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Publication numberUS408778 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1889
Filing dateApr 23, 1889
Publication numberUS 408778 A, US 408778A, US-A-408778, US408778 A, US408778A
InventorsHaelan P. Wellman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electro-magnetic mooring
US 408778 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.)


No. 408,778. Patented Aug. 18, 1888.

N, PETERS. Pnomumognphur, wnhingtor D. t;




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 408,778, dated. August 13, 1889.

Application filed April 2S, 1889. Serial No. 308,275. (No model.)

n in@ drawings. C

The object ot' my inventionis the provision of an electric mooring for vessels of all kinds which shallract immediately, easily, and with but little expense of force and time.

To this end I have devised such a combination of attracting devices as shall by contact under proper conditions, as specified in the following specification, cause the fixing of the vessel to its wharf, dock, or slip without the use of ropes and snubbing-posts.

The novel features of my invention will appear in the claims allowed at the end of this speciiication.

In the drawings, Figure l is a side elevation of the end of avessel coming up to a landing, showing the arrangement of doubleaction magnets as controlled either from the boat or from the wharf. Fig. 2 is a plan of a rectangular barge approaching a wharf, one end of the barge being shown as provided for control of the mooring from the dook, and the other end, being shown broken away from the first, shows the magnets controlled from the boat and also the electrodes as arranged for double action. Fig. 3 is a plan of a ferryboat or other double-ender entering its slip, thc whole being shown as arranged for control exclusively from the boat, this being one of the modifications of my single system.

My invention is best adapted to use in still waters-as on inland rivers and lakes-and Where there is little or no tide; but I am not to be understood as limiting myself to the use of the same in such places, as by slight modifications the same may be adapted to use where the tide is considerable and where there is an appreciable sea.

The gist of my invention is the provision of attracting-surfaces of contact between the wharf or slip and the front, rear, or side of wharf or upon the vessel, controlled either by the guard upon the former or by the wheelman upon the lat-ter, although of course the mode of operating is no part of my invention, as any mode may be employed which is known in the use of the electric current for magnetic purposes.

A is the vessel, which may be of any charh acter.

B is the wharf, dock, slip, or landing. (Best shown in Fig. l.) In coming into a slip or up to a wharf there is always'some portion of the vessel which comes in cont-act with said wharf, and if either the dock or the vessel at this point be provided with either an active or a neutral magnetic surface, while the other surface is of the opposite nature, there will be such a holding between the surfaces thus in contact as to keep the vessel up to her moorings.

Fig. l shows a device best adapted to very still waters, where there is no tendency to tear the vessel away from the wharf. In this iigure, C are the wharf-magnets, and D are the boat-magnets, situated, as shown, at the same heights above the water and in such positions as to come in contact when the boat is brought up to the wharf. These magnets are ordinary electro-magnets made of soft iron, around which wires are coiled for the purpose of magnetizing the core at will, while the ends ot' the cores extend outward for contact at the proper time. These ends are shown ilush with the vessel, although it is not absolutely essential that they should be so, the former being the better manner, as there is then no danger of the breakage of the ends through violent concussion of the vessel with the wharf or through diagonal contact of the two. The whole series of magnets upon the wharf as well as on the boat is shown connected by wires, in order that one current may magnetize'them all.

There there are two sets of magnets used, there will of course be only one battery or dynamo for the operation of the whole, although, if found desirable, two batteries or dynamos may be used. The winding of the magnets on the boat must be such, however, that opposite poles will be brought everywhere in contact, and thus it will evidently IOO be best to have all the magnets upon the Wharf so arranged as to expose the pole of the same name to Contact, while the exposed poles on the boat are allof the opposite name. lVhere this double system is employed-that is, where there are employed magnets upon the boat as well as upon the wharf-there must be means supplied for the transmission of the current through the water, and these electrodes are shown at each side of the vessel, Fig. 2, and under the surface of the water, Fig. l. In following the course of the current through the batteries and the magnets the whole will be best seen in Fig. f3 at the right. Here 1l is the battery or batteries, and II isthe switch, in this case situated upon the boat and preferably under the control of the pilot or wheelman.

supposing the boat to be approaching the wharf from the right in Fig. the path of the current will be as follows: Leaving the bat tery, it will go first to the electrode E, for instance, and thence through thewaterto the electrode F on the same side of the wharf. (Shown in Fig. l.) Then the current will pass through the magnets on the wharf, where the wire is so wound as to ea-use the north poles to be turned outward, Vfor instance, (although the south would do as well if the other pole was everywhere turned outward on the boat.) After passingthrough the wharf-magnets and magnetizing them, the current will then pass through to an electrode similar to that at F, and on the opposite side of the wharf pass through the water and return to the boat through the electrode E on the starboard side of the same. Thence it passes through the magnets D, causing the opposite pole to turn outward to that which is turned out on the wharf, thence into the battery or dynamo again, and the circuit will be complete. Of course it is evidentthat the current may take exactly the opposite course, passing out of the battery through the magnet first and out at the electrode E. Of course this is, as described, only one way in which the whole may be mounted, as it is evident that the switch may be on the wharf instead of on the boat; hut this will not introduce any new mode of operation.

While the boat is at sea, of course the current is shut off from the magnets and there is no waste of the battery-plates or of their equivalent-s, the fuels in the boiler ruiming the dynamo. It is of course evident that there will be a current and closed circuit between the two electrodes on opposite sides of the boat or wharf, according to which the battery is placed upon; but this is only fora moment, while the boat is approaching the wharf and until the opposite electrodes between the same sides of the boat and wharf are nearer together than those on opposite sides of the boat or wharf. Indeed, if the current be not turned on until after these oppositc electrodes are thus brought close there will he no closed circuit at all between the idle electrodes. Now it is evident that either in this double system or in one of the singlesystem modifications described hereinafter the batteries may he replaced by a dynamo or other form of electro-inagnetic machine, which may be run either by the main boiler of the boat, if it be a steamboat, or by a donkey-engine and secondary boiler, as may be desired. Again, the ordinary battery may be replaced by a storagebattery, if desired, which last maybe stored either during the passage of the boat or during some idle interval of the same. Indeed, I do not limit myself to the use of any particular source of electricity in connection with my mooring system, as any well-known source will be applicable to the same.

Thus far I have confined myself to the description of the double system, and have done so'because the same showed forth all the features of both systems, and thus the single system may be equally well set Aforth by reference to the details of the double.

lhe single system is that in which t-he at tracting-surfaces are not. magnets on both sides, but in which magnets on one side are adapted to come into contact with. neutral electric surfaces of contact on the other. The neutral surfaces may be masses of isolated iron-steel or other electro-magnetic metal placed the proper intervals to come into proper contact with magnets placed upon the wharf or boat. l wish it understood also that either in the single or the double system. the masses, whether active or neutral, which are adapted to come into contact should be so spaced that any slight motion out ot' the exact contact with corresponding masses will cause the bridging of the spaces between the opposite masses, in order that there may he no danger of alternate arrangement of the masses and the consequent inoperative connection of the boat and wharf. Where there is rough. water or any considerable tide, the vessel or the wharf should be provided with a sheet or apron of metal (iron being best) adapted to come into contact with the mag nets upon the wharf or the vessel, respectively.

In Fig. 2, at the left of the barge, there is shown a plan of such an apron or sheet at I, which is placed in front of the boat where the same is adapted to be brought into contact with the wharf. In this case the wharf is seen to be provided with a battery and electro-1nagnets G and C, controlled by a man upon the same through the medium of the switch I I. lvhen the apron I comes into contact with the magnets and the switch is closed by the man on the wharf, there is a strong attraction between the magnets andthe apron, and the height of the tide makes no differ ence to the whole, as the vertical extent of the apron will compensate for thc Variance in the height of the vessel above a given datum. I do not wish to be limited to the use of an apron, as vertical rods or isolated masses of IOO IIO

any kind constituting neutral magnetic points will be within the scope of my invention; nor need the neutral surface or surfaces be solely upon the vessel itself. Y

Fig. 3 shows the apron I upon the front of the dock or wharf and the corresponding magnets upon the boat, governed by the switch H within the pilot-house J. The action of this modiiication is the same as that shown in Fig. 1, save that it is governed by the switch in the pilot-house instead of upon the wharf. In Fig. 3 there is also shown the connection of the battery or motor or dynamo with side magnets, which are adapted to come in contact either with a metal apron For corresponding magnets upon awharf which it is adapted to come alongside of. This arrangement will frequently b'e employed, especially in excursion-steamers or other boats. The 1n aguets at the side may be replaced by aprons, of course,in the same way as those in the front of the vessel. The action will be the same as in the front mooring.

It will be found advisable, especially where my device is used on salt-water, to cover and protect the ends of the attracting masses with some waterproof substance, such as a covering of parafine or a veil of oiled silk or cloth. Such a measure will suggest itself to any one skilled in the art, however, and is advanced as a suggestion for practical use. This covering willnot obstruct the action of the magnets.

I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the exact details as shown and described, as there may be various changes made by the exercise of mere mechanical skill vwithout departing from the spirit of my invention.

Of course I do not confine myself to the use of the devices above described for mooring ships or vessels to the shore or to wharves or piers. It is evident that there may be a mooring-surface on each of two ships, for the purpose of towage, and that one of said surfaces l may be neutral or both magnetic without departing from the spirit of my invention, and I wish the following claims to be distinctly interpreted in the light of this statement.

1. A boat having amooring-surface, in combination with a shore mooring-surface, one of said surfaces being magnetizable and the other acting as a keeper, substantially as described.

2. A boat provided with a magnetizable mooring-surface, substantially as described.

3. 4A boat having electro-magnets for mooring, in combination with a second mooringsurface consisting of a metal apron capable of acting as a keeper, substantially as specilied.

4. A wharf having mooring electro-magnets connected by wires and provided with waterelectrodes, in combination with a boat having electro-magnets for contact with said magnets on the wharf, water-electrodes connected with said boat-magnets, and a battery connected with the magnetic series for the purpose of magnetizing the same, substantially as specified.

5. A wharf having electro-magnets thereon for mooring and electrodes under water at each side of said wharf, connected with. said magnets, in combination with a boat having a series of mooring-magnets, electrodes connected with said magnets and under water at each side of said boat, a battery connected with said magnets on the boat, and a switch in the circuit for controlling said magnets from the ship, substantially as specified.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature in presence of two witnesses.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3710724 *Nov 4, 1970Jan 16, 1973Transportation TechnologyTransportation system with docking and lane transfer apparatus
US6978730Jun 23, 2004Dec 27, 2005Mccarthy KevinMagnetic boat docking system
Cooperative ClassificationB63B21/00