US 3696451 A
A floatation unit which can form a part of a boat or raft comprising a frame having longitudinal and transverse frame members, and an inflatable flexible tube of annular shape in top plan view having forward and rearward portions disposed above the longitudinal frame member when it is in a horizontal position, and having right and left portions disposed below the horizontal transverse frame member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Thompson [451 Oct. 10, 1972  TUBE FLOAT OR BOAT  Appl. No.: 159,367
 US. Cl. ..9/2 A  Int. Cl. ..B63b 7/08  Field of Search ..9/2 R, 2 A, 2 C, 2 S, 11 A, 9/5, 347, 31 l  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,642,149 9/1927 Hayes ..9/2 A 1,743,396 l/1930 Robertson, Jr. ..9/2 A 1,927,124 9/1933 Jones ..9/2 A 2,891,260 6/1959 Wright ..9/2 A 2,929,080 3/1960 Daily ..9/2 A 3,601,076 8/1971 Meeks ..9/2 A 90 lOl 2o FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 809,918 12/1936 France ..9/2 A Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Carl A. Rutledge Attorneyl-liram A. Sturges [5 7] ABSTRACT A floatation unit which can form a part of a boat or raft comprising a frame having longitudinal and transverse frame members, and an inflatable flexible tube of annular shape in top plan view having forward and rearward portions disposed above the longitudinal frame member when it is in a horizontal position, and having right and left portions disposed below the horizontal transverse frame member.
A boat or raft formed of multiple floatation units disposed side by side or forwardly and rearwardly of each other.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures :5/ I02 82 as PATENTEI] 0B7 10 I973 3.6 96 451 INVENTOR. HOWARD D. THOMPSON TUBE FLOAT OR BOAT FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention is in the field of floats such as boats and rafts made from inflatable tubes. 1
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART In the prior art, no floatation units for boats or rafts made from inner tubes in a manner involving longitudinal and transverse frame members are to be found, even though it is well-known that automobile inner tubes are available at low price in all localities and are commonly used without frames as floats in swimming areas.
Inflatable annular tubes have been proposed in the prior art for providing floats using a tube with always was of large size for larger than an automobile inner tube and which could be manufactured only with great expense and with special molds.
Prior art floats or boats made from single tubes have had the further disadvantage that forward and rearward portions of the tubes would hit the water with resistance as the boat moved forward since they are on the same horizontal level as the sides of the tubes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A floatation unit which can form a part of a boar or raft comprising a frame having longitudinal and transverse frame members, and an inflatable flexible tube of annular shape in top plan view having forward and rearward portions disposed above the longitudinal frame member when it is in a horizontal position, and having right and left portions disposed below the horizontal transverse frame member, the dimensions of the tube being such that in the described position, its upper side is pressed firmly against the transverse I frame means for serving to hold the tube firmly in place on the frame.
A floatation structure for use as a boat or raft comprising a plurality of the floatation units described disposed forwardly and rearwardly of each other when seen in side elevation, the frames of the floatation units being interconnected.
A plurality of units as described disposed one behind another with outermost parts of the right and left side portions of each unit disposed in two straight lines respectively.
A combination of flotation units disposed with two units alongside each other and a third unit disposed with its area center, as seen in top plan view, arranged rearwardly of a midpoint between two front units.
The flotation unit described in which the transverse frame means comprises two parallel spaced apart transverse frame members.
A boat having propulsion means such as an outboard motor or a sail and formed from the floatation units described.
The combination in which certain of the frame members are notched to receive portions of other frame members for helping to form a rigid frame.
A particular object is to provide a quick way to attach inner tubes to a boat frame whereby tedious attaching is unnecessary, the method of attachment being to either put them in place while deflated or to assemble tubes on floatation unit frames as disconnectable frame portions are assembled.
A further object is to provide a boat having only rubber parts or synthetic rubber parts on its lowermost surfaces whereby the boat can be placed on the top of an automobile without damage to the finish and whereby a cartop carrier is not necessary, and so the nuisance of attaching and unattaching a cartop carrier is eliminated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 3 is a boat or raft dia'gramatically shown in perspective, and being a modification in which three inner tubes are used, the inner tube of each of three floatation unit not being shown.
FIG. 4 is a detail in perspective of a disconnectable joint in disconnected position and as used between two longitudinal frame members.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 a boat is shown generally at 10 and it can also be called a floatation structure 10, since a similar construction could also be referred to as a raft, if one prefers.
The boat 10 comprises three floatation units generally indicated at 20, 30, 40. Each flotation unit comprises a frame, and the main or entire frame 50 of the entire boat 10 will be understood to be composed of a plurality of separate frames shown at 52, 54, and 56 for the respective floatation units 20, 30, and 40.
Each frame 52, 54, or 56 will be seen to have at least one longitudinal frame member 60, 61, or 62, respectively, for each floatation unit 20, 30, and 40.
Each longitudinal frame member 60, 61, or 62 has at least one elongated transverse frame member horizontally disposed and attached to the horizontal longitudinal frame member 60, 61, or 62, and extending transversely to the latter respectively, such elongated transverse frame member being 81 and 82 in the case of the floatation unit 20, 83 and 84 in the case of the floatation unit 30, and 85 and 86 in the case of the floatation unit 40.
The transverse frame members of each floatation unit are substantially spaced apart a distance that can vary considerably and still work. For example, the distance of one foot is practical with the most common available automobile inner tubes of full-size American passenger cars. The transverse frame members are preferably disposed at a right angle with the respect to the longitudinal frame member of each floatation unit.
Each floatation unit 20, 30, or 40 has an inflatable flexible tube of annular shape in top plan view and which can be an inner tube of an automobile as described.
The tubes are shown at 90, 92, and 94 for the units 20, 30, and 40. Each tube has its forward and rearward ends 96 and 98, in the case of the unit 20, disposed above the longitudinal frame member 60 thereof and has right and left side portions 101 and 102 disposed below the transverse frame member 81 and also below the transverse frame member 82. It is to be understood that one or more transverse frame members can be used and that for most effective use, the forward edge of a forward transverse frame member should be spaced from the rearward edge of a rearward transverse frame member a distance of 8 inches or 1 foot, for example, when an ordinary automobile inner tube as above described is used.
The dimensions of the tube 90 are such that in the described position, the top of the right and left sides 101 and 102 of the tube are pressed firmly against the undersides of the transverse frame means or transverse frame assembly generally indicated at 120 and which comprises the transverse frame members 81 and 82, taken together.
v In FIGS. 1 and 2, the floatation units 90, 92, and 94 are disposed in a row forwardly and rearwardly of each other respectively. The frames 60, 61, and 62 are secured together in a row to form a single longitudinal frame member for an enitre float or boat or raft, as the resultant structure could be variously called.
The method of securing sections 60, 61, and 62 together can be as shown in FIG. 3 in which the frame members 60 and 61 are hollow, as preferably also are the transverse frame members above described. A bridging member 150 preferably is squared shaped in cross-section and elongated and is inserted into the square cross-section openings 152 and 154 of the frame members 61 and 62, and securing means such as welding at 160 of the bridge member 150 to the frame member 61 and a bolt means or assembly 170 can be employed to secure the bridge member 150 to the frame member 60. The bolt assembly 170 comprises a bolt 172 adapted to extend through suitable holes 174 in opposite sides of the frame member 60 and through other suitable holes registering therewith and shown at 180 in opposite sides of the bridge member 150. This method will make it possible to removably attach the frame members together so that this assembly is easy, when desired.
As best seen in FIG. 1, the outermost part of the right and left side portions of each unit 20, 30 and 40 are disposed in two straight lines respectively, whereby the alignment of the right and left side portions of the tubes which would also be the undermost portions of the tubes, tends to make less resistance in the water than would be the case if these tubes had their side portions not in alignment.
The forward and rearward ends of each tube, those ends of the tube are held above the water line shown at 200 because they extend across the top of the longitudinal frame members 60, 61, and 62 respectively.
Referring to FIG. 4, it can be seen that the frame 250 of the float there shown provides the frames of three floatation units connected together, these floatation units are right and left forward floatation unit frames 260 and 262 disposed alongside each other at the forward end of the float frame 250 and a third floatation unit frame 264 disposed with its area center as seen in top plan view arranged directly rearward of a midpoint between the two front units 260 and 262 along a common longitudinal frame assembly 270 having a forward part 272 and a rearward part 274, the longitudinal frame members of the forward floatation unit frames 260 and 262 being shown respectively at 280 and 282 parallel to and spaced from the longitudinal frame assembly 270.
It will be understood that the way the frame of FIG. 4 is used is to put on it tubes in the same fashion as for each of the floatation units of FIG. 1.
It is to be further understood that in merchandising, it may be desirable to sell the frames alone at lesser price to those customers who prefer to provide their own inner tubes.
Referring now to FIG. 1, it will be seen that an outboard motor is shown at 300 attached to a first block 302.
The block 302 extends vertically along one side of the frame member 62 and a companion block 304 extends vertically along the opposite side thereof, on the right and left sides respectfully, the blocks 302 and 304 being secured together by bolts 306 and 310 at the bottom and top of the frame member 62 and extending through the blocks 302 and 304 for firmly fixing the motor 300 to the frame member 62 at the rear of the float.
In similar manner, a mast 400 can extend down the long one side of the frame member 60 and a mast block 402 can extend along the opposite side of the frame member 60 with bolts 410 and 412 disposed above and below the frame member 60 and extending horizontally as are the bolts 306 and 310 for securing the block 402 to the mast 400 and firmly anchoring the mast to the frame member 60.
On the mast 400 is a boom pivoted thereto. A sail 422 mounted on the mast and boom completes the mast, boom, sail assembly 430.
Vertical oarlock supports 470 extend upwardly from opposite ends of the transverse frame member 83 a suitable distance so that a rider seated with his buttox partly on the rearward portion of tube and partly on the forward portion of tube 92 can handle a row with oars not shown carried in oarlock 474 mounted in the top of the members 470.
A center board to prevent slide slip is shown at 500 and is suitably attached to the left side of the main frame assembly 502, which latter comprises longitudinal frame sections 60, 61, and 62.
Referring to FIG. 4, it will be seen that each transverse member extends through a closely fitting notch 600 and each longitudinal frame member which they intersect, each notch 600 being on the underside of a respective longitudinal frame member and being of rectangular shape in side elevation as seen in FIG. 2 at 610, whereby a rigid frame is provided because of the close fit, at each intersection of a longitudinal frame member with a transverse frame member a bolt and nut assembly 630 extends through the upper longitudinal frame member and down through the lower transverse frame member to fix the two firmly together.
It is important to realize the great comfort for a rider who is seated on the upper parts of two adjacent inner tubes since the inner tubes will yield readily to conform to the buttox.
1. A floatation unit comprising: a frame having at least one elongated longitudinal frame member and having at least one horizontally elongated transverse frame member attached to the longitudinal frame member and extending transversely thereto, and an inflatable flexible tube of annular shape in top plan view, said tube having forward and rearward portions disposed above said longitudinal frame member and also having right and left portions disposed below said transverse frame member.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which the dimensions of said tube are such that in the described position the top of its right and left sides are pressed firmly against said transverse frame means.
3. A floatation structure comprising a plurality of the floatation units of claim 1, said floatation units being disposed forwardly and rearwardly of each other when seen in side elevation, the frames of said floatation units being interconnected.
4. The combination of claim 3 in which the said plurality of floatation units are disposed one behind another with outermost parts of the right and left side portions of each unit disposed in two straight lines respectively.
5. The combination of claim 3 in which said units are disposed with two of said units alongside each other and a third unit disposed with its area center as seen in top plan view arranged directly rearward of a midpoint between the said two front units.
6. The combination of claim 1 in which said transverse frame means comprises two parallel spaced apart transverse frame members.
7. The combination of claim 3 in further combination with an outboard motor attached thereto.
8. The combination of claim 3 in further combination with a mast, boom, and sail assembly attached thereto.
9. The combination of claim 3 in which the means of connecting said units together comprises said longitudinal frame members of said units being aligned and having adjacent tubular end portions which are provided with rectangular inner surfaces as seen in crosssection, an elongated insert having a cross-section of a uniform rectangular shape along its length and of a size adapted to snugly fit in said longitudinal frame members, said insert being disposed partly in the longitudinal frame member of one of said units and partly in the longitudinal frame member of one of said units, and means connecting said insert to the said adjacent longitudinal frame members of said units.
10. The combination of claim 1 in which said floatation units are constructed so that their transverse and longitudinal frame members lap each other to form an intersection, and at each intersection one of the intersecting frame members having a notch therein receiving an adjacent portion of the other intersecting frame member, and means securing the transverse and longitudinal frame members together to form a rigid structure, such means being a bolt extended vertically through the intersecting frame members, said frame members being of rectangular shape in cross-section, said notch having edges closely fitting the opposite intersecting frame member.