US 3809003 A
A water craft comprising a buoyant body having a load supporting surface. An endless belt having spaced apart upper and lower travel portions is supported above the load supporting surface for rotation between two supporting rollers secured within a supporting frame. Steering means are further provided and positioned above the load supporting surface and connected to a rudder located underneath the buoyant body. Water propelling means are coupled to the endless belt for rotation thereof and for propelling the buoyant body in water.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Foldvari [111 3,809,003 [451 May 7,1974
[ MECHANICALLY PROPELLED WATER CRAFT  Inventor: Janos Foldvari, 300 Joliette, Apt.
403, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada 22 Filed: Apr. 4, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 240,986
 US. Cl 115/1 R, 9/310 E  Int. Cl. B60f 5/00, A63c 15/04  Field of Search 115/1 R, 2, 25, 23, 26,
115/70, 21, 49; 272/1 B, 70, 70.3; 9/310 R, 310 B, 310 E, 310 D; 280/228  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,521,595 7/1970 Mix 115]] R 3,031,692 5/1962 Riek Young 280/228 1 ,696,927 1/1929 Snyder 280/228 Primary ExaminerGeorge E. A. l-lalvosa Assistant Examiner-Charles E. Frankfort Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Alan Swabey 5 7] ABSTRACT A water craft comprising a buoyant body having a load supporting surface. An endless belt having spaced apart upper and lower travel portions is supported above the load supporting surface for rotation between two supporting rollers secured within a supporting frame. Steering means are further provided and positioned above the load supporting surface and connected to a rudder located underneath the buoyant body. Water propelling means are coupled to the endless belt for rotation thereof and for propelling the buoyant body in water.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATEN'IEDm 1 m4 $809,003 sum 1 or 3 MECHANICALLY PROPELLED WATER CRAFT BACKGROUND OF INVENTION also desirable to provide a mechanically propelled water craft which is economical to produce, safe to opcrate and which is light and substantially rustproof. Still further, the propelling mechanism should be of relatively easy construction for a layman to assemble and dismantle with ease.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION It is thus a feature of the present invention to provide a mechanically propelled water craft which is simple to assemble and dismantle, economical to produce and safe to operate.
Accordingly, from a broad aspect, the present invention provides a water craft comprising a buoyant body having a load supporting surface. An endless belt having spaced apart upper and lower travel portions is supported above the load supporting surface for rotation between two supporting rollers secured within a supporting frame. Steering means are further provided and positioned above the load supporting surface and connected to a rudder located underneath the buoyant body. Water propelling means are coupled to the endless belt for rotation thereof and for propelling the buoyant body in water.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the mechanically propelled water craft of thepresent invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the buoyant body;
FIG. 3 is a cross-section view along cross-section lines III-III of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side view of a channel frame member;
FIG. 5 is a plan view, partly fragmented, of the propelling mechanism and support frame;
FIG. 6 is a fragmented side view of the propelling mechanism illustrating its positioning on the buoyant body; and
FIG. 7 is a side view, partly exploded, of the steering mechanism.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown, generally at 10, the mechanically propelled water craft of the present invention. The water craft l0 hereinshown is in the form of a surfboard having a buoyant body 11, a propelling mechanism 12 having a drive unit 13 and a water propelling means in the form of a paddle wheel 14. A steering mechanism 15 operates a rudder l6 and provides balancing means to the operator of the surfboard.
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the construction of the surfboard buoyant body 11 having a load supporting surface 24 of elongated generally elliptical shape with a bowed front portion 17. The buoyant body is constructed of styrofoam with glass fiber coating or of any suitable material that will support the, load intended for. As can be seen, a cavity 18 extends through the body 11 to receive the propelling mechanism 12 therein. Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 6, it is seen that the cavity 18 defines an elongated sloped front wall 19 on the load supporting surface 24 of the body and on which there is secured four threaded inserts 20 for receiving the drive unit 13 in locking engagement therewith. The hole portion 21 of the cavity extends through both sides of the board to receive the paddle wheel 14 therein. Further, the cavity extends in a portion of the bottom surface to the rear of the body to define a water channel 22 to cause a directional rear water flow. The rudder l6 depends from this channel 22, centrally thereof, and is secured for pivotal movement about a rudder support rod 23 casted into the broad and extending perpendicular therefrom. A locking screw 25 may also be provided with the rudder 16 to lock the rudder in position when utilizing the bouyant body 11 as a standard surfboard. To utilize the body as a surfboard, the steering mechanism 15, the propelling mechanism 12 including drive unit 13 and paddle wheel 14 are removed and a styrofoam cavity plug 26 is secured within the cavity 18 by means of the threaded inserts 20.
With reference now to FIGS. 4 to 7, there is shown the construction of the propelling mechanism 12 and steering mechanism 15. The drive unit 13 is secured to a supporting frame formed by two, generally U-shaped, channel members 30. Each channel member 30 is provided with a plurality of holes 31h and a slot 32 to accommodate the various driving parts, supporting rollers and supporting bar, described below. Holes 3le permit the channel members, when assembled, to be secured to the wall 19 of the bouyant body 11 by inserting bolts therethrough secured in the inserts 20.
Referring more specifically to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown the construction of the drive unit 13. The channel members 30 are secured in spaced apart, parallel relationship by two supporting rods 33 secured approximately at the quarter length from each end of the channel members 30 in holes 31a. A flat support bar 34 is secured between the front edge of each channel member 30 by bolts extending through the holes 31d.
A plurality of idler rollers 35 are also secured between the channel members 30 in spaced apart relationship and between a front tension roller 36 and a rear driving roller 37. An endless belt 38, constructed of rubber coated canvas is supported about the tension roller 36 and driving roller 37. The double paddle wheel 14 is secured between the rear portion of the channel members 30 welded to shaft 39 having end bushings 40 pressed into the holes 31b in the channel member 30.
The idler rollers 35 are mounted on shafts 41 having end bushings 42 press fitted into ends of idler rollers 35 and rotate on shafts 41. As can be seen from FIG. 6, the idler rollers 35 are of smaller diameter than rollers 36 and 37 and located below the surface of the upper travel portion of the endless belt 38 to provide support of the top surface substantially in a flat plane. The tension roller 36 is supported on a shaft 43 extending through the slots 32 on the channel members 30. A hole is provided adjacent the ends of shaft 43 to receive the threaded end of a generally L-shaped tension bolt 44. The smaller portion 45 of the tension bolt 44 is positioned within the hole 31g in both of the channel members 30 whereby the tension roller shaft 43 is displaced along the slots 32 to thereby tighten or slacken the endless belt 38 positioned thereover. This adjustment is made by way of wing nuts 46 threaded over the threaded bearing end of the bolts 44.
All of the rollers are constructed from light hollow metal tubes supported at their ends concentric to their respective shafts. Each tube surface is provided with a plurality of holes 50 to permit drainage of water from the inner area of the tubes. The driving roller 37 also comprises a shaft having bushings 47 adjacent the ends pressed into the holes 31h in the channel members 30. However, to transmit the drive from the endless belt 38 to the paddle wheel 14 the outer surface of the roller 37 is coated with a covering, for example rubber, to have good frictional contact with the inner surface of the belt 38. The drive from the roller is transmitted to the paddle wheel 14 via a plastic drive gear 51 press fit in the end of the tubing of roller 37 and on its shaft 52 and pinned through the tubing and shaft of roller 37. Gear 51 is in toothed engagement with a larger plastic driven gear 53 secured adjacent one end of the paddle wheel shaft '39. A semi-cylindrical enclosed gear cover plate 54 protects people from injury from the drive gear53 and paddle wheel 14. It is within the ambit of the present invention to rearrange the drive gearing and to substitute other suitable materials for the gears. Also, instead of gears, the drive could be connected by means of toothed wheels and an engaging drive belt v (not shown).
I The free ends of the side bars are positioned within a respective aligned pair of holes 31f in the U-shaped channel members 30 to support the frame 62 upright. The bottom end 69 of the steering column 61 touches the supporting bar at the hole 68 positioned centrally ,on the supporting bar, relative to the holes 31f in the channel member 30, to guide the steering rod vertically from the frame. A connecting lever 65 passes through a hole 68 into column 61 and secured with a bolt having a perpendicular connecting arm 66. A rudder connecting rod 67 connects the rudder 16 to the connecting arm 66 of lever 65 whereby the rudder 16 may be displaced by turning the steering handle 60. The rod 67 extends under the endless belt 38 as shown in FIG. 6. The rudder is displaceable by 60 on each side of the central longitudinal axis of the body 11.
In operation, a person stands'up on the endless belt 38 balances himself by holding the cross bar and by using the steering handle 60 steers the craft when being propelled. By walking or running on the belt 38 the driving roller 37 is caused to rotate thereby causing the paddle wheel 14 to rotate and propelling the water craft forward. The angular position of the drive unit 13 greatly facilitates the operation of the propelling mechanism.
When the water craft is not utilized on water, the drive unit 13 may be removed from the body 1 1 and the paddle wheel 14 dismantled. Small legs (not shown) are then secured in holes 3le whereby the frame 30 is supported at a slight angle having the front end elevated. This arrangement would then provide an endless track for jogging or running exercise. The steering frame 62 could also remain in position removing, of course, all the linkage.
It is within the ambit of the present invention to provide a brake for the endless track and a brake release on the steering handle whereby the endless belt may remain stationary until the release is activated. Also, the propelling mechanism 12 may be secured between two bouyant bodies, each provided with a rudder to form a catamaran type water craft achieving more stability.
1. A water craft comprising a bouyant body having a load supporting surface, an endless belt supported above said load supporting surface for rotation between an adjustable tension roller and a drive roller each secured within a supporting frame, said endless belt having spaced apart upper and lower travel portions, a plurality of idler rollers are secured in spaced apart relationship within said frame and positioned between said tension roller and said driving roller, said idler rollers being secured below said upper travel portion of said belt to provide a generally flat upper travel surface capable of carrying a load, said tension roller, driving roller and idler rollers being hollow metal tubes each having a plurality of holes therein to permit drainage of the inner area of tubes and supported at their ends concentric to their respective shafts, steering means positioned above said load supporting surface and connected to a rudder located underneath the bouyant body, steering means positioned above said load supporting surface and connected to a rudder located underneath the bouyant body, and water propelling means coupled to said endless belt for rotation thereof and for propelling said bouyant body in water.
2. A water craft as claimed in claim 1 wherein a cavity is provided in said load supporting surface and extending through said bouyant body, said cavity defining an elongated sloped front wall adapted to receive said supporting frame thereon and a hole portion to receive said propelling means therein.
3. A water craft as claimed in claim 2 wherein a water channel cavity is centrally located in the lower surface of said bouyant body and extending from said hole portion to the rear edge of said bouyant body.
4. A water craft as claimed in claim 1 wherein said steering means comprises a steering column extending above said frame for axial displacement and having a steering handle at the upper end thereof, said steering column being connected to said rudder by connecting means whereby rotational movement of said column causes angular displacement of said rudder.
5. A water craft as claimed in claim 4 wherein said steering column is supported vertically in a steering support frame having side bars secured in said frame and a top cross-bar integral with said side bars, said connecting means having a lever secured to the bottom end of said steering column and a connecting rod extending from said lever to said rudder under said lower travel portion of said endless belt.
6. A water craft as claimed in claim 1 wherein said adjustable tension roller is positioned at the front end of said endless track and supported on a shaft extending through a pair of slots in said supporting frame, one slot adjacent each end of said tension roller, said shaft being connectedat its ends to a respective adjustment means adapted to adjustably position and retain said shaft within said slots.
7. A water craft as claimed in claim 6 wherein said adjustment means is a tension bolt secured at one end to said frame in front of said slot, said other end of said bolt having a threaded portion extending through a hole in said shaft, and a wing nut threadably secured on said threaded portion to urge said shaft along said slot to thereby adjust the tension in said endless belt.
8. A water craft as claimed in claim 1 wherein said driving roller is position at the rear end of said endless and track and supported on a shaft supported by said frame, a drive gear secured to said shaft for toothed engagement with a driven gear associated with said propelling means, said driving roller having the surface thereof treated for frictional engagement with said endless belt to thereby impart axial rotation to said driving roller as said endless belt passes in contact therewith.
9. A water craft as claimed in claim 8 wherein said propelling means is a paddle wheel mounted on a shaft, said driven gear being secured adjacent one end of said propelling shaft.