US 3486463 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
N. TOWING ARRANGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF SURFBOARDS AND THEIR RIDERS Dec. 30. 1969 Flled June 14 1967 Dec. 30. 1969 N. sT. CYR 3,486,463
TOWING ARRANGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATIGN OF' SURFBOARDS AND THEIR RIDERS Filed June 14, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
Dec. 3o. 1969 A NQ ST. CYR 3,486,463
TOWING ARRANGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF SURFBOARDS AND THER RIDERS 3 Sheets-Shee'l 3 Filed June 14, 196'? INVENTOR.
; V BY United States Patent 3,486,463 TOWING ARRANGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTA- TION OF SURFBOARDS AND THEIR RIDERS Napoleon St. Cyr, 10 Overland Drive, Stratford, Conn. 06075 Filed June 14, 1967, Ser. No. 646,026
Int. Cl. B61c 11/02 U.S. Cl. 104-173 9 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE y A marine towing arrangement having a continuous over- *head cable mounted on support towers and a plurality of l spaced tow bars depending from the cable to a point slight- 1y above the surface of the water at a pointofembarkation and including apparatus for raising the tow bars ap- .preciably above the surface of the shore.
BACKGROUND 0F THE INVENTION the surf, from which=the riders may ride their boards back towards the shore upon the incoming surf.
Heretofore, to engage in the'sport of Surfboard riding or" l-surfing, a rider was required to sit or lie upon the board i., and paddle through and against the .incoming surf to a suitable offshore location beyond the surf. Having reached thisv position he had to wait for a suitable swell upon which to ride toward the shore. Since paddling against the surf coming congested. Therefore, as the sport of surfing in- @creases in popularity many new adherents congest the beaches suitable for this'sport. While it is true that there are many miles of coastline, the number of beaches suitablepfor surng is limited by their location with respect to the submarinel topography and their relationship to off- Shore storms as l"well as by `restrictions imposed by vadja- -cent `municipalities. The overcrowding which results may gcause collisions betweenthoseisurfboard riders who are travelling to an offshore position and those riders who are speeding toward shore on the incoming surf. In the absence of somesafeguard, the number of accidents will increase My invention will in part alleviate this dangerous situa- -tion by limiting the area used by outward-bound riders. It
uwill'conne the outward-'bound trafc to atowing-arrangementwhich can be locatedat a remote .portion of the 'bleach andf which'includes a continuous overhead cable from whichv depend tow bars for transporting the riders. Furthermore, since the cable is located above the surface of the waterl it is quitevisible and incoming riders will be awarey of this area and will avoid it. y
Of course, the towing arrangement makes travelling to *the offshoreV location much easier than it has beenv hereto- '-fore. and vwill add to the popularity of the sport.
Since the driving motor ofwmy invention must be located onshore, the tow bars must pass over a portion of fthe beach, therefore, in order to allow traffic to pass unob- `structed along the beach as required by some municipal and state regulations I have provided means for raising the ltowbars substantially above the surface of the beach. 'This raising of tow bars also prevents the1r belng dragged My invention relates to an overhead cable towing arf." yrangement for vtransporting surfboards and their riders from an onshore location to an offshore location, beyond in proportion vto the number of surfers crowding .the beach-y sembly are shown mounted;
g ice along the sandy surface of the beach which would otherwise cause accumulation of sand on the depending tow bars and be irritating to the riders when in use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a primary object of my invention to provide a visible towing arrangement with a continuous overhead cable and having plural spaced towing means vfor transporting surfboards and their riders from the shore to an offshore location.
A further object is the provision of a towing arrangement designed to be permanently constructed at a beach site, while not interfering with vehicular or other traffic along the beach.
A still further object is to construct such a towing arrangement with standard structural hardware known to the ski tow manufacturing industry.
The objects of this invention are achieved in one form by providing a marine towing system for transporting a Surfboard and rider from an onshore location to an offshore location comprising a continuous closed cable loop extending from above the onshore location to above the offshore location; Xed means for supporting said continuous cable above the surface of the water; means secured to the cable at spaced intervals for transporting the surfboard and rider to the offshore location, the transporting means extending from the cable to a point slightly above the surface of the water for being received by the Surfboard and rider; and means for raising the transporting means appreciably above the surface of the shore for noninterference therewith.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and further details of that which I believe to be novel and my invention will be clear from the following descriptionand claims taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan View of one form of the overhead marine towing arrangement of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the marine towing arrangement of FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational View of an alternate form of the overland portion of the towing arrangement, showing the tow bars in a raised position;
FIGA is a side elevational view of one of the tow bars shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is Ya rear elevational view of the tow bar shown in FIG. 4;
v FIG. 6 is a perspectiveview of oneof the supporting standards upon which a lifter assembly and a tripper as- FIG. 7 is a rear elevational View ofl the tripper assembly;
FIG. 8 is a front elevational bly; f
FIG.` 9 isa-side elevational view of an alternate overview of the lifter assem- `headmarine towing arrangement having Surfboard and rider carriers; and
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a Surfboard and rider carrier. l
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS l I have disclosed two towing arrangements comprehended by my invention, one illustrated in FIGS. 1-[8 andthe other illustrated in FIGS. 9 and l0. Both arrangements include a continuous movable overhead cable 1,0 which moves in a continuous circuit o ver the surface of the water between a drive assembly 12 located on the beach B and a terminal assembly 14 located at a suitable offshore location. The cable 10 is supported upon spaced roller assemblies 16 carried upon the upper ends of support towers 18. These standard parts could be the same as utilized in the ski tow art and would only need to be treated with special paints or other coatings for withstanding the hostile effects of the sea and the sun.
The towing arrangements constructed in accordance with my invention would be site engineered, i.e. installed as dictated by the topography of each beach and the characteristic surf. For example, the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. l-8 would be installed at those beaches where the surf is generally not too heavy whereas the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 would be installed at beaches having a heavy surf allowing the rider to be carried above the level of the water to the offshore location.
With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 there are shown the support towers 18 mounted in suitable pilings 20 anchored in the ocean floor F each tower having a crossbar 22 at their uppermost ends for supporting the roller assemblies 16. Continuous cable carried by the support towers 18 is driven by the drive assembly 12 which comprises a motor 24, a suitable gear reduction unit 26, a drive shaft 28, and a drive wheel 30. The terminal assembly 14 at the otfshore location includes a bull or tension wheel 32 about which the cable 10 is trained for being maintained taut. The terminal assembly 14 is constructed of heavy structural beams 34 anchored in pilings 36 and supporting tracks 38 upon which a bull wheel mounting 40 may reciprocate. A tie cable 42 is secured to the bull wheel mounting 40` and passes over idler rollers 44 and 46, supporting at its remote end a heavy tensioning weight 48 which may be made of concrete. Thus the bull wheel 32 is able to reciprocate along the tracks 38 under the combined intluence of the weight 48 and the riders for maintaining tension on the cable 10.
As can be clearly seen in FIG. 2, the Surfboard riders are towed from the onshore to the oshore locations by grasping the moving tow bars, indicated generally by the numeral 50, which depend from the cable 10 at spaced intervals. The Surfboard riders may lie upon their boards, as shown, and grasp tag lines 52 which extend from the lower end of the tow bars 50.
The tow bar constructions are shown in greater detail in FIGS. 4 and 5. Each consists of a usual sleeve 54, which may be clamped upon the cable 10` in a known manner as by use of bands 56 and to which is secured a depending hanger rod 58. The hanger rod 58 carries a hanger plate 60 at its lower end which is welded thereto or secured in some other suitable manner. The hanger plate 60 carries a tow rod 62 mounted for rotation about a pivot pin 64 secured to the plate and further includes a pin 66 secured thereto upon which one end of a tension spring 68 may be anchored, the other end of the spring being anchored to an eye 70 secured to the tow rod 62. A detent 72 whose function will become apparent is struck from the wall of the hanger plate and provides a seat for the tow rod 62 in its raised position.
The tow rod 62 constructed in accordance with my invention is generally Z-shaped for allowing the center of gravity of the rider to be substantially directly below the cable 10 and carries a tag line 52 secured to its lower end. The upper end of the rod 62 comprises a pivot block 74 through which the pivot pin 64 passes and may include a stub shaft 76 for being inserted into a heavy tension spring 78 and secured therein in any suitable manner as by welding. The lower end of the spring 78 similarly captures a stub shaft 80 secured in the tubular Z-shaped rod having a knee 81. Due to this construction, the tow rod 62 may move slightly laterally of the axis of the cable 10 as well as longitudinally parallel thereto for absorbing the shock of the waves through which the Surfboard and rider are being transported.
As mentioned above, it is desirable to lift the tow rod 62 from its depending position as the tow bar assembly 50 approaches the beach. For this purpose I have devised a novel lifter assembly 82. In order to lower the tow rod 62 to its normally depending position immediately prior to its outward run, I have devised a novel tripper assembly 84. The assemblies 82 and 84 may be secured to diierent support towers 18 as desired for best results. They are shown in detail in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 as being mounted upon a single support tower, but it should of course be understood that these assemblies may be mounted upon different towers if so desired. For example, it may be desired to mount the lifter -assembly 82 upon a support tower 18 adjacent the offshore location so as to prevent the tag line from being dragged through the water on its return trip.
The lifter assembly 82 comprises a support frame 86 constructed of tubular steel or other suitable material secured at one end to the tower 18 and which supports at its other end a ramp 88. As the cable 10 moves toward the beach, the ramp interferes with the knee 81, causing the tow rod 62 to rotate about the pivot pin 64 and to be seated on the detent 72 against the bias of the tension spring 68 as shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 4.
The tow rod 62 moves toward the beach in its raised position and as it turns at the drive assembly 12 the hanging tag line 52 passes through a trough 89 which prevents the tag line from becoming tangled in the motor 24 or gears 26. Immediately before the embarkation station it is desired to trip the tow rods 62 to cause them to return to their normally depending position. This is accomplished by means of the tripper assembly 84 which comprises a support frame also constructed of tubular stock secured at one end to the tower 18 and at its other end carrying a plow 92 for cooperating with the knee 81 to urge it outwardly, and oi the detent 72. As this outward force would normally tend to urge the entire tow bar assembly 50 outwardly and would not achieve its purpose of removing the tow rod 62 from its seat, I have provided an L-shaped back-up plate 94 which is also mounted upon the outer end of the support frame 90 for maintaining the hanger plate 60 immovable with respect to the cable 10. When the back up plate 94 and the plow 92 cooperate to trip the tow rod 62 it is returned to its depending position, whereby the tag line may be grasped by the Surfboard rider at the point of embarkation.
In FIG. 3 there is illustrated an alternate modification of the towing arrangement in which the cable 10 passes over the beach and passes about a drive assembly 30 which is located in a suitable housing 96. It can be clearly seen that the tow rods 62 are sufliciently high above the beach B to allow vehicular traic to pass therebeneath.
This embodiment also illustrates the desirability of providing a complete and permanent shelter for the drive assembly 12.
My invention also comprehends a towing arrangement (FIGS. 9 .and 10) which may be best utilized at beaches having a heavier surf. This embodiment comprehends carrying the Surfboard and rider above the surface of the water. I have designated similar parts with similar numerals with a prime added. This arrangement may be constructed with similar standard hardware, including a cable 10', support towers 18', a drive assembly 12', and a terminal assembly (not shown). However, this arrangement is constructed with substantially higher support towers 18 over both the onshore and substantially all of the oifshore path of travel. In this manner the tow bar assemblies 50 ride high above the beach B and the water. It is readily observable that shorter support towers 18 are provided at the loading and unloading stations for allowing the riders to mount and to dismount the tow bars 50. A typical loading station, comprehended by my invention, is shown in FIG. 9 and includes two adjacent support towers 18 having hold-down roller assemblies 98 for maintaining the cable 10 and the tow bars 50 near the surface of the water.
A tow bar assembly 50 of this design as illustrated in FIG. 10 is uniquely constructed and comprises a hanger 100 which is secured to the cable 10' by means of a sleeve 54' and to which is secured a plate 102. A second plate 103 is secured to the first plate by means of a central pivot pin 104 and forms therewith a swivel plate assembly 105. The second plate 103 supports a depending carrier frame 106 made of tubular stock, such as steel pipe. The carrier frame 106 comprises a vertical rod 108 at whose lowermost point is secured, as by welding, a substantially normal horizontal rod 110 which extends forwardly from the vertical rod in the direction of travel. At the junction of the horizontal and vertical rods there is secured a U-shaped member 112 and at the forwardmost end of the rod 110 there is secured another U-shaped member 114. The carrier frame 106 is suitably braced for structural strength by members 116 and 118 and may support a Surfboard and rider as shown. A small seat 120 which may be made of wood or plastic may be secured upon the U-shaped member 110 for allowing a rider to be comfortably seated as he is being carried to the offshore location. With the board properly mounted in position in both U-,shaped members, the fin f abutts the forward U-shaped member 114 and is held in place by the rider. When the rider reaches the offshore location the cable is again lowered to .a point nearer the water and the rider may jump into the water with his board or may disembark upon a suitable platform provided therefor. The swivel plate assembly 105 allows the board to be carried substantially parallel to the surface of the water over the inclined sections of cable travel adjacent the embarkation and disembarkation station.
Thus, it is readily observable that in both embodiments of my invention, the tow bar assemblies 50 and 50 are substantially raised above the beach so as not to obstruct traffic along the beach, and the tow bar assemblies are brought to a position adjacent the vsurface of the water for allowing the rider to embark.
Having described my invention of a towing arrangement for transporting surfboards and their riders from an onshore location to an offshore location, it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in this art that a towing arrangement embodying my invention is both simple and flexible in design, low in cost and ingenious in operation. Reliability of operation and safety were of primary concern, although ease of assembly and minimum cost of manufacture were also important considerations that are solved by this invention.
It should be understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that numerous changes in details of construction yand the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A marine towing system for transporting a surfboard and rider from an onshore location to an offshore location comprising: a continuous cable extending from above the onshore location to above the oifshore'location; plural spaced support towers for supporting said continuous cable; plural means secured to said cable at spaced intervals, each comprising a retractable, normally depending member for transporting a surfboard and a rider to the oshore location, said transporting means extending from said cable to a point slightly above the surface of the water for being received by the Surfboard and rider; a lifter assembly carried by one of said support towers for raising the transporting means appreciably above the surface of the shore for non-interference therewith; and tripping means carried by one of said support towers for returning a raised transporting means to its normally depending position.
2. A marine towing system for transporting a surfboard and rider from an onshore location to an offshore location comprising: a continuous cable extending from above the onshore location to above the offshore location; plural spaced Support towers for supporting said continuous cable; plural means secured to said cable at spaced intervals for transporting a Surfboard and a rider to the offshore location, each comprising a hanger portion secured to said cable and a retractable tow rod portion normally depending from and rotatably mounted .on said hanger portion, said hanger portion including a plate having detent means for maintaining said tow rod portion in a raised position, said transporting means extending from said cable to a point slightly above the surface of the water for being received by the Surfboard and rider; and means for raising the transporting means appreciably above the surface of the shore for non-interference therewith.
3. The towing systemA defined in claim 2 wherein said raising means includes a lifter assembly carried by one of said support towers, said lifter assembly comprising a ramp which is positioned in the path of travel of said tow rod portion for causing said tow rod portion to be raised to a position wherein it may be seated'upon said detent means.
4. The towing system defined in claim 2 further including: tripping means carried by one of said support towers for returning a raised tow rod portion to its normally depending position, said tripping means comprising a plow which is positioned in the path of travel of a raised tow rod portion for urging said tow rod portion off of said detent means; and resilient means connecting said plate and said tow rod portion for biasing said tow rod portion to a depending position, whereby said tow rod portion is substantially immediately returned toits depending position after being dislodged from its raised position upon said detent means.
5. A marine towing system for transporting a surfboard and rider from an onshore location to an offshore location comprising: a continuous cable extending from above the onshore location to above the offshore locatlon; plural spaced support towers for 'supporting sald continuous cable; plural means secured to said cable at spaced intervals for transporting a surfboard and a rider to the offshore location, each compnsing a hanger portion secured to said cable including a plate having detent means, a retractable normally depending tow rod portion rotatably mounted on said hanger portion, and resilient means connecting said plate and sald tow rod portion for biasing said tow rod portion from a raised position wherein it is seated upon said detent means to a normally depending position, said transporting means extending from said cable to a point slightly above the surface of the water for being received by the Surfboard and rider; means for raising the transporting means appreciably above the surface of the shore for non-interference therewith including a lifter assembly earned by one of said support towers, said lifter assembly comprlsing a ramp which is positioned in the path 0f travel of said tow rod portion to raise said tow rod portion to a position wherein it may be seated upon said detent means; and tripping means carried by one of said support towers for returning a raised tow rod portion to ltsn'ormally depending position, said tripping means compr1s1ng a plow which is positioned in the path of travel o f a raised tow rod portion for urging said tow rod portion off of said detent means, whereby said tow rod p0rtlon is substantially immediately returned to its depending posltlon by said resilient means after being dislodged from its raised position upon said detent means.
6. A marine towing system for transporting a surfboard and rider from an onshore location to an offshore location comprising: a continuous cable extending from above the onshore location to above the offshore location; p lural spaced support towers for supporting said continuous cable; plural means secured to said cable at spaced intervals for transporting a Surfboard and a rider to the offshore location, said transporting means extendmg from said cable to a point slightly above the surface 7. of the water forbeing received by the Surfboard and rider; a plurality of support towers located adjacent to andr upon the shore which' are substantially higher than those support towers at an e'rnbarkation station; and saidv cable portion passingl above the shore defining a high run which is substantially 'higher than the cable' portion passing above the embarkation station dening a low run, said cable portion passing between said'high run and said low run being angularly disposed with respect to each of-said runs. l
' 7; The towing' system dened in claim' 6 wherein said transporting 'means' includes: a' carrier frame for supporting a Surfboard'V in a substantially horizontal plane;l and a swivel plate assembly disposed between said cable and said carrier frame 'for allowing said carrier frame to remainv inthe horizontal plane over said angular run.
8. 'T he towing system dened in claim 7 wherein said carrier frame includes a substantially vertical member, a substantially horizontal member secured to the lower end of said lvertical member, and a forward and rear U- shaped support secured to the respective ends of said horizontal member, said U-shaped members formed s'as to,`
, UNIIED'SIATESPAIENB. ,Y 3,052,470. 9/ 19162 ,Pomagalski 104-173 X 3,338,180W8/1967 Stecker Q..- 104-173l 3,376,829 tzt/1,968; Hanok i 104-173 'It :f lFOREIGN PATENTS v' 769,447 10,/1967 Capdag' 1,466,196 1/1966 France;
1,351,766 v ,p3/196,3' France. I p
912,871 1 2/,1962 switzerland., y,lj
DRAYTON E. HOFFMAN, Primary VExaminer UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF. CORRECTION Patent No. 3,486,463 December 30, 1969 Napoleon St. Cyr
It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 7, line 4, after "towers" insert located line 2l, after "support" insert member Signed and sealed this 28th day of July 1970.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents