US 3561391 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS  Inventor Norman C. Locati 1714 Meadow Drive, Lake Oswego, Oreg.
mm m wwmm n n n CP mm u m 0 n aa mmm CV 3 69 MJ n. 66 r 99 6 e fl .m 15 m mR 4 E 2M E w 73 0 m 24 m bo nmn 33 FAA 4J wa mo s 98MF AFP  BOAT WASHING APPARATUS AND METHOD ABSTRACT: Two parallel elongated floating support means 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
define a pathway for a boat. Powered brushing members are carried by double jointed arms that are anchored to the float 15/1 .7 ing support means. Said powered brushing members are spring 1363b 59/00 biased to conform to the various shapes of boats that are 1 14/222; passed through the pathway and clean algae, barnacle spores 15/1 7 and the like from the submerged portion of the boats.
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PATENTED FEB 9:971.
SHEET 1 OF- 2 Mmvme #0171!!! 6? Man a, WHXX HISTORY This invention relates to an apparatus and method for rapidly and thoroughly cleaning the outside normally submerged surface of a boat while the boat remains in the water.
A problem that has long been encountered by boat owners is the necessity of periodically cleaning the outer surface of the boat. Boats that are used in rivers and oceans are particularly susceptible to becoming coated below the waterline with bamacles and algae. This coating builds up to produce resistance that slows the boatand is offensive both to sight and smell. Heretofore, when the boat needed cleaning, it had to be dry docked where conventional land based cleaning methods could be applied; e.g., as by steam cleaning. Dry docking a boat and cleaning with such conventional methods is both time consuming, expensive, and injuriousto the boat.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The preferred embodiment of thepresent invention is believed to provide a boat cleaning apparatus that is substantial improvement over known prior boat cleaning apparatus. In general, said embodiment is comprised of a support frame adapted to float on water including a pair of spaced parallel buoyant support beams defining a channel through which a boat can be passed. A conveyor means is provided to automatically move the boat throughcleaning stations provided in the channel. A first station includes a first set of brushes that cleans the bottom and back surfaces of the boat. A second station includes a second set of brushes that cleans the front and sides of the boat. The brushes are mounted to the floating support beams and are therefore positioned in substantially fixed relationship to the water level. The brushes can thus be maintained in the desired position relative to the waterline of a boat so that the cleaning action of the brushes can be accurately directed to the contaminated surface. The brushes are preferrably abrasive impregnated for optimum cleaning and they are carried by support arms that are double jointed and spring biased so that the brushes will readily conform to the various shapes and sizes of boats.
These and other advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description and drawings wherein.
FIG. 1 is a perspectiveview illustrating a boat being drawn through a boat cleaning apparatus in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the first set of cleaning brushes as taken from lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the brushes as taken from lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partial side view of the brushes as taken from lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a front view of the second set of cleaning brushes as taken from lines 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a top view of one of the brushes as taken from lines 6-6 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view as taken from lines 7-7 of FIG. 6.
Referring to the drawings, a main structure 10 includes a pair of elongated pontoons 12 maintained on the surface of a body of water in spaced parallel relationship by interconnecting braces 14. The brace 14 is bowed as shown or otherwise shaped to provide a central relief area with a depth below the water of about 6 feet to permit boats traveling in the water to pass through the passageway defined by the pontoons 12.
Referring to FIGS. 1-4, a first cleaning station is provided by a pair of substantially horizontally oriented brushes 16individually carried by carrier arms 18 that are pivotally mounted to brackets 17 provided on the pontoons 12. As shown, when the arms 18 are pivoted, the brushes 16 are forced into the water. The brushes can be buoyant so that there is a constant pressure to raise the brushes, or in absence of such buoyancy, any suitable spring means can be provided.
A yoke 20 is pivotally attached through a rotatable connecting member 19 to the free end of each of the arms 18. The yoke 20 is adapted to pivot on a axis longitudinally of, and the connecting member 19 is adapted to rotate about an axis laterally of, the pathway defined by the pontoons. Springs 21 and 23 are adapted to continuously urge the brushes 16 held by the yoke 20 in its horizontal position as shown in FIG. 4, with tilting of the brushes permitted for maximum contact with the bottom surface of the boat as illustrated in FIG. 2. A hydraulic or similar type motor 22 rotatively drives the brushes 16 (See FIG. 2).
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5-7, a second cleaning station is provided by a pair of substantially vertically oriented brushes 24. For each brush 24, parallel arms 26 have one end pivotally mounted to a bracket 27 provided on the pontoons 12. The brushes 24 are mounted to a pivotal connecting member 28 at the end of the parallel arm 26 and a spring 29 pivotally urges the brushes toward a boat passing between the brushes. The parallel arms 26 are urged by any conventional means to a position substantially perpendicular to the pontoons and are pivoted as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 6 to permit a boat to pass. As will also be noted, by reason of the parallel arms, the orientation of the connecting member 28 is always such as to urge the brushes toward the side of the boat and thereby provide maximum surface contact therewith. Motors 30 produces counter rotative movement to the brushes 24 for cleaning the side of the boat.
As generally illustrated in FIG. I, a conveyor system is provided by an endless chain 32 (or cable or the like) that is mounted on a drive roller 34, return roller 36, and idler rollers 38, which are mounted on to a carrier deck 39 provided on one of the pontoons 12. A conveyor arm 40 is fastened to the chain 32. The conveyor arm 40 is preferably maintained substantially perpendicular to the travel of the chain and is thus of rigid construction and braced by braces 41. A hook 42 is provided on the free end of the arm, and is adapted to travel substantially down the middle of the pathway defined by the pontoons as the chain is driven by the drive roller 34.
OPERATION In operation, a boat is maneuvered into position whereby the book 42 of the conveyor arm 40 can be engaged with the docking handle normally providedon the front of the boat. The drive roller drives the chain and conveyor arm attached thereto to pull the boat past the first cleaning station. The boat is driven against brushes 16 which pivot downwardly as shown in FIG. 4 to permit the boat to be pulled over the brushes. The brushes are urged upwardly to produce the desired pressure and the brushes are driven in counter rotative movement with respect to the boat for optimum scrubbing of the contacted bottom surface of the boat. The pivotal freedom of the yoke enables the brushes to conform to the configuration of the boat whereby the agitating movement of the two brushes substantially covers the entire bottom surface as the boat is passed over the brushes. As mentioned previously, an abrasive impregnated brush is deemed desirable for removing the tenuous material accumulated thereon. As the boat passes over the brushes the arms are urged upwardly and the brushes engage and clean the back of the boat as shown in FIG. 4.
As the boat passes into the second cleaning station, the pointed bow of the boat is inserted between the brushes 24 and forces them apart, this being permitted by the pivotal connection of arms 26 with the pontoons 12. The spring 29 urging the brushes 24 about the pivotal connection 28 causes the brushes 24 to conform to the slanted side of the boat and thereby direct its cleaning action over substantially the entire side of the boat.
It will be understood that the above described apparatus is intended to illustrate the invention and not to limit it. Thus, for example, numerous variations of brushes, the configuration of the brushes and the means for enabling the brushes to conform to a boat may be'made without departing from the invention. Other variations and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming aware of the invention and the scope is thus to be determined in accordance with the following claims.
l. A cleaning apparatus for boats comprising; a support member, a scrubbing apparatus mounted on the support member, means for drawing a boat to be cleaned alongside the support member and past the scrubbing apparatus, said scrubbing apparatus including; a carrier arm, a first pivotal means pivotally mounting one end of the carrier arm to the support member, a scrubbing member having a scrubbing work surface, a second pivotal means pivotally mounting the scrubbing member to the opposite end of the carrier arm, first biasing means biasing the carrier arm about said first pivotal means to pivot the scrubbing member toward the boat to be cleaned, and a second biasing means biasing the scrubbing work surface of the scrubbing member about said second pivotal means to pivotally conform the scrubbing work surface to the contour of the boat and agitating means for agitating the scrubbing work surface of the scrubbing member.
2. A cleaning apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means for orienting the second pivotal means for pivoting the scrubbing member in the same direction at every pivotal position of the carrier arm.
3. A cleaning apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the support member is comprised of a pair of elongated pontoons supported in the water and maintained in spaced apart relationship to define a pathway for the boats, and rigid braces separating the pontoons, said braces being bowed to pass under the water and under the pathway.
4. A cleaning apparatus for boats as defined in claim 1 wherein a scrubbing apparatus is mounted on each pontoon to simultaneously clean opposite sides of the boat, and said scrubbing members including a cylindrical brush mounted on its longitudinal axis for rotative movement and said agitating means including a rotative driving means to rotatively drive the cylindrical brush.
5. A cleaning apparatus for boats comprising a pair of parallel pontoons spaced from each other to define a pathway. means for drawing a boat through the pathway, a first scrubbing apparatus including a front pair of carrier arms. connecting means connecting a carrier arm of said first pair to each pontoon opposite one another and normally extended across the pathway, said connecting means for each said carrier arm comprising a pivotal connection for pivoting the carrier arm in a horizontal plane, a scrubbing member carried by the end of each carrier arm for scrubbing the side of a boat passing through the pathway, and biasing means for biasing each scrubbing member laterally in said horizontal plane toward the side of the boat; a second scrubbing apparatus spaced from the first scrubbing apparatus including a second pair of carrier arms, connecting means connecting a carrier arm of said second pair to each pontoon opposite one another and extended across the pathway, said connecting means for each carrier arm comprising a pivotal connection for pivoting the carrier arm in a vertical plane, a scrubbing member carried by the end of each carrier arm for scrubbing the bottom of the boat passing through the pathway, and biasing means biasing the brushes upwardly in said vertical plane against the boat bottom.
6. A cleaning apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein the means for drawing the boat is comprised of an endless conveyor that engages a boat and draws the boat through the pathway defined by the pontoons and past the first and second cleaning apparatus positioned therein.
7. A cleaning apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein the scrubbing members are comprised of abrasive impregnated brushes mounted to the ends of the supporting arms for rotative movement, said power means providing rotative movement to the brushes, and said pivotal movement of the brushes being provided by a pivotal connection of the brushes to the arms, said ivotal connection having its ivotal axis substantially coex enslve with the pathway de med by the parallel pontoons.