US 3817472 A
An improved apparatus for winding a water-ski rope on a reel in a short period of time by utilizing a winding device containing a spring which becomes wound up as the rope is progressively unwound from the reel. When the load is removed from the end of the rope, the spring returns to its original non-stress condition causing the rope to be wound up on the reel.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ June 18, 1974 United States Patent [191 ,Abe I 6/1910 Reinhart .R 7 m0 mm 242/86.5 A 9/1964 Wilson...................
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21 Appl. No.: 292,098
Primary ExaminerJohn W. Huckert Assistant Examiner-Jon W. Henry Attorney, Agent,
 Foreign Application p i Data or Firm-Stewart and Kolasch, Ltd.
Oct. 21, 1971 ABSTRACT An improved apparatus for winding a water-ski rope on a reel in a short period of time by utilizing a winding device containing a spring which becomes wound 90 6 6m n m m h s 19 7 73 0 o 18. MN wm 4 2 2: "30A 0 5 m w ""4 ""2 WUH mmm u." m 7 NR7 a M mdu .mv m.w UIFH 2 1]] 2 8 555 [ii up as the rope is progressively unwound from the reel. When the load is removed from the end of the re th  References Cited e spring returns to its original non-stress conditio n UNITED STATES PATENTS causing the rope to be wound up on the reel. Whee1er...........................
348,805 /1886 242/107 3 583,830 6/1897 242/1073 5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures minimum ammvz sum; BF 2 v 1- APPARATUS OF WINDING A WATER-SKI ROPE I BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The apparatus of the present invention comprises a The present invention relates to an apparatus for reel 4 rotatably mOunted On a Central StaliOnary Shaft winding a water-ski rope used by a water skierbeing towed by a motor boat. More particularly, the present invention is concerned with an improved apparatus for winding a water-ski rope on a reel in a short period of time when the end of the rope is set free from the skil ers hands, thereby avoiding detrimental entanglement of the rope in the boats motor.
Normally, a water-ski rope used for pulling a water skier at high speed is fastened to the stern of the motorboat. The rope can be reeled and unreeled in accordance with the skiers movement. While the skier is being pulled by the boat, the rope is under tension, raising no problem of possible entanglement of the rope in the propeller of the boats motor. However, the problem arises when the rope becomes detached from the skiers hands, either'intentionally or accidentally. In such a situation, the free end of the rope is likely to sink in the water due to its weight, thereby creating a danger of becoming entangled in the propeller of the boats motor. As is well known, the water skier does not always start from the shoreline, but sometimes starts in the middle of the water away from the shore. In this situation, a high degree of skill is required to steer the motorboat while running at a high speed to exactly the place where the. skier is able to grasp the end of the drifting rope, which nonnally is about meters from the stern 'of the motorboat.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for winding a waterski rope used by a water skier being towed by a motorboat.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus capable of, winding up a water-ski rope onto a reel in a short period of time when the end of the rope is set free from the skiers hands.
Other objects and further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter; it should be understood, however, that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparem to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS i show the internal mechanism;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, partially cut away; and
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view showing the epicyclic gearing device incorporating the present invention.
0 body has internal gear-like teeth 5 at its inside surface.
The internal teeth are meshed by planetary gears 7 which, in turn, are meshed with stationary gear 6 fixed to the stationary shaft 3. As the reel 4 is rotated, the planetary gears 7 are caused .to travel around the stationary gear 6. The ratio of reduction is controlled by providing an appropriate number of teeth in each gear. In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, three elements of planetary gears are employed.
The planetary gears 7 have their respective shafts 8 connected with the outside sidewall of a rotary drum 9, in which a coiled spring 10 is housed, thereby securing a cooperable connection between the planetary gears and the rotary drum. Hence, as the planetary gears 7 revolve around the shafts 8, the rotary drum 9 is caused to rotate, and vice versa. The spring 10 has its inner terminating end attached to the stationary shaft by means of a pin 11 and has its outer terminating end attached to the inside circumferential wall 12 of the drum 9. The spring is attached in such a manner that it is placed under relaxation when the rope 15 is wound upon the reel 4 and is placed in compression when the rope unwinds from the reel 4. Accordingly, when the load is removed from the rope, the spring 10 returns from a compression condition to a normal non-stress or relaxed condition, thereby causing the rotary drum 9 to reverse its rotation. As the rotary drum 9 reverses its direction of rotation, the reel 4 is rotated in the winding up direction.
A rope support bar 13 extends from the legs 1 and guides the rope 15 with the aid of a ring 14 through which the rope is passed. The length of rope 15 is dependent upon the particular spring 10 which is utilized. Preferably, the rope is long enough to leave a few meters of unwound portion at the end of the rope on the 'water surface. According to the present invention, the
15 is held by a skier and as the motorboat runs the rope is progressively unwound from the reel 4 causing the spring 10 to become wound up in the rotary drum 9. When the spring reaches its maximum yielding point, the rotation of the reel is braked, thereby stopping any further delivery of the rope. When the load is removed from the end of the rope as it is detached from the skiers hands, the spring starts to return to its original nonstress condition, causing the rotary drum to reverse its rotation and causing the reel to be rotated in the winding direction. Thus, the rope is rapidly wound on the reel thereby eliminating the possibility of its becoming entangled in the propeller of the motorboat. In ordinary use, a rope having a length of about 23 meters and a diameter of about 5.56 to 6.5 millimeters is employed, and the reel, the spring and the gears are accordingly sized. From the foregoing, it will be understood that as soon as the end of the rope is set free from the skiers hands, it winds up upon the reel automatically by the action of the spring housed in the rotary drum, thereby avoiding the danger of said rope becoming entangled in the propeller of the motorboat. According to the present invention, the rotation of the rotary drum is effectively transmitted to the reel through epicyclic gearing, thereby eliminating the necessity of employing a spring having a size larger than the inside space of the rotary drum. As described above, after a substantial portion of the rope has been wound on the reel, a small portion is maintained on the water outside the stern of the boat. This end portion of the rope is prevented from sinking by the use of a float attached to a handle provided at the end of the rope or by fashioning a float as a handle. When the skier desires to grab the end of the rope while he is in the middle of the water it is no longer necessary for the person running the boat to try to guide the length of rope to the water skier but rather the boat only has to come close to the skier so that he can grab onto the rope handle.
The invention being thus described, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that the same may be varied in 7 many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as departures from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all modifications as are embraced by the appended claims are intended to be included within the purview of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for unwinding and winding a waterski line comprising a stationary shaft, a reel adapted to contain a supply of line rotatably mounted on said shaft, a rotary drum mounted for rotation about said shaft, means for transferring the rotation of the reel to the drum, said transferring means comprising a stationary gear fixed to the stationary shaft, internal gear-like teeth provided on the reel, and planetary gears provid ing gear-meshing communication between said internal gear-like teeth and the stationary gear, said planetary gears being connected by shaft means to the rotary drum, a spring housed by said drum, said spring being attached to the stationary shaft and the drum such that upon unwinding the line from the reel, the spring is converted from a relaxed state to a compressed state and upon the winding of the line on the reel, the spring is returned to its relaxed state.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the spring is a coiled spring with its inner end being attached to the stationary shaft and its outer end attached to the rotary drum.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the stationary shaft is supported by legs attached to the stern of a boat.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the legs are provided with a supporting bar which extends therefrom, said bar containing a ring for receiving the lines and guiding the same.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the reel, the stationary shaft, the rotary drum and the spring contained therein are concentrically disposed about the stationary shaft.