US 3848244 A
This specification discloses a water skier's safety device embodying the basic concept of providing a pivotally mounted flagpole on a deck which covers the bow portion of a water craft used in towing a skier and which flagpole normally lies substantially flat or parallel to the deck and which is raised to a vertical position by activating mechanism mounted on the transom of the boat. The activating mechanism consists essentially of a housing secured to the transom, an eyebolt passing through a hole in the transom having an eye to which one end of a skier's cable is attached, a spring abutment on said bolt within the housing, an expansion coil spring interposed between the transom and the abutment, and means at the end of the eyebolt within the housing to actuate mechanism on the bow deck for swinging the flagpole into raised position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Young et a1.
[ 1 Nov. 12, 1974 1 WATER SKIERS SAFETY DEVICE 22 Filed: July 10,1972
21 Appl. No; 270,550
 US. Cl. 340/286, 116/132  Int. Cl G08c 5/00  Field of Search 116/28, 63, 35, 63 P, 114, 116/173, 174, 175, l32;43/16, 17; 200/161,
340/127, 421, 138, 286 R, 286 T; 114/235 WS  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,262,365 4/1918 McDermott 340/127 2,774,325 12/1956 Budde 116/173 X 3,091,757 5/1963 Brock 340/421 3,109,075 10/1963 Ratcliff v 114/235 WS 3,273,552 9/1966 Plath v 200/161 3,479,982 11/1969 Honcharenko", 116/35 R 3,520,273 7/1970 Daifotes 116/28 R Hayes H 340/138 Penaflor 116/173 X Primary Examiner-Harold l. Pitts Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John A. Robertson  ABSTRACT This specification discloses a water skiers safety device embodying the basic concept of providing a pivotally mounted flagpole on a deck which covers the bow portion of a water craft used in towing a skier and which flagpole normally lies substantially flat or parallel to the deck and which is raised to a vertical position by activating mechanism mounted on the transom of the boat. The activating mechanism consists essentially of a housing secured to the transom, an eyeholt passing through a hole in the transom having an eye to which one end of a skiers cable is attached, a spring abutment on said bolt within the housing, an expansion coil spring interposed between the transom and the abutment, and means at the end of the eyebolt within the housing to actuate mechanism on the bow deck for swinging the flagpole into raised position.
8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEL, mv 1 21914 3; 848,244
' SHEET HP 3 PATENTEL HOV 1 21974 SHEET 2 BF 3 FIE-5 v WATER SKIER'S SAFETY DEVICE takes the form of an hydraulic master cylinder which is' operatively connected to the eyebolt and a slave hydraulic cylinder mounted on the deck and having a piston rod connected to a tongue on the shaft which pivotally mounts the flagpole. In a third embodiment, this means takes the form of a flexible push-pull cable, one end of which is connected to the eyebolt and the other to the tongue on the pivotal mounting of the flagpole.
The present invention relates to water skiers safety devices and is concerned primarily with such a device which is characterized by a flagpole which is pivotally mounted on a deck covering the bow portion of a craft used in towing a skier and which normally lies in a position flat on or parallel to the deck and which is raised into a vertical position by activating mechanism mounted on the transom of the boat to which one end of a towline is secured and which is rendered effective when tension on the towline is released as by'a skier falling into the water.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION At the present time, water skiing is a sport which is becoming more and more prevalent. A small powered water craft is ordinarily used to tow the skier and such a craft includes a transom at its stern and in most instances a deck covers the bow portion. The towing line is connected to the transom.
When a skier falls into the water, a perilous situation is created. The craft is ordinarily moving at a high speed and often in areas where other skiers or watercraft are operating. To the end of achieving the maximum safety factor in advising others in the immediate area of the fact that the displaced skier is in the water, it ishighly important that a flag be immediately raised into a position in which it is readily visible to others in the area.
Inasmuch as skiers are ordinarily towed by small powered craft, the space between the deck covering the bow portion and the hull is limited and in many instances used for storage purposes. Thus, the desirability of providing a signal flag mounted on the end of a flagpole which is pivotally mounted on the deck is indicated as being preferable to a flagpole which is always maintained in a substantially vertical position and which moves vertically into and out of its effective position.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION With the foregoing conditions in mind,.the present invention has in view the following objectives:
1. To provide a water skiers safety device that is mounted on a small powered watercraft including a transom and a deck which covers the bow portion of the boat and which includes as a characteristic and essential element a flagpole which is pivotally mounted on the deck and remains in a substantially flat position thereon when in an ineffective position, but which is raised to a vertical position when tension on a skiers towline connected to the transom is released.
2. To provide, in a water skiers safety device of the type noted, a flag raising mechanism including pivotally mounted flagpole which is biased into an upraised position by a spring and which is normally maintained in an ineffective position by a solenoid operated latch which is connected by wiring to an activating device on the transom.
3. To provide, in a water skiers safety device of the character aforesaid, a flag raising device including a flagpole having a horizontal pivot shaft at its lower end,
a tongue extending radially from said shaft, a push rod connected to said tongue and hydraulic means for acti' vating the push rod.
4. To provide, in a water skiers safety device of the kind described, a flag raising device in which the tongue on the pivot shaft for the flagpole is activated by a flexible push-pull cable.
5. To provide, in a water skiers safety device of the type noted, activating apparatus which is mounted on the transom and which includes as a characteristic and essential element a spring biased eyebolt which is operatively connected to any of the flag raising devices aforesaid.
Various other more detailed objects and advantages of the invention, suchas arise in connection with carrying out the above ideas in a practical embodiment, will, in part, become apparent, and, in part, be hereafter stated as the description of the invention proceeds.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing objects are achieved by providing a water skiers safety device which is mounted on a small powered water craft including a transom and a deck covered bow portion. The device consists essentially of activating apparatus mounted on the transom and flag raising mechanism mounted on the deck. In the preferred form, the activating mechanism comprises a housing that is secured to the inner face of the boat transom opposite to a passage therein which is lined by a grommet and a spring-biased eyebolt which passes through the grommet with a seal being interposed between the eyebolt and grommet. A spring abutment is mounted on the inner end of the eyebolt and this end of the eyebolt is operatively connected to the flag raising mechanism. The eyebolt presents an eye or loop on the exterior of the transom to which one end of a towline is connected. At a point spaced from this eye, the bolt is formed with a transverse passage which is adapted to receive a locking pin with the eyebolt extended for the purpose of maintaining the activating mechanism inoperative.
In one embodiment, the flag raising mechanism comprises a rectangular shaped tray-like structure including a bottom, and end and side walls. Pivotally mounted between the side walls is a shaft having a spring coiled thereabout for biasing it rotatably in one direction. A
flagpole has one end drivably connected to the shaft and is normally maintained in a notch formed in one of the end walls by a latch which is actuated by a solenoid. The solenoid is connected by wiring to a switch mounted in the housing on the boat transom which is open when tension is applied to the eyebolt, but which is closed when this tension is released and the eyebolt is biased by its spring into position closing the switch.
In a second embodiment, the flag raising mechanism comprises a housing having a top, and end and side walls, the lower ends of which are flanged and secured to the deck. A shaft is pivotally mounted between these side walls and the lower end of the flag pole is connected to the shaft. One of the end walls of the housing is formed with a notch which receives the flagpole when the later is ineffective and the top wall has a slot in alignment with this notch. Extending radially from this shaft is a tongue to which one end of a push rod is connected. The other end of the push rod is connected to an hydraulic slave cylinder on the deck. The slave cylinder is connected to a master cylinder on the transom by tubing and the master cylinder is rendered effective by a push rod connected to the inner end of the eyebolt of the activating mechanism.
In a third embodiment, the flag raising mechanism is the same as that above described in connection with the second embodiment. However, the tongue on the shaft is connected to one end of an encased push-pull cable, the other end of which is operatively connected to the eyebolt of the activating apparatus on the transom.
For a full and more complete understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the following description and the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective illustrating a small powered water craft with the skiers safety device of this invention installed therein and depicting the towing cable as being slack and the flag in an upraised position;
FIG. 2 is a transverse vertical section through the transom and activating apparatus installed thereon and illustrating the parts in position effecting raising of the FIG. 3 is a section similar to FIG. 2 and depicting the parts in the position they assume when the flag is depressed and held in this position by the locking pin;
FIG. 4 is a perspective of the flag raising mechanism of the first embodiment per se;
FIG. 5 is a transverse longitudinal section of the flag raising mechanism being taken on the plane of the line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal vertical section through the flag raising mechanism of the second embodiment;
FIG. 7 is a perspective illustrating the hydraulic elements of the second embodiment in an exploded relation;
FIG. 8 is a perspective depicting the encased pushpull cable of the third embodiment;
FIG. 9 is a detailed section through the transom illustrating how the activating mechanism may be mounted on the upper edge thereof; and
FIG. 10 is a wiring diagram for the flag raising mechanism of the first embodiment.
DESCRIPTION PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters denote corresponding elements throughout the several views, and first more particularly to FIG. 1, a small'powered water craft is illustrated therein as ineluding a transom 12 and a deck 48 covering the bow projects beyond the outer face of transom 12 and is threaded. A nut 16 is screwed onto this threaded portion and secures grommet 15 in position. An eyebolt 2 includes a shank which passes through grommet IS with a tubular seal 14 being interposed between the shank and the grommet. The inner end portion of the eyebolt is threaded.
The activating apparatus is designated generally A an comprises an elongate housing 11 which is secured to transom 12 by screws 13 and 13'. An expansion coil spring 4 is disposed about the shank of eyebolt 2, with one end engaging the inner face of grommet I5, and the other end, a spring abutment in the form of a washer 19 which is also disposed about the shank of eyebolt 2. A nut 20 holds washer 19 in position and nut 20 is secured by lock nut 20'. Housing 11 includes an inner wall 8 formed with an aperture 21. An electric switch 5 is mounted in this aperture 21 by nuts 22 and 22'. Switch 5 includes a pair of terminals 24 which are connected to wiring 23 which passes through an opening in the end wall of housing 11. Switch 5 includes a push button or plunger 50 and when this plunger is in the extended position of FIG. 3 the switch is open. However, when depressed by eyebolt 2, as shown in FIG. 2, switch 5 is closed.
The shank of eyebolt 2 is formed with a transverse passage 25 which receives a locking pin 18 to hold the eyebolt in the position of FIG. 3. Locking pin 18 is maintained in assembled relation with respect to transom 12 by a tether in the form of a chain I7. As shown in FIG. I, a towing line 1 is secured to the eye of eyebolt 2.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 4 and 5, flag raising mechanism is identified in its entirety by the reference character B. It includes a casing comprising side walls 30, end walls 26 and a bottom 34 which is se cured to deck 48. A shaft 33 is rotatably mounted on side walls 30 and secured in position by screws 35. One end wall 26 is formed with a notch. A flagpole 9 carries a flag 10 at one end and its inner end is drivably connected to shaft 33. When in its ineffective position, flagpole 9 is received in the notch in end wall 26 and secured in this position by a latch 7.
A solenoid 6 is mounted on the wall structure and includes an armature 28, one end of which is pivotally connected to latch 7. Latch 7 is pivotally mounted at 32 on bottom 34. An expansion coil spring 31 is interposed between solenoid 6 and latch 7. This spring urges latch 7 into the full line position designated 29 in FIG. 5 in which it engages flagpole 9 to hold the latter in position. Wires 23 are connected to solenoid 6 and when the latter is energized, armature 28 is retracted to move the latch 7 into the broken line position 29' of FIG. 5.
A spring 27 is coiled about shaft 33 and has one end engaging bottom 34 and the other end is secured to flagpole 9. Spring 34 biases flagpole 9 into an upraised or effective position which is counteracted by latch 7.
While the operation of the embodiment described in FIGS. 1-5 inclusive is believed to be obvious from the illustration of the drawings and description of parts set forth above, it is briefly described as follows:
When the device is not in use, eyebolt 2 is extended against the influence of spring 4 and locking pin 18 inserted in passage 25, as illustrated in FIG. 3. When the device is to be used, this locking pin 18 is removed and a towline l is secured to the eye of eyebolt 2. When tension is applied to this line by a skier in tow, spring 4 is compressed into the position of FIG. 3. However, should this tension be released as by the skier falling into the water, spring 4 urges the shank of eyebolt 2 into engagement with the plunger 50 of switch 5. This closes the switch and completes the circuit to solenoid 6. As the latter is energized, latch 7 is drawn into the broken line position 29' of FIG. 5, whereupon flagpole 9 is swung upwardly by spring 27. Thus, boaters in the vicinity of the accident are alerted to the fact that a condition perilous to the skier exists. Flagpole 9 is restored to its original ineffective position manually when switch is again opened.
DESCRIPTION SECOND EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 6 and 7, the flag raising mechanism of the second embodiment is designated generally B. It comprises a housing including a top wall, side walls and end walls formed with outturned flanges which are secured to deck 48 by screws similar to screws 13 and 13. Journalled between the side walls of the housing is a shaft 33 to which one end of flagpole 9 is drivably connected as above described in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5. One end wall of the housing is formed with a notch 51 which receives flagpole 9 when the latter is depressed. It is biased into this depressed position by a spring 27 which is substantially the same as the spring 27 of FIG. 4. Extending radially outwardly from shaft 33 is a tongue 37 which assumes the full line position of FIG. 6 when flagpole 9 is depressed as indicated by full lines, but which moves to the broken line position when flagpole 9 is swung into a raised position. A push rod 36 passes through an opening 38 formed in an end wall and carries a pair of pins 39 which receive therebetween the tongue 37.
Referring now more particularly to FIG. 7, rod 36 is shown as having the end remote from pin 39 received in an hydraulic slave cylinder 42, being connected to the piston of this cylinder in a well known manner. Slave cylinder 42 willordinarily be mounted in a position adjacent to housing B and a tubing 41 extends therefrom to a master hydraulic cylinder 40 which will be mounted on the end wall of housing 11. In this embodiment, the switch 5 is omitted and the shank of eyebolt 2 is connected to the piston of the hydraulic cylinder 40 in a well known manner.
In operation, the spring 27 of FIG. 6 biases the flagpole 9 into its depressed position shown in full lines in FIG. 6. A slot is formed in the top of housing B in alignment with the notch 51. When tension on towline l is released, spring 4 urges the shank of eyebolt 2 inwardly to build-up hydraulic pressure in master cylinder 40. This pressure is transmitted through tubing 41 to slave cylinder 42 to actuate rod 36 to move tongue 37 from the full line position of FIG. 6 to the dotted lineposition 37 of FIG. 6. Thus, flagpole 9 is moved to the broken line position 9 of FIG. 6. When eyebolt 2 is extended, pressures in the cylinders 40 and 42 are relieved and spring 37 returns flagpole 9 to its position in notch 51.
DESCRIPTION THIRD EMBODIMENT FIG. 8 illustrates a third embodiment in which rod 36 is connected to one end of a flexible push-pull cable 43 enclosed in a flexible casing 43. The cable 43 extends through the opening 21 in partition 8 and is anchored between nuts and 20 on eyebolt 2.
In operation, when tension on the eyebolt 2 is re leased, spring 4 moves it inwardly to apply a thrust to cable 43' which is transmitted to rod 36 and from the latter to tongue 37 to move the flagpole 9 into the vertical position as illustrated in FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 illustrates an arrangement in which the activating mechanism A may be mounted on the upper edge of transom 12. Thus, the activating mechanism which is substantially the same as that illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 is enclosed in a casing 52 from which depend a pair of ears 53 and 54. A pad 44 is fixedly secured to the ear 53 and engages the outer face of transom 12. A screw clamp 45 is threaded through ear 54 and carries a metallic pad 46 on its inner end which engages the inner face of transom 12 to secure casing 52 in position.
FIG. 10 schematically illustrates the wiring diagram for switch 5, solenoid 6, and wiring 23 and shows a power source such as the battery 47 included in the latter.
While preferred specific embodiments are herein dis- 0 closed, it is to be clearly understood that the invention is not to be limited to the exact constructions, mechanisms and devices illustrated and described because various modifications of these details may be provided in putting the invention into practice.
What is claimed is:
1. For installation on a small watercraft used to tow a safety device comprising activating apparatus mounted on said transom and flag raising mechanism mounted on said deck, said activating mechanism comprising:
a. an eyebolt presenting an eye externally of said transom to which a towline is connected, and a shank extending inwardly of said transom;
b. a housing secured to said transom and receiving said shank, with the shank being reciprocal in the housing;
0. a spring abutment on said shank;
d. an expansion coil spring about said shank and interposed between said transom and said abutment, and
e. means on said housing engageable by said shank to render said flag raising mechanism operable;
said flag raising mechanism comprising:
f. a housing secured to said deck and presenting end and side walls;
g. a shaft rotatably mounted between said side walls;
h. a flagpole having one end drivably connected to said shaft and carrying a flag at its other end, said flagpole being adapted to assume a substantially horizontal position along said deck or a vertical position, and
i. operative connections between said means on the housing of said activating apparatus and said shaft to cause rotation of said shaft upon engagement of said means by the shank of said eyebolt to swing said flagpole into a vertical position.
2. The waterskiers safety device of claim 1 in which the shank of said eyebolt is formed with a transverse passage spaced from the eye thereon, together with a lock pin secured to said transom by a tether and adapted to be received in said passage to hold said shank against inward movement relative to said transom.
3. The water skiers safety device of claim 1 in which one of the end walls of the housing of the flag raising mechanism is formed with a notch which receives said flagpole when the latter is in horizontal position.
4. The water skiers safety device of claim 1 in which the means on the housing of the activating apparatus takes the form of a normally open electric switch, together with a spring on said shaft tending to rotate said shaft in a direction raising said flagpole, a latch on the end wall formed with a notch engaging said flagpole when the latter is in the notch to maintain it therein, a
solenoid operatively connected to said latch, and wiring connecting said solenoid to said switch.
5. The water skiers safety device of claim 3 in which a tongue extends radially from said shaft, the end wall opposite to that formed with a notch having an opening therein, a push rod passing through said opening and having one end operatively connected to said tongue to rotate said shaft when pressure is applied to said push rod, and an hydraulic slave cylinder connected to the other end of said push rod, and in which the means on the housing of the activating apparatus takes the form of a master hydraulic cylinder connected to said slave cylinder by a tubing.
6. The water skiers safety device of claim 3 in which a tongue extends radially from said shaft, the end wall of the housing of the flag raising mechanism opposite to that formed with a notch is formed with an opening. a push rod passing through said opening and having one end in operative engagement with said tongue, an an encased flexible cable having one end connected to said push rod with the means on the housing ofthe activating apparatus taking the form of a connection between the other end of said flexible cable and the shank of said eyebolt.
7. The water skiers safety device of claim 1 in which the transom is formed with a passage about which the housing of the activating mechanism is mounted, to gether with a grommet lining said passage and a seal in the form of a sleeve interposed between the shank of the eyebolt and said grommet.
8. The water skiers safety device of claim 1 in which said activating apparatus is mounted on the upper edge of said transom.