US 3500485 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1970 R. A. HILLARY AUTOMATIC WADER FLOATATION RING Filed April 10, 1968' INVENTOR.
Qmwom xt 6M4 42% United States Patent 3,500,485 AUTOMATIC WADER FLOATATION RING Raymond A. Hillary, Spirit Lake, Iowa, assignor to Berkley & Company, Inc., Spirit Lake, Iowa, a corporation of Iowa Filed Apr. 10, 1968, Ser. No. 720,279 Int. Cl. B63c 9/16 US. Cl. 9-343 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Wader apparatus comprising a generally inelastic outer water impermeable shell adapted to receive and confine the lower portion of the body of the wearer and having a top adapted to encircle the body of the wearer, a generally flexible inelastic inner wall substantially commensurate with the said outer water impermeable shell, a generally flexible gas impermeable shell interposed between said inner and outer walls and being generally coextensive therewith and including an upper inflatable floatation ring chamber; the gas impermeable shell being adapted to entrap a volume of air therewithin, the volume being generally sufficient to inflate said floatation ring chamber upon the exposure to hydrostatic pressure encountered when the wearer enters the water.
The present invention relates generally to wader apparatus, and more specifically to wader apparatus which include inner and outer wall members disposed so as to enclose a gas impermeable shell having an inflatable upper floatation ring chamber, the gas impermeable shell being arranged to inflate said upper inflatable floatation ring chamber when the wearer enters the water and subjects the gas impermeable shell to the effects of environmental hydrostatic pressure.
Wader apparatus are utilized to protect the wearer from direct exposure to water, and are frequently worn by sportsmen including fishermen and hunters. Waders are preferred apparel since it is generally possible for the wearer to enter water which is deeper than he would otherwise be able to enter if he were equipped with hip boots or the like. As a result of this added capability, wader apparatus have become a generally desirable form of protection for sportsmen, and others whofmust enter the water on occasion. It has been found, however, that upon entering the water, the wearer may lose his footing because of tripping on submerged objects, or slipping upon the surface of a smooth rock or stone. When this occurs, the wearer frequently finds thatthe waders become filled with water, and should this occur in either deep or extremely cold water, the wearer would be subject to the eifects of drowning or exposure.
In accordance with the present invention, however, an automatic inflatable ring is arranged generally at the top of the wader apparatus and is inflated due to the eflects of hydrostatic pressure forcing or urging against the body of the wearer when he enters the water. The inflatable floatation ring chamber is ordinarily limp and deflated when the wearer is not actually in the water, but hydrostatic pressure compressing the shell against the body of the wearer will actually inflate the chamber so as to form a floatation ring at the upper portion thereof.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved wader apparatus which is equipped with an automatic floatation ring which becomes inflated upon the effects of hydrostatic pressure compressing against the body of the wearer.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved automatic wader floatation ring which is disposed at the top of a conventional wader apparatus, the ring being in communication with a gas impermeable shell which is interposed between the inner and outer walls of the wader, the gas impermeable shell being provided with a volume of air which is generally sufficient to inflate the floatation ring when the lower portions of the shell are exposed to the eifects of hydrostatic pressure experienced whenever the wearer enters the water.
Other and further objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a study of the following specifications, appended claims, and accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an individual wearing wader apparatus prepared in accordance with the present invention, certain portions of the wader apparatus being broken away;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken through the center of the wader apparatus prepared in accordance with the present invention, and illustrating the various wall members employedin the wader assembly;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2, but illustrating the effects of hydrostatic pressure when the wearer enters the water, a typical outline of the body of the wearer being shown in phantom; and
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 showing a portion of the wader in section with a separate gas impermeable shell therein.
In accordance with the preferred modification of the present invention, the wader apparatus generally designated 10 includes a body structure 11 having legs 12 and 13, the wader 10 being shown as worn by a wearer. The leg portions 12 and 13 are provided with foot enclosures 15 and 16, respectively.
Wth attention being directed to FIGURES 2 and 3 of the drawings, it will be observed that the wader structure includes an outer water impermeable shell 17 which is adapted to receive and confine the lower portion of the body of the wearer, this outer water impermeable shell member 17 being formed of generally inelastic material. Materials comprising, for example, rubber-coated fabrics, or rubber-coated fibers are exceptionally well suited for this concept, and are, as appreciated, commercially available.
Disposed inwardly of the outer water impermeable shell 17 is an inner wall member 18 which is substantially commensurate with the outer water impermeable shell. This inner wall 18 is likewise generally flexible and prepared from a generally inelastic material. An intermediate gas impermeable shell 19 is interposed between the outer impermeable shell 17 and the inner wall 18, this shell 19 being capable of receiving and retaining a charge of air. If desired, for purposes of economy, the structure of the shell 19 may coincide with the inner wall 18, that is, the inner wall of the impermeable shell 19 may actually be the same wall as forms the inner wall 18. Also, if desired, the outer water impermeable shell may form one wall of the gaseous impermeable shell -19, since the concept requires only that two gaseous impermeable surfaces be provided.
An upper inflatable floatation ring chamber 20 is provided, as indicated, this floatation ring chamber being disposed and arranged so as to become inflated when hydrostatic pressure forces the gaseous impermeable shell 19 against the body of the wearer. The effects of this hydrostatic pressure will be suificient to inflate this floatation ring to a volume suflicien-t to keep the wearer affloat in the event he trips, falls, or steps into a deep hole or the like. The wearer may then readily find his way back to suitable footing, without risk of exposure to a wader becoming filled with water. As a desired feature of this arrangement, the legs or feet may be provided with fins which would lie flat so as to provide no resistance to the water on forward motion of the legs, but which would flareout and provide a foil surface to act as a paddle on backward motion of the legs.
A valve 21 may be provided for introducing a suflicient- 1y adequate charge of air into the gas impermeable shell 19 so as to inflate the upper portion of the floatation ring chamber 20, when required. It will be appreciated, however, that in the absence of the hydrostatic pressure, the chamber becomes deflated and the structure is limp around the body of the wearer. There is, therefore, no need to inflate a ring device or the like whenever the wearer puts on the wader apparatus.
'1 In order to achieve an adequate volume of air for the wearer to entrap and inflate the ring chamber 20, it is generally desirable that the impermeable shell -19 extend generally downwardly and encompass a substantial portion of the legsof thewearer. With this volume available,
the wearer will find adequate support for his floatation ring chamber.
It will be appreciated that the various examples provided herein are for purposes of illustration only, and that those skilled in the art may depart from these specific examples without actually departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
-1. Wader apparatus comprising:
(a) a generally inelastic outer water impermeable shell with an upper open waist portion and two fully enclosed leg and foot portions depending therefrom, the shell being adapted to receive and confine the lower portion of the body of the wearer, the open top being adapted to encircle the wearer;
(b) a generally flexible inelastic inner wall substantially commensurate with the said'outer water impermeable shell;
(c) generally flexible gas impermeable means interposed between said outer water impermeable shell and said inner Wall, and generally coextensive therewith, and including an upper inflatable floatation ring chamber; and
(d) means along the top of said shell and enveloping the waist of the wearer for entrapping a volume of air within said gas impermeable shell in a volume generally suificient to inflate said floatation ring chamber upon exposure to hydrostatic pressure in the leg portions experienced when the wearer enters the water.
2. The wader apparatus as defined in claim 1 being particularly characterized in that said outer Water impermeable shell is fabricated from rubber-coated fabric.
3. The wader apparatus as defined in claim 1 being particularly characterized in that said gas impermeable shell is provided with an air receiving valve.
4. The wader apparatus as defined in claim 1 being particularly characterized in that said gas impermeable shell is formed of rubber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,005,569 10/1911 De Meir 9343 8/1942 Stokes 9-343 MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner T. W. BUCKMAN, Assistant Examiner