US 3788256 A
A watercraft is provided with a frame symmetrical about a longitudinal axis and having at least two pairs of freely rotatable floating pontoons. The pontoons have a generally circular disk-like configuration and a convex side in contact with the water. The disk-like pontoons are disposed so that the respective inboard portions thereof touch the water while the respective outboard portions lift out of the water, i.e., the disks incline downwardly, inboard of the craft. To improve directional stability, rudder-like fins extend downwardly from the center of the convex surface and means are provided so that the fins, in at least one pair, are rotatable in unison about a substantially vertical axis to provide steering.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 91 Bashaw WATERCRAFT WITH ROTATABLE FLOATING PONTOONS Arthur E. Bashaw, 16900 Parthenia,
Apt. No. 9, Sepulveda, Calif. 91343  Filed: June 6, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 263,373
 US. Cl 114/39, 114/665 F  Int. Cl B63b 35/00  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Hamilton 114/39 Greenberg et a1. 1 14/39 Dismukes 114/61 [111 3,788,256 [451v Jan. 29, 1974 Primary ExaminerTrygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Stuart M. Goldstein [5 7] ABSTRACT A watercraft is provided with a frame symmetrical about a longitudinal axis and having at least two pairs of freely rotatable floating pontoons. The pontoons have a generally circular disk-like configuration and a convex side in contact with the water. The disk-like pontoons are disposed so that the respective inboard portions thereof touch the water while the respective outboard portions lift out of the water, i.e., the disks incline downwardly, inboard of the craft. To improve directional stability, rudder-like fins extend downwardly from the center of the convex surface and means are provided so that the fins, in at least one pair, are rotatable in unison about a substantially vertical axis to provide steering.
4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WATERCRAFT WITH ROTATABLE FLOATING PONTOONS FIELD OF THE INVENTION Thisinvention relates to a watercraft and more particularly to improved means for increasing stability and decreasing drag.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 The resistance of a watercraft or vessel as it moves through the water is substantially directly proportional to its wetted surface and geometrically proportional to the speed of the vessel through the water. To overcome this drawback, United States Pat. No. 2,488,310 shows a watercraft having a body and a plurality of supporting pontoons or floating members mounted thereon. The pontoons are disk-shaped and are capable of floating and supporting the weight of the craft by their buoyancy. The disk-shaped pontoons are rotatable on substantially vertical axes that are slightly tilted outboard so that they would cross below the surface of the water. This causes the outboard portions of the pontoons to be in the water while the inboard portions remain above the water. The pontoons are coupled to a prime mover to rotate them and to propel the craft across the water. Since members outboard portions of the disk-like pontoons contact the water, the member have a tendency of plowing into the water whenever the craft leans into a turn. This condition could cause the craft to upset and overturn. In addition, since the disk-like pontoons have a very shallow draft, especially when the craft is under way, the craft has a tendency to slide laterally under a crosswind making it relatively difficult to control the craft. These problems are more pronounced if the teachings of the prior art are to be incorporated in a sailboat.
Objects of the Invention: The object of this invention is to provide a watercraft with improved stability and decreased water resistance.
Another object is to provide a watercraft with a plurality of circular disk-like pontoons rotatably mounted to rotate freely about their respective axes that are inboard tilted so that they would cross somewhere above the water.
Another object is to provide rudders disposed on the respective axes of the pontoons of the above mentioned objects to provide directional stability along the surface of the water.
Another object is to provide the respective pontoons in the above objects with smooth, convex surfaces, each having a relatively large radius of curvature.
These and other objects and features of advantage will become more apparent after studying the following detailed description together with the appended drawmgs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a watercraft employing my novel means.
FIG. 2 is a port elevation of the watercraft shown in FIG. 1 showing only the lower portion of the sail and mast.
FIG. 3 is a stern elevation of the water craft shown in FIG. 1, showing only the lower portion of the mast. FIG. 4 is a cross-section taken substantially on line 4--4 of FIG. 3, in the direction of the arrows.
FIG. 5 is-a starboard elevation of a sea plane, incorporating my invention.
I FIG. 6 is a front view of the sea plane of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the novel features of my invention are shown incorporated with a sailing water craft, but one skilled in the art, after studying this disclosure, could be able to incorporate these features in any other types of crafts. The sailing craft or vessel I hqve shown has a frame 10 that is rectangular in shape and comprises two longitudinal pipes 11 and 12 and two transverse pipes 13 and 14 held together by four corner fittings 16, 17, 18 and 19. The fittings respectively hqve sleeves 16a, 17a, 18a, 19a, that are disposed substantially vertical as will be explained hereinafter. Perpendieularly fixed to each respective sleeve are tubular sockets 16b, 17b, 18b, and 19b, while additional tubular sockets 16c, 17c, 18c, and 190 are fixed to the respective sleeves so that they form an acute angle of approximately with the sleeve. The port side longitudinal pipe 11 engages sockets 16b and 19b, and the starboard side longitudinal pipe 12 engages sockets 17b and 18b. The forward transverse pipe 13 engages sockets 16c and 17c, and the aft or stern transverse pipe 14 engages sockets 18c and l9c Suitable bolts 21 are used to removably lock the pipes to their respective corner fittings. As shown in FIG. 3, the acute angles mentioned above are located on the upper side so that the axes-of each pair of sleeves would intersect at a point substantially above the craft, therefore the sleeves are not vertical true. To provide a region for supporting a pay load, a canvas sheet 22 (FIG. 1) is stretched within the frame 10 and held by suitable lacing 23. The frame 10 is supported above the surface of the water represented by item 24 by the circular disc-like pontoons 26 mounted onto a tubular shaft 27 coaxially thereon, more clearly shown in FIG. 4. Each of the shafts 27 is rotatably mounted in one of the respective sleeves 16a, 17a, 18a and 19a as will be described hereinafter.
Referring to FIG. 4, although only the pontoons 26 and shaft 27 on the starboard stern corner, are shown, the other pontoons and shafts are similar and are similarly mounted in the respective comer fittings. The pontoon 26 comprises a polyeurothane foam core 28, coated with a layer of resin-impregnated glass cloth 29. The glass cloth 29 is finished to a smooth finish. The lower surface 31 of the pontoon 26 is convex and has a relatively large radius of curvature so that the pontoon 26 is only a small segment or fraction of a hemisphere enclosed by the radius. An upper surface 32 thereon is substantially fiat and the upper and lower surface form a round comer 33 for obvious reasons like to prevent fracture of the pontoon. The tubular shaft 27 extends through the pontoon 26, as shown, normal to the upper surface 31. The foam 28 is formed around the shaft 27 and becomes inherently bonded thereto. The upper end of the shaft 27 passes through, for example, sleeve 18a on corner fitting l8 and is mounted therein by suitable bearings 35 which are capable of taking thrust as well as radial loads so that the shaft 27 does not slide axially in the respective sleeve 18a. Since the shaft is free to rotate, the pontoon attached thereto also is free to rotate, and because the axes of rotation are sloped transversely from the vertical so that they come together at a point above-the water, the pontoon 26 floats on the water as shown in FIG. 3. Thus, when the craft moves forward, or to the left as viewed in FIG. I, the pontoons 26 on the starboard side rotate counter-clockwise and the pontoons on the port side rotate clockwise.
To provide a craft with rudder control, suitable fins 37 are disposed below the pontoon 26. The fins 37 are mounted on respective rods 38 that are concentrically disposed within respective tubular shafts 27, more t! h9-Y 1..i11FI9-. iI ifwfil mi rods 38 have their upper ends bent 90 as is shown, and the ends thereof are pin-connected to a link 39. The center of the link 39 is pin-connected to a rudder arm 41 (FIG. 1) which is pin-connected by a midpoint 42 on the stern pipe 14. Since the two aft fins 37 can be moved in unison by the operator by using the rudder arm 41 as the rods 38 are free to rotate within tubular shafts 27. Suitable means such as thrust collars 43 prevent axial movement between the rods 38 and the respective shaft 27. The rods 38, to which the two forward fins 37 are attached, are preferably fixed by some standard means, not shown, so that the fins 37 are in the fore and aft position and do not rotate with respect to the frame. These four fins aid in preventing the craft from sliding sideways along the water and also aid in steering the craft.
As mentioned above, the novel features are included in a sailing craft and a sail 44 is mounted onto a mast 46 and a boom 47 in a standard manner. The mast 46 has its lower end pivotally attached by a suitable means to the forward pipe 13 at the center thereof. To provide rigidity to the mast, three guidelines 50, 51 and 52, FIGS. 1 and 2, extend from the top of the mast whereby line 51 is fixed to a suitable pad eye 53 on the starboard pipe 12. Line 52 is fixed to another pad eye 54 and a port pipe 11, and line 50 is fixed onto the end of a strut 55 as shown in FIG. 2. Strut 55 is disposed on the crafts center line and extends forward of the forward pipe 13 and is preferably rigidlyfixed thereto by suitable means. Suitable standard rigging, not shown, is provided for the boom 47 to allow one to sail the craft.
One can see that with the pontoons shaped and inclined as shown, i.e., inclined downwardly, inboard of the craft, the pontoons would not knife into the water when the craft leans to the side when in its tacking position, thereby increasing stability. The control fins below the pontoons prevent undue lateral slippage across the surface of the water and allow the craft to move forward freely. The smooth convex surface on the pontoon and its ability to rotate on the water decrease the drag. The foam construction insures that the pontoons would not leak and sink; however, one can use pontoons spun from aluminum or stainless steel without departing from the spirit of this invention. One can obviously see that with the fins removed, the craft can be readily rolled on the beach and into and out of the water. When the craft is floating, the fins can be readily inserted. The craft can be readily knocked down and stowed within the body of a conventional road camper vehicle to be transferred overland to a lake.
Referring to FIGS. and 6, my invention is shown included on an aircraft 70 shown by broken lines. Four pontoons 71, two forward and two aft, are installed on the underside of the aircraft 70. The pontoons 71 are similar to pontoons 26 except for size and should be of sufficient size to float the aircraft. The pontoons 71 are mounted by suitable means, not shown, so that they retract into suitable wells 72 fonned in the body of the craft 70. When extended away from the body and out of the wells, the pontoons 71 are free to rotate, as de scribed above. Thus one can see that water drag is reduced to a minimum and the aircraft can get up flying speed faster and in a shorter takeoff run. If one desires, fins can be disposed below the pontoons 71 in a similar manner, as shown for the sailing vessel in FIGS. 1 and 2. The fins can be mounted by means not shown so that they retract into the pontoons when the plane is in flying position.
Although the preferred embodiments of my invention are shown, the invention is considered not to be limited by the disclosure. However, the invention includes all of the embodiments coming within the scope of the claims.
1. A watercraft comprising:
a body frame and a plurality of round disc-like pontoons rotatably mounted on said frame, and
the plane of each pontoon being inclined in a downwardly inboard direction,
said body frame comprises two longitudinal pipes and two transverse pipes substantially disposed in a rectangle, and a corner fitting in each corner to which said respective pipes are clamped,
each of said corner fittings includes a tubular sleeve, a first socket disposed substantially perpendicular to the sleeve, and a second socket disposed at an acute angle to the sleeve and substantially perpendicular to the first sleeve,
said longitudinal pipes are disposed and clamped within said first socket of the respective corner fitting,
said transverse pipes are disposed and clamped in said second socket of the respective corner fittings,
the acute angle between the second sockets and said sleeve is disposed above the respective socket,
a tubular shaft is rotatably mounted within each sleeve of said corner fittings,
each of said round disk-like pontoons fixed on the lower end of each of said tubular shafts.
2. The craft of claim 1 wherein:
a rod is disposed within each tubular sleeve,
a fin disposed on the lower protruding end of said rod, and means are provided on said body frame for controlling some of the fins independently of the rotation of said pontoons.
3. The craft of claim 2 wherein:
means for steering are provided to control the two aft fins,
a mast is perpendicularly disposed on the forward transverse pipe,
a boom is horizontally disposed from said mast,
a sail is rigged to said mast and boom,
a strut is disposed protruding and extending horizontally from the forward transverse pipe,
a guideline extending from the end of said strut to the top of said mast, and
two additional guidelines extending from the top of said mast and anchored onto said respective longitudinal pipes, to stabilize said mast.
4. The craft of claim 1 wherein said body frame is provided with a mast and rigging for sailing.