US 3369518 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 20, 1968 c, JACOBSON 3,369,518
AQUATIC VEHICLE Filed Nov. 3, .1966
INVENTOR. 6'1. AYTO/V J. JhcoBso/v I /Z' L FIG.5
3,369,518 AQUATIC VEHICLE Clayton .I. Jacobson, 5403 Seacrest Drive, Rolling Hills, Calif. 90274 Filed Nov. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 591,729 9 Claims. (Cl. 115-70) The present invention relates generally to the field of aquatic vehicles, and more particularly to a lightweight, portable hydroplane-like vehicle of novel design.
In the past, various types of propeller-driven aquatic vehicles have been devised, but they have not been widely accepted because of the hazard to which operators thereof are subjected should they accidently come into contact with the exposed propellers.
A major object of the present invention is to provide a lightweight, portable, propeller-driven aquatic vehicle in which the user can stand or be seated, with the propel ler being so disposed within the confines of the vehicle that the operator cannot come into contact therewith or be inadvertently thrown from the craft.
Another object of the invention is to supply an aquatic vehicle that can be fabricated from standard commercially available materials which require no elaborate plant for the commercial production thereof, is structurally simple, requires a minimum of maintenance, and can be sold at a sufficiently low price as to encourage the widespread use thereof.
Another object of the invention is to furnish an aquatic vehicle that is propelled by a jet of water discharged from the rear portion thereof, with the direction of the jet being controllable by the operator thereof to guide the same, and the vehicle being operable in shallow water.
A further object of the invention is to provide a water sports vehicle in which the prime mover thereof is an aircooled internal combustion engine that is so located within the structure of the craft that it will not be contacted by waer should the vehicle be inadvertently upset.
Yet another object of the invention is to furnish an aquatic vehicle that supplies a continuous flow of air to the air-cooled combustion engine powering the same, to maintain the engine at a safe operating temperature.
Another object of the invention is to supply an aquatic vehicle in which portions thereof fold upon the hull thereof to permit the vehicle to be stored in a minimum of space when not in use.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a first and alternate form thereof, together with the accompanying drawing illustrating the same, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front perspective view of a first form of the aquatic vehicle;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the device shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom plan view of the rearward portion of the vehicle shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of an alternate form of the craft that has hinged portions thereof which may be pivoted to upwardly extending positions adjacent the hull whereby the vehicle occupies a minimum of space when stored; and
FIGURE 5 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the device shown in FIGURE 4, taken on the line 55 thereof.
With continuing reference to the drawing for the general arrangement for the first form of the invention, it will be seen to include a hollow elongate hull A that includes a flat deck 10, two laterally spaced side walls 12, and a flat bottom 14 A rigid member 16 extends transversely between the rear edges of the bottom 14, side walls 12 and deck to provide the stern of the hull. The side walls 12, as well as the forward portion of the States Patent 0- ice bottom 14, curve upwardly to define a bow 18. The upper end of bow 18 develops into an upwardly and rearwardly extending hollow control support B, which is defined by two upwardly extending wall members 20 that are formed as an integral part of side walls 12. The rear portions of walls 20 are connected by a first wall 22 and a partition 24 as best seen in FIGURE 2.
A first opening 26 is formed in the rear of the control support B adjacent deck 10, and this opening is normally sealed by a convex, concave cover 28 as shown in FIG- URE 2. A second opening 30 is formed in the rear of bottom 14, and is in communication with a first upwardly and rearwardly extending tube section 32, the rear of which end section develops into a second tube section 34. Tube section 34 communicates with an opening 36 formed in member 16. A third tube section 38 is rigidly connected in a rearwardly extending position to member 16 by conventional means, and is in coaxial alignment with opening 36 and tube section 34.
A partition 40 is transversely disposed in hull A and secured to the interior surface of the bottom 14 and side walls 12 by conventional means. The dimensions of partition 40 are predetermined to permit it to project upwardly through the opening 26. A head of resilient material 42 is disposed on the upper edge of partition 40, which material seals with the interior surface of cover 28 when it is positioned as shown in FIGURE 2. Partition 40 serves to divide the hull A into a forward compartment 44 and rear compartment 46. A first, upper port 45 is formed in partition 40 as well as a lower port 48, the purposes of which will later be explained.
An air-cooled or water-cooled internal combustion engine C is provided that is mounted in compartment 45, preferably located just forwardly of partition 40. Engine C is conventional that it includes a carburetor 50 which receives fuel from a tank 52 by means of a tube 54. Tank 52 is also located in the forward compartment 44. A threaded rod 56 projects upwardly from engine C, and passes through an opening 58 in cover 28. The projecting portion of rod 56 is engaged by a thumbscrew 60, and when this screw is tightened, the peripheral edge of the cover 28 which is provided with an endless resilient band 62, is forced into a watertight seal with portions of the deck 10 adjacent first opening 26, as shown in FIGURE 3.
The exhaust from motor C discharges through a first tube 64 to a muffler 66, and from the muffler through a second tube 68 to a discharge opening 70 formed in the rear portion of one of the side walls 12. The opening 70 is located sufliciently high on side wall 12 as to be above the water level at all times and eliminate back pressure on the engine exhaust.
During operation the internal combustion engine C drives a shaft 72 that is connected to a centrifugal clutch 74. When rotating at a predetermined speed clutch 74 drives a gear 76 that is in toothed engagement with a second gear 78 mounted on the forward end of a first drive shaft section 80. The rear end of shaft section 80 is connected to a universal joint 82, and the rear end of this joint is connected to a second drive shaft section 84. The intermediate portion of shaft section 84 is journalled in a tubular bearing 86 that extends through a forward portion of the first tube section 32, as may be seen in FIGURE 2. A propeller, impeller or other watermoving element 88 is mounted on shaft section 84 situated within the confines of the second tube section 34. A spider 90 is mounted within the confines of the tube sections 34 and 38 (FIGURE 2), and supports a thrust bearing 92 that rotatably supports a rear end portion of drive shaft section 84. When rotating, propeller 88 draws water upwardly through tube section 32 into tube section 34 to discharge it rearwardly as a jet into tube section 38.
A nozzle 94 is pivotally mounted in the third tube section 38 rigidly secured to a pin 96, which is journallcd in openings formed in tube section 38. An orifice 98 extends longitudinally through nozzle 94 through which water is discharged rearwardly as a jet by rotation of the propeller 88. An arm 100 projects from the upper end of pin 96 and pivotally engages a pin 102 secured to a rod 104 which can move longitudinally relative to the hull A. Rod 104 (FIGURE 2) isat least partially disposed within the confines of the rear compartment 46.
Two oppositely extending handles 106 and108 are supported on the upper end of the support B by a bracket 110, or other conventional mounting means. Handle 106 is partially defined by a movable member 112 from which a cable 114 extends that is disposed within the confines of support B. Cable 114 extends to a conventional linkage mechanism (not shown) that translates motion imparted thereto by movement of cable 114 into longitudinal movement that is transferred to rod 104 to pivot the nozzle 94 relative to the tube section 38.
Pivoting of nozzle 94 varies the direction of the jet of water (not shown) discharged through the orifice 98 to permit the vehicle to be guided by the operator thereof.- The handle 108 also includes a movable portion 116 that actuates a cable 118, and this cable extends downwardly through the support B to the carburetor 50, as may be seen in FIGURE 2. Thus, movement of the handle members 112 and 116 controls the direction of travel of the vehicle, as well as the speed at which it is driven over the surface of a body of water.
The end piece 120 of support B, as can best be seen in FIGURE 2, extends between the lower portion of wall 22 and partition 24. An air inlet opening 122 is formed in wall 22 above the end piece 120, and an opening 124 is also formed in partition'24, preferably in the upper portion thereof. The lower end of wall 22 is spaced above the cover 28, and cooperates with the cover to define an air discharge opening 126. The wall members 20, partition 24 and wall 22 cooperatively provide a tortuous first air inlet passage 128 that communicates with the air inlet opening 122 and the forward compartment 44 (FIGURE 2). Air flowing through the opening 122 to the inlet passage 128 serves to cool the engine C, as well as supply air for the operation thereof.
In the operation of engine C, heat will obviously be radiated therefrom, and warm the air in compartment 44. Warm air from compartment 44 passes through the port 45 into the rear compartment 46, and therefrom into a tube .130 that is in communication with lower port 48. Tube 130 extends forwardly in compartment 44 and through support B to terminate in an air discharge opening 132 formed in the lower portion of partition 24, as seen in FIGURE 2. Air discharged from opening 132 passes through opening 126 into the ambient atmosphere. Opening 30 formed in the bottom 14 preferably is pro vided with spaced bars 134 which extend thereacross, to prevent entry of weeds, debris or other foreign material into tube section 32 during operation ofthe aquatic vehicle.
The hull A and extension B are preferably formed from sheet metal, such as aluminum or the like, although it will be apparent that other sheet materials may be used for this purpose, such as a resin-impregnated Fiberglas. The forward part 94a of nozzle 94, which permits pivotal movement thereof in tube section 38, is a truncated portion of a sphere.
An alternate form of the invention is shown in FIG- URES 4 and 5, which is of the same general structure asthe form just described, other than that the hull A is dimensionally narrower. Inasmuch as this alternate form of the aquatic vehicle includes all of the component parts described in connection with the first form thereof, the sameidentifying numerals will be used in the drawing in designating like elements, except that primes are added thereto.
The first alternate form of the vehicle has a sheath 136 extending the length thereof, and two shoulders 138 project from the sides thereof. Sheath 136 may be formed from a. plastic if desired. Hinges 140 are mounted on shoulders 138 and pivotally support longitudinally ex-' tending wings 142 which project outwardly in opposite directions frornthe shoulders, as shown in FIGURE 4.
Two tensioned springs 144 .at all times tend to pivot the wings 142 to upwardly extending positions adjacent the hull A. Two pivotally connected locking members 146 extend between the sidewalls 12' and the wings 142 to hold the wings in the outwardly extending position shown. When so disposed, wings 142 stabilize the alternate formof the aquatic vehicle illustrated in FIG- URES 4 and 5 as it travels through the water, and minimize the possibility of inadvertent overturning of the vehicle.
Operation of either form of the invention is relatively simple. The cover 28 or 28, as the case may be, is first removed from the vehicle and the engine C started by conventional means, such as by use of a pull rope 148 and then replaced, whereby the vehicle is ready for use. The operator (not. shown) mounts the craft by stepping onto the deck 10 or 10', and by manipulation of the movable members 112 and 116, is able to control the speed of the vehicle on a body of water (not shown), as well as the direction of movement thereof.
When the first form of the vehicle is in operation, the rotating propeller 88 draws waterupwardly through the tube sections 32 and 34 and expels the same with substantial force through the orifice 98 in the form of a jet. This rearwardly moving jetpropels the vehicle forwardly. Fresh air is continuously drawn in through inlet 128 to cool the engine C in compartment 44, with the air being heated by contact with the engine as well as radiation of heat therefrom flowing through the port 45 to the compartment 46. Heated air from compartment 46 fiows throughthe tube 130 into the ambient atmosphere.
Operation of the alternate form of the vehicle shown in FIGUR-ES 4 and 5 is identical to that of the first form thereof illustrated in FIGURES 1 to 3, except that the alternate form is easier to ride, for the wings 142 impart greater lateral stability thereto, and reduce the likelihood that an inexperienced operator will inadvertently be upset from the vehicle. Only the centrifugal clutch 74 rotates the drive shaft section when the engine speed exceeds a predetermined number of revolutions per minute. The controls 112 and 116 are preferably spring-loaded, and should an opeartor fall from the aquatic vehicle during use therof, and the vehicle upsets, these control members immediately return to first positions. When the control 108 is in the first position it causesidling of the engine C. During idling of engine C the clutch 74 does not. rotate drive shaft section 80,
and the possibility that the vehicle will travel unattended through a body of water for any appreciable distance is eliminated.
It will be particularly noted in FIGURE 5 that the air inlet opening 122' is centrally disposed on the sup-. port B, and as a result, water will not enter this inlet, even if the vehicle is floating on its side. The air discharge tube is also centrally located relative to the hull A and support B',-and likewisewill be disposed above the surface of a body of water on which the first form of the vehicle may float when disposed on its side. What. has been said of the alternate form of the vehicle relative to air passage means 128 and 130 is also true of the first form of the invention shown in FIGURES 1 to 3 inclusive.
The word propeller as used herein as well as the claims, is used in a broad sense, and includes impellers, and other elements that move water when rotated therein.
Although the present invention is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages herein before mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments thereof and I do not mean to -be limited to the details of construction shown and described, other than as defined in the appended claims.
1. A power-driven aquatic vehicle, including:
(a) an elongate hollow hull structure defined by a deck, bottom, stern, together with two side walls that cooperatively define a bow, and in which deck a first forwardly disposed opening is formed, with a second opening being formed in the rear portion of said bottom;
(b) a transverse partition in said hull that divides the interior thereof into a forward compartment and a rear compartment, in which partition first and second ports are formed;
(0) cover means for removably closing said first open- (d) an air-cooled internal combustion engine and fuel supply tank located in said first compartment, which engine includes a drive shaft that-extends rearwardly through a third opening formed in said partition;
(e) a hollow internally partitioned support projecting upwardly from said bow that is provided with air inlet and air discharge means, with said air inlet means permitting air to flow from the ambient atmosphere into said forward compartment to cool said engine and provide air for operation thereof, which air after becoming heated in said forward compartment passes through said first port to said rear compartment, and which heated air in said rear compartment flows therefrom through said second port to said air discharge means into the ambient atmosphere;
(f) forwardly and rearwarly extending tube means supported by said stern, which tube means is in communication with said second opening;
(g) a propeller disposed in said tube means;
(h) transmissions means for conveying rotary power from said drive shaft to said propeller;
(i) a nozzle pivotally supported in said tube means rearwardly of said propeller that discharges a jet of water rearwardly from said hull to propel said aquatic vehicle over the surface of a body of water when said engine is operated above a predetermined speed;
(j) handle means provided on said support; and
(k) first and second movable control means on said handle that can be manipulated by the operator of said vehicle to control the speed of said engine as well as the rate at which said vehicle is propelled through the water and to pivot said nozzle relative to said tube means to guide said vehicle when so propelled.
2. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 1 which further includes:
(1) two elongate wings hingedly supported from said side walls; and
(in) means for removably locking said wings in outwardly projecting positions relative to said side walls to stabilize said vehicle as it is propelled over a body of water by said propeller.
3. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 1 wherein said cover means comprises:
(1) a convex-concave plate;
(m) a resilient band mounted on the peripheral edge of said plate;
(n) a threaded, upwardly extending rod disposed in a fixed position relative to said hull, which rod projects through an opening in said plate; and
(o) a nut that threadedly engages said rod, which nut when rotated in an appropriate direction exerts a downward force on said plate to press said band into sealing contact with a portion of said deck adjacent said first opening.
4. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 1 which further includes:
said transmission means includes:
(1) a first section of a driving shaft;
(m) a centrifugal clutch connected to said engine drive shaft;
(n) means for conveying rotary motion from said clutch to said first shaft section when said engine rotates said clutch above a predetermined speed;
(0) a universal joint connected to said first section;
(p) a first bearing extending through a forward portion of said tube means; and
(q) a second section of a driving shaft journaled in said first bearing and connected to said universal joint, with said propeller being rigidly mounted on the rear portion of said second section.
6. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 5 which further includes:
(r) a spider disposed in said tube means rearwardly of said propeller; and
(s) a thrust bearing supported by said spider in said tube means that rotatably supports the rear end portion of said second section of drive shaft.
7. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 1 wherein said tube means comprises:
first and second control means serve as a part of said handle means.
9. An aquatic vehicle as defined in claim 2 which further includes:
(n) spring means for maintaining said wings in upwardly extending positions adjacent said hull when said vehicle is not in use.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1966 Douglas et al. 70 6/1967 Carter 115-70 MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner.
T. M. BLIX, Assistant Examiner.