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Publication numberUS3540403 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 17, 1970
Filing dateDec 9, 1968
Priority dateDec 9, 1968
Publication numberUS 3540403 A, US 3540403A, US-A-3540403, US3540403 A, US3540403A
InventorsRussell Linus E
Original AssigneePeters & Russell Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marine bumper
US 3540403 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent [111 3,5

[ invent Linus 'l [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS [21] Appl. No. 783,460 [22] Filed Dec. 9, 1968 1,709,494 4/1929 293/71 451 Patented Nov. 17, 1970 r 2,257,492 9/1941 293/71 [73] Assignee Peters and Russell, Inc., 8/1964 4/219 springfieldohio, 3,433,200 3/1969 114/219 a corporation of Ohio Primary Examiner-Duane A. Reger Assistant Examiner-James E. Pittenger Attorney-.1 erome P. Bloom [54] MARINE BUMPER 9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs. [52] US. Cl. 114/219; ABSTRACT: A marine bumper of integral form having plural 61/48: 293/62. 7 hollowed body portions which are resiliently deformable and [S1] Int.Cl B63b 59/02 spaced by an interconnecting web structure. The web has a [50] Field of Search 61/48; line passing opening enabling a selective suspended or con- 1 14/219; 293/62, 52, 71 toured installation ofthe bumper.

I l a:

IIII'IIIIIIIIII Patented Nov. 17, 1970 3,540,403

INVENTOR LINUS E. RUSSELL BY fm'amyglom A TTORNEY MARINE BUMPER This invention relates to marine bumpers or fenders, and more particularly to a generally new device of this class in which a web structure has formed therein plural, resilient deformable body portions adapting the device for a most flexible application.

The invention has special advantage in reference to bumpers used on or in connection with small boats and will be so described, though obviously not so limited as to application. There have in the past been a variety of bumper installations made up of separate individual bumper units. These are, however, most cumbersome to assemble, difficult to manipulate, expensive to fabricate, and limited in use and versatility of application. The present invention is directed to providing a new and improved bumper unit which obviates the need for such plural bumper assemblies, the difficulties in their assembly and the attendant handling and use problems.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a single unitary bumper structure which incorporates in a web form spaced cushioning body segments. The bumper is simply fabricated for extended protection and is instantly available for use in a plurality of modes. According to a feature of the invention, the web structure is formed with a line passage so disposed that the device may be used in various attitudes, including a bent condition for a contoured installation. In a preferred embodiment, the hollowed body segments are permanently sealed.

A primary object of the invention is to provide a bumper or fender structure particularly useful on boats which is economical to fabricate, most efficient and satisfactory in use, adaptable to a wide variety of applications, and unlikely to malfunction.

A further object of the invention is to provide a fully sealed marine bumper element having a basic web form and integrating a plurality of spaced apart cushioning bodies.

Another object of the invention is to provide a one-piece bumper with multiple hollow cushioning body segments, which bumper can be mounted and used in, a plurality of modes including one in which it may be applied to conform to a curved surface.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a web formed bumper the web of which integrates plural hollowed body segments and has a single line passage offering flexibility of use and application.

Another object of the invention is to provide a marine bumper in which a web structure is interposed to lie in a flat medial plane between bulbous air filled bodies and interconnects such bodies in a unitary device, the web structure being formed to perform other functions including that of providing a means to suspend or mount the bumper.

A further object of the invention is to provide a bumper possessing the advantageous structural features, the inherent meritorious characteristics, and the means and mode of use herein described.

With the above and other incidental objects in view as will more fully appear in the specification, the invention intended to be protected by Letters Patent consists of the features of construction, the parts and combinations thereof, and the mode of operation as hereinafter described or illustrated in the accompanying drawings, or their equivalents.

Referring to the accompanying drawing wherein is shown one but obviously not necessarily the only form of embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a planned view of an operative face of the marine bumper in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2ofFIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a boat having installed thereon the marine bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, the bumper being suspended over the side of the boat; and

FIG. 4 is a view of the invention bumper in a contoured installation.

Like parts are indicated by similar characters of reference throughout the several views.

Referring to the drawings, a marine bumper in accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the invention has a unitary, one piece, construction. It is preferably made, in this instance, by a blow molding process, from a material such as ethylene vinyl acetate. The bumper unit has a basic webbed construction. The web 12 illustrated is formed to provide therein a central, longitudinally coextensive, tube defining a line receiving through passage 18. Blow molded at respectively opposite sides of the web 12, substantially parallel to the tube defining the passage 18, is an elongate hollow, bulbous, body segment, identified in the one instance by the numeral 10 and in the other instance by the numeral 11. The body segments 10 and 11 are of identical longitudinally extended form and coextensive in length both with respect to one another and to the web 12. In the instance illustrated the bulbous segments 10 and 11 are circular in cross section and opposite ends thereof are closed to have a rounded configuration. The respective extremities of the web 12 terminate in respectively parallel edges 15 and 16 which merge with the corresponding ends of the bodies 10 and 11 to give the bumper a generally rectangular outline.

Thus, web 12 is so provided to lie in and define a flat medial plane common to which are the longitudinal axes of the body segments 10 and 11 and its side edges merge with the walls of the bulbous hollow body segments to form a continuous, onepiece device as shown in the drawings. The arrangement is one to make the bumper symmetrical in construction and to present a like appearance and like surfaces on its opposite sides, at its opposite faces, and at its opposite ends.

It will be noted in the drawings that intermediate its length the web 12 is formed with oppositely directed relatively cylindrically expanded portions 19 and 21 which originally, in the process of the bumper fabrication, define manifolds which are designed to interconnect the passage 18 and the respective chambers defined by the hollow body segments 10 and 11. These manifolds originally serve for an introduction of air to each of the segments 10 and 11, under pressure. Once the hollowed body segments are properly pressured to suit the intended application, the manifolds are plugged so as to provide that they be permanently sealed. This is preferred though needle-type valves may be inserted in the respective hollow body segments, if in particular application it is required. It is noted that the plugging of the manifold is normally effected by means of a heat seal.

The integral weblike unit as thus formed may be blow molded in a simple and highly economical manner readily obvious to one versed in this particular art. Requirements are that the material thereof provide that the bumper be resiliently deformable, particularly in respect to the segments 10 and 11, and inherently endowed with a plastic memory. It will be observed that the inflation of the hollowed segments formed to be part of the web 12 lends strength and shock absorbing characteristics to the unit so provided. As seen in the drawings, the through passage or bore 18 provides a line or cable passing opening by which the bumper may be suspended or otherwise mounted for use.

In accordance with one mode of use of the bumper as shown in FIG. 3, a line 24 may be threaded through the passage 18 to have its opposite ends project so they may be made fast to cleats 25 and 26.positioned in and adjacent to the gunwhale of the boat 27. With this arrangement one may easily apply the line and suspend the bumper against the boat hull 28, in which case the hollow body segments 10 and 11 both make contact with the hull and are horizontally disposed. The bumper may of course be variably positioned vertically of the hull in an obvious manner. Moreover, its construction is such that the bumper body segment 10, shown uppermost, may be brought up closely beneath the gunwhale 29 for immediate protection of this protecting part of the boat while the other segment 11 is automatically spaced therebelow. Take particular note that the relative disposition of the line 24 as thus provided makes it assume a relatively sheltered position while the strengthened hollow body portions 10 and 11 are arranged for maximum protection of the boat hull.

As will be readily apparent, the bumper may be suspended with the passage 18 in a vertical position. In such instance, the line 24 may be threaded through the passage 18 and knotted to abut the lower end of the tube formed in the web 12 which defines such passage.

In either instance of application, since the bumper is symmetrical, either face or side thereof may be presented for contact with the boat hull while the opposite is presented for impacting against other boats, a dock or the like.

Since the bumper is formed of a resilient flexible material in the end product, it can be bent to conform to a curved surface, if desired. In this respect reference is made to FIG. 4 of the drawings. As will be observed, the portion of the web defining the passage 18 serves to receive therethrough a line 31. The threading is simple and produces an optimal relation of the line to the entire bumper unit. In illustrated instance, the bumper may by means of the line be caused to contour about a cylindrical form such as a piling 32. In the process of application the bumper is thus simply bent or deflected to the required arcuate configuration corresponding approximately to the curved surface to which it seats.

The device illustrated is of course subject to modification of varying degrees and kind without departing from the inventive concept. For example, while the preferred embodiment is here illustrated and provides an optimal unit, the bumper can be made to provide a plurality of web sections 12 and a plurality of hollowed bulbous body segments formed integrally therewith by blow molding or like process. In any instance there is produced a single exceedingly strong and optimally protective bumper unit of low cost. It will be clear of course, that there may be bulbous hollowed body segments arranged in tandem with a web section interposed. This is within the bounds ofthe invention as here illustrated.

From the above description it will be apparent that there is thus provided a device of the character described possessing the particular features of advantage before enumerated as desirable, but which obviously is susceptible of modification in its form, proportions, detail construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the principle involved or sacrificing any ofits advantages.

While in order to comply with the statute the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, but that the means and construction herein disclosed comprise but one of several modes of putting the invention into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims.

Iclaim: V

1. A bumper or fender comprising a basic web structure and hollow formed portions integrated with said web structure in a unitary construction, said web structure having passage defining means providing a through passage for suspension of the unitary construction in a variable disposition, and said hollow formed portions appearing as bulbous body portions on each side of said through passage formed integrally with and held in a spaced apart generally parallel relation by said web structure.

2. A bumper or fender as set forth in claim 1 characterized by being fabricated of material to provide that it be resilient and deformable and said hollowed portions being joined by said web structure at what constitutes a medial horizontal plane thereof to provide thereby for a symmetrical construction whereby the device presents like surfaces on opposite sides thereof.

3. A bumper or fender as set forth in claim 1 characterized by said hollowed body portions each being formed by a continuous wall of resilient deformable material and said web structure disposes in a flat medial plane and interconnects the same in integral fashion.

4. A bumper or fender according to claim 1 characterized in that the entire unit is unitarily formed ofa resilient deformable material providing the hollow bulbous members in parallel sideby-side relation with the said web structure disposing therebetween in a flat medial plane and being approximately coextensive in length and said through passage being a line passing opening extending longitudinally of the web from end to end thereof to provide a protective bearing for a line passed through said web structure and enable the alternate disposition of said bumper in a suspended condition or the bending thereof to a contoured form.

5. A marine bumper made in one piece of a resilient deformable material, including a pair of expanded hollow bodies formed about individual axes to be parallel to one another, an unexpanded flat web disposing substantially in a plane common to the axes of said body portions and merging along opposite side edges with outer walls of said bodies, and a line passing opening formed in said web from end to end thereof, a line passed through said opening being alternatively usable as a means to suspend said device or to apply a bending pressure thereto for a contoured installation of said device.

6. A marine bumper according to claim 5, wherein said web affords means to admit air under pressure to said bodies for an air cushioning of the interior walls thereof.

7. A marine bumper according to claim 6, wherein said last named means provides means for defining heat scalable orifices interconnecting said line passing opening and the interiors of said hollow bodies.

8. A marine bumper according to claim 5, said bodies being bulbous in form and having a cross-sectional dimension ex ceeding the thickness of said web, said bodies projecting to either side of the plane of said web and the line passing opening in said web.

9. A marine bumper according to claim 8, wherein said web is substantially coextensive in length with said hollow bodies to give said bumper a generally rectangular symmetrical con figuration in which it presents like surfaces on opposite sides and ends.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4127294 *Dec 10, 1975Nov 28, 1978Charles CooperProtective bumper for vehicle body
US4376419 *Jul 8, 1981Mar 15, 1983Sidewinder International, Ltd.Marine fender
US4381994 *Jan 18, 1979May 3, 1983Shell Oil CompanySpilled oil skimmer kit
US4584958 *Feb 23, 1983Apr 29, 1986Green David ABoat bumper
US4815412 *Aug 6, 1987Mar 28, 1989Cassaro Jr MichaelBoat bow protector
US5013272 *Sep 6, 1989May 7, 1991N.A. Taylor Company, Inc.Rafting cushion
US5018471 *Jan 10, 1989May 28, 1991Stevens William EMarine fender for pilings of marine structures
US5220879 *Oct 17, 1991Jun 22, 1993Johnson Patrick MLinkable fender
US5487349 *Sep 24, 1992Jan 30, 1996Andreassen; LeifDevice for combined use as a ladder, fender and life-buoy for boats
US6494157 *Jul 3, 2001Dec 17, 2002Arnold Anton LeemonFlexible, buoyant, weather resistant polyethylene foam boat bumper/fender
US7036448Feb 3, 2005May 2, 2006Holmes Joseph SDock bumper
WO1992006865A1 *Jul 12, 1991Apr 30, 1992Alberto V KennedyBody side guard
U.S. Classification114/219, 293/107, 293/128, 405/212
International ClassificationE02B3/26, E02B3/20
Cooperative ClassificationE02B3/26
European ClassificationE02B3/26
Legal Events
Apr 22, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19831122