US 3594834 A
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United States Patent 1 1 3,594,834
72] Inventor RobenD.S1e ensen 3,090,973 5/1963 Leuinson 1. mm l L eD 3,097,371 7/1963 Rough 9/200 121 AppLNo. 840,923
22 Filed July1l,1969 FOREIGN PATENTS H5] Pmmed My, 1971 1,391,006 1/1965 France 9/2 Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Carl A. Rutledge l 54] FOLD'NG BOAT Attorney-Brown, Murray, Flick and Peckham 6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
 US- Cl 9/2, 190/1 ABSTRACT: Disclosed is a folding boat useful as a sailboat, [111- B631) 4 motorboat or a rowboat. The boat comprises a boat hull com-  Field of Search 9/2, 2 F; prising forward and rear shells each having similar flat trans- 3 0 4211 E verse partitions at their adjacent ends in substantially the midportion of the hull. The partitions are pivotally connected  References together whereby one of the shells may be pivoted upwardly UNITED STATES PATENTS from a fully extended position to a position overlying the other 67,342 7/ 1867 Olmstead 190/1 of the shells. When so folded, the two shells define a closed 808,295 12/1905 Mendel 190/19 chamber therebetween and means are secured between the 1,345,416 7/1920 Thomas 190/1 shells when the boat is in the folded position to divide the 1,560,983 11/1925 Gibbs et a1 9/2 chamber into upper and lower sections whereby cargo to be 2,157,186 5/1939 Pinter Sr., et all. 2,334,079 1 1/1943 Feinberg 190/51 and lower sections. in the unfolded position of the boat, 2,415,220 2/1947 Ritter 190/51 (X) spring-clip means are provided on the partitions to lock the 2,659,464 1 H1953 Sweetman 9/2 (X) shells together and maintain them in the open position.
9/2 stored in the chamber may be segregated between the upper PATENTED'JULZNQYI 3,594,834
* snmeurz INVENTOR. ROBERT D. STEENSE/V B'VMQZW ,d/M
Attorneys FOLDING BOAT BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention relates to folding boats.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is known, from U.S. Pat. No. 3,090,973, to make a boat that comprises a forward section and a rear section joined pivotally by a' suitable piano hinge. The structure shown in that patent, however, comprises a craft differing from that of the present invention in a number of important respects. It is not so light in weight, so versatile, so easily transported, capa ble of being stored or shipped in so compact a space.
Another prior patent in U.S. Pat. No. 3,097,37l which shows a two-piece boat made of plastic, with the pieces being joined as by a piano hinge. Certain design features of the present invention are disclosed in this patent, but other ones of the desirable features of the present invention are not taughtv Also of some pertinence is U.S. Pat. No. 3,301,449 which discloses the feature of providing a boat adapted to be carried on top of a car, with the boat serving as a luggage-platform cover. The boat provided in the structure of this patent is of one -piece, and is obviously neither so satisfactory as a boat as the structure of the present invention or capable of being modified to become so without disregarding the other teachings of the patent.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,349,4l shows a clamp means, used to secure together a pair of abutting coextensive gunwales in a two-piece folding boat.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION As an overall object, the present invention seeks to provide a relatively small folding boat that readily converts to a vehicle top mounted cargo carrier wherein cargo to be stored can be segregated.
Briefly, a folding boat is provided having a hull comprising a pair of unitary shells. The shells each have similar flat transverse partitions at their adjacent ends in substantially the midportion of the hull. The partitions are pivotally connected together whereby one of the shells may be pivoted upwardly from a fully extended position to a position overlying the other of the shells. The two shells wheryin the folded position of the boat defined a closed chamber therebetween and means, adapted to be secured between the shells, is provided to divide the chamber into upper and lower sections whereby cargo to be stored in the chamber can be segregated between the upper and lower sections.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of springclip means adapted to be received on the partitions to lock the shells together in the unfolded position, thereof to form an open boat in accordance with the invention.
The above and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a folding boat in accordance with the invention in the open or fully extended position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the boat of FIG. I in the closed or folded position;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken along the length of the boat of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the folded boat of FIG. 2 and illustrating a member disposed between the shells which form the boat hull;
FIG. 5 is a view taken along the line V-V of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail view of the midportion of the boat shown in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged detail view of a portion of the view shown in FIG. 4.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughoutthe several views, there is shown generally at l0 a folding boat in accordance with the invention. The boat hull is formed by two unitary shells comprising a bow section l2 and an aft section 14 each having extending transversely across their adjacent ends a flat partition 16 and 18, respectively. The upper edges of these partitions are hingedly'or pivotally connected together by suitable hinges 20, the leaves of which are rigidly secured to the partitions. It will be understood that the hinges 20 may be of the piano type and extend the full width of the boat hull. It is preferred, however, that the hinges be of the type provided with a quickdetachable hinge pin whereby the two shells may be readily separated when desired.
As shown in FIG. 4, each half l2, 14 of the boat hull is preferably formed of an inner core 22 of polyurethane type plastic foam, or other material or like qualities, sealed inside a seamless outer covering 24 of durable breakproof plastic. The shells are formed in accordance with techniques well known to those skilled in the art and the method of fabrication thereof will not be dealt with in further detail as it forms no part of the invention per se.
Fitting over the partitions 16, 18 are spring-clip means 26, which will be described below in greater detail, that are adapted to be received on the partitions to lock the shells together in the unfolded position thereof to form the open boat. The such means 26, which as will be described below, are preferably provided with means for supporting removable seats 28 and 30. The bow section 12 has a seat 32, which seat may be either fixed or removable, as desired. The bow section 12 also includes a socket 34 for the support of a sail mast 36. As shown, the mast 36 is preferably of the break-down type, being made of a plurality of sections 38, joined by collars or other suitable fasteners 40, with the bottommost portion 38 being received in the socket 34 and secured therein by suitable means, such as the set screw 42.
The aft section 14 has a seat 44, which seat preferably, is a separate and removable storage compartment usable as, for example, for storing food and beverages.
From the foregoing, it will be understood, that with mast 36 removed and the spring-clips 26 removed from engagement with the partitions l6 and 18, the bow shell 12 may be pivoted upwardly from a fully extended position (FIG. 1) to a position overlying the aft shell 14, as is shown in FIG. 2.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, it can be seen that each of the spring-clip means 26 are of generally U-shaped configuration having a relatively short web portion 46 and a pair of spaced-apart elongated portions 48 extending from the web portion 46. The web portion 46 of each springclip lies in a substantially horizontal plane in engagement with the upper edges of the partitions l6, 18 in the normal operative position of the spring clips 26 and the spaced-apart portions 48 are in engagement with the exposed side surfaces of the partitions. As best seen in FIG. 6, the partitions l6, 18 have recessed portion 50 extending inwardly from the exposed surfaces thereof and the spaced-apart portions 48 of the spring-clip 26 each have an inwardly projecting portion 52 adapted to enter and engage a recessed portion 50in the partitions 16, I8. In order to remove the spring-clips 26, the portions 52 thereof must first be removed from engagement with the recessed portions 50 of the partitions.
Each of the spring-clips 26 is provided with upper and lower studs 54 to removably secure the seats 28 and 30 to the partitions. Each of the studs 54 has enlarged head portions 56 which are adapted to pass through keyhole-like openings 58 provided in the brackets 60 to which the seats 28 and 30 are secured. As will be understood, the brackets 60 of seats 28 and 30 are moved downwardly after the head portions 56 are received in the openings 58 to cause the studs 54 to be received in the narrower portion of the openings 58 thereby securing the seats 28, 30 in position on the partitions.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 4, it can be seen that each of the shells l2, 14 has side decks 60 and 62, respectively, extending laterally outwardly adjacent the upper edges of the sidewalls of the shells to define a continuous rubrail extending about the upper periphery of the boat in the unfolded positionv As best seen in FIG. 4, this rubrail is beveled as at 64 to provide convenient continuous carrying handles and clamp surfaces for clamping the folded boat to a rack which may be provided on an automobile top. Also, as best seen in FIG. 7, the bow section 12 is provided with an upstanding endless flangelike portion 56 and the aft section 14 has a continuous upwardly opening channel 66. ln the folded position of the boat 10, the flangelike portion 65 is received in the cooperates with the channel 66 to provide a weathertight junction along the mating surfaces of the shells l2, l4, Accordingly, with the boat in the folded position, the shells l2, l4 define therebetween a closed chamber for the storage of cargo and the possibility of wind or moisture entering the cargo space so provided is prevented by the weathertightjunction along the mating surfaces of the shells.
It may be explained, that the inner core 22 of foam plastic is currently added to many boats due to its flotation properties and normally renders the boats in which it is added unsinkable. Another property of this type material is that it has remarkable insulating qualities that has been taken advantage of in many applications. The present invention also takes advantage of the insulation properties of this type material, To this end, the deck 62 of the aft section 14 has a depressed ledge 68 formed on the interior edge thereof which extends about the upper periphery of the shell 14. This lip 68 provides a holding shelf for a horizontal platform 70. The platform 70 is formed of an inner core 72 of the same type material as core 22, which core 72 is also sealed inside an outer covering of durable breakproof plastic. The platform 70 is dimensionedto completely divide the cargo chamber into upper and lower sections whereby cargo to be stored in the chamber may be segregated between the upper and lower sections. By reasons of this construction, the entire bottom section of the cargo chamber, for example, may be utilized for cold storage while the top secton may be used for other storage purposes.
As shown, the upper surface of the platform 70 is flush with the deck 62, and in the folded position of the boat [0, the inner edge 74 of the deck 60 of bow shell 12 engages the marginal portions of the upper surface of the platform 70 thereby securing the platform 70 between the two shells,
An additional feature provided by the platform 70 is that it may also be used as the surface of a table. To this end, sockets 76 are provided in the four corners thereof which are adapted to receive the sections 38 of the mast, for example, with the sections 38 serving as the legs of the table.
A key operated lock (not shown) may be molded into one of the shells with cooperating elements molded into the other of the shells with cooperating elements molded into the position and to prevent access to the cargo chamber by unauthorized persons. Also, oar lock holes or fittings (not shown) may be molded into one of the shells in order that the boat may serve as a rowboat.
Preferably, the bow and aft sections of the hull are of such dimension that with the hinge pins of the hinges removed, one shell may be nested within the other, requiring a minimum of storage space when the boat is to be stored as, for example, in a garage or cellar. Also, a keel well 80 may be provided in bow secton 12 to accommodate a keel shown outline form at 82. Preferably, the keel 82 is free floating in the well 80 and is slanted backward at an angle of approximately 30 degrees which allows it to slide upward within the well 80 without damage to the boat when grounded.
As shown, the aft shell 14 has a pair of studs 76 projecting therefrom The studs 76 are utilized to detachably secure a bracket 78 to the shell by means of pins 79. The bracket 78 has a tiller pivotally amounted thereon by means ofa hinge 80. Alternately, the studs may beutilized to dctachably secure a suitable bracket to which would be secured a lightweight outboard motor, thereby converting the boat 10 to a power driven boat.
From the foregoing, it will be understood that l have thus provided a versatile, lightweight, inexpensive, compact folding boat substantially surpassing, when its advantages are considered as a whole, similar type folding boats known to those skilled in the art.
I claim as my invention:
1. in a folding boat construction, the combination comprising a boat hull comprising a pair of unitary shells, said shells each having similar flat transverse partitions at their adjacent ends in substantially the midportion of said hull, means pivotally connecting said partitions together whereby one of said shells may be pivoted upwardly from a fully extended position to a position overlying the other of said shells, said shells in the folded position of the boat defining a closed chamber therebetween, and removable spring-clip means fitting over said partitions to lock said shells together in the unfolded position thereof to form an open boat, said springclip means being of generally U-shaped configuration and having a relatively short web portion and a pair of spaced-apart elongated portions extending from said web portion, said web portion lying in engagement with the upper edges of said partitions in the normal operative position of said spring-clip means and said spaced-apart portions of said spring-clip means extending downwardly from said web in engagement with the exposed side surfaces of said partitions.
2 in a folding boat construction as defined in claim 1, wherein said partitions have recessed portion extending inwardly from the exposed surfaces thereof and said spacedapart portions of said spring-clip means each have an inwardly projecting portion adapted to enter and engage a recessed portion in said partitionsv 3. in a folding boat construction as defined in claim 1, wherein said spring-clip means include means for removably securing a seat thereto.
4. .ln a folding boat construction as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said shells has side decks extending laterally outwardly adjacent the upper edges of the side walls thereof to define a continuous rubrail extending about the upper periphery of the boat in the unfolded position thereof, one of said side decks on one of said shells having an upstanding endless flangelike portion and the other of said decks on the other of said shells having a continuous upwardly opening channel, said flangelike portion being received in and cooperating with said channel when said boat is in the folded position to provide a weather tight junction along the mating surfaces ofsaid shells.
5. in a folding boat construction as defined in claim 4, wherein at least one of said decks of one of said shells has a depressed ledge formed on the interior edge thereof which extends about the upper periphery of said one shell, and a horizontal platform is adapted to be mounted on said shoulder with its upper surface being flush with said one deck whereby in the folded position of said boat the other of said decks engages the marginal portions of the upper surface of said platform to secure said platform between said shells.
6. in a folding boat construction as defined in claim 4, wherein the exposed upper and lower surfaces of said rubrail in the folded position of said boat converge toward said shells to provide clamping surfaces for clamping the boat to a vehicle, whereby the boat may be hauled on a highway.