United States Patent 3749042

A hinge-type fitting is disclosed for hingedly connecting the boom of a sailboat to the mast, the fitting having an opening coaxial with the vertical pivotal axis about which the boom swings horizontally through which a cable swivelly mounted aft of the mast may pass and on which the sail can be furled and unfurled, the set of the sail thereby being unaffected by the swinging of the boom to any hinged position.

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Primary Class:
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International Classes:
B63H9/10; (IPC1-7): B63H9/10
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US Patent References:
3602180SAIL COVERAugust 1971Holmes

Primary Examiner:
Buchler, Milton
Assistant Examiner:
Barefoot, Galen L.
What is claimed is

1. In a sailboat having a mast, a boom, and a sail furlable upon an upright elongated rotatable member swivelly mounted aft of the mast and extending below the level of the boom, in combination with said member, a hinge-type fitting for hingedly attaching the boom to the mast without interfering with the functioning of the furling mechanism, said fitting comprising

2. The fitting as claimed in claim 1 wherein said hinge member is a two-way hinge member to permit horizontal and vertical swinging of the boom.

3. The fitting as claimed in claim 1 wherein said hinge member includes a hollow hinge pin coaxial with said vertical axis providing the opening for said elongated rotatable member.

4. The fitting as claimed in claim 1 including a spilit bearing within said opening in said hinge member to facilitate rotation of said elongated rotatable member when it is under pressure from said sail.

This invention relates to sailboats and is concerned more particularly with a novel mechanism permitting furling and unfurling of the main sail, or other boom supported sail, single handed from the steering position or other convenient position.

For some time arrangements have been available for furling stay sails, such as jibs, from the steering position by winding them up around a forward rotatable stay, or by unwinding them from such stay. This is accomplished by rotating the stay by means of a line wrapped upon a reel and extending aft to a convenient location. Similar arrangements for the main sail, or other boom supported sails of multi-masted vessels, have been proposed but none, so far as I am aware, has overcome the problem of interference with the set of the sail upon change of boom angle.

The object of the present invention is to provide sail furling and unfurling mechanism for boom supported sails of a sailing vessel wherein the sail is wound up on and unwound from a generally vertical rotatable cable or rod mounted adjacent and aft of the mast wherein the axis of the cable or rod and pivotal axis of the boom are the same so that the set of the sail will not be adversely affected at any position of the boom.

In accordance with the invention I provide a novel goose-neck for connecting the boom to the mast of a sailing vessel having an upright elongated rotatable sail-holding member (e.g., cable or rod) which is spaced aft of the mast and which is swivel mounted at top and bottom and provided at its lower portion with a reel or other device for rotating it. The luff of the sail is made fast to the cable or rod so that it will wind and unwind upon it as the cable or rod is rotated one way or the other. A furling line is arranged to wind up on the reel as the outhaul unfurls the sail. (Should other means be used to rotate the cable or rod, they should be appropriately attached to it.) The novel goose-neck has a part for attachment to the mast, a part for attachment to the end of the boom, and a hinge member whose pivotal axis is coaxial with and has an axial opening through which passes the cable or rod so that the set of the sail will not be adversely affected at any pivotal position of the boom. The hinge member is preferably a two-way hinge permitting both horizontal and vertical swinging of the boom.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevation of a sailboat equipped with the novel goose-neck of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view partly in section on an enlarged scale taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1 showing the goose-neck itself; and,

FIG. 3 is an exploded view in perspective of the parts shown in FIG. 2 indicating how they are assembled.

The invention is applicable to sailboats rigged in various ways and the particular boat 10 shown is only by way of illustration. The boat has a hull 12, a mast 14, a boom 16, main sheet 18, wire bridle 20, rudder 22, tiller 24, self-furling jib 26, and main-sail 28. A vertical cable 34 is stretched from the top 30 of the mast 14 to a secure anchor 32 just aft of the base of the mast. The cable may be tensioned by using the main halyard 36 passing over sheave 38 mounted on bracket 39 down the mast to a winch 40, in as much as the main halyard is not needed for raising the main sail when the boat is rigged to make use of the invention.

The luff or forward edge of the main sail 28 is secured to the cable 34 in such a way that rotation of the cable will wind up the sail upon it, thus furling the sail in the same manner as is known for jibs.

In order that the sail may be thus furled and unfurled without changing the set of the sail at different horizontal pivoted positions of the boom 16 it is necessary that the cable 34 be coaxial with the hinged axis about which the boom swings in a horizontal plane, whereby tension on the luff thereof does not vary as the position of the boom changes. This is accomplished by providing the novel goose-neck of the invention, indicated generally by the numeral 42 and shown in detail in FIGS. 2 and 3.

To a suitable lower portion of the mast 14 is attached a bracket 44 by lag screws 46 or other suitable means depending on the material composing the mast. The bracket 44 has a track 48 which receives and holds the forward part 50 of the goose-neck 42. A hinge member 52 is pivotally attachable to a rearwardly projecting portion 54 of the member 50 by hollow hinge pin 56 which passes through the openings 58 and 60 in the hinge members and is held by nut 62. The part 52 is pivotally attached by bolt 66 to a pair of tongues 64 projecting from the forward end of the boom 16.

The pin 56 is provided with an axial bore 57 through which passes the cable 34 and which is large enough to accomodate the fitting at the end of cable 34. The cable 34 is provided with top and bottom swivels 68 and 70 and just above the latter a reel 72 which rotates with the cable. A split bearing member 59 may be inserted in bore 58 to facilitate rotation of the cable 34 when it is under lateral pressure from the sail. It will be seen that when assembled to the mast by means of this goose-neck the boom is hinged to swing on the same axis as that of the cable 34 on which the main sail is furled and unfurled.

Conveniently the outhaul 74 which runs from the clew 76 of the main sail about sheave 78 is run through sheaves 80, 82 back out to the steering position within easy reach of the helmsman where it may pass about another sheave 84 from which it is returned to and made fast to the reel 72.

It will be seen that when the outhaul is operated to haul the clew 76 out along the boom 16 to any desired adjusted position, the other end of the outhaul is wound up on the reel 72. Correspondingly when the outhaul is pulled in the other direction it rotates reel 72 furling the sail by rotation of the cable 34 and the slack of the outhaul is fed back along the boom, being pulled in by the clew of the sail. In cases where the relative linear movement of the outhaul 74 and the furling line on reel 72 are not similar, or when it is desirable to use a winch on one or both, separate lines would be used.

Because the cable 34 is located on the center of rotation of the hinged connection of the boom 16 to the mast 14, the set of the main sail will not be changed as the boom swings to different positions, whether close hauled or running with the wind or on a reach. Thus, the novel goose-neck of the invention makes possible the use of a similar furling arrangement for the main sail now used on stay sails, without sacrificing any of the sailing characteristics of the vessel and permitting one person alone to manage the boat easily, and to reef or furl the sails without having to leave the helm to do so.

Most conventional boats now have a hinge permitting horizontal movement of the boom mounted, either solidly or on a slide, close to the after side of the mast as the first link of a goose-neck. In order to use a reel for furling, the pivoted axis should be at least slightly further aft than one half the diameter of the reel. When adapting an existing rig for use with a goose-neck according to the present invention, the forward end of the goose-neck could be made to fit solidly to the existing pivot, and be held in place by the existing pivot pin, without appreciable relative movement. The actual shape, of course, would depend on the existing fitting. In the embodiment described above and illustrated in the drawing, my goose-neck is simply mounted on a conventional goose-neck slide 48.