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Flat or open water single-person rowing shell

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Title: Flat or open water single-person rowing shell.
Abstract: A rowing shell for recreational and/or competitive use on flat or rough water. The shell includes a sealed and waterproof hull and attachments. The hull and attachments are sleek and streamlined in design, and are formed and contoured so as to minimize water and wind resistance. The hull includes a slightly upturned bow, a flat mounting surface on which a winged outrigger assembly is removably attached to provide support for oarlocks and a substantially flat deck in the vicinity of a rower's seating area. This allows water entering the craft to exit without impeding efficient operation. The winged outrigger assembly is mounted to the hull at the bow side of the rower's seating position. The forward portion of the outrigger assembly is tapered to blend with, and conform substantially to, the fore portion contours of the hull and consist of two arcuately shaped oar outrigger arms integrally formed with the body of the outrigger assembly. ...


- Pacific Palisades, CA, US
Inventor: Robert Joseph Bridges
USPTO Applicaton #: #20070137552 - Class: 114347000 (USPTO) - 06/21/07 - Class 114 


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Related Patent Categories: Ships, Boats, Boat Component, Or Attachment, Canoe Or Kayak
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20070137552, Flat or open water single-person rowing shell.

Streamline   

BACKGROUND

[0001] Single-person rowing shells, propelled by a rower employing a pair of oars known as sculls, are normally used for recreational or racing purposes on relatively calm water. The use of these boats in locations where there are waves created either by weather or the wakes of passing boats is limited, as such conditions impede efficient operation, or in the extreme, create the risk of filling with water and swamping. Traditional rowing shells have voids within their hollow hulls, including seating areas, or cockpits, that can trap water that may pass over the bow, stern, or gunwales in rough conditions. Water that becomes trapped within the hull adds weight to the boat, impeding hydrodynamic performance and adding drag. As a result, conditions that cause water to enter the seating area or other cavities within the hull of the boat are normally considered to be outside of the limits within which these boats are optimally employed. While some single-person rowing boats are designed to be used in rough, or open water, they are usually heavy, and lack the enhanced performance characteristics of flat-water craft. Some open-water boats have self-bailing mechanisms to empty water that becomes trapped in the cockpit, however these mechanisms are frequently inefficient and cause hydrodynamic drag. Open water and some flat-water shells often have a dams known commonly as splash-boxes mounted on the deck forward of the cockpit to prevent the entry of water over the bow, but these are not fully effective in preventing the intrusion of water, nor do they address the need to eject water once it has entered the cockpit or other voids in the hulls.

[0002] Furthermore, the deeply rounded hulls of traditional rowing shell hulls, coupled with their narrow beams, make them difficult to balance from side to side even when they are used on calm water. Rough conditions serve to increase the difficulty a rower has in balancing the boat, further impeding efficient operation and function when conditions become rough.

[0003] In order for a rowing shell to be propelled, oarlocks that serve as fixed fulcrum points transferring the loads imparted on the oars to the shell must provided at points to either side of the rower, and remote from the hull. Structures that support the oarlocks designed for this purpose and commonly termed outriggers, are most often constructed of metal tubing or fiber-reinforced composite members that are attached to the sides of the boat, or more infrequently in the form of a wing mounted to the hull either in front of, or behind, the seating position of the rower. While traditional means of constructing such riggers provide sufficient structural support for the oarlocks, designs to date do not utilize the outrigger to provide hydrodynamic stability when penetrating waves, do not specifically design the outrigger to allow small waves to pass over them with limited resistance, nor are they designed such that the surfaces of the outrigger are integral with streamlined surfaces of the bow portion of the hull to maximize aerodynamic and hydrodynamic efficiency. Rowing shells are normally launched from docks, or from beaches under calm conditions. If launched from the beach in breaking waves or surf, the presence of outriggers to either side of the boat makes entry impractical. Additionally, when launching in the surf, the rower must stand to the side and slightly behind the sliding seat in order to keep the bow of the point pointed perpendicular and into the waves prior to entering the craft. Outriggers mounted on the stern side of the sliding seat make stabilization in this manner impossible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The proposed invention relates to a high performance rowing shell that can be effectively employed in the ocean or in other locations where rough water may be encountered. The proposed craft, entitled Surfboat tm, is provided with streamlined winged oar outriggers and other features that enhance the boat's performance in rough water and penetration through or passage over rough surf and waves.

[0005] The invention consists of sealed and waterproof hull fabricated by means of a foam core and covered by composite fiber-reinforced plastic that is contoured so as to minimize water and wind resistance, having a slightly upturned bow, a flat mounting surface on which the winged outrigger is attached as well as a substantially flat deck in the vicinity of the rower's seating area that allows water entering the craft to exit without impeding efficient operation. The foam core and waterproof construction provide structural integrity and floatation in the event of capsizing. In an alternative configuration, the hull is constructed by means of molded composite fiber-reinforced parts joined together to form a sealed hollow core.

[0006] A winged outrigger assembly similar in construction and materials to the hull is mounted to the hull of the invention forward of the rower to provide support for the oarlocks. The forward portion of the outrigger assembly is tapered to blend with, and conform integrally to, the fore portion contours of the hull and consists of two arcuately shaped oar outrigger arms integrally formed with the body of the outrigger assembly. Oarlocks are attached to the winged outrigger by means of plates that fit into receiver boxes cast into the ends of the outrigger arms, thus providing adjustable points of fixity for the oarlocks. The outrigger is attached to the hull by an attachment means and is readily removable. Each outrigger arm is solid, planar and sleek in design and gradually tapers toward its free end. In an alternative embodiment, the streamlined winged outrigger assembly may be integrally formed with the gunwales and hull of the rowing shell.

[0007] A flat recessed portion of the hull deck aft of the outrigger assembly is provided to facilitate mounting of a sliding seat and track assembly and to allow unrestricted passage and exit of water entering the seating area. Recessed in the surface of the deck are footwells contoured to conform to the shape of the rower's feet and minimize thus the retention of water.

[0008] A footboard assembly that is mounted to the gunwales or rear deck of the hull that provides support for the rower's feet and is configured to minimize obstruction to water passing through the seating area. The footboard assembly is mounted to the hull and is adjustable upward, downward, fore and aft.

[0009] The keel line in the longitudinal direction, and the bottom in the lateral direction are substantially flat to provide stability. In in alternative configuration, a rounded bottom may be used to increase speed for more advanced rowers or for a variety of purposes or water conditions.

Prior Art

[0010] The following patents and other publications were noted during the course of a patent search:

[0011] PCT Publication No. WO 87/02638 O'Neill

[0012] PCT Publication No. WO 90/08062 Pohlus

[0013] Des. 392,934 Veverka

[0014] 67,285 Fuzzard

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 2,494,804 Gabriel

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 3,611,461 Wurzburger

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 3,898,950 Martin

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 4,867,719 duPont

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 4,889,509 Pohlus

[0020] U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,062 Veverka

[0021] U.S. Pat. No. 6,113,447 Roy et al

[0022] The patent to Roy et al U.S. Pat. No. 6,113,447 in FIG. 1, illustrates a row boat or other watercraft 20 having a pair of winged oar outriggers 26, 28 that are integrally formed (see line 23 of column 4) with the hull 22 of the boat. These oar outriggers project upwardly and outwardly from the sides of the hull and are generally planar, solid and somewhat arcuately shaped. This reference, however, does not show outriggers similar in configuration to the proposed surfboat outriggers and are not particularly suited (nor are mentioned) for use on rough surface water or in waves. Further, these winged oar outriggers are not removable from the hull nor are they attachable to preexisting boat hulls, shells or gunwales.

[0023] The PCT publications to O'Neill WO 87/02638 (see 24 in FIG. 1) and Pohlus WO 90/08062 (see 5 in FIGS. 1-4), and the patents to Wurzberger U.S. Pat. No. 3,611,461 (see 26, 26', and 26 in FIGS. 1 and 4) and Pohlus U.S. Pat. No. 4,889,509 (see 1, 26 in FIG. 1), all disclose solid winged planar oar outriggers for use in rowing shells or boats. In the Pohlus PCT publication (further see FIG. 6), the outrigger wings 24 are removably secured to the boat via bolt holes 46 provided in the outrigger. In the Wurzberer '461 patent, a cockpit chell 24 may be assembled or fitted within a row boat hull 28, the cockpit shell being provided with the outrigger wings 26 that are integrally formed with the gunwales 68, 70 of the cockpit shell (particularly see solid outrigger 26 in FIG. 4).

[0024] The patent to Martin U.S. Pat. No. 3,898,950, discloses a row boat having removably attached oar outriggers per se.

[0025] The patents to Veverka Des. 392,934 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,062, both disclose aerodynamic crew shell fairings per se.

[0026] The remaining patents have been included as being of further possible interest in showing the general state of the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1. Is an Overhead View of the proposed rowing shell according to the invention and additionally provides a legend defining the direction of travel and key terms used in the detailed description;

[0028] FIG. 2. Is an Isometric View of the invention from the viewpoint of the Starboard Side, Aft of the lateral centerline.

[0029] FIG. 3. is an Elevation View of the invention from the viewpoint of the Starboard side.

[0030] FIG. 4. is an Elevation View of the invention from the viewpoint of the stern side.

[0031] FIG. 5. is a Cross Section along longitudinal line A-A as identified in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 6 from the viewpoint of the stern Side.

[0032] FIG. 6. is a Cross Section along lateral line B-B as identified in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5 from the viewpoint of the Starboard Side.

[0033] FIG. 7. is a Cut-Away Section showing details of the Hull, Cockpit and Outrigger assembly from the viewpoint of the Stern and Starboard Sides.

[0034] FIG. 8 is a Cut-Away Section illustrating details of the Hull, Footplate Assembly and Footwells from the viewpoint of the Stern and Starboard Sides.

[0035] FIG. 9 is an Exploded Section illustrating the Outrigger Arm and Oarlock Attachment Plate from the viewpoint of the Stern and Starboard Sides.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0036] As shown in FIG. 1, the boat according to the invention, in normal operation, travels in the direction shown in the Legend, and consists of components described herein as lying in four quadrants of the horizontal plane defined by the intersection of longitudinal Cross Section A-A and latitudinal Cross Section B-B. The quadrants are identified in the Legend as: Foreward, Port, Starboard, and Aft. Said boat includes a Hull 1., constructed of foam covered by fiber reinforced composite plastic, to which are attached an Outrigger Assembly 2., similar in construction to the Hull 1. and containing Oarlocks 4a., 4b., a Sliding Seat and Track Assembly 3., a Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5., the Footboard of which is constructed of fiber reinforced composite plastic, and the footstrap of which is constructed of woven plastic fabric straps and cushioning foam, and a Stabilizing Fin 6., constructed of fiber reinforced composite plastic.

[0037] The Hull 1., includes Bow 1a. and Foredeck 1. that together form the top surface of the hull Foreward of the Outrigger Assembly 2. Said surface is formed such that is concave with respect to the vertical longitudinal plane, with the bow slightly upturned and the Aft portion of Foredeck 1b. tangential to, and flush with, the uppermost surface of the Outrigger Assembly 2. at the point of their intersection. Said configuration minimizes hydrodynamic resistance when penetrating waves, and facilitates rapid refloatation upon submersion.

[0038] Aft of the intersection between the Foredeck 1b. and Outrigger Assembly 2., the Hull 1. Is stepped lower in elevation with respect to the Aft portion of Foredeck 1b. to receive the Outrigger Assembly 1. The portion of the Hull 1. to which said Outrigger Assembly is attached is flat and horizontal, and falls in the same horizontal plane as the Port and Side Gunwales 1i. and 1h., respectively. The Hull Deck 1e. is central between the Port and Side Gunwales 1i. and 1h., and is stepped lower in elevation with respect to the said Gunwales. Said Hull Deck 1e. is flat and horizontal Foreward of the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. The Sliding Seat Assembly 3. Is adjustably attached to the Hull Deck such that the position of Sliding Seat Tracks 3a. and 3b. are movable in the Foreward and Aft directions. Footwells 1m. and 1l. are recessed into the surface of the Hull Deck 1e. and are shaped to conform generally with a negative volumetric impression of the heel, ankle and lower leg of the rower in order to minimize water retained in such footwells during rowing. The Aft wall of the footwell is inclined in the Aft direction to cause the foreward and Aft movements of the rower's feet to flush intruding water from the Footwells during rowing.

[0039] Footboard Attachment Channels 1k. and 1j. are embedded into the Gunwales 1i. and 1h. proximate to the Aft end of the Footwells 1m. and 1l.; said Footboard Attachment Channels providing the points of contact with, and structural attachment to, the Hull 1. for support of the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. Clearance is provided surrounding the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly to allow the free passage of water passing through the area of the Hull Deck 1e. and Footwells 1m. and 1l. The position of the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. is adjustable in the Foreward and Aft directions. In an alternative embodiment, the Footboard Mounting Channels are embedded in the Rear Deck 1n. directly Aft of, and behind, the Footwells 1m. and 1l., providing adjustable structural attachment for the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. in a manner similar to that described herein.

[0040] At the Aft end of Footwells 1m. and 1l., the Reardeck 1n. and Hull Deck 1e. are tangent and coplanar. As the surfaces of Hull 1. taper from that point toward the Stern 1o., the Reardeck 1n. and Gunwales 1i and 1h. gradually taper and slope in elevation to a point of intersection at the uppermost point of Stern 1o. The surfaces that connect the Gunwales 1i and 1h., Hull Deck 1e., and Reardeck 1n. are tapered and contoured to minimize hydrodynamic resistance.

[0041] A Stabilizing Fin 6. is adjustably and interchangeably attached to the bottom surface of Hull 1. by means of an Attachment Channel embedded in Hull 1.

[0042] The streamlined winged Outrigger Assembly 2. is mounted to Hull 1. Aft of the Foredeck 1b., providing support of Oarlocks 4a. and 4b., and enhancing aerodynamic and hydrodynamic performance and stability in pentrating through rough surf and waves. The Foreward portion of said Outrigger Assembly 2. Is tapered so as to conform and blend with the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the Hull 1. and Foredeck 1b. Outrigger Assembly 2. contains arcuately shaped Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b., each of which taper towards its free end, at which is attached an Oarlock 4a. and 4b. In an alternative embodiment, the Outrigger Assembly 2. may be integrally formed with, and permanently attached to, the Hull 1.

[0043] The integrated nature of the design of the Deck portions of Hull 1., the Outrigger Assembly 2. and Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. provide streamlined, continuous and hydrodynamically efficient surfaces allowing water passing over the bow to be efficiently channeled either to the Sides of the foredeck or over the Outrigger Assembly 2. and through the seating area. The substantially flat Hull Deck 1e. and Rear Deck 1n. provide minimal water retention within the seating area, and allow efficient passage and ejection of water entering the seating area by gravitational sheet flow aided by the momentum of the boat when in motion. Said integrated design of the uppermost portion of the Hull and attachments provides efficient operation of the invention in rough conditions.

[0044] FIG. 2 is an Isometric View of the invention with the point of view located at the Starboard Side Aft of the centerline. In this view, the Hull 1. is illustrated as a solid and waterproof structure, to which are attached the Outrigger Assembly 2., the Sliding Seat Assembly 3., the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5., and Stabilizing Fin 6. FIG. 2 also illustrates that the contours of the Foreward portion of the Outrigger Assembly 2., and Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. extend in a streamlined fashion from the upper surfaces of the Foredeck 1b. and side surfaces of the Foreward portion of Hull 1. Additionally, FIG. 2 illustrates the flat and planar configuration of the Hull Deck 1e. and Reardeck 1m. located between the Gunwales 1i. and 1h., interrupted only by the Sliding Seat Assembly 3, recessed Footwells 1l. and 1m., and Footboard Assembly 5. Lastly, the Stabilizing Fin 6. is illustrated as projecting downward from its point of attachment to the bottom of the Hull 1.

[0045] FIG. 3 is an Elevation View of the invention with the point of view located at the Starboard Side. This view describes the Hull 1., and attached Outrigger Assembly 2., Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5., and Stabilizing Fin 6. Also illustrated in FIG. 3 are the lines of the Hull Bow 1a. and Hull Stern 1n. which are angular, having surfaces inclined approximately 45 from the horizontal. The curved upper surface of the Foredeck 1b is illustrated as being concave with respect to the vertical plane defined by longitudinal Cross Section B-B, the curved upper surface of Outrigger Assembly 2. is convex with respect to the vertical plane defined by longitudinal Cross Section B-B, with said convex and concave curves becoming tangent at their point of congruency at the Aft end of Foredeck 1b. The bottom and side surfaces of Outrigger Assembly 2 taper in a streamlined fashion toward the ends of the Outrigger Arms. FIG. 3 further illustrates that is Gunwales 1. and 1h. are horizontal beginning at their points of intersection with the Foredeck 1b. and Footboard Assembly 5., and taper slightly downward toward the Stern 1n., Finally, FIG. 3 illustrates that the keel line of the Hull Bottom 1f. is substantially flat, with a slight upturning near the Bow 1a.

[0046] FIG. 4 is an Elevation View with the point of view located Aft of the invention. The streamlined wing-shaped Outrigger Assembly 2. is attached to Hull 1, with Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. extending laterally to either side of the Hull 1. providing structural support for Oarlocks 4a. and 4b., and to create flat and horizontal surfaces providing lateral stability when passing through waves. The lower surfaces of Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. are concave with respect to the lateral plane, curving upward and outward to minimize air resistance and to provide clearance between said Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. and water passing beneath. The upper surfaces of the Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. roughly parallel to the lower surfaces, tapering in thickness toward the free end. The intersection of Outrigger Arms 2a. and 2b. over the Hull 1. and create a surface concave with respect the lateral plane, serving to efficiently channel water flowing over the Foredeck into the seating area and out over Rear Deck 1n. Additionally, FIG. 4 illustrates the location of the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5., the Stabilizing Fin 6. located near the Stern on the longitudinal centerline of the invention, and the relatively flat surface of the Hull Bottom 1f. In an alternative embodiment, the Hull Bottom 1f. may be rounded to provide enhancements to speed, while the configuration illustrated herein maximizes lateral stability.

[0047] FIG. 5 is a Cross Section View cut laterally along Line A-A through the Hull 1., crossing the Footwells 1m. and 1l., with the point of view located Aft of the invention. FIG. 5 illustrates the flat upper Hull Deck 1e. recessed slightly below and between the Gunwales 1i. and 1h., to which is attached the Sliding Seat and Track Assembly 3., FIG. 5 further illustrates the shape of the Footwells 1m. and 1l. which conform to the shape of the rower's feet and lower legs and minimize the volume of water retained in those structures during operation.

[0048] FIG. 6 is a Cross Section View cut longitudinally along Line B-B along the keel line of the invention, with the point of view located at the Starboard Side and Aft of the lateral centerline. FIG. 6 Illustrates features of Hull 1., including the concave curvature of the upper surface of the Hull Foredeck 1b., as well as Outrigger Mounting Surface 1c. to which is removably attached Outrigger 2. by means of mounting anchors imbedded in the Hull 1. at Outrigger Mounting Surface 1c. and Outrigger Mounting Hardware 2d. Said Outrigger Mounting Surface 1c. is illustrated as being coplanar with the top surface of Gunwale 1i. The Hull Deck 1e. and Rear Deck 1n. are Illustrated in FIG. 6 as being substantially planar, with said Hull Deck 1e., Rear Deck 1n., and Gunwale 1i. mutually tapering toward the Stern 1o., beginning at the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5, and converging to a common point of intersection at the top point of Stern 1o.

[0049] FIG. 7 is a Cut-Away Section View of the seating area with principal cuts passing longitudinally through Footwell 1l. and Outrigger Attachment Anchors 1d., with the point of view located at the Starboard Side and Aft of the Lateral centerline of the invention. In this illustration, the Footwell 1l. is shown to be recessed into the surface of Hull 1. at Hull Deck 1e., with its Aft surface inclined toward the Stern to facilitate the ejection of water. Sliding Seat 3. rests upon Seat Track 3b. which is adjustably attached to Hull Deck 1e., allowing adjustment in the Foreward and Aft directions. Outrigger Assembly 2. is removably attached to Outrigger Attachment Surface 1c. by means of Outrigger Attachment Hardware 2d., and Outrigger Attachment Anchors 1d. The Gunwale 1i is illustrated as coplanar with Outrigger Attachment Surface 1c., and the Footboard Attachment Channel 1k. is illustrated as being structurally imbedded in said Gunwale 1i.

[0050] FIG. 8 is a Cut-Away Section View of the Hull 1. and Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5 with principal cuts passing laterally through the Port Side Footwell 1., and to the Stern of Starboard Side Footwell (not shown). The point of view is at the Starboard side and Forward of the lateral centerline of the invention. FIG. 8 illustrates the Footboard and Footstrap Assembly 5. adjustably attached to Hull 1. at Attachment Channel 1l. Said attachment is by means of a Footboard Attachment Lug 5d. which resides in Footboard Attachment Channel 1l., and is retained therein by Footboard Friction Plate 5f. and Friction Plate Tightening Bolt 5e. The Footboard 5a. is structurally supported by attachment to the Footboard Crossbar 5h., which is attached to Footboard Attachment Lug 5d. The Footstraps 5b. and 5c. are attached to the Footboard 5a. by means of Footstrap Attachment Hardware 5g.

[0051] FIG. 9 is an Exploded Section View of Outrigger Assembly 2. with the principal cut passing longitudinally along the centerline of the invention. FIG. 9 illustrates the adjustable attachment of the Oarlock 4c. to the free end of Outrigger Assembly 2. by means of an interchangeable Oarlock Attachment Plate 2e., residing within Oarlock Attachment Plate Receiver 2g. which is cast into the free end of Outrigger Arm 2a. The interchangeable Oarlock Attachment Plate allows a range of attachment points for Oarlock 4c. by means of varying the hole pattern in said Attachment Plate, and is structurally fixed to the free end of Outrigger Arm 2a. and within Oarlock Attachment Plate Receiver 2g. by Oarlock Plate Attachment Hardware 2f.

[0052] While the present invention has been described with respect to what is presently considered to be the preferred embodiments, the present invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. Rather, the present invention covers various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. The scope of the appended claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to emcompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.

[0053] Any modifications to the present invention which do not deviate from the scope thereof are considered to be included therein and the invention is only to be limited by the appended claims.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20070137552 A1
Publish Date
06/21/2007
Document #
11306181
File Date
12/19/2005
USPTO Class
114347000
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
63B35/71
Drawings
10


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