US 3804052 A
A powered first marine vessel has a bow and at least one non-powered second marine vessel is to be maneuvered by pushing it with the first vessel. The second vessel has a stern portion. A thrust-transmitting arrangement is provided on the bow of the first vessel. A portable thrust-receiving arrangement is removably connectable with the stern portion of the second vessel and includes a vertically oriented elongated beam which is to be contacted by the thrust-transmitting arrangement and releasable connectors for connecting the beam with the stern portion of the second vessel.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Lucht MARINE-VESSEL MANEUVERING SYSTEM 1 51 Apr. 16, 1974  3,515,090 6/1970 Chambers ll4/235 R  Inventor: Wilhelm Lucht, Nordenham, 1
Germany Primary Examiner-George E. A. Halvosa 0 t Assistant Examiner-Sherman D. Basinger  Asslgnee: Akt'engeseuschafl weser 7 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael S. Striker 7 Bremen, Germany  Appl 275828 A powered first marine vessel has a bow and at least one non-powered second marine vessel is to be ma-  Foreign Application Priority Data neuvered by pushing it with the first vessel. The sec- July 31, 1971 Germany 2138443 0110 Vessel has a Stem A thrust'transmitting arrangement is provided on the bow of the first vessel. 52 U.S. c1 114/235 R A Pwahle thrust-receiving arrangement is removahly 51 int. c1 B63b 21/00, B631) 35/70 cmmectahle with the Stem Portion of the Second  Field of Search 114/235 R, 77 R and includes a vertically Oriented elongated beam I I g I which is to be contacted by the thrust-transmitting ar-  References Cited rangement and releasable connectors for connecting UNITED STATES PATENTS the beam with the stern portion of the secondvessel.
3,645,225 2/1972 Lunde 114/235 R 6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures H1 L r' ll 1 Z 1 H1. f:
m I h MARINE-VESSEL MANEUVERING SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a system for the maneuvering of marine vessels, and more particularly to a system in which one powered marine vessel maneuvers one or more non-powered second vessels by pushing them.
The locomotion or maneuvering of non-powered marine vessels is effected basically in two ways, either by pulling them or by pushing them. In either case, it is conventional to use a tugboat for the purpose. There are, of course, different types of tugboats, including ocean-going tugs, harbor tugs, and specially constructed tugs which are intended primarily for pushing rather than pulling of marine vessels. Incidentally, it should be pointed out that such non-powered marine vessels include lighters, barges and even floating containers.
A conventional tug which is used predominantly for pulling or towing of non-powered marine vessels, cannot be used for pushing such vessels, unless special thrust-transmitting devices are provided. The use of such devices makes it possible to employ conventional tugs, esepcially harbor tugs for pushing purposes. This eliminates the need for especially constructed pushing tugs which will rarely be fully and economically employed by pushing of vessels along, but which on the other hand cannot be economically used for towing of vessels.
Among the thrust-transmitting devices which have been developed in the prior art for the purpose at hand, there are devices which establish a connection between the tug and the non-powered vessel which is rigid in the longitudinal direction of the two vessels. According to one embodiment known from the prior art, there is provided a coupling element having a joint permitting universal relative movements between the tug and the non-powered vessel. At each lateral side of the tug there is provided a tackle or hoist which is passed to the non-powered vessel where it is secured, the purpose being to assure that the relative movement between the tug and the non-powered vessel can take place only about an upright axis, so that in effect the tug will act as a rudder for the combination of tug and nonpowered vessel (or vessels). The difficulty with the prior-art proposal is that special arrangements must be provided both on the bow of the tug and on the stern of the non-powered vessel, or at least that non-powered vessel with which the arrangement is to be connected. This, in turn, requires rather high investments, because the bow of the tug and the stern of each non-powered vessel which might conceivably be connected with the tug, must be specially constructed for this purpose.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a general object of the present invention to provide an improvement over the prior art.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved system of maneuvering marine vessels which avoids the disadvantages outlined above with respect to the prior art.
Another object of the invention is to provide a system of the type here under discussion which eliminates special structural measures to be taken on the vessels, especially on the non-powered vessel or vessels, and
which provides for a thrust-transmitting arrangement and receiving arrangement which is readily portable so that it can be taken along, for instance, on board of the tug itself, and can be readily secured to the stern of a non-powered vessel in order to permit such nonpowered vessels to be pushed individually or in various combinations.
In pursuance of these objects and of others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of the invention resides, in a system of the character described, in a combination which comprises a powered first marine vessel having a bow, and at least one non-powered second marine vessel which is to be maneuvered by pushing with the first vessel. The second vessel has a stern portion. Thrust transmitting means is provided on the bow of the first vessel and portable thrust-receiving means is provided on the stern portion of the second vessel. According to the invention the portable thrust receiving means comprises an elongated vertically oriented beam adapted to be engaged by the thrusttransmitting means, and releasable connecting means which permits rapid connection and disconnection of the beam from the stern portion.
It is possible, but not preferred to mount the thrusttransmitting means itself removably on the bow of the tug. In either case, it may for instance consist of a steel socket with a hardwood beam which is vertically oriented and mounted on the socket. The'vertically oriented beam of the thrust-receiving means which is to be releasably mounted on the stern portion of the nonpowered second vessel is provided with an elongated open groove into which the hardwood beam of the thrust-transmitting means on the bow of the tug can in part enter. Such entry can be facilitated by giving the hardwood beam a trapezoidal cross-section and the groove a U-shaped profile with divergent sides.
For securing the vertically oriented beam on the stern portion of the non-powered vessel it is important that transverse forces which develop during pushing of the vessel by the tug, will be properly transmitted to the non-powered vessel or combination of vessels. This can be achieved in a simple manner by providing one or both ends of the vertically oriented beam with projections which engage the upper and/or the lower edge of the non-powered vessel so that it can be secured thereto by spindles, ropes or other suitable means.
Of course, for reasons of economy it is usually preferred to push and maneuver not a single non-powered vessel but a string thereof, that is several which are connected. Usually, such strings are composed of a series of non-powered vessels which are located two abreast and which may be connected with one another by ropes or the like. In such a case, it is advisable if the vertically oriented beam is provided with a longitudinally extending sheet metal rib or web which extends into the space between the two non-powered vessels, to the stern portions of which the thrust-receiving means is to be releasably connected. In such a construction, the trans verse forces developing during the pushing operation will be transmitted to one or the other (depending upon the direction in which the force acts) of the two nonpowered vessels which are located abreast one another. Under these circumstances the projection at the lower end of the vertically oriented beam can be omitted and only the projection at the upper end supports and transmits the weight of the vertically oriented beam to the non-powered vessels. The beam is then connected with the two vessels by ropes or similar tackle, and the projection acts also as a connecting element for the two non-powered vessels.
Pushing is facilitated if two sets of tackle are provided, connected at opposite lateral sides to the tug and secured to the single or two-abreast non-powered marine vessels at locations which'are as far as possible spaced laterally from the center line of the nonpowered vessel or the center line between the two nonpowered vessels. This is basically already known, but not in the context of the present invention.
Resort to the present invention makes possible vertically independent movements of the tug and of the non-powered vessel or vessels because the hardwood beam is freely vertically slidable in the groove of the vertically oriented beam of the pressure-receiving means. Thus, the tug can rise and fall with reference to the non-powered vessel, and vice versa. To avoid excessive stresses'upon the connecting tackle during such movements, length compensating devices may be incorporated in the tackle. In any case, however, a connection is established between the tug and the nonpowered vessels which is admirably suited for maneuvering such non-powered vessels by pushing them, at least in harbors and waterways having relatively calm water conditions. If more significant relative movements in vertical direction between tug and nonpowered vessel are to be expected, a vertically movable pivoting connection of the tackle to the stern portion of the non-powered second vessel is advisable.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top-plan view in diagrammatical illustration, showing a tug and a string of several connected non-powered marine vessels;
FIG. 2 is a side view, illustrating in detail the connection between the tug and the non-powered vessels according to one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a top-plan view of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side view illustrating in detail a further embodiment of the invention, illustrating only a stern portion of a non-powered vessel and a portable pressure receiving means secured thereto; and
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing the drawing in detail, and firstly FIGS. 1 3, it will be seen that reference numeral 1 identifies a string composed of several non-powered marine vessels, such as lighters, barges or the like. These lighters l are arranged so that two of them are always located abreast of one another. Of course, they are suitably connected with one another, for instance by nonillustrated ropes or the like, which are known per se.
The string of barges I is to be pushed by the tug 2, for instance a harbor tug of any known type. Tackle 3 and 4 is provided at opposite lateral sides of the tug 2, being secured to the latter and also being secured to the two laterally adjacent lighters 1 which are closest to the tug 2, and it will be noted that the connection with the lighters l is as far as possible from the center line where lighters 1 meet. The tackle can be paid out and taken up on winches (not illustrated) provided on the tug 2 in known conventional manner.
The bow of the tug 2 is provided, as most clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, with thrust-transmitting means. This thrust-transmitting means utilizes a metallic socket 5, for instance of steel, and a vertically extending beam 6 of hardwood. The beam 6 is secured to the socket 5 in any desired manner, and socket 5 and beam 6 are usually rigidly and non-removably connected with the bow of tug 2.
The pressure transmitted by the thrust-transmitting means of the tug 2 must be received by the barges or lighters 1. For this purpose I provide portable thrustreceiving means which can be connected with and disconnected from the lighters l. The thrust-receiving means is illustrated in form of a vertically oriented elongated beam 7 having a vertically extending open groove 7a into which the beam 6 can enter in part. The configuration of the beam 7 must of course be such that it permits the complete transmission of maximum thrust forces which occur, and to permit such transmission at any desired location along the length of the beam 7, inasmuch as relative vertical movements between the lighters 1 and the tug 2 are inevitable. Otherwise, the configuration of the beam 7 can be chosen as desired.
Transverse forces which develop during maneuvering by pushing are transmitted to one or the other of the two laterally adjacent lighters l by a web 8 of sheet steel or the like, which is provided on the beam 7 and projects from the same, preferably over. substantially the entire height or length of the beam 7 into the space between the stern portions of the two lighters 1 which are connected with the tug 2.
The beam 7 has at its upper end a projection 9 with which it rests on the upper side of the two connected lighters 1 so that the weight of the beam is transmitted to the latter by the projection 9. The beam 7 need be connected with the lighters 1 only by means of the rope or tackle 10 and 11 which is shown in FIG. 3, and which is connected with the beam 7 and also with the bollards provided on the upper sides of the respective lighters 1.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a somewhat simpler embodiment which is used in particular where only individual ones of the lighters 1 are to be maneuvered by pushing, that is where no string of such lighters is to be maneuvered. In FIGS. 4 and 5 it is shown that the beam 7 has not only at its upper end a projection 9, but also on its lower end where the projection is designated with reference numeral 12. Thus, the projections 9 and 12 respectively engage the upper and lower side of the single lighter 1 and can be secured thereagainst by means which can be freely chosen, for instance the diagrammatically illustrated threaded spindle 13 (see FIG. 4). This permits the releasable connection with the lighter l to be sufficiently sturdy to be able to withstand transverse forces sufficiently. Of course, in addition a tackle similar to the tackle 10 or 11 of FIG. 3 can and usually will be provided.
It is evident that with the construction according to the present invention it is a simple matter to carry along the arrangement either shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 or that in FIGS. 4 and 5, and such an arrangement may be carried either on the tug or on the lighters. When the necessity for maneuvering of the lighters by pushing arises, the pressure-receiving arrangement of FIGS. 2, 3 or 4, 5 is then simply and rapidly connected with the lighters, to be engaged by the pressure-transmitting arrangement provided on the bow of the tug. When the operation is completed, the arrangement is disconnected from the lighter or lighters and is then ready for employment elsewhere.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in the maneuvering of marine vessels, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without (further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that from the standpoint of prior art fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspectsof this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.
1. In a system of the character described, a combination comprising a powered first marine vessel having a bow; at least a pair of non-powered second marine vessels which are to be maneuvered by pushing with said first vessel, said second vessels being located in side-byside relationship and having adjacent substantially rectangular stern portions; thrust-transmitting means provided on said bow of said first vessel, said thrusttransmitting means comprising a first verticallyoriented substantially straight beam; portable thrustreceiving means attached to said adjacent stern portions of said second vessels, said thrust-receiving means comprising an elongated second vertically oriented straight beam adapted to be engaged by said first beam, and releasable connecting means operable for connecting said thrust-receiving means to said stern portions of both of said second vessels and for simultaneously connecting said second vessels against relative displacement from said side-by-side relationship at said adjacent stern portions.
2. A combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said second vertically oriented beam comprises a groove dimensioned for partially receiving said first beam, while allowing vertical relative displacement of said thrusttransmitting and said thrust-receiving means.
3. A combination as defined in claim 2; further comprising a substantially strip shaped web element fast with said second vertically oriented straight beam of said thrust-transmitting means, said web element extending vertically over substantially the entire height of said second beam and extending longitudinally of said second vessels and forward between said stern portions thereof for transmitting to said second vessels transversely acting forces.
4. A combination as defined in claim 2; said second beam of said thrust transmitting means having a top end, and said stern portions of said pair of non-powered second marine vessels having upper edges; and wherein said releasable connecting means comprises a projection at said top end of said second beam and configurated for engaging said upper edges and securing said second beam on said upper edges, whereby said projection transmits the weight of said second beam to said second vessels.
5. A combination as defined in claim 4, said releasable connecting means cooperating with bollards provided on said stern portions of each of said pair of said second vessels, and hawsers fast with said second vertically oriented beam and engageable with said bollards in a taunt condition.
6. A combination as defined in claim 4; and further comprising tackle means connected with said bow and with said stern portions at respective opposite lateral sides thereof.