Title:
Life raft
United States Patent 2399494


Abstract:
This invention relates to life rafts and in particular to a form of life raft which is safe, has stability, and will allow the ready escape of any water that may be shipped during use, all of which features contribute to the safety and comfort of the occupants of the life raft. Life rafts...



Inventors:
Manson, Frank G.
Maskey, James J.
Application Number:
US48996043A
Publication Date:
04/30/1946
Filing Date:
06/07/1943
Assignee:
Manson, Frank G.
Maskey, James J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
244/905
International Classes:
B63C9/04
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Description:

This invention relates to life rafts and in particular to a form of life raft which is safe, has stability, and will allow the ready escape of any water that may be shipped during use, all of which features contribute to the safety and comfort of the occupants of the life raft.

Life rafts as previously constructed were made of a flotation tube which encompassed a bottom which was fastened to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube and consequently was below the surface of the water when the raft was in use.

Because the bottom was below the water level, it was necessary to make it waterproof to keep the water from leaking through the bottom and flooding the part of the raft which was to support the occupants.

As the bottom was waterproof to keep any water from leaking into the raft, it also prevented the escape of any water which would be shipped when the raft was in use, and all such water had to be bailed from the raft. The sides of the raft, which were formed by the flotation tube, did not extend very far above water level, and water could readily be shipped by the raft, making the interior surface of the bottom wet and uncomfortable and requiring much bailing to get rid of the water which was shipped.

A further disadvantage in the use of a bottom which was fastened to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube arose from the fact that the bottom, which was made of fabric or other semirigid material, would be below the surface of the water and in direct contact with the water, where it could be struck by objects in the water, and the force of the blows would be felt by the occupants, causing them much discomfort, and, if the object should tear the bottom, water could enter the raft and make the interior wet and uncomfortable until the bottom could be repaired.

Furthermore, the use of a bottom which was fastened to the tube and located below the water line made the raft very buoyant and unstable, so that it would tip readily if anyone tried to board it over the side from the water, and it would be susceptible to pitching and tossing in rough water and to undesirable drifting when no sail was used.

Applicants' novel life raft overcomes these disadvantages and provides a raft which is selfbailing, dry, and stable and eliminates the shocks and the possibility of wetting occupants if an object in the water should hit the bottom of the raft.

The novel life raft is provided with a doublebottom construction consisting of an upper bottom or deck which is fastened to the flotation tube at a point substantially above the normal water level of the raft when the raft is floating upon the water, and a lower bottom which is fastened to the flotation tube at its lowermost point.

The upper bottom or deck, upon which the occupants rest, may be made from light-weight semi-rigid rubberized fabric or other similar waterproof material and is located substantially above the water level when the raft is floating on a body of water. This upper bottom has a drainage opening or openings therein through which water which may be shipped by the raft may be drained and thus will enable the raft to keep substantially dry and will eliminate the necessity of bailing the water from the raft.

The drainage openings may be provided with plugs or other closures so that drainage of water through the upper bottom or deck may be prevented if desired.

The upper bottom or deck, being above the water level, has the further advantage that it will prevent discomfort to the occupants of the raft which might be caused either by the force resulting from objects in the water striking the bottom of the raft or by damage or tearing of the bottom which might result from the raft's striking some object in the water.

The lower bottom, which also may be made from lightweight, semi-rigid rubberized fabric or other similar waterproof material, is provided with openings so that the space between the upper bottom and the lower bottom can be in constant communication with the water upon which the raft is floating and the level of the water in the space between the two bottoms can be the same as that on the outer sides of the raft.

While the water that is in the space between the two bottoms can escape through the openings in the lower bottom to maintain the level of the water in this space substantially the same as that outside the raft, the escape will be restricted by the size of the openings, and the water in the space will serve as ballast to stabilize the raft against tipping and tossing on the surface of the water and will act as a drag anchor to prevent undesirable drifting when no sail is being used.

This stability is particularly advantageous to prevent tipping of the raft when it is being boarded by persons climbing over any side thereof out of the water, and to prevent the tossing and pitching of the raft when the raft encounters rough water. If it is desired to retain the water within the space between the two bottoms, the openings in the lower bottom may also be provided with closures.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention tc provide a life raft that is safe and stable ant will remain dry without bailing.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel double-bottom construction for a life raft A further object of the invention is to provide a life raft having a novel double-bottom construction in which the upper bottom is above the water level of the raft.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel life raft which has a double-bottom construction in which the upper bottom is above the water level and both bottoms have openings therein to allow any water shipped by the raft to drain therefrom readily to maintain the uppei bottom dry without bailing.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel life raft having a double-bottom construction in which the upper bottom or deck is above the water and protects the occupants from discomforts caused by objects in the water striking the bottom of the raft.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel life raft having a double-bottom construction in which water may occupy part of the space between the two bottoms and serve as ballast to render the raft resistant to tipping when anyone boards the raft by climbing over any side thereof from the water.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel life raft having a double-bottom construction in which water may occupy part of the space between the bottoms and act as a drag anchor to prevent undesirable drifting when no sail is used, and also may serve as ballast to render the raft stable and resistant to tossing and pitching- in rough water.

With these and incidental objects in view, the invention includes certain novel features of construction and combinations of parts, the essential elements of which are set forth in the appended claims and exemplary embodiments of which are hereinafter described with reference to the drawing which accompanies and forms a part of this specification.

In the drawing: Fig. 1 is a plan view of the novel life raft, showing the perforated upper bottom or deck.

Fig. 2 is a schematic sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a schematic sectional view similar to Fig. 2 but showing a modified form of the invention.

Fig. 4 is a plan view of another modification of the invention, showing a novel life raft and showing in particular an upper bottom therefor provided with a single opening which may be closed by a water-tight closure.

Fig. 5 is a schematic sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in Fig. 4.

Description One form of raft embodying the invention is shown in Pigs. 1 and 2. The raft consists of a collapsible tube 11 which may be inflated to form a flotation tube; an upper bottom or deck 12 which may be formed from light-weight semirigid rubberized fabric or similar waterproof material and which is encompassed by the tube and is fastened thereto by a waterproof joint at a point considerably above the water line, which is shown at 13; a lower bottom 14 which may also be made of light-weight semi-rigid waterproof material and which is fastened by a waterproof joint to the lowermost point of the flotation I tube I ; and a pair of seats 15 and 16 which are located above the upper bottom or deck 12.

The upper bottom 12 is provided with a series of apertures, as 17, through which any water which may be shipped when the raft is in use can drain and enable the upper bottom or deck to remain S10 substantially free from water without requiring any bailing. The number, size, and arrangement of apertures in the upper bottom may be varied without departing from the invention. Plugs, one of which is shown at 17a in Fig. 2, or other forms S15 of closures may be provided for the apertures 17 if it is desired to prevent water from draining from the upper bottom, as would be the case when the upper bottom was to be used to catch rain water for drinking purposes.

S20 -The lower bottom 14 is provided with a plurality of apertures, as 18, to allow the space between the upper bottom and the lower bottom to be in communication with the body of water upon which the raft is floating. This enables the level of the water between the upper and lower bottoms normally to remain the same as that on the outside edges of the raft, even though water is drained into the space between the two bottoms. While the apertures, as 18, allow water to escape from the space between the bottoms, they restrict the flow sufficiently that the water between the bottoms can act on the bottom 14 and serve as ballast to render the raft more stable and resistant to tipping and to pitching and tossing in rough water, and will act as a drag anchor to prevent drifting without sail. The apertures 18 are shown located substantially below those in the upper bottom, but the number, size, and arrangement of the apertures 18 may be varied without departing from the invention. As in the case of the apertures 17, the apertures 18 may be provided with plugs or closures if it is desired to make the lower bottom water-tight; for instance, 45 when it would be advantageous to retain the water between the bottoms to provide more ballast than usual.

A fin 19 is fastened to the flotation tube 11 and extends about the flotation tube near the top thereof and above the water line to prevent water from splashing over the sides of the raft and into the upper bottom or deck 12.

It will be clear from Fig. 2 that the upper bottom or deck 12 will be completely above.the water and that the shock or damage caused by objects striking the bottom of the raft will be taken by the lower bottom 14 and will in no manner cause discomfort to the occupants or damage to the upper bottom 12, upon which the occupants are supported.

Fig. 3 shows another form of raft similar to the one shown in Figs. 1 and 2 but formed of a pair of superimposed collapsible tubes 20 and 21 which may be inflated and one of which may serve as the flotation tube. In this form of raft, the upper bottom 22 is encompassed by the tubes and fastened by a waterproof joint at a point between the upper and lower flotation tubes, and the lower bottom 23 is fastened by a waterproof joint at the lowermost part of the lower flotation tube 21. The upper bottom 22 and the lower bottom 23 may be made of .light-weight, semirigid, waterproof material and are provided, respectively, with apertures- as 24 and 25, which function in the same manner as the apertures II and 18 described above. The water between the upper and lower bottoms 22 and 23 will assume a level as shown at 26.

In addition to the qualities mentioned above in connection with the raft shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the raft in Fig. 3 has the further property that smaller-diameter flotation tubes may be used, if desired, without causing the raft to lie too low in the water that water may enter easily over the sides of the raft. 1 A-further form of the raft embodying the invention is shown in Figs. 4 and 5. In this form, the raft consists of a collapsible tube 30, which may be inflated to serve as a flotation tube; an upper bottom or deck 31 of light-weight, semi- 1 rigid rubberized fabric or similar material encompassed by the tube and fastened thereto by a waterproof joint at a point substantially above the water line, which is shown at 32, a lower bottom 33, which is fastened by a waterproof joint 2 to the lowermost point of the flotation tube 30; and a pair of seats 34 and 35, which are located above the upper bottom or deck 3 .

The upper-bottom or deck 31 is formed as an imperforate waterproof bottom having a single 2 aperture 36, which is provided with a waterproof closure 37, such as a slide fastener. With the closure 37 in closed position, the upper bottom will not allow any water to drain therefrom, but, upon opening of the closure, the water may be drained therefrom in the manner explained above.

The lower bottom 33 may be formed from lightweight, semi-rigid rubberized fabric or other similar material, is also waterproof, and has a single aperture 38, which is provided with a waterproof closure 39, such as a slide fastener, which can control the flow of water through the aperture 38.

The aperture 36 in the upper bottom or deck 31 is made sufficently large to allow free access to the closure 39 in the lower bottom in order that the closure may be operated.

With the upper and lower closures in open condition, the raft has all the qualities described above in connection with the form shown in Figs. 1 and 2. The use of the single openings in the upper and lower bottoms and the closures therefor provide the further advantage that the control of the drainage and the control of the amount of water between decks or ballast can be more easily obtained.

A fin 40 is fastened to the flotation tube 30 and extends around the flotation tube near the top thereof and above the water line to prevent water from splashing over the sides of the raft and onto the upper bottom or deck 31.

It is clear, therefore, from the above description, that aplicants, by their novel double-bottom construction, have provided a light-weight life raft which is easily drained of any water which might be shipped when the raft is in use and have provided a raft which is stable and will not tip, pitch, toss in rough water, nor drift without a sail.

While the forms of life rafts herein shown and described are admirably adapted to fulfill the objects primarily stated, it is to be understood that it is not intended to confine the invention to the forms or embodiments herein disclosed, for it is susceptible of embodiment in various forms all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is: 1. A life raft consisting of an inflated means, an upper bottom encompassed by the means and fastened to the means substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, a lower bottom fastened to the inflated means below the water line at the lowermost point of the means, each of said bottoms having at least one aperture, and closure means for the apertures in both bottoms to control the amount of water that may be contained therebetween.

2. A life raft consisting of a flotation tube, an 0 upper bottom encompassed by the tube and fastened to the tube substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, said bottom having at least one opening therein through which water which is shipped during use may drain, and a lower bottom fastened to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube at a point below the water line of the raft and having at least one opening therein through which the water drained from the up0 per bottom may escape to the body of water upon which the raft is floating, whereby the water level between the bottoms will be maintained the same as that of the raft and the upper bottom can be kept substantially dry without bailing. 5 3. A life raft consisting of a collapsible tube which can be inflated to form a flotation tube, an upper bottom encompassed by the tube and fastened to the tube at a point substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floati0 ing on the surface of the water, said bottom having therein an opening through which water may drain, a waterproof closure for said opening to control the flow of water through the opening, a lower bottom fastened below the water 35 line of the raft to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube and having an opening through which the water drained from the upper bottom may escape to the body of water upon which the raft is floating, and a waterproof closure 40 for controlling the flow of water through the lower bottom, said two closures being effective to control the amount of water that will be in the space between the upper and lower bottoms and thus control the amount of ballast which 45 this water can provide to stabilize the raft.

4. A light-weight collapsible life raft consisting of a collapsible tube which may be inflated to form a flotation tube, an upper bottom of lightweight semi-rigid rubberized fabric encompassed 50 by the tube and fastened thereto at a point substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, said upper bottom having therein an opening through which water may drain, a lower bottom 55 of light-weight semi-rigid rubberized fabric fastened to the lowermost portion of the tube at a point below the water line of the raft, said lower bottom having therein an opening whereby the space between the bottoms can be in communi60 cation with the body of water upon which the raft is floating, and a waterproof closure for each of said openings to control the amount of water that can be trapped between the upper and lower bottoms to serve as ballast and provide stability 65 for the light-weight raft when in use.

5. A light-weight life raft consisting of a collapsible tube which can be inflated to serve as a flotation tube, an upper bottom encompassed by the tube connected to the tube at a point sub70 stantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, a lower bottom fastened below the water line to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube and having therein at least one opening to allow 75 water to enter between the upper and lower bottoms, and closure means to retain the water between the bottoms to allow any desired amount of water to be retained therebetween to provide the desired amount of ballast for the raft to afford stability against pitching and tossing in rough water.

6. A light-weight life raft consisting of a collapsible tube which can be inflated to serve as a flotation tube, an upper bottom encompassed by the tube and connected to the tube at a point substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, a lower bottom fastened below the water line to the lowermost portion of the flotation tube and having an opening therein to allow the water to assume the same level between the upper and lower bottoms as that outside the raft but to resist the flow of water from between bottoms to such a degree that the water between bottoms can serve as ballast for the raft and provide stability against pitching and tossing in rough water, and a closure for the opening to enable the water to be completely trapped within the space between the upper and lower bottoms if desired.

7. A life raft consisting of a flotation tube, an upper bottom of waterproof material encompassed by the tube, said upper bottom having its edges fastened to the tube by a waterproof joint substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water and having an opening therein, a lower bottom of waterproof material encompassed by the tube, said lower bottom having its edges fastened to the tube by a waterproof joint to the lowermost point of the tube below the water line and having an opening therein, and waterproof closures for the openings, said two bottoms providing a water-tight compartment into which water may be admitted through the openings, if desired, by opening the closures.

8. A light-weight raft consisting of a collapsible tube of light-weight material which may be inflated to serve as a flotation tube, an upper bottom of light-weight waterproof semi-rigid material encompassed by the tube, said upper bottom having all of its edges fastened to the tube by a waterproof joint at a point substantially above the water line of the raft when the raft is floating on the surface of the water, and having an opening therein, a waterproof slide fastener closure for the opening in the upper bottom, a lower bottom of light-weight waterproof semi-rigid material encompassed by the tube, said lower bottom having its edges fastened to the tube by, a waterproof joint to the lowermost point of the tube below the water line of the raft and having an opening therein, and a waterproof slide fastener closure for the opening in the lower bottom, said closures when closed enabling the bottoms to provide a waterproof compartment into which water may be admitted when the closures ,are opened to provide ballast for the raft in use without a corresponding increase in weight when the raft is not in use.

9. A life raft consisting of a pair of superimposed collapsible tubes which may be inflated, one of said tubes serving as a flotation tube and the other of said tubes providing height to the sides of the raft, an upper bottom encompassed by the tubes and fastened to the tubes at a point where they are joined together and at a point above the water line of the raft, a lower bottom encompassed by the flotation tube and connected thereto below the water line at the lowermost point of the flotation tube, said lower bottom having at least one opening therein through which water may enter until the water line between the bottoms is the same as the water line of the raft, said water between bottoms serving as ballast to provide stability to the raft and closure means to retain the water between the bottoms, if desired.

10. A life raft consisting of a pair of superimposed collapsible tubes which may be inflated, one of said tubes serving as a flotation tube and the other of said tubes providing height to the sides of the raft, an upper bottom encompassed by the tubes and fastened to the tubes at a point where they are joined together and at a point above the water line of the raft, said upper bottom having at least one opening therein through which water that is shipped may drain to enable the upper bottom to remain substantially dry without bailing, and a lower bottom encompassed by the flotation tube and connected thereto below the water line at the lowermost point of the flotation tube, said lower bottom having at least one opening therein through which water may enter or leave to maintain the water line between the bottoms the same as the water line of the raft, said water between bottoms serving as ballast to provide stability to the raft.

11. A life raft consisting of a pair of superimposed collapsible tubes which may be inflated, one of said tubes serving as a flotation tube and the other of said tubes providing height to the sides of the raft, an upper bottom encompassed by the tubes and fastened to the tubes at a point where they are joined together and at a point above the water line of the raft, said upper bot5U tom having at least one opening therein through which water that is shipped may drain to enable the upper bottom to remain substantially dry without bailing, a lower bottom encompassed by the flotation tube and connected thereto below the water line at the lowermost point of the flotation tube, said lower bottom having at least one opening therein through which water may enter until the water line between the bottoms is the same as the water line of the raft, and O6 closure means for the openings in both bottoms to control the flow of water therethrough.

FRANK G. MANSON.

JAMES J. MASKEY.