US 3445018 A
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May 20, 1969 .1. E. REAGAN BOAT HANDLING MECHANISM Sheet orz Filed Feb. 21, 1967- INVENTOR JOHN E, REAGAN gow BY Wm AT TO RNEYS May 20, 1969 J. E. REAGAN BOAT HANDLING MECHANISM Sheet 3 of2 Filed Feb. 21. 1967 INVENTOR JOHN E. REAGAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,445,018 BOAT HANDLING MECHANISM John E. Reagan, 559 Saylor, Elmhurst, Ill. 60126 Filed Feb. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 617,663 Int. Cl. B60v 9/04; B60p 3/10 US. Cl. 214-450 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is directed to new and useful improvements in supporting small boats on the top of an automobile for transport thereof.
BACKGROUND OF THE ART It has been known for many years to carry small and relatively light weight boats on the tops of automobiles. Boats of this class may be rowboats or some sailboats. Heretofore, boats have been carried on specially formed supports which are clamped to the top of the car. This use of this type of apparatus usually requires the work of two men to physically lift the boat to the top of the automobile, after which time it is secured in place. Some prior art efforts have resulted in special supporting facilities which enable support of one end of the boat on an upright supporting member at one end of the automobile (usually the rear thereof) and this type of support is so formed that one man may then lift other end of the boat by swinging it about a pivot on the upright support and then swinging the boat generally horizontally to a position overlying the top of the automobile. The boat is then secured in place. Examples of this latter type of apparatus are found in U.S. Patent No. 2,895,628. This type of apparatus necessarily requires that the boat being transported have a stern so formed that the clamping member carried by the upright support at the rear of the vehicle can clamp the stern of the boat. This has necessitated carrying of the boat in inverted fashion so that the boat must be inverted either before it is placed on top of the automobile and when it is removed therefrom. Also, after disengagement of the boat from its support when the boat is removed from the automobile, the boat must either be dragged along the ground to a place of launching or else must be physically carried by one or more persons for transport to the site of launch.
STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTS With the foregoing in mind, the major purposes of the present invention are to form an automobile boat-carrying mechanism in such a way that the boat is carried upright while the boat may be easily handled by one man in either elevating the boat toits place of rest on the top of the automobile or when removing it therefrom, the overall nature of the invention being such that it allows convenient transport of the boat by one :man to a site of launch after the boat has been removed from the automobile and convenient transport of the boat from the water back to the automobile when the boat is to be carried again by the automobile. In order to accomplish these purposes, the invention contemplates specially formed and easily detachable stern facilities which enable clamping of the boat to an upstanding support member at the rear of an automobile While the boat is maintained in the upright position which it normally has in the water. The invention also contemplates the use of easily detachable supporting wheels for the bow of the boat and these wheels are so formed that they enable facile lifting of the stern of the boat for placement upon the clamping facilities carried by an upstanding support member at the rear of the automobile with the bow of the boat then supported on the wheels. The invention also contemplates that the wheel assembly and stern facilities are easily attached to and detached from the :boat, while the boat is in water.
These and other purposes of the invention will become more apparent in the course of the ensuing specification and claims when taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of the boatcarrying facilities of the present invention as used with an automobile;
FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic illustration of the invention as illustrated in FIGURE 1 but illustrating a different operative position of the elements there illustrated;
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of a manner of using the present invention for manual transport of a boat;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of detachable clamping facilities utilized in the present invention;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a modified form of clamping facility which may be utilized in the invention;
FIGURE 6 is a side view of clamping facilities which may be utilized with both the form of the invention illustrated in FIGURE 4 and the form illustrated in FIGURE 5 FIGURE 7 is an end view of clamping facilities which may be utilize-d in the invention in either the form illustrated in FIGURE 4 or FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 8 is a top view of a clamping element which may be utilized with the invention illustrated in FIG- URE 5;
FIGURE 9 is a top view of another clamping element which may be utilized with the form of the invention illustrated in either FIGURE 4 or FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 10 is an end view of the wheel assembly which is utilized in the present invention;
FIGURE 11 is a modified form of clamping facility which may be utilized with the present invention; and
FIGURE 12 is an end view of still another modification which may be utilized with the present invention.
With specific reference now to the drawings, in which like elements are designated by like characters throughout, and in the first instance to FIGURE 1, numeral 20 generally designates a small boat which is representative of many varied styles of small boats of a size and weight which are suitable for carrying on an automobile generally designated at 21. Boat 20 is supported upon any suitable type of carrier 22 of conventional form which is attached to the roof of the automobile and which may include straps 23 for holding the boat in the position illustrated. The rear of the boat is supported on a post 24 which is mounted in upstanding relation on the rear bumper of the automobile 21. Positioned at the upper end of post 24 is a bracket 25 which is mounted for rotation about the axis of post 24 and which has clamping elements 26 which are pivotally mounted on the bracket for movement about a generally horizontal axis. Clamping element 26 is adapted to engage clamping facilities generally it designated at 27 which will be explained in greater detail in ensuing portions of this specification. Diagrammatically represented at 28 is a wheel assembly for supporting the bow portion of the boat as will be explained more fully in ensuing portions of this specification.
As is seen best in FIGURES 4 and 7, the clamping facility 27 comprises a flat plate 29 which is adapted to be positioned against the depending and outwardly facing stern plate 30 of boat 20. Plate 29, which may be formed from Wood or other suitable material, as an upper surface 31 which is contoured to fit snugly against the outwardly extending trim 32 at the upper portion of the stern plate. Plate 29 preferably includes a recess 33 which opens through the upper surface 31 and which is adapted to snugly receive the rudder block 34 of the boat. The bottom edge 35 of the plate is adapted to be positioned against the bottom surface of U-shaped clamping arms 36 as is seen best in FIGURE 6. It is preferred that the plate 29 be cut away at the bottom portion thereof at the sides as indicated at 39 and 40 so as to provide surfaces extending generally parallel to the bottom surface 35 but spaced above the lower surface 35 so as to provide convenient hand holds for the stern plate when the surface 35 is resting on the ground. In order to fix the clamping plate 29 to the stern plate 30, a U-shaped strap or bracket 41 is fixed to the clamping plate 29 so as to span the recess 33 in the position generally illustrated in FIGURE 4. In this position, the clamping bracket 41 has a tubular portion 42, which tubular portion 42 is between cylindrical portions 43 and 45 of vertically spaced brackets positioned on the rudder block 34 and which are employed for the purposes of receiving the tiller post of the rudder normally used with the boat 20. Because of this arrangement, plate 29 is confined against any substantial vertical displacement toward and away from the trim 32. A bolt 48 is then passed through these aligned cylindrical portions 43 and 44 and cylindrical portion 42 to thereby fix the clamping plate 29 snugly against the stern plate 30 of the boat.
Various types of boats have varying forms of rudder post facilities and this is represented by the showing in FIGURE 5 in which the stern plate 29 is essentially the same as that illustrated in FIGURE 4 except that the cylindrical bearing facilities 47 and 48 for the rudder post are spaced somewhat differently than is shown in FIG- URE 4. In this case, the rudder post is carried more on an angle, in which case a U-shaped bracket of the same type as illustrated at 41 in FIGURE 9 is positioned at the upper portion of recess 33 while a generally flat strap or bracket 50 is positioned across the lower portion of the recess. This fiat bracket 50 appears in FIGURE 8 and is shown with a tubular element or portion 51 which is welded to the bracket in a position to receive a securing bolt 52 which is passed through the aligned apertures of the cylindrical bearing portions 47 and 48 for the normal rudder post, the cylindrical bearing portion 42 of the upper bracket, and the cylindrical portion 51 of the lower bracket. In FIGURE 5, the stern plate 29 is also positioned flush against the stern plate of the boat with the upper surface thereof positioned against the outwardly extending trim at the upper portion of the stern plate.
Irrespective of the specific form of attaching the stern plate to the rudder post facilities of the boat, the stern plate 29 is clamped to the upstanding support 24 by means of the U-shaped clamping element 36 illustrated in FIG- URE 6. Clamping element 36 is pivotally mounted as at 54 on an arm 55 which extends from a sleeve 56 which is mounted for swinging movement about the axis of post 24 and which rests against a shoulder 57 on the post. A clamping pad 58 is adjustably carried by the one leg 36 of the U-shaped clamping element and is adapted to press the clamping plate 29 firmly against the inner surface of the upstanding legs 59 of the U-shaped clamping element 26. The pad 58 may be carried on a rod 60 which is threadably carried in the leg 36.
Other forms of mechanisms may be used to secure a clamping plate to the stern portion of a boat. For example, in FIGURE 11, a boat hull 61 is illustrated in cross section, which boat hull generally has the cross section of a canoe and provided with gunnels 62 and 63 at the upper sides of the boat. In this case, clamping plate 64 is positioned at the side of the boat hull at the rear portion thereof and it is provided with an elongated arm 65 which extends across the width of the boat and which is adapted to rest against the gunnels 62 and 63. Arm 65 includes depending clamping elements in the form of L- shaped rods 66 and 67 which extend through the arm 65 and are held by nuts 68 and 69. The L-shaped projections at the lower portion of the rods are brought up tightly against the undersurface of the gunnels 62 and 63 to thereby clamp the arm 65 securely to the boat hull while arm 65 extends transversely of the hull. The clamping plate 64 is then seated within a U-shaped clamping element 26 in the same fashion illustrated in FIGURE 6.
In FIGURE 12 another boat hull 70 is illustrated in the general cross sectional profile of a canoe. In this particular instance, however a different form of clamping facility is used than that illustrated in FIGURE 11. In FIGURE 12, for example, a plate of wood or the like, as in the other figures is designated at 71 and has an upper surface cut away as at 72 to generally match the cross sectional profile of the keel of the boat. Plate 71 has arms 73 and 74 pivotally mounted on the plate 71 as at 75 and 76. Arms 73 and 74 are adapted to extend upwardly along the sides of the boat 70 to a point spaced above the top of the boat as is illustrated in FIGURE 12. A turnbuckle and cable assembly 77 is fixed to the arms 73 and 74 at the upper portion thereof and extends across the top of the boat 70. Turnbuckle 77 is capable of being tightened to bring the arms 73 and 74 into a tight embracing engagement with the sides of the boat 70 so as to hold the clamping plate 71 in a firm, depending relation. The arms 73 and 74 may include stops 78 and 79 at the upper portion thereof, which stops are adapted to engage the upper surface of the boat at the sides thereof so as to prevent any vertical movement of the plate 71 relative to the boat 70. In some cases, these stops may be eliminated and the cable assembly itself associated with the turnbuckle 77 may be utilized for the same purpose, as by lowering the relative position of the turnbuckle to a level where it is snug against the top of the boat. The plate structure illustrated in FIGURE 12 is then utilized with the U-shaped clamping bracket in the exact manner illustrated in FIGURE 6.
The plate 71 may include recessed surfaces 71a and 71b to provide hand holds in the same manner as the surfaces 39 and 40 in FIGURE 7.
The wheel assembly 28 is illustrated in FIGURE 10 and includes a pair of supporting wheels 80 which are journaled for rotation on relatively short stub axles 82 and 83. The stub axles 82 and 83 are fixed to arms 84 and 85 which extend radially with respect to the stub axles and which are connected by and fixed to an adjustable rod 86. Rod 86 is shown as telescopic in form with separate sections being held in a selected spatial relation by means of a screw-threaded element 87 which is carried by one section ofthe rod and which frictionally engages the end portion of the other section of the rod received in the one section. In this manner, the length of the connecting rod 86 may be adjusted to suit varying widths of boats. Rod 86, it may be noticed, is positioned on an axis which is eccentric to the axis of the stub axles 82 and 83.
A plurality of boat supporting pads 88 are pivotally mounted upon upstanding supports 89 as at 90 and these pads 88 are adapted to be swung to a position wherein they fit generally flush agains the contour of the boat at the particular location of the particular pad. As illustrated, a plurality of pads and supports are shown in generally equally spaced relation across the length of rod 86 and the supports are formed as cylindrical member-s 91 which are fixed on each section of the rod 86 in generally equally spaced relation. The cylindrical sections 91 receive tubular extensions 92 which carry the pads 88. The extensions 92 are vertically adjustable and are adapted to be held in a fixed vertical position as by means of set screws 93 carried by the cylindrical sections. By means of the vertical adjustment of the pads 88 as Well as the swinging movement thereof about axes which are generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the boat, a wide variety of boat hull contours may be accommodated. It may be noted that the pads 88 may be swiveled about the axes of the supports 92 so that the axes of pivots 90' are inclined to the longitudinal axis of the boat, thus accommodating varying contours. All four of the pads may be utilized to support the boat or in some cases only two such pads may be utilized, all depending upon the wishes of the user and the size and contour of the boat which is supported.
A flexible strap is secured to the upper ends of the arms 84 and 85 as by means of suitable brackets 95 and 96. -It may be secured to the outermost supports 92. Strap 94 includes adjustable coupling elements, as is represented by the buckle 97 and the apertures 98 at the ends of the two sections of the strap. When in use, the two strap sections are brought over the bow portion of the boat and passed through the cleats 99 of the boat as is illustrated in FIGURE 1. The strap is then tightened so that the pads are securely positioned against the bottom of the boat and the wheels are thereby secured in place. It may be noted that by reason of the eccentric positioning of the rod 86 with respect to the stub axles 82 and '83, the general weight distribution of the rod, pads and supporting elements for the pads is eccentric to the axes of the stub axles 82 and 83 and is such that the rod will naturally swing downwardly to a lowermost position wherein the pads are properly positioned to receive the boat hull. This facilitates placement of the boat hull on the pads. This is particularly advantageous when the wheel assembly is fixed to the boat hull when the boat is still in the water since the wheel assembly may then be easily handled by the user of the boat while positioned at the bow thereof. While holding the strap sections 94 he can simply swing the wheel assembly beneath the boat hull while keeping a clearance between the wheel assembly and the boat hull. The rod 86 will automatically move by gravity to a position wherein the pads 88 are in the proper upwardly facing position. Then the user, by passing the straps through the cleats and tightening the straps, brings the pads securely against the surface of the boat.
After or before the wheel assembly is thus positioned, the stern handling plate is easily aflixed as by removing the rudder and post, positioning plate 29 against the trim as in FIGURE 4 and fixing bolt 44 or 52 in position, the boat, when still in the water, then may be moved to the site of launch until the wheels engage the ground. The user may then get out of the boat and simply push the boat up onto the land while the bow of the boat is supported on the wheels. The user may then continue wheeling the boat in wheelbarrow fashion to his automobile as illustrated in FIGURE 3 and when the automobile, simply raise the clamping plate 29 up to a height where it may be received within the U-shaped clamping bracket 26 which is then positioned so that it is facing rearwardly. After the clamping pad 58 secures the clamping plate within the clamping element, the user then lifts the bow of the boat upwardly and to a height where it will clear the roof of the automobile 21 and simply walks the boat to a position overlying the roof of the vehicle as is illustrated in FIGURE 1, while the bracket 25 swivels by means of the sleeve 56. The boat is then clamped to the automobile by means of the strap 23 and the boat is ready for transport.
Removal of the boat from the vehicle is in converse fashion with the strap 23 being disengaged. The user thenlifts the boat 28 by the bow portion, swivels it about the axis of post 24 and lowers it to the position of FIG- =URE 2. The clamp is then disengaged and the user then wheels the boat as by gnasping the hand holds 39 and 40 to the site of launch. The boat may be wheeled down into the water where the wheel assembly is disengaged after the boat is water borne. The clamping plate is then disengaged as by means of removing the bolt 45 and the rudder post is then positioned within the rudder block and the boat is ready for use. The clamping plate 29 and wheel assembly are stored aboard the boat ready for subsequent use. The modified clamping plate facilities of FIGURES 5, 11 and 12 are utilized in similar fashion.
1. A wheeled carrier assembly for boats including a pair of wheels having stub axles, arms extending generally r-adi-ally of said stub axles and fixed to a boat supporting rod so that said rod is positioned eccentrically of the axis of said wheels While being swingably mounted with relation to the axis of said wheels, said rod having supporting surface means thereon, said surface means being formed and adapted to conform to the lower surface of said boat h-ull while supporting the same, and strap means carried by said assembly for a detachable connection with the bow portion of a boat to thereby hold said boat firmly against said surface means.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said rod is sectionally formed to thereby allow a selected spatial relation between said wheels.
3 The structure of claim 1 wherein said surface means is defined by pad elements pivotally mounted on telescopic supports fixed to said rod.
4. A boat supporting assembly including a relatively flat plate, said plate having an upper surface with a configuration formed and adapted to fit snugly against the underside of trim extending beyond the stern plate of a boat, said plate having a recess formed through the upper surface thereof and extending inwardly toward the center of the plate, said recess having a configuration such as to snugly receive a rudder block positioned on the stern of a boat, said plate having a strap extended across said recess and fixed to said plate on opposite sides of said recess, said strap having a generally cylindrical guide formed and adapted for receiving a bolt, said plate having a lower surface formed to provide a supporting surface positioned beneath the stern of a boat with which the plate is associated.
5. The structure of claim 4 wherein said plate has recessed portions spaced laterally from the center of said plate and positioned above said supporting surface to provide hand holds for said plate.
6. The structure of claim 4 wherein said plate has a second strap fixed thereto and extending across said recess, said second strap having a. generally cylindrical guide formed and adapted for receiving said bolt, one of said guides being positioned to rest against a rudder post bracket on said bolt.
7. A boat handling assembly including supporting means detachably connected to the stern of a boat and depending therefrom while adapted to support the stern of said boat in upright position, and a wheel assembly detachably carried by the forward portion of the boat, said Wheel assembly including a pair of wheels and an axle structure extending between said wheels to allow rotation of said wheels on a substantially common axis, the medial portion of said axle structure being positioned eccentrically with respect to said axis, said structure having supporting surface means thereon, said surface means conforming to the lower surface of the hull of said boat, and means carried by said wheeled assembly for a detachable connection with the bow portion of said boat.
8. The structure of claim 7 wherein said axle structure is telescopic in form to allow a selected spatial distance between said wheels, and the weight distribution of said axle structure and said supporting surface means is such that the medial portion of said axle structure will swing downwardly by gravity toward a lowermost position with said supporting surface means extending upwardly therefrom.
9. The structure of claim 7 wherein said detachable supporting means includes a plate formed and adapted to be removably clamped to an upstanding support rod on an automobile.
110. A wheeled carrier assembly for boats and the like including a pair of wheels and an axle structure extending between said wheels to allow rotation of said Wheels on a substantially common axis, the medial portion of said axle structure being positioned eccentrically with respect to said axis, said structure having supporting surface means thereon, said supporting surface means extending outwardly from one side of the medial portion of said axle structure, said supporting surface means including outwardly facing pads carried by rods adjustably mounted on said medial portion for selective positioning of said pads outwardly and inwardly with respect to said medial portion, the weight distribution of said axle structure and said supporting surface means being such that the medial portion of said axle structure will swing downwardly by gravity toward a lowermost position with said supporting surface means extending upwardly therefrom, and connecting means carried by said axle structure for a detachable connection with a structure supported on 5 said supporting surface means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 2,552,713 5/1951 Flower.
3,001,679 9/1961 Canning et al. 214-450 X 3,044,643 7/1962 Shaw 214450 3,068,024 12/1962 Berliner 280414 3,072,274 1/1963 Atwell 214-450 15 3,159,410 12/1964 Raymond 280414 X HUGO O. SCHULZ, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 20 280-414