US 3196469 A
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July 27, 1965 J. c. ANTHONY AUTOMATIC BUOY LINE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 29, 1964 INVENTOR. Joseph 0. Anthony FIG.
ATTORNEYS July 2 1965 J. c. ANTHONY AUTOMATIC BUOY LINE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 29, 1964 INVENTOR. Joseph 0. Anthony ATTORNEYS July 27, I965 J. c. ANTHONY 3,196,469
AUTOMATIC BUOY LINE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM Filed Jan. 29, 1964 FIG. 4
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 5 INVENTOR. Joseph 0. Anthony ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,196,469 AUTOMATIC EUOY LINE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM Joseph C. Anthony, 1004 E. 2nd Plaza, Panama City, Fla. Filed Jan. 29, 1964, Ser. No. 341,147 4 Claims. (Cl. 9-8) (Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to mooring devices for buoys and more particularly to a mooring line adjusting mechanism which will reel in and pay out the mooring line of a buoy to compensate for long term depth variations such as tidal changes.
Present methods for planting marking buoys in waters of different depths involve pre-cut mooring lines with 7 their lengths carefully marked and arranged with buoys on the fantail of the laying ship. Under the best of conditions, however, some of the buoys are pulled beneath the surface when planted in deep holes or drift too far from the desired position when the anchor lands in shallower water than anticipated. Tidal changes also affect the buoys, either pulling them under at high tide or causing a slack moor at low tide thereby failing as precise navigation aids.
An object of the invention is to provide a mooring device which will automatically pay out the proper scope of mooring line when a buoy is planted.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a mooring device which will maintain a substantially constant short scope mooring during tidal changes and Without submerging the buoy during periods of flood tide.
A further object of the invention is the provision in a mooring device of means for utilizing wave action for maintaining tension on a mooring line within predetermined limits.
Other objects, as well as advantages, of the invention will be apparent from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view partly in section and with pawls omitted of a reel carrying device according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1 and showing the reel adjusting mechanism;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic View showing successive stages of a launched buoy;
FIG. 4 is an elevation view illustrating the reel-in action of a ratchet coupling; and
FIG. 5 shows the ratchet coupling of FIG. 4 in the position of free spooling of the reel.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the reel on which is wound a length of mooring cable connecting a float member to an anchor is provided with a ratchet Wheel having associated holding and driving pawls operative to rotate the reel to wind on cable by the reciprocating motion of a spring loaded lever which is periodically moved against the spring load by relatively small increases in the tension of the mooring cable caused by wave action and moved by the spring load to communicate motion to the wheel when the tension in cable decreases after the passage of a wave. Relatively large tension in the cable, such as produced by the anchor descending to the bottom when the buoy is planted and as produced by a rising tide, functions through the reciprocating lever to release both pawls which permits the reel to free spool until enough cable is paid out to reduce the cable tension to a value where the pawls are free to engage the ratchet wheel.
A preferred embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a yoke 10 comprising two flat frame members 11 held in spaced relation at their upper ends by bolts 12 which also serve to secure the yoke 10 to a float member 21 (FIG. 3) and at their lower ends by a bolt 13 the spacer portion 14 of which is preferably made of a low friction material such as polytetrachloroethylene (Teflon) to function as a sheave as described below. Intermediate the ends of the yoke 10 a bolt 15 provided with a spacer sleeve 16 rotatably supports a flanged reel 17 on which is wound a mooring cable 18 the free end of which is secured to an anchor member 19 (FIG. 3). A ratchet wheel 21 secured to one of the flanges of the reel 17 as by pins 22 has two cooperating pawls 23 and 24 for enabling reel rotation movement to be effected in one direction with slip or freedom in the opposite direction. A U-shaped lever member 25 with its open end spanning the reel-ratchet wheel assembly 17, 21 is rockably supported on the sleeve 16 so that its rocking axis coincides with the axis of the ratchet wheel 21. A spring 26 anchored in a bracket 27 secured to one of the frame member 11 and in the lever 25 yieldingly urges the lever 25 in a direction to rotate reel 17 in the wind-up direction through the pawl 23 which is mounted for pivotal movement on a stud 28 carried by the lever 25 and biased by a spring 29 toward engagement with the ratchet wheel 21. The pawl 24 pivotally mounted on a stud 31 provided on the frame 11 and pressed against the ratchet wheel 21 by a spring 32 normally prevents backward, i.e., unwinding, motion of the ratchet wheel 21. Movement of the lever 25, as described below, to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 functions to disengage the pawls 23 and 24 from the ratchet wheel 21 by moving them to the positions indicated by broken lines in FIG. 2, the pawl 23 being disengaged by an integral pin 33 contacting the frame 11 and the pawl 24 being disengaged by the end of the lever 25. Adjacent to the closed end of the U-shaped lever 25 a sheave 34 carried on a bolt 35 is provided for guiding the cable or line 18 through an angular path from the reel 17 and over the sheave 14. As will be described in connection with FIGS. 4 and 5 this angular path of the line 18 and the lever 25 comprise a tension responsive means.
The planting of the above described buoy will now be described in connection with FIG. 3 which illustrates from left to right successive stages in buoy planting. In the first stage, the spar buoy with its anchor 19 telescoped over the reel carrying yoke 10 has just been launched into the water. In the second stage, the weight of the anchor 19 in descending to the bottom places the line or cable 18 under suflicient tension to move the lever against the force of the spring 26 to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 which operates to disengage both the driving pawl 23 and the holding pawl 24 so that the reel 17 free-spools during the entire time the anchor 19 is descending. In the third stage, the anchor 19 which preferably has a concentrated weighted portion 19 rests on the bottom with the tension on the line 18 small enough so that the lever 25 has left its extreme position and the holding pawl 24 engages the ratchet wheel 21 to prevent any more line 18 from being dispensed until such time sufiicient tension is again placed on the line 18, as by a rising tide to cause the unwinding of additional line. When the tide recedes accompanied by wave action the buoyant force of a rising wave exerted on the float member 20 depresses the lever 25 through a small angle accompanied by the pawl 23 which clicks freely. When the wave passes, tension due to buoyancy decreases and the spring 26 returns the lever 25 to its original position and a o this return movement is communicated to the reel 17 through the ratchet wheel 21 and the pawl 23. In this throughout tidal changes. I
The proportioning of the several parts ofthe buoy manner the desired short-scope mooring-is maintained suificiently by a rising tidethe tension on the line '41 increases above the preselected value'to pull the arm 46 to the nearly vertical position shown in FIG. at which posi- 7 tion the pawls 53 and 55 aremoved by the release pins 56 assembly is non-critical over wide ranges; However, certain featuresfound to be desirable'and satisfactory may be mentioned. Expendable buoys such as mightjbeutihzed in narrow-path mine, countermeasures operations may employ long foamed plastic cylinders for the buoyant mem-.
ber 20, and the yoke assembly'10 is preferably weighted or made of metal so that when attached to the lower end i of the member it acts as a counterweight to make the buoy float as a spar about one-third to. one-half submerged.
The concentrated weight l9' is preferably of lead so as to give the anchor 19 a weight-.in water of about 15 pounds;
The spring 26 and lever are mad-e to actuate the ratchet wheel 21 when the wave action produces atension of one pound on the line 13 and to permit free spooling of the reel 17in response to a line tension of fivepounds.
The operation of a tension responsive means in accordance withthe invention will nowjbe described in connection with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5.. As
here shown a sup-port base 46 to be connected to'the lower end of the buoyant member of a buoyis provided with a coil of line or mooring eable41 to bewound and'unwound on a core 42 in the counterclockwiseland clockwise direc: tion, respectively; The core 42 'isrotatably mounted on a stud bearing 43 projecting from the-base 4i andcomprises the hub "of a two flanged reel at least one flange 44 of which constitutes a ratchet wheel adapted to be.
driven in the'counterclockwise direction, with slip'or freedam in the clockwise direction." A bell crank having arms 45 and 46 is fulcrumed for oscillating motion about the stud bearing 43, the arm 45 being biasedjn the counter-.
clockwisedire'ction by a spring 47 having its ends anchored respectively in the arm 45 and an upturned car 48 suitably secured to the base 40. u The distal end of the crank arm 46 is providedwith an eyelet 49 through which the line 41 is passed from the reel42and thereafter through, a fixed eyelet 51provided in a member--52 secured to the lower portion of base 40. Tension on the line 41 of a magnitude to cause the spring47 to yield rotates thecrank' arms and 46in a clockwise direction and when this tension; eases, the spring 47 returns the crank arms 45-a'nd .46 ina counterclockwise direction. -A pawl 53 for preventing clockwise motion of the ratchet wheel 44 is yieldingly pressedtowardengagement with the ratchet wheel by a spring 54 anchored in the base 40. A pawl 55 pivotally mounted onthe arm 46 is arranged to translate reciprocating motion of the arm 46 into counterclockwise motion 7 of the ratchet wheel. 44. his desired that'both the pawls 53 and 55 be released from the ratchet wheel 44 when ever the bell crank arms, 45 and 46 are moved to the.
position shown in FIG. 5 corresponding to a preselected tension on the line 44 torthe end'that the reel core 42,
may free spool to pay out a length oftheline41' snfiicient to lower'the tension on the line 41 below said pre:
selected value. For this purpose a pin 56 is mounted in the arm 4550 as to engage and release the holding pawl 53 and a pin 57 is mounted in the base 49 in position to be engaged by and release the driving pawl 55 when the arm are moved to the position shown in FIG. 5. p a
.If it isnow considered that the buoy supporting the base 40is on the surfac'ewith the mooring line 41 connected to an anchor on the bottom, waveaction will function as follows to take up slack in the mooring line 41. As the buoy rises on a wave the line 41 is tightened slight:
ly, pulling'down the bell crank arm 46 an'd with it the pawl 55 which engages another tooth on the ratchet wheel 44 so that as the wave passes the spring 47 returns "the,
reel core 42 is repeated as necessary. As the tiderecedes.
the line'41 is periodically taken in or shortened by wave action as above described until the predetermined short scope mooring is' accomplished.
From the foregoing it will be evident to those skilled in.
the artthat by using an anchor capable of overcoming the combined buoyancy of the float member and the line ad ju-stingmechanism the pay-out mode of operation will provide. .a' delayed buoy rising time when the buoy is initially planted.
@While for the purpose of disclosing the invention preferred embodiments thereof have been describedin detail to enable, those skilled in theiart' to practice .the invention,'it is to be'understood that many modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention the scope of which is pointed out in the appended claims.
What is claimed is: 1
1. Apparatus for maintaining a short scope mooring for an anchored buoycomprising 1 a buoyant device and an anchor, t
a mooring line forconnecting said device tothe anchor,
.a rotatable reel havinga length of said-linewound ;thereon,and; v V 1 means responsible to tension changes within, a certain 7 range of magnitudes in said .line' due to wave action onsaid device for rotating .said reel only in the direc-.
t-ionto wind on said line as longas the maximum tension onsaid line is less than a predetermined value,
said tension responsive means for rotating said reel including Y a ratchet, wheel connected in driving relation to said reel; a holdingpawl yieldingly pressed toward engagement with the ratchet wheel for preventing reel unwinding motion thereof, i I p a reciprocating lever spring loaded in one direction and movableinjthe opposite direction by tension j mentjof said leverin said opposite direction beyond a arm 56 to its original position which movement rotatesthe wheel ,44 counterclockwise to reel in a short length of f the line 41, the new position of the wheel 44 being held by the pawl'53. This wind. up action is repeated by each predetermined position disengages both-the holding; pawl I and the ratchet pawl from said ratchet wheel.
In combination I a buoyant member and an anchor therefor,
a mooring line for connecting said member to its anchor,
a rotatable mooring line reel having an axis,
a lever rockable about the axis of said reel,
a pawl and ratchet device coupling the lever to said reel so that movement of the lever in one direction is communicated to said reel with slip in the opposite direction, v
meanslresponsiye to increases in' flotation forces acting on the buoyant member when it is ridingqon the surface in anchored condition for moving the lever in saidflopposite direction, and i 5 6 spring means yieldingly urging said lever in said one said tension responsive means being operative to permit direction. free spooling of said reel during the time the tension 4. Apparatus for maintaining a short scope mooring on said line is in excess of said predetermined value. for an anchor buoy comprising a buoyant device and 5 References Cited by the Examiner an anchor, f I t th h UNITED STATES PATENTS a mooring me or connec mg sa1 evice o e anc or, a rotatable reel having a length of said line Wound $23 5 2: a] 32; g 3,020,567 2/62 c011 9-8 ns responsive to tension changes within a certaln 10 3 093 848 6/63 Schick et a1 9 8 range of magnitudes in said line due to wave action on said device for rotating said reel only in the direction to wind on said line as long as the maximum ten- MILTON BUCHLER Primary Examiner sion on said line is less than a predetermined value, FERGUS S. MIDDLETON, Examiner.