes these and other problems and aims to provide an improved boat-retractible running gear combination which includes wheel accommodating wells disposed interiorly of the boat hull with no deformation or break in the normal hull lines being necessary. More specifically, this is accomplished by providing a retractible wheel supporting assembly which is pivotally mounted Within the boat hull so that it is capable of being swung in a fixed arc from a first position completely within the boat to a second or carrying position outside of the boat hull and extending downwardly from the stern of the boat. Adjustable running gear locking means are provided to hold the wheels in carrying position and the wheel supporting assembly embodies shock absorbing means for road travel.
In the preferred construction the means for retracting and extending the running gear consists of a worm gear and screw mechanism actuated through a hand-crank while the boat hull includes recesses in the stern to receive and house the running gear when it is in extended boat carrying condition.
Having thus generally described the nature of the invention particular reference will be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration a preferred embodiment thereof, and in which;
FIGURE 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic view in perspective elevation of a boat having retractible running gear in accordance with the invention as it would appear in towing condition attached to a car.
FIGURE 2 is a rear View of the construction shown in FIGURE 1.
$354,799 Fatented Nov. 3, 1964 FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the construction shown in FIGURE 1 with the boat hull partially broken away to show the running gear and retractible tow bar in eX- tended operative condition.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the construction shown in FIGURE 3 as seen along the line 4-4.
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the con struction of FIGURE 4 along the line 55 to show the interior construction of one of the wheel supporting legs and the associated supporting arm in more detail.
FIGURE 6 is a further enlarged sectional view of the construction of FIGURE 4 along the line 6-6 to show the relative positions of wheel supporting leg sections and locking catch more clearly.
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the construction shown in FIGURE 4 as seen along the line 77 to illustrate the shock absorbing construction of a wheel supporting leg in more detail.
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged detail view in perspective elevation of one of the catch brackets adapted for engagement by the locking bar.
FIGURE 9 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the construction shown in FIGURE 4 as seen along the line 9-9 to illustrate the construction of the retractible tow bar in more detail.
With particular reference to FIGURES l, 2 and 3 of the drawings a preferred boat construction embodying the retractible running gear of the invention is shown as consisting of a boat hull It? having a stern section 12 provided with spaced running gear receiving recesses 16, internal wheel receiving wells I8, and a retractible tow bar 29 extending through the how 11. The retractible running gear of the invention consists of a main shaft 30 which is journalled between the ends of a main supporting channel 32 secured between the inner walls of the Wheel receiving wells 18 so as to extend across the rear of the boat hull 10 adjacent a rear seat 13. A worm gear 34 is mounted on the shaft 3t? and is in meshed engagement with a screw 36 also supported in the channel 32, see FIGURE 4 for example. The shaft 35 of the screw 34 extends beneath the seat 13 and a folding handle 38 is mounted on the end of the shaft 35.
As shown most clearly in FIGURES 4 and 7 for example each wheel 48 is resiliently supported by a wheel supporting leg assembly 42 which is made up of a main leg member 44 and a telescopically interconnected inner leg member 45 which slidably fits Within the leg 44 and is resiliently biased by a coil spring 46 fitting between the upper end of the leg 45 and an interior reinforcement 47. As shown most clearly in FiGURES 5 and 6 the main leg member 44, the leg member 45, and inner reinforcement 47 are of rectangular cross section as is the top cap 43 of the member 45 in order to prevent axial rotation of the wheel 40. The leg member 45 is secured at one end to the top cap 48 with the lower portion passing through a bottom plate 50 of the main leg 44 and being secured to the wheel holding fork 49. As an extension of the main leg 44, lugs 52, 54 are adapted to slidably support a T-shaped locking bar 5a which has its upper threaded end 57 in engagement with an adjustment knob 59. As is shown most clearly in FIGURE 7, each interior reinforcement 47 is provided with a cap 47a which fits over the end of the main leg member 44 and in a preferred construction, as shown, the reinforcement 47 is retained in place by screws 47!; so that it can be removed if desired. With this arrangement, the coil springs 4s can be readily replaced or varied with respect to compressive strength in order to suit variation in weight caused by varying shapes or sizes of boat hulls and/ or additional equipment carried.
Each of the wheel supporting assemblies shown are fixedly connected to the main shaft 3%) at each end by a lever arm 31 which is welded to the main leg 44 at an angle less than 90 so that when the arms 31' are in fully extended or substantially horizontal position'each wheel supporting assembly extends diagonally forwards towards the bow 11 and in alignment with the slanted stem 12. As is seen most clearly in FIGURE 4, this relationship of lever arm 31 and wheel supporting assembly makes it possible to swing the wheel supporting assemblies in a fixed arc about the axis of the main shaft 39 into a position within the wells 1% Where the main leg members 44 and associated members 45 are substantially parallel to the bottom of the boat hull in maximum storage position.
In order to prevent the strain of carrying the weight of the boat, and/ or stresses imparted to the wheels during transportation, from being transmitted directly to e lever armfil and shaft rotating mechanism, a wheel retaining catch assembly is provided within each running gear receiving recess 1% at the stern of the boat; each of these consist of a substantially U-sectioned catch member as having downwardly extending hook portions 62 which are engaged by the cross-bar 57 of the locking bar 56. When the bar s is adjusted in length by the knob 59 the cross-bar 57 rides upwardly along the inner surfaces of the hook portions 62 pulling the respective wheel supporting assembly firmly against the stern of the boat, as shown in FIGURE 7. In the preferred boat construction, as shown, the back wall of the member ea acts as a bearing plate at each side of the stern 12 within each of the downwardly slanted inner end walls of the running gear receiving recesses 16.
and can be easily accomplished by a single person without physical strain. The location of the wheel receiving wells within the interior of the boat hull and the present wheel retracting and extending mechanism make it possible to provide a boat hull design with unbroken proven hull lines giving maximum performance with any desired type of engine.
The form of retractible tow bar shown in the present illustrations is a preferred one only and this may be varied as is known while still using the retractible running gear of the invention. In the construction illustrated, the bow 11 is provided with a slot 70 and the arcuately shaped adjustable tow bar 2%), preferably of a high tensile strength resilient metal, is mounted on a bracket '72 so as to be capable of sliding extension or retraction within the boat hull. The bracket 72 is provided with an inwardly extending slot 73 which is adapted to receive the shank of an adjustable screw 74, mounted on the inner end of the tow bar 29, which screw can be tightened to hold the bar 29 in place. The other end of the tow bar is provided with the usual tow pin receiving opening 77, as shown in FIGURE 9.
It wil be appreciated, by reference to the preceding description and accompanying drawings, that while the boat construction illustrated is preferred and is designed specifically to accommodate the retractible running gear of the invention that this running gear assembly could be applied to almost any standard boat hull with the minimum of modification.
This is made possible by the main feature of the present invention in that the wheel supporting assemblies are designed so that they are retracted and extended in a fixed are from the interior or" the boat hull to the exterior boat carrying position. As previously mentioned, this is a distinct advantage over the known prior art mechanisms of this nature which in general have the wheel supporting mechanisms folding inwardly beneath the hull of the boat in retracted position which necessitates wells eifecting the hull shape and a special boat in each case. Further, as is obvious from the drawings and preceding description, the downwardly slanted hull portions constituted by the portions of the stem 12 forming the d inner-end wall of the wheel assembly receiving recesses positively align the wheel supporting legs of the assemblies in the desired forwardly slanting position to provide the load carrying and transmitting qualities embodied in the described structure.
1. A retractible running gear adapted for use in combination with a boat hull having a continuous outer hull surface and downwardly slanting stern portions said running gear being adapted to selectively support said hull on spaced wheels for land transportation, said retractible running gear including at least one pivot shaft, shaft supporting means adapted for mounting within said boat hull adjacent the stern, means to rotate said shaft, and a pair of wheel supporting assemblies fixedly mounted in spaced relationship for rotation about said pivot shaft in a fixed upward arc'from a first retracted position wholly within the interior of said boat bull to an extended boat supporting position exteriorly of said boat bull to extend diagonally downwards toward the bow of said boat with portions bearing against the said boat hull stern slanting portions.
2. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 1 wherein the means to rotate said shaft include a worm gear and screw assembly operatively connected to said shaft and manually operable handle means extending from said worm and screw assembly whereby said shaft may be selectively rotated in either direction.
3. A retractible running gear adapted for use in combination with a boat hull having a continuous unbroken outer hull surface and downwardly slanting stern portions and being adapted to selectively support'the stern end of said hull on a pair of spaced wheels for land transportation; said retractible running gear comprising a main pivot shaft, shaft supporting means adapted for mounting within said boat hull adjacent the stern, means to selectively rotate said shaft, and a pair of wheel supporting assemblies each having a resiliently biased telescopically interconnected wheel supporting leg assembly operatively connected to said shaft, said wheel supporting assemblies being adapted for rotation about said pivot shaft in a fixed upward are from a first retracted position wholly within the interior of said boat hull to a second fully extended position exteriorly of said boat hull with said wheel supporting leg assemblies extending diagonally downwards towards the bow of said hull and bearing against the said boat hull stern portions.
4. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 3 wherein means to selectively rotate said shaft including a coupled worm gear and screw mounted on a'handle bearing shaft and operatively connected with said pivot shaft are mounted on said supporting means.
5. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 3 wherein each of said wheel supporting leg assemblies include an outer leg member, an inner leg member having at least an end portion slidably mounted within said outer leg member, a coil spring mounted within said outer leg member and between the upper end of said outer member and said inner leg member end, a bifurcate wheel holding member mounted on the other end of said inner leg mem her and a wheel mounted for rotation between the forks of said wheel holding member.
6. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 3 wherein catch means are provided to maintain said wheel supporting leg assemblies in extended position relative to said boat hull, said catch means comprising an adjustable T shaped bar mounted on each of said wheel supporting leg assemblies in axial alignment therewith, and a substantially U-sectioned catch member having a spaced pair of catch plates extendin therefrom and being adapted for mounting on said boat hull stern in alignment with each of said wheel supporting assemblies, each of said catch member plates having downwardly extending end portions adapted for engagement by the transversely extending cross-bar of the respective T-shaped adjustable bar when said bar is adjusted upwardly.
7. The combinination of a boat hull having a continuous unbroken outer hull surface, a pair of inwardly extending recesses in the stern of said hull in parallel spaced apart relationship and terminating in downwardly slanting inner end wall portions, and a pair of wheel accommodating wells at each side of the interior of said hull in parallel relationship; and a retractible running gear comprising, a supporting channel mounted within and extending across the interior of said boat hull adjacent the stern, a pivot shaft supported for rotation on said channel and spanning the interior of said hull, manually operable shaft rotating means mounted on said supporting channel and operatively connected to said pivot shaft, a pair of wheel supporting assemblies fixedly mounted one at each end of said pivot shaft and being adapted for rotation about an upward fixed are between a first retracted position with said assemblies fitting wholly within said boat hull interior wells to a second fully extended position exteriorly of said hull with said wheel supporting assemblies fitting within said boat hull stern recesses and bearing against said stern recessed inner end wall portions.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein each of said wheel supporting assemblies includes a resiliently biased wheel supporting leg assembly, and a lever arm secured to and extending diagonally outwards from the upper end of said leg assembly at an angle less than 90 relative to the axis of said leg assembly, said lever arm having its opposite end fixedly connected to one end of said main pivot shaft.
9. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 8 wherein each of said wheel supporting leg assemblies include an outer leg member, an inner leg member having at least an end portion slidably mounted within said outer leg member, a coil spring mounted within said outer leg member and between the upper end of said outer member and said inner leg member end, a bifurcate wheel holding member mounted on the other end of said inner leg member and a wheel mounted for rotation between the forks of said wheel holding member.
10. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 7 wherein catch means are provided to maintain said wheel supporting assemblies in said extended position bearing against said hull recess slanting end portions, said catch means comprising an adjustable T-shaped bar mounted on each of said wheel supporting assemblies in axial alignment therewith, and a pair of substantially U-sectioned catch plates adapted for mounting on said boat hull stern in spaced alignment with said wheel supporting assemblies, each of said catch plates having downwardly extending spaced side plates having end portions adapted for engagement by the transversely extending cross-bar of the respective T-shaped adjustable bar when adjusted upwardly.
11. A retractible running gear as claimed in claim 7 wherein the means to rotate said pivot shaft include a worm gear and screw assembly operatively connected to said shaft and manually operable handle means extending from said worm and screw assembly whereby said shaft may be selectively rotated in either direction.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,954,569 McCord Oct. 4, 1960 3,079,616 Byberg Mar. 5, 1963 3,085,261 Kennedy Apr. 16, 1963 FOREIGN PATENTS 127,772 Australia May 17, 1948