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Publication numberUS3765362 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1973
Filing dateMay 4, 1972
Priority dateMay 4, 1972
Publication numberUS 3765362 A, US 3765362A, US-A-3765362, US3765362 A, US3765362A
InventorsGitchel J
Original AssigneeGitchel J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dynamic balance sail control
US 3765362 A
Abstract
A dynamic balance sail control apparatus for sailboats or the like which controls the position of a mainsail about a vertical axis. Control of the mainsail may be effected on board the craft or from a remote position with the aid of radio transmitter and receiver means. One end of a sheet or rope means is attached to the boom of the mainsail and the other end is wrapped around a reel means from which the sheet means is payed in and out. A reversible motor means is used to rotate the reel means in opposite directions. The apparent wind against the mainsail creates a tension on the sheet means which is absorbed by a preadjusted tension on a rubber band torque motor whereby the sheet means may be payed in or out to adjust the position thereof. By utilizing multichannel radio transmitter and receiver means it is also possible to effect a steering control by controlling a rudder for the sailboat. By utilizing more than one sheet means, other sails, such as a jib sail, may also be controlled.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Gitchel Oct. 16, 1973 DYNAMIC BALANCE SAIL CONTROL James Wallace Gitchel, 14330 Fancher Road, No. 31,Westerville, Ohio 43081 May 4, 1972 [76] inventor:

[22] Filed:

.[21] Appl. No.: 250,156

Primary Examiner George E. A. Halvosa Assistant ExaminerSherman D. Basinger Attorney-Warren N. Low et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A dynamic balance sail control apparatus for sailboats or the like which controls the position of a mainsail about a vertical axis. Control of the mainsail may be effected on board the craft or from a remote position with the aid of radio transmitter and receiver means. One endof a sheet or rope means is attached to the boom of the mainsail and the other end is wrapped around a reel means from which the sheet means is payed in and out. A reversible motor means is used to rotate the reel means in opposite directions. The apparent wind against the mainsail creates a tension on the sheet means which is absorbed by a preadjusted tension on a rubber band torque motor whereby the sheet means may be payed in or out to adjust the position thereof. By utilizing multichannel radio transmitter and receiver means it is also possible to effect a steering control by controlling a rudder for the sailboat. By utilizing more than one sheet means, other sails, such as a jib sail, may also be controlled.

8 Claims, 5' Drawing Figures PAlfiNrEuucnsma 3.765362 sum 2 or 2 1 TO B IATTAC MENT v if iNSAlL TO JIB SAIL DYNAMIC BALANCE SAIL CONTROL This invention relates to a dynamic balance control apparatus for sailboats or the like and more particularly, to such apparatus for controlling the positionof sails about a vertical axis.

I-Ieretofore it has been known to effect a steering control for model sailboats by controlling the rudder thereof. With the sails fixed about a vertical axis, this mode of operation offers considerably less of a challenge to a sailor than is normally encountered.

In accordance with the present invention, it becomes possible to effect not only rudder control but also control of the sails of a sailboat or the like whereby amore accurate test may be made of the skills of the sailor.

While the present invention is designed for use in connection with model yachts and sloop rigged sailboats, it is also possible to be used in full-sized sailboats or the like with or without remote control.

As used herein, the terms sheet" or sheet means are used to define ropes or lines used to trim and'adjust the position of a sail with respect to the apparent wind.

In a preferred form of the present invention, sheet means are used to control the position of the mainsail about a vertical axis. One end of the sheet means is attached to the boom ofthe mainsailand the other end is wound around suitable reel means for receiving and paying out the sheet means. A reversible motor means is used to rotate the reel means in opposite directions. It is preferred to include means for varying thetorque required to rotate the reel means. This is effectedin the preferred embodiment by use ofa rubber bandtorque balance motor with a torque adjust key whereby the sible not only to control the position of the mainsail about a vertical axis but also to effect a-steering control by controlling a rudder for the sailboat.

A pulley drive between the reversible motor and the reel means on which the sheet meansfor; the mainsail are payed in and out is used-to effect speedreduction between the reversible motor means and the reel means. In the preferred form of the invention, ajib sail is also controlled-by the auxiliary sheet means with the auxiliary sheet means also being received on the same reel means as is used to receive the sheet means for the mainsail. It is preferred to employ any commercially available radio control servo in the hobby industry for effecting remote control of the sheet means to the mainsail. The servo provides a rotary mechanical output in the nature of a push-pull drive in order to actuate polarity reversing switches'or, in a modified form of the invention, polarity reversing rheostats. The latter enhance the operation of the dynamic balance sail control since they permitspeed controlin the right-hand or left-hand direction at the discretion of the operator.

The inherent advantages. and improvements of the present invention will become more readily apparent upon considering the following detailed description of the invention and by reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating remote control of a sailboat in accordance with the present inven- FIG. 2 is a top plan view taken in partially horizontal cross section of a sail control receiver unit;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view taken in vertical cross section along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is asehematic wiringdiagram for the said control receiver unit of FIGS. 2 and 3; and,

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary schematic wiring diagram illustrating a modified portion of the schematic wiring diagram of FIG. 4.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a sailor 10 who is shown to be carrying a radio transmitter unit indicated generally at 12 having an antenna 14. A sailboat is indicated generally at 16 provided with a mainsail l8and'a jib sail 20.

Referring. to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is illustrated a preferred sailing control unit. Thus there is illustrated a sail control unit housing indicated generally at 22 provided with a radio control receiver 24 and a receiver battery 26-electrically connected thereto. By utilizing a multi-channel radio receiver 24 in conjunction with a multi-channel transmitter 12, it is possible to effect sterring of the sailboat in conventional manner by controlling its rudder. 7

As animproved feature of the present invention, it is also possible to controlthe sails l8 and 20 of a sailboat l6-about'their vertical axis. This is effected by utilizing the outputofaservo 28 in order to effect a mechanical push-pullrotary movement of a rotor 30; The details of the servo unitare notdisclosed although any commercially available control servo in the hobby industry may be employed; For example, Heathkit types GDAl- 9-42 ortGDA-l9-4l or- GDA-l94 are typical servos whichmay. be employed.

Serially connected batteries are illustrated at 32 with electricalleads 33-(FIG. 4) connected to the positive terminals 34andleads 35 connect the negative terminals ofthe battery to negative terminals 36. A pair of polarity. reversing switches 38, are illustratedJln an actual reduction to practice, switches 38 and 40 were made by attaching two pieces of piano wire to a servo motor and soldering the drive motorleads to their respective points. However, any double pole, double throw switch may be used with two being required. These switches are connected by mechanical linkage to the rotor at a proper leverage arm to actuate the .switches simultaneously and accomplish the necessary polarity reversing for drive motor 46 which is a 6-volt D.-C. reversing motor.

Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 3, a small pulley 48 is illustratedon the output shaft of the motor 46 and a drive belt 50 interconnects small pulley 48 to a large pulley 52; A' main sheet 54-is received on the reel means indicated generally at 55. Preferably the center line of the boat keel is substantially in line with main sheet 54. A jib sail-control sheet 56 is also wound on reelmeans 'with the sheet'line to the jib sail indicated at 57 and interconnected to 56 by means of a split ring 58. Rubber bandfeeder bunges 'such as the one shown at 60 in FIG. 2 may be employed to prevent fouling of the sheet lines.

The reel means 55 are encased in anti-fouling shroud 61 which substantially completely envelops the reel means 55. The cover of the anti-fouling shroud is shown to be removed in FIG. 2 to better illustrate the pulley means. A pair of eyelets or hooks 62 are attached to the exterior of the large pulley and rubber bands 64 are connected thereto at one end with their other end connected to a torque adjust key 66. By adjusting the position of the torque adjust key 66, the torque on the reel means 55 may be adjusted to compensate for the tension in the sheet means 54 and 56. Referring to FIG. 5, a rheostat control has been used to replace the simple positive and negative terminals 34 and 36, respectively. Thus resistors 34a and 36a illustrated in FIG. 5 whereby it is possible to obtain speed control in the right-hand or left-hand rotation at the discretion of the operator. In a prototype construction, an Ohmite 12.5 watt 75 ohm Model E rheostat was utilized to effect speed control. As in FIG. 4, leads 42 and 44 are connected to a DC. reversing motor and leads 33 and 35 are connected respectively to the positive and negative terminals of a series of batteries.

While any commercially available transmitter receiver may be employed, a three channel Heathkit system kit GD-57 has actually been used. Examples of servos which may be employed include Heathkit Sub- Miniature Servo Kit GDA-l9-42 or Heathkit Miniature Servo Kit GDA-l 9-4l or Heathkit Standard Servo Kit GDA-l 9-4. All of these servos give right-hand and left-hand proportional rotation on command from a matching radio transmitter and receiver set. The rotor is standard equipment on the servos and usually consists of molded Nylon or other non-conductive material. The batteries 32 consist of four C-size dry cells connected in series producing six volt DC. current. Any suitable D.C. battery can be used including nickel cadmium types.

With multi-channel or two channel operation, the first channel is used to effect steerage only by controlling the rudder of the sailboat with a second channel used to control the position of the mainsail about a vertical axis. The jib sheet has relatively little effect on the operation of the unit and merely pays in or out so as to control the jib sail in harmony with the mainsail as it moves or swings in or out with varying wind pressures or attitudes of position in degrees.

The electrical equipment addition does not provide the operator with unnecessary power to heave the mainsail flat against the wind. Instead, it provides quick and minute adjustment of the mainsail in changing attitudes. The 6 volt DC with a belt drive of approximately 10 to 1 ratio is to be considered a dynamic balance assist which gives the operator immediate control over sail luffing or stalling or permits a quick release and dumping of excess wind out of the sail during a wind flaw or gust thereby preventing excessive heeling of the boat and improving the sailing efficiency.

The radio transmitter will customarily operate in the citizen band frequency range. One such frequency centers at about 27 MHz. (11 meters). For example, 26.995 MHz., 27.045 MHz., 27.095 MHz., 27.145 MHz., and 27.195 MHz. may be used. Another frequency ranges near 53 MHz. (6 meters). Specific frequencies include 53.100 MHz., 53.200 MHz., 53.300 MHz., 53.400 MHz., and 53.500 MHz. Still another frequency range is near 72 MHz. (4 meters). Specific frequencies include 72.080 MHz., 72.240 MHz., 72.400 MHz., 72.960 MHz., and 75.640 MHz. Other frequencies may be used.

Physically, the sail control unit housing 22 is preferably located from about mid-ship to approximately twothirds aft with the center line of the boat keel substantially in line with main sheet 54. The size of the ship is optional and can vary from toy models to substantially full-sized yachts or sloop rigged sailboats. For example, sailboats have been equipped with the control apparatus of the present invention wherein the sailboats were 50 inches long, 19 inches-in beam, weighing 25 pounds. The sail area varied from 1,27l to 1,296 square inches. The boom was 36 inches and the mainsail was 66 inches high.

While presently preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be recognized that the invention may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

1. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus for sailboats or the like having at least a mainsail thereon comprising:

a. sheet means for controlling the position of said mainsail about a vertical axis,

b. reel means for receiving and paying out said sheet means,

c. reversible motor means for rotating said reel means in opposite directions,

(I. shroud means which substantially completely envelop said reel means,

e. and means for varying the torque required to rotate said reel means,

1. said torque varying means including flexible rubber band means attached at one end to said reel means and at the other end to said shroud means and further including means to twist said flexible rubber band means.

2. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means for effecting remote control of said reversible motor means.

3. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said means for effecting remote control of said reversible motor means consists of a radio transmitter remotely positioned with respect to said sailboat and radio receiver means positioned on board said sailboat.

4. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said radio transmitter and said radio receiver means contain multi-channels with one of said channels being used to control the position of said mainsail about a vertical axis and another of said channels being used to effect steering control by controlling a rudder for said sailboat.

5. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 1 including speed reduction means between said reversible motor means and said reel means to reduce the speed of said motor means at said reel means.

6. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said sailboat is provided with a jib sail in addition to said mainsail and said apparatus includes sheet means for controlling said jib sail about a vertical axis.

7. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said sheet means for both said jib sail and said mainsail are received on'the same reel means and said jib sail follows the control of said mainsail.

8. A dynamic balance sail control apparatus as defined in claim 1 including polarity reversing rheostat means connected in series with said reversible motor means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2622239 *Mar 18, 1950Dec 16, 1952Reconstruction Finance CorpDirect current control system
US2637510 *Aug 8, 1950May 5, 1953Alfred E GillTrip rope tensioning and releasing device
US3280501 *Sep 6, 1963Oct 25, 1966Lloyd HornbostelRemotely controlled sailing craft
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3980039 *Oct 29, 1975Sep 14, 1976Shakespeare CompanyElectrically operated bow mount for trolling motor
US4190980 *Jan 23, 1978Mar 4, 1980Grycel Felix JModel sailboat sheet winch
US4220107 *May 24, 1979Sep 2, 1980Jacobs Terrence D SrWind controlled self-steering mechanism
US4305830 *Feb 27, 1980Dec 15, 1981Arvin Fay ChristensenWater surface cleaner, method and apparatus
US4551113 *Nov 25, 1983Nov 5, 1985Kabushiki Kaisha AgRadio controlled yacht and sail for the latter
US4923427 *Dec 23, 1988May 8, 1990Vincent RolandSurfing figurine
US5797339 *Dec 12, 1996Aug 25, 1998Brunswick CorporationOptical remote control for trolling motors and method of control
US5947788 *Aug 26, 1997Sep 7, 1999Derrah; Steven J.Radio controlled surfboard with robot
US6450114 *Jul 12, 2000Sep 17, 2002Dianne ConroyWater craft
US8813417Jun 11, 2013Aug 26, 2014Reel Surf Design LLCSurf fishing toy
US9492834 *Oct 15, 2009Nov 15, 2016Richard A BishelRobotic nozzle
Classifications
U.S. Classification114/144.00A, 446/154
International ClassificationA63H30/00, A63H30/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H30/04
European ClassificationA63H30/04