US 3201807 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
4, 1965 G. R. WEAVER 3,201,507
SKI STABILIZER Filed April 8, 1963 GERALD R. WEA I/ER IN VE N TOR A TTORNEVS United States Patent Office Patented Aug. 24, 1965 3,201,807 SKI STABILIZER Gerald R. Weaver, Tulare, Califl, assignor of forty-nine percent to Harold W. Jarvis, Tulare, Calif. Filed Apr. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 271,216 2 Claims. (Cl. 9-310) The present invention relates to a stabilizer for waterborne vehicles such as water skis, surfboards and the like and more particularly to such a stabilizer having dual fins arranged to provide improved control and maneuverability.
Conventional water-borne vehicles, such as water skis, each employ a single fixed fin in depending relation closely adjacent to the rearward end of the vehicle. The fin is disposed in a plane substantially normal to the plane of the vehicle and aligned with its direction of movement to provide stability and to resist side slipping. However, its effectiveness in resisting side slipping progressively decreases as the vehicle is intentionally tipped by the operator to execute a turn. Thus, the effectiveness of such fins is the least when needed the most and is actually in inverse proportion to the need. In sharp turns, the single fin is so shallow as to have little effect and in some instances emerges from the water, in which position it is of no use and even the most seasoned skier must rely entirely on vehicle edging to maintain proper control. In order to overcome this problem, the stabilizer of the present invention provides a dual fin arrangement which not only provides improved control for beginning skiers and the like but which also permits professionals maneuverability not possible with conventional equipment.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved stabilizer for water-borne vehicles such as water skis, surfboards and the like.
Another object is to provide such a stabilizer which makes possible improved control and maneuverability.
Another object is to provide a stabilizer for water skis and the like having a pair of angularly related stabilizer fins providing progressively increased resistance to inadvertent side slipping when skis equipped therewith are banked.
Another object is to provide a stabilizer having dual fins which provides that at least one of the fins remains in effective operating position beneath the ski during even the sharpest turns.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will subsequently become more clearly apparent in the following description in the specification.
in the drawing:
PEG. 1 is a side elevation of the stabilizer of the present invention mounted on a water ski.
FIG. 2 is a somewhat enlarged side elevation of the stabilizer and ski of FIG. 1 with the ski fragmentarily represented for illustrative convenience.
FIG. 3 is a transverse vertical section through the ski taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the stabilizer in end elevation.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the stabilizer and the portion of the ski shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the stabilizer of the present invention removed from the ski.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate form of the stabilizer also embodying the principles of the present invention.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, the stabilizer of the present invention is indicated generally at 10 which is conveniently illustrated with an elongated water ski 11. As shown in FIG. 3, the ski is substantially rectangular in transverse cross section and provides upper and lower substantially fiat surfaces 12 and 14, respectively. The ski further includes a rearward end 15 and an opposite upwardly curved forward end 16 which is adapted to skim along the surface of a body of water, not shown, in a predetermined direction of travel in transversely substantially horizontal attitude. A foot clamping device 17 is borne by the upper surface 12 intermediate the ends of the ski with the ski being steerable by the skier by displacing the ski from said transversely horizontal attitude to a position inclined therefrom in the direction opposite to the desired direction of turn.
The stabilizer it) provides an elongated mounting base or plate 20 of rigid sheet material, such as stainless steel or, other non-corrosive metal or plastic, having a plurality of bores 21 therethrough. A corresponding number of fastening members 22 provide externally threaded screw portions 23 which are extended through the bores and screw-threadably received within mating internally threaded sleeve members 24- disposed in suitable apertures through the ski 11 for rigidly mounting the mounting plate 2%) on the lower surface 14 of the ski.
A pair of flat elongated fins 39 of substantially rigid sheet material of the type employed in the mounting plate 20 are arranged in substantially inverted V-shaped relation as shown in FIG. 3 in depending relation from the ski 11. In such position, the fins define an apex portion 32 which is rigidly secured to the mounting plate Ztl in substantially aligned relation with the longitudinal axis of the ski. The fins preferably have an included angle of approximately 30 and are each in approximately angular relation to the mounting plate 20.
Each of the fins 39 has substantially flat inner and outer reaction surfaces 34 and 35, respectively, which are marginally defined by a rearward edge 36 and a continuous bottom edge 38. The bottom edge is forwardly arcuately curved in converging relation with the mounting plate 25 and the ski. The inner and outer surfaces of the fins are also disposed in planes aligned with the direction of travel of the ski so as to impose a minimum of drag during such forward movement of the ski along the surface of the water. Also, a plurality of circular apertures 39 are formed through each of the fins adjacent to their rearward edges 36 and to the apex portion 32 to minimize the development of air pockets between the fins.
Second form A second form of the stabilizer embodying the principles of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6. Such form has an elongated channular base 40 providing a plurality of bores 41 therethrough for attaching the base to the lower surface of the ski in the manner already described for the first form. The base also includes oppositely spaced substantially parallel depending sides 43 disposed in individual planes substantially normal to the plane of the base. A pair offins 45' are individualy extended from the sides in oblique angular relation therefrom and in angularly diverging relation to each other. The fins 45 are substantially identical in configuration to the fins 3d of the first form and provide inner and outer reaction surfaces K and 47, respectively, which are aligned with the predetermined straight path of travel of the ski. The fins 45 are likewise in approximately 30 angular relation and have a plurality of circular apertures 49 therethrough as in the first form.
Operation The operation of the described embodiments of the subject invention is believed to be clearly apparent and is briefly summarized at this point. During the movement of the ski it through the water in the conventional spores? manner, the fins 30 knife through the water and present a minimum of drag on the ski while providing desired keeling effect.
Upon transverse tipping of the ski for executing a controlled turn or the like, the fins 3t) and 45 are correspondingly pivoted outwardly of the turn. No matter what the direction of the turn, the outermost fin pivots to a shallower, less effective, position but at the same time the fin inwardly of the turn pivots to a deeper, more effective, position. The variations in effectiveness are substantially equal and opposite so that, insofar as the fins are concerned, their aggregate effectiveness is sufficiently constant for reliable control. Since the tipping of the ski in a turn increases its reaction on the water, the overall effect is quite substantially to increase control on turns. Also, during such turns a predetermined amount of water is permitted to flow through the apertures 39 and 49 in the fins to minimize the development of air pockets therebetween which pockets may ,tend to have an undesirable lifting effect on the ski.
The extent to which a water skier can lay over, or incline his body on a turn, is a well known measure of his skill and the controllability of his ski or skis. Normally, an inclination of 45 with conventional skis represents a high degree of skill. Using a single ski equipped with a stabilizer of the present invention, a skier of comparable skill can maintain balance and control at inclinations actually bringing his shoulder into brief engagement with the surface of the water.
It is readily apparent that the structure of the present invention provides an improved stabilizer for water skis and the like which enables beginning skiers more easily to control their skis while learning and which enables the skillful to achieve maneuverability not obtainable with conventional equipment.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.
Having described by invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A stabilizer for a water ski having a predetermined forward path of travel and being adapted to be tipped from horizontal to oppositely transversely inclined positions to steer the ski comprising an elongated mounting plate of substantially rigid sheet material having a plurality of openings therethrough, fastener means extended through said openings mounting said plate beneath the ski, and a pair of elongated fins of substantially rigid sheet material disposed beneath the ski and arranged in substantially inverted V-shaped formation having an apex rigidly mounted on said mounting plate, each of said fins having opposite reaction surfaces, bottom marginal edges arcuately forwardly converging toward said plate and toward each other, and rearward marginal edges right angularly related to the plate, said fins being disposed in individual planes aligned with said path of travel of the ski in rigid predetermined obtuse angular relation to the ski to provide a dual keeling effect to minimize drifting of the ski from a straight path of travel when in transversely horizontal position and to insure that at least one reaction surface of the fins is immediately in effective position beneath the ski when the ski is in such transversely inclined positions, said fins having a plurality of apertures therethrough to permit water to flow through the fins during said tipping of the ski to minimize air pockets between the fins and between the fins and the ski.
2. A stabilizer for a water ski having a predetermined forward path of travel and being adapted to be tipped from horizontal to oppositely transversely inclined positions to steer the ski comprising an elongated channular base having a plurality of bores therethrough and spaced substantially parallel depending sides, fastener means extended through said bores mounting the base in depending relation-beneath the ski, and a pair of fins individually integrally extended from said sides in oblique angular relation to their respective sides and in diverging angular relation to each other and in obtuse angular relation to the ski, each of said fins having opposite reaction surfaces, bottom marginal edges arcuately forwardly converging toward said plate and toward each other, and rearward marginal edges right angularly related to the plate, said fins lying in planes aligned with said path of travel of the ski to provide a dual keeling effect to minimize drifting of the ski from a straight path of travel when in transversely horizontal position and to insure that at least one reaction surface of the fins is immediately in effective operating position beneath the ski when the ski is in such transversely inclined positions, said fins having a plurality of apertures therethrough to permit water to flow through the fins during said tipping of the ski to minimize air pockets between the fins and between the fins and the ski.
References (Iited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 595,161 12/97 Gibbs. 1,595,949 8/26 Kirin ll4l40 X 2,950,923 8/60 Forney 93l0 X 2,971,207 2/61 Eicholtz 93 10 2,974,330 3/61 Kluge 93l0 3,121,890 2/64 Rumsey 9-310 FERGUS S. MIDDLETON, Primary Examiner,