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Publication numberUS3460693 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 12, 1969
Filing dateJul 25, 1967
Priority dateJul 25, 1967
Publication numberUS 3460693 A, US 3460693A, US-A-3460693, US3460693 A, US3460693A
InventorsOldham Albert H
Original AssigneeOldham Albert H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Car top boat carrier
US 3460693 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

2, 1969 A. H. OLDHAM 3,460,693

CAR TOP BOAT CARRIER Filed July 25, 1967 s Sheets-Sheet 1 r fi M INVENTOR. 48 ALBERT H.0LDHAM ATTORNEYS.

A. H. OLDHAM CAR TOP BOAT CARRIER Aug. 12, 1969 Filed July 25, 1 967 5 Sheets-Sheet z INVENTOR. ALBERT H. OLDHAM ATTORNEYS.

g 1969 A. H. OLDHAM 3,460,693

CAR TOP BOAT CARRIER Filed July 25, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 -9- I4 I I as FIG.I9


United States Patent Office 3,460,693 Patented Aug. 12, 1969 3,460,693 CAR TOP BOAT CARRIER Albert H. Oldham, 3031 Silver Lake Blvd, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44224 Filed July 25, 1967, Ser. No. 655,930 Int. Cl. B60r 9/04 US. Cl. 214-450 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to apparatus for carrying a boat on top of a car in an upright position with an outboard motor mounted on the transom of the boat, and the gas can, anchor, oars, and other equipment in the boat. The apparatus provides for one man launching of the boat from the car top into a body of water, and for one man reloading of the boat from the water onto the car top. The apparatus includes a ladder-like beam mounting the usual boat trailer rollers and a stop for the front of the boat. In loading the boat, the car is positioned with the ladder extending into the lake, the boat is winched up the ladder against the stop, and further winching moves the ladder and boat up on top of the car. To launch, the operation is reversed.

Apparatus has been provided heretofore to carry a boat in an inverted position on top of a car. However, it is necessary with equipment of this type to bring the motor from the car and put it on the boat after launching. This is a heavy and an off-balance operation, particularly for an older man.

It is the general object of the invention to overcome the foregoing and other objections to the prior art by the provision of relatively simple and inexpensive apparatus for carrying a boat in upright position on a car with motor thereon and other equipment therein, and for launching and loading the boat with small physical effort by means of a winch.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the apparatus of the invention showing the boat in traveling position on a car;

FIG. 2 shows in side elevation the car backed up to a lake and the beginning of the boat launch;

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the completion of the launch, with FIG. 4 specifically showing the winch, cable, and pulley system of the apparatus;

FIG. 5 is a plan view, partly broken away, showing the ladder-like beam for carrying, launching, and loading the boat;

FIG. 6 is a detail illustrating the mounting of a cable pulley on a ladder rung;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation of the means for slidably mounting the ladder on the car;

FIG. 8 is a somewhat enlarged cross-section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a broken-away side elevation of the wheels provided at the rear end of the ladder and illustrating in dotted lines how they are swung up to support the motor when traveling;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary side elevation of the blocks slidably supporting the ladder on the trunk of the car;

FIG. 11 is a slightly enlarged cross-section taken on line 1111 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a side elevation of the stop for the boat at the front end of the ladder;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the car top rack for slidably receiving and holding the ladder, but with the means of FIGS. 7 and 8 removed for simplicity;

FIG. 14 is a slightly enlarged cross-section taken on line 14- 14 of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a side elevation of a modification of the invention;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged cross-section taken on line 16- 16 of FIG. 15 of the center ramp showing the rollers therein;

FIG. 17 is taken on line 1717 of FIG. 15 and shows the cross-section, enlarged, of the side ramps;

FIG. 18 is a rear elevation of FIG. 15; and

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary, enlarged, side elevation of the wheels at the rear upper corners of the boat for riding on the side ramps.

Most cars today are built with roots which will not collapse even though the car rolls over on the roof. Carrying boats up to fourteen feet in length and motors up to ten H.P. plus other equipment in the boat up to a total of 300 lbs. on the car roof will create loads of less than 10% of those to which the car is subjected in a roll over. At the car top loads indicated, the center of car gravity still is under thirty inches from the road. The present invention is founded on these premises.

The numeral 10 indicates a four door family sedan of one of the big three makes having an eight cylinder engine. The car is so detailed in the belief that it should weigh at least 3000 lbs. if it is to carry the 300 lb. load designated. The apparatus of the invention can be used with smaller cars if lighter boats and motors are to be carried. As a rule of thumb, the car should weigh ten times the weight of the complete boat.

Slidably mounted on the car 10 is a ladder-like beam 12, conveniently in the form of an aluminum ladder, and hereinafter called a ladder. The ladder 112 performs the function of the normal boat trailer in that it carries, launches, and loads the boat. To this end, mounted at usual intervals along the center of the ladder are substantially standard boat trailer rollers 14 of rubber. Conveniently, the rollers 14 may be mounted on selected rungs to have a common axis therewith. Each roller in addition to having an hour glass shape has a shallow groove 16 to pass the winch cable as hereinafter described.

The Iadder also mounts rubber rollers 18, again of standard boat trailer type, to engage the bottom corners of the boat and hold it against tilting laterally. The rollers are mounted on the usual adjustable brackets (not clearly seen) carried at the ends of a pipe 20 extending through a hollow ladder rung 22 about 4 /2 feet from the rear end of the ladder.

The ladder also mounts in longitudinally adjustable manner at its front end a stop 24 of standard boat trailer design, but instead of mounting a winch the stop, as best seen in FIG. 12, mounts a pulley 26 near its top and a pulley 28 near its rear over which the winch cable 30 extends. The Winch cable terminates in a hook 32 releasably engaging in an eye 34 on the front of the boat 36. The stop 24 carries a rubber covered fork 38 against which the bow of the boat engages, and a hook 40 pivotally carried on the stop and releasably' engaging in an eye 42 on the boat.

The winch cable 30 is best seen in FIG. 4 in which all parts are shown dotted except the cable and pulleys. The cable 30 runs from the boat 36, over pulleys 26 and 28 on stop 24, down the top of the ladder 12, over a pulley 44 about three feet from the rear of the ladder and to winch 46. Pulley 44 is shown in FIG. 6 as mounted with a pipe clamp 47 on a rung 22 of the ladder. Grooves 16 in rollers 14 allow for the free passage of the cable 30 even though the keel of the boat is resting on the rollers 14.

The ladder 12 has a pair of wheels 48 carried beneath its rear end to hold that end some fifteen inches above the ground. The wheels are preferably mounted on an axle 49 carried on arms 50 pivoted at 52 to the ladder and locked in the full line position by braces 54 releasably locking with bayonet slots to pins 56 fixed to the ladder. To travel the braces 54 are released, and the arms 50 are swung up to the dotted line position, the braces 54 are refastened to the pins 56, and the rear end of the outboard motor 58 is fastened to the axle to steady the motor during travel and to leave the rear of the car completely free to get in the trunk.

The ladder 12 is slidably mounted on the car and this can best be understood by having reference first to FIG. 13 which shows the car top rack indicated as a whole by numeral 60. This rack includes an under padded member 62, about four by eighteen inches, engaging with the car roof centrally just above the windshield, and an under padded member 64, about four by thirty-six inches, engaging with the car roof centrally and toward the right side just above the rear window. Connecting the members 62 and 64 are a pair of metal angles 66 spaced to allow the ladder to snugly drop therebetween with the side rails of the ladder resting on the members.

The rack 60 is releasably secured to the car roof by four turnbuckles 68 each being hooked to angles 66 and connected by a rubber covered strap 70 to a C-shaped finger 72 which is shaped to extend around the rain gutter of the car and into the underside of the top of the door jamb of the car where the finger is secured by a husky sheet metal screw 74. See FIG. 14. The two front fingers 72 have a holed lug 76 secured thereto for boat tie downs.

Member 64 mounts the winch 46 centrally above the rear car window by straps 78, and an additional angle 80 extends between the angles 66 and further supports the winch. By extending member 64 and angle 80 out to the right side of the car and connecting them with an angle 82, a bearing 84 can be supported for a shaft 86 connected to the winch at one end and supporting a winch operating handle 88 in easy operating position.

To avoid complication the sliding support on rack 60 for the ladder 12 has not been shown in FIG. 13 but is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. At the rear inside end of each angle 66 of the rack 60 a sliding and pivotal support is provided for each side rail of the ladder. This takes the form of a J-shaped bracket 90 journalling a rubber covered roller 92 appropriately grooved to engage the underside of the side rail. A nylon block 94 slidably engages the top of the underside of the side rail (FIG. 8) and is carried on a bracket 96. A bolt 98 pivotally secures brackets 90 and 96 to angle 66. To prevent ladder 12 from being inadvertently pulled out of rack 60 a bar 91 is inserted into the hollow rung at the front of the ladder which bar hits angle 66 in the position shown in FIG. 7. Additionally, a hook 93 pivotally mounted on angle 66 is engagable over bar 91 to releasably lock the ladder in its downmost position.

To further slidably support the ladder in relation to the car of the sedan type means are provided to engage the rear of the car trunk when the apparatus is in FIG. 2 position, and these means are best seen in FIGS. and 11. A double pair of nylon or like blocks 100 are grooved to slidably engage with the lower edge of each side of the ladder side rail (FIG. 11) and are connected together by bolt 102. A bar or angle 104 secured by screws to the blocks 100 extends to and is pivotally secured to the car top rack 60. The underside of the lowermost block 100 is beveled to engage flat with the top of the car trunk and is provided with a pad 106 to avoid marring the car.

During travel of the car and boat, five toggle clamp hold-downs of standard boat trailer type are normally employed. One runs from hook 34 on the front of the boat to the front bumper of the car. Two run from the back corners of the boat to the rear bumper of the car, and two run from the side gunnels of the boat towards the front directly down to lugs 76 on front fingers 72.

In the operation of the apparatus described, the car is backed up to the water, usually at a standard boat launching ramp and about twelve feet therefrom. The boat hold-downs are removed. Next, the rear of motor 58 is detached from axle 49 and the wheels 48 are moved to and locked in the full-line position of FIG. 9. The boat and ladder are substantially in balance on the car and can easily be tilted by hand to the position shown in FIG. 2 with blocks engaging the rear of the car trunk. Now the ratchet on the winch is released and handle 88 is slowly rotated to allow the ladder to slide backwardly by gravity, the rear end being supported in cantilever until wheels 48 engage the ground. The operation is continued until bar 91 limits the outward travel of the ladder by hitting angle 66. Hook 93 is now latched over the bar, and the winch ratchet is reset. Should the ground be soft and/or the launching ramp not steep a full outward movement of the ladder may require some slight pulling on it by hand to aid gravity. Now the car is started up and moved slowly towards the water until the rearmost roller 14 is about three to six inches above the water. (The operation described is preferred to get full advantage of ladder length in unknown depths of water. It is possible to launch and load by backing the car within a few feet of the water and running the ladder in or out.) The car is stopped and braked in position, and opening the rear door of the car and standing on the floor the operator reaches up and releases hook 42 holding the boat to stop 24. Further paying out of the winch on release of ratchet now allows the boat to move by gravity down into the water. Once ofi the ladder the boat is pulled into shore by the cable 30, hook 32 is removed from the boat and hooked on a ladder rung. The ladder is now winched back on top of the car and the car is parked. The boat is fully ready for use with all gear therein.

To load involves only a reversal of the operations described.

The modification of the invention shown in FIGS. 15- 19 also carries the boat 36a in upright position on the car 10a with motor and all equipment on and in the boat. In order to better show the carrier apparatus the motor has not been shown on the boat. The carrier apparatus includes two pipes or posts 110 each securely but removably mounted in a vertical position at points 112 at the corners of the rear bumper of the car. To improve lateral stability of the posts they are connected by a cross bar 114 extending horizontally at or slightly above car trunk height, and by cross bracing wires 116 having turnbuckles therein. Angles (not shown) may also run from the top of the posts 110 to the car top rack.

The posts 110 are positioned laterally apart just slightly greater than the width of the boat, and the boat is provided with a wheel or roller 118 at each rear upper corner mounted on a stub axle to rotatably hold the wheel slightly outboard of the gunnel.

A pair of inclined ramps 120 are releasably positioned between the top of the posts 110 and the ground, and are adapted to receive the wheels 118 during launching or loading of the boat. Instead of running completely to the ground (which is under water in loading and launching) each ramp 120 may terminate at a pair of vertically adjustable legs 121 which extend down to the ground. A short J-shaped shoe portion 122 of the ramp is permanently mounted on each post and provides a horizontal and vertical rest and stop for the wheel 118 during the carrying of the boat on the car. The ramp 120 releasably connects to the J-shaped shoe portion 122 at 124.

For engaging and lifting the front of the boat during launching and loading a central ramp 126 is provided. This ramp extends from the ground over the bar 114, up to the car roof at 128 and centrally along the car roof to which it is secured by a car top rack 129 having pad members, rubber covered straps, fingers, and turnbuckles, all generally similar to those of FIG. 13 but simpler, all not shown because the details thereof are not important. The central ramp 126 is provided with rollers 130 along its length against which the bow and keel of the boat roll.

A winch 132 is mounted on the car top rack behind the back window of the car and to one side of the central ramp 126, and from the winch a cable 134 extends over a pulley 136 and back to a fastening point 138 on the car top rack at the other side of the ramp 126. The elevis of pulley 136 connects to a rope 140 having a hook releasably extending over the transom of the boat 36a.

The inclined portion of the central ramp 126 disconnects at point 128 from the portion of the ramp running over the car top rack, and side ramps 120 disconnect at points 124 so that all ramps can be stored in the boat or on the car top rack alongside the boat when travelling. Hold-downs, as heretofore described, secure the boat in place when travelling.

In operation of the form of the invention of FIGS. 15-19, the car is backed up close to the water, preferably on a usual boat launching ramp. The side ramps 120 and central ramp 126 are secured in the position shown in FIG. 15 and extending out into the water and the boat hold-downs are removed. Now the ratchet of winch 132 is released and the winch is turned to allow the boat 36a, fully loaded with motor and all accessories, to slide down the ramps by gravity into the water. Rope 140 is unhooked from the boat transom and the winch is turned in the other direction to wind in and store the cable, the ramps are released and restored on the car top rack, and the car is parked.

To reload the operation is simply reversed.

Contrary to a possible first reaction, preliminary tests and aerodynamic studies indicate that the boat, with or without cover, has less tendency to lift off of the car when riding in upright position than when in inverted position. This is believed due to the fact that if a uniformly streamlined airfoil were cut in half horizontally the upper half (corresponding to the inverted boat) would have greater lift due to the curvature of its upper surface creating a vacuum than would the lower half. The lower half of the airfoil having its curvature on the bottom (like the upright boat) would create a vacuum on its underside from a flow of air thereover tending to hold it down.

It should be noted that the apparatus of both forms of the invention readily adapts itself to mounting on a station wagon rather than on a sedan type car. When this is desirable with the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 14, a longer ladder, such as eighteen feet, rather than sixteen feet, should be used, and rollers provided at points X on rack member 62. Thus when the boat is run up to the stop at the front of the ladder, and the ladder is run up on the station wagon roof to the point of balance and is tipped into horizontal position on the roof, the ladder and boat can be pushed forward on the roof so that an undesirable portion of the ladder and boat does not extend rearwardly of the wagon.

In the form of the invention of FIGS. 15 to 19, when employed on a station wagon, the central ramp 126 simply runs to the center of the back of the roof of the station wagon. This places the ramps 126 and 120 somewhat closer together in a longitudinal direction but the loading and launching operation can still be successfully performed.

While in accordance with the patent statutes only one best known embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be particularly understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby, but that various modifications may be made to fall within the objects of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A car top boat carrying apparatus including a car top rack,

a beam substantially as long as the car, slidably and pivotally mounted on the rack,

a plurality of boat receiving rollers mounted along the cam,

means for controlling the movement of a boat onto and off of the beam,

at stop at the front end of the beam against which the bow of the boat engages,

a releasable lock for holding the bow of the boat against the stop,

said means for controlling also controlling the movement of the beam from a fully inclined position extending between the ground and the car top roof to a substantially horizontal position on top of the car, and vice versa,

wheel means on the rear of the beam for engaging with the ground, and

1 means for releasably locking the front end of the beam to the rear end of the rack when the beam is in the fully inclined position.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the beam is substantially in the form of a commercially available ladder.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein the means for controlling the movement of the boat and the means controlling the movement of the beam employ only a single winch on the center of the rear of the car top rack, a single cable, and a series of pulleys on the beam.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein the beam includes the stop against which the front end of the boat engages, a pulley adjacent the top of the stop, a pulley adjacent the bottom of the stop, and a pulley on the beam near the rear end thereof,

and the means for controlling movement of the boat and beam include a winch on the car top rack having a cable extending from the winch over the pulley on the beam, over the lower pulley on the stop,

over the upper pulley on the stop and having a hook on the end of the cable for securing to the boat. 5. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein additional means slidably engage with the beam above the top of the center rear of the car trunk,

means pivotally secure said additional means to the car top rack, and

padding is provided on the underside of said additional means to engage with the car trunk when the beam is tilted from the horizontal.

6. The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the wheel means extend downwardly from the rear end of the beam, and

means mounting the wheel means whereby they can be swung up into an upwardly extending position during travel.

'7. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein a tube extends laterally through a hollow ladder rung near the rear of the ladder, and

adjustable roller means are mounted at the ends of the tube to hold the boat against lateral tilting on the ladder.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,048,291 8/ 1962 Mabry 2l4450 3,128,893 4/1964 Jones 214450 3,170,583 2/1965 Meyer 214--450= 3,199,695 8/1965 Scofield 214506 3,343,696 9/1967 Morrison 21445O 3,357,581 12/1967 Scott 214-505 HUGO O. SCHULZ, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 214-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3048291 *Mar 12, 1959Aug 7, 1962Mabry Harry HAutomobile boat carrier
US3128893 *Apr 30, 1962Apr 14, 1964 Boat handling and loading assembly
US3170583 *Sep 15, 1961Feb 23, 1965Meyer Walter HCar-top boat loader and carrier
US3199695 *Dec 18, 1962Aug 10, 1965Scofield Jr JosephSmall craft trailer and launcher
US3343696 *Oct 20, 1965Sep 26, 1967Morrison Wayne KSelf-loading boat carrier
US3357581 *Oct 13, 1965Dec 12, 1967Andrew ScottBoat trailer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3679080 *Jul 17, 1970Jul 25, 1972Fulcher Robert WendellProcess for launching and recovery of top-of-vehicle transported watercraft
US3885693 *Jan 19, 1973May 27, 1975Haptonstall Jimmie LCombination vehicle and boat
US3972433 *Aug 7, 1974Aug 3, 1976Reed Henry WSelf loading and carrying apparatus
US4531879 *Aug 30, 1983Jul 30, 1985Isadore HorowitzBoat loading and carrying device
US5511928 *Nov 4, 1994Apr 30, 1996Ellis; Robert S.Boat loading device
US5609462 *Jun 7, 1995Mar 11, 1997Reimer; Arnald E.Boat loader and carrier
US5853279 *Nov 28, 1997Dec 29, 1998Neugebauer; HarlanOvercab carrier device
US20110202199 *Feb 18, 2010Aug 18, 2011Steven Joesph CraneCargo Loading and Unloading System for a Vehicle
U.S. Classification414/462, 414/538
International ClassificationB60P3/06, B60P3/10
Cooperative ClassificationB60P3/1025
European ClassificationB60P3/10D4