Title:
COLLAPSIBLE MULTICARRIER WIND PROPELLED VEHICLE
United States Patent 3839979


Abstract:
A collapsible multicarrier wind propelled vehicle includes a pair of spaced carriers connected by centrally hinged struts. A center control spar is connected to the struts at the hinged midpoint and a mast is stepped on the spar by a hinged connector. One or more mast brace spars are pivotally connected at one end to the mast and at the other end are connected to a respective one of each of the carriers. The vehicle is collapsed in a convenient package for transportation by folding the mast down parallel to the control spar thereby shifting the control spar axially forward relative to the carriers and folding the center struts at the hinged midpoint to bring the carriers together. The mast may be telescoped to that in collapsed condition it does not extend beyond the ends of the package.



Inventors:
WASSELL G
Application Number:
05/266618
Publication Date:
10/08/1974
Filing Date:
06/27/1972
Assignee:
WASSELL G,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
114/61.17, 114/354
International Classes:
B63B7/02; B63B15/00; (IPC1-7): B63B1/14
Field of Search:
9/2C,2R,2F 114
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3150632Self-propelled water craft1964-09-29Evans
2351542Toy boat or glider1944-06-13Paull
0744590N/A1903-11-17
0055675N/A1866-06-19



Primary Examiner:
Blix, Trygve M.
Assistant Examiner:
Goldstein, Stuart M.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brumbaugh, Graves, Donohue & Raymond
Claims:
I claim

1. A collapsible catamaran comprising:

2. A collapsible catamaran as defined in claim 1, further comprising:

3. A collapsible catamaran as defined in claim 2, further comprising:

4. A collapsible catamaran as defined in claim 1, wherein:

5. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle, comprising:

6. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 5, wherein:

7. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 5, further comprising:

8. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 5, wherein:

9. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 5, further comprising:

10. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 6, further comprising:

11. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 6, wherein said mast comprises:

12. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 11, further comprising:

13. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 12, wherein:

14. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 13, wherein:

15. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle, comprising:

16. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 15, wherein:

17. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 15, wherein:

18. A collapsible wind propelled vehicle as defined in claim 15, wherein:

19. A collapsible water borne vehicle comprising:

20. A collapsible water borne vehicle as defined in laim 19, wherein said strut means comprises a forward strut and an aft strut, each hinged at a point centrally thereof, and further comprising a center control spar connecting said struts at said hinge points.

21. A collapsible water borne vehicle as defined in claim 20, further comprising:

22. A collapsible water borne vehicle as defined in claim 21, comprising a third buoyant hull connected to said center control spar.

23. A collapsible water borne vehicle as defined in claim 21, wherein said lever comprises a mast having means thereon for connection of a sail.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to multicarrier craft, and more particularly to collapsible wind propelled multicarrier vehicles such as catamaran and trimaran sailboats and iceboats.

The superior nautical qualities of the catamaran type water craft have been known for many years. Because of their high beam-to-length ratio and their shallow draft, catamaran type water craft exhibit desirable seaworthy qualities of stability and resistance to capsizing equivalent to those of much larger single hull water craft. In addition, multihulled water craft are much faster than single hulled water craft.

Despite these obvious and well known advantages, catamaran water craft have not enjoyed the degree of popular acceptance that one would expect of a water craft of this nature. A principle reason for this lack of acceptance is the awkward bulk of the double hull design which makes handling, transportation and storage difficult and inconvenient. Many boat owners prefer to remove their boats from the water in the winter months to forestall fouling of the bottom and thereby greatly reduce the maintenance that would otherwise be necessary if the boat were left in the water all year. Single hull boats are easily removed from the water by means of the conventional ramp and trailer arrangement, but because of the catamaran's wide beam, they require much wider trailers or other special equipment to be removed from the water and transported. Alternatively, conventional catamarans must be disassembled in the water and removed one hull at a time. The storage of conventional catamarans is expensive and inconvenient because of the wide beam which occupies a great deal more space than an equivalent sized single hull boat. Because of the increased difficulty, expense, inconvenience and time loss involved in the handling, transportation and storage of conventional catamarans, many prospective catamaran owners decide against buying a catamaran and instead buy a single hull boat.

To overcome these problems, there have been attempts in the past to design a catamaran type water craft which collapses into a transportable package, but these designs have been either excessively complicated and expensive to manufacture and maintain, or flimsy and unseaworthy. In addition, the procedure for collapsing the catamaran into a transportable package is frequently so complicated and time consuming that the prospective owner is unwilling to undertake the chore and instead buys a single hull water craft.

Accordingly, there has existed in the art a longstanding need for a collapsible catamaran which may be folded quickly and easily into a convenient package for transportation and storage and which, when afloat, provides a strong and reliable watercraft which the owner may sail with confidence.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, there is provided herewith a collapsible multicarrier vehicle which is strong and light, inexpensive to manufacture and maintain, is easily erected for operation and easily collapsed for transportation and storage.

A multicarrier vehicle according to this invention has a plurality of laterally spaced carriers, such as hulls, skis or skates held in space relationship by a pair of struts pivotally connected at either end to a respective hull. The struts are centrally hinged and connected to a center control spar which may be moved axially relative to the carriers to fold the struts and bring the carriers together. A mast is stepped on the center control spar and one or more mast braces are connected at one end to the mast and at the other end to a respective carrier. When the mast is folded down to lie horizontally, it pivots about the connection at the mast braces and levers the center control spar forward which folds the struts forwardly and brings the hulls together. The mast is made of axially telescoping sections and may be raised by a mechanism located completely within the interior of the mast.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete appreciation of the invention and its many attendent advantages will develop as the same becomes better understood by consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1A is an elevation of a catamaran sailboat according to this invention in erect configuration;

FIG. 1B is a similar elevation of the sailboat shown in FIG. 1A in collapsed configuration;

FIG. 2A is a plan view along lines 2A--2A in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2B is a plan view of the sailboat shown in FIG. 1B in collapsed configuration;

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional elevation along lines 3A--3A in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional elevation along lines 3B--3B in FIG. 1B;

FIG. 4 is an elevation, partly in section, of a tiller and rudder assembly for use on a wind propelled vehicle according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an elevational end view along lines 5--5 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevation, partly in section, of a second embodiment of a rudder and tiller assembly;

FIG. 7 is an elevational end view along lines 7--7 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an exploded isometric view of a third embodiment of a rudder and tiller assembly;

FIG. 9 is an elevation, partly in section, of the rudder and tiller assembly of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a broken cross-sectional elevation of the bottom section of a mast for use with the invention;

FIGS. 11-13 are broken cross-sectional elevations of a second and third embodiment of a mast;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of a trimaran skiboat according to this invention; and

FIG. 15 is an elevation of the skiboat along lines 15--15 in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a plan view of a trimaran sailboat.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate identical or corresponding parts, and more particularly to FIGS. 1A and 1B thereof, a sailboat according to the present invention is shown having a pair of supporting carriers, which in the case of a waterborne vehicle, take the form of hulls 10p and 10s, of which only the hull 10p appears in FIG. 1A. Connected centrally between hulls 10p and 10s is a vertical mast 12 foldable to the horizontal position illustrated in FIG. 1B but biased to the erect vertical position illustrated in FIG. 1A by a spring 13. A pair of mast stays 14p and 14s, of which only stay 14p appears in FIG. 1A may be connected between the mast and the hulls to hold the mast erect and lock the catamaran in erect configuration. A rudder and tiller assembly 16 is connected aft of the hulls 10 for steering the sailboat, and along with the mast 12, may be folded compactly with the hulls 10 as shown in FIG. 1B for easy transportation for example, on top of a car, to and from the launching site and for convenient storage.

Looking now at FIGS. 2A and 2B, the structure which holds the catamaran sailboat in the erect configuration shown in FIG. 2A and provides for its collapse into the folded configuration shown in FIG. 2B includes a forward strut 18f and an aft strut 18a connected athwartships at their respective opposite ends to hulls 10p and 10s. Each strut 18 includes a separate port and starboard section 18p and 18s and each port and starboard section is in turn formed of a pair of spaced top and bottom sections 18t and 18b. The outboard end of each top and bottom strut member is pivotally pinned to the top and bottom, respectively, of a longitudinal member, shown here as a rail 34 connected to each hull 10. The strut could be connected directly to the hulls 10, in which case the hulls themselves would function as the longitudinal members.

The inboard end of each top and bottom strut member is pinned by hinge pin 19 to the top and bottom, respectively, of an axially extending center control spar 20. By shifting the center control spar 20 forward with respect to the hulls 10, the struts 18 will fold forwardly at their hinge pins 19 thereby bringing the hulls 10 together as shown in FIG. 2B.

A mechanism for supplementing the function of the stays 14 in locking the struts 18 in erect configuration is provided, including an extension 21 formed on the aft top starboard strut 18ats and the aft bottom port strut 18abp and also on the fore bottom starboard strut 18fbs. (No extension is formed on the fore top strut because it would interfere with the mast.) A sleeve 22 on the struts formed without extensions slides over the extensions 21 to hold them for swinging relative to the strut which they underlie thereby locking the catamaran in open configuration. Of course, the extensions 21 could be provided on other or additional struts, as will be appreciated by one skilled in the art.

To provide additional rigidity to the struts in the locked erect configuration, and to provide a means for automatically positioning the extensions 21 in exact alignment over their mating struts, a stop 24 is formed on the strut member having the extension. The stop 24 abuts against a corner of the inboard end of the strut member on which the sleeve 22 slides to prevent the struts from opening beyond the 180° configuration illustrated in FIG. 2A.

The stop 24 is formed by stamping an indentation in the strut member on which the extension 21 is formed, to receive the overlapping portion of the opposite strut member when the strut is folded as illustrated in FIG. 2B. Alternatively, the strut bearing the extension 21 could be made out of flat stock, and a separate piece of stock, beveled and truncated as illustrated in FIG. 2A could be secured to the top of that strut to provide the stop 24. Other forms of stop are possible as well. For example, the end of strut 18atp could be provided with an extension like the extension 21 on the strut 18ats and both extensions could be notched on their aft edges. A vertical pin could be provided on the struts to receive and engage the notches when the struts are straightened to 180° and then a seleve could fit over each extension. Other forms of lock and stop structure are possible and will occur to those skilled in the art in view of this teaching.

As best seen in FIGS. 1A and 3A the mast 12 is hingably stepped on the forward end of the center control spar 20 by means of a elongated upstanding U-shaped bracket 23 whose arms embrace the control spar 20 and the port and starboard sides of the heel of mast 12, to which they are pinned by a pivot pin 25 extending through the heel of mast 12 and both arms of the bracket 23. Two mast brace spars 26p and 26s are connected to a U-shaped bracket 28 fixedly disposed on the mast 12. The connection is by means of universal joint formed of a U-shaped bracket 29 pinned through its arms to the inboard end of each spar 26, and fastened to the bracket 28 by a pin which extends horizontally through the cross-piece of both brackets 29, through both arms of bracket 28, and through the mast 12. The other end of each mast brace spar 26 is pivotally connected to a hull 10 by a similar universal joint, described below. When the mast is pivoted about pivot pin 25 and folded down parallel to the hulls 10, the mast acts as a lever fulcrumed at the bracket 28 which, as the mast 12 pivots downwardly, describes a short arc 30 shown in FIG. 1A. The center control spar 20 moves directly forward from its position illustrated in FIG. 2A to its position illustrated in FIG. 2B wherein the fore and aft ends of the center control spar 20 are even with the bow and stern respectively, of the hulls 10.

The technique for fastening of the struts 18 and the mast brace spars 26 to the hulls 10 will now be described in conjunction with FIGS. 1 through 3. While this method of fastening is effective, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that other techniques may be used which offer other or additional advantages.

A support block 32 having a bore formed therethrough is fastened at each end of each hull 10p and 10s, and each bore receives one end of a rail 34. The top and bottom members of the struts 18 bracket the rails 34 and are secured thereto by a pin extending through the rail 34 and the outboard ends of the top and bottom members of the struts 18. The mast brace spars 26 are attached to the rails 34 by U-shaped brackets 36 pinned to the outboard ends of the mast brace spars 26 and also pinned to the underside of a second U-shaped bracket 38 which is fixed to rails 34 by a pin which extends through the cross-piece of bracket 36, both arms of bracket 38, and the rail 34. This universal joint permits the mast brace spars to pivot vertically and also fore and aft as the mast is erected and collapsed and the hulls 10 are spread apart and folded together.

Turning now to FIG. 4, a rudder-tiller assembly is illustrated for use with a catamaran sailboat of the present invention and is attached to the aft end of the center control spar 20 by means of an elongated U-shaped bracket 40 pivotally secured to the end of the center control spar 20 by means of a bolt 42. The rudder is pivotally connected to the bracket 40 by means of a double bifurcated yoke 44 having a pair of vertically spaced horizontally extending tongues 46 which extend above and below the bracket 40 and are pivotally connected thereto by a pintle pin 48 which allows the yoke 44 to swivel in a horizontal direction. A pair of vertically extending horizontally spaced leaves 50p and 50s extend aft from the yoke 44 and support the opposite ends of a pair of horizontal pivot pins 52 and 54. The pivot pin 52 pivotally supports a tiller assembly 56, and the pivot pin 54 pivotally supports a rudder 58. Both the tiller 56 and the rudder 58 are supported for pivotal movement in the vertical plane of the yoke 44 and the vertical plane in which they pivot is itself horizontally swingable about the bolt 42 and the pintle pin 48 by virtue of the pivotal attachment of the bracket 40 to the control spar 20 and the yoke 44 to the bracket 40.

The end of the tiller 56 aft of the pivot pin 52 is bent downwardly in a right angle 59 to give a short vertical length 60, and then is formed in a semi-circle 61 having a radius of curvature equal to that of a quarter-circle cut 62 in the top aft corner of the rudder 58. A rudder spring 64 is connected between the forward edge of the rudder 58 and a vertically projecting lug 66 welded to the underside of the center control spar 20 to bias the rudder to pivot forwardly about its pivot pin 54. The spacing and dimensions of the tiller and rudder are such that when the assembly is in operative position, that is, with the tiller extending toward the bow and the rudder extending vertically into the water, the short vertical length 60 of the tiller engages the top vertical edge of the quarter-circle cut 62 in the rudder to prevent the rudder from pivoting forwardly about pivot pin 54 under the influence of the rudder spring 64. To prevent the rudder spring 64 from rotating the rudder 58 clockwise and levering the tiller 56 counterclockwise, a spring loaded detent rod 65 is provided which engages a slot 67 cut into each leaf 50 of the yoke 44.

The rudder is cocked upwardly by pulling forward on the end of detent rod 65 to withdraw the aft end thereof from the slots in the leaves 50. The handle of the tiller 56 is then raised which pivots the aft end of the tiller about pivot pin 52, and swings it down against the quarter-circle cut 62 in the rudder 58 to pivot rearwardly about its pivot pin 54 against the force of the rudder spring 64. Further raising of the handle of the tiller 56 causes further rearward pivoting of the rudder 58 until the semi-circular portion 61 of the aft end of tiller 56 swings into full engagement with the quarter-circle cut 62 in the rudder 58. At this point the handle of the tiller 56 will be vertical and the rudder 58 will extend horizontally aft. Tiller 56 may be further rotated backward and the rudder will remain extending aft.

In operation, the rudder and tiller assembly functions in the conventional manner while the catamaran sailboat is underway. When the sailboat is to be collapsed and removed from the water for transportation and/or storage, the handle of the tiller is swung in a horizontal 180° arc. This caues the bracket 40 to describe a 90° arc about the pivot pin 42 relative to the center control spar, and causes the yoke 44 to describe a 90° arc about pintle pin 48 relative to the bracket 44. The yoke 44 therefore describes a 180° arc relative to the center control spar to a final position lying alongside the starboard aft end of control spar 20. At this point, the handle of tiller 56 extends aft and the rudder 58 remains extending vertically into the water. The handle of tiller 56 is then swung in a vertical 180° arc about pivot pin 54 so that it extends horizontally toward the bow and the rudder is cocked up horizontally toward the bow. The rudder and tiller assembly thus folds neatly so as not to project beyond the dimensions off the folded hulls.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, the second embodiment of the rudder and tiller assembly for use with the present invention, like the first embodiment, is connected to the aft end of the central control spar 20. A U-shaped channel member 68 is attached to the aft end of the center control spar 20 by means of a short cylindrical stud 70 connected to the channel member 68 as by welding and extending into the interior of the center control spar 20. The diameter of stud 70 is substantially identical to the internal diameter of the control spar 20. A pair of bolts 71 extends through a pair of holes drilled completely through the end of the center control spar 20 and the stud 70 to secure the stud to the center control spar 20.

A vertical shaft 72 extends through a pair of aligned openings in the vertically spaced arms 74t and 74b of the channel member 68. The top half of the shaft 72 is circular in horizontal cross-section and the bottom half is square in horizontal cross-section.

The opening 76 in the lower arm 74b of the channel member 68 carries a bearing bushing 78 through which is inserted a collar 80 having an enlarged flange 82 on the upper end thereof with an external diameter larger than the diameter of the opening 76 to prevent the collar 80 from pulling the bushing 78 downwardly through the opening 76. A yoke 84 having two horizontally spaced vertically extending plates 85 is fixed, as by welding, to the lower end of the collar 80 and rotates therewith.

A pivot pin 86 is fixed in the opposite plates 85 of the yoke 84 extending thereacross and supporting a rudder 88 for pivotal movement in a vertical plane between the plates 85. A stud 90 is attached to and projects forwardly from the rudder 88 beneath the lower end of the shaft 72. A spring 91 is attached between the end of the stud 90 and the top inside forward corner of the yoke 84 to bias the stud 90 upwardly against the lower end of the shaft 72 against the drag of the water which would otherwise tend to cock the rudder 88 aft. The rudder may be fixed in vertical position by inserting a pin through a pair of aligned holes 89 formed through the plates 85 to prevent rearward swinging of the rudder 88 about pivot pin 86. The rudder 88 may be cocked counterclockwise about pivot pin 86 by removing the pin from the holes 89 and lowering the shaft 72, by a technique which will be explained below, against the stud 90, pushing it downwardly and thereby rotating the rudder.

The opening through collar 80 which receives the square end of the shaft 72 is likewise square in horizontal cross-section so that when shaft 72 is rotated about its axis it will rotate collar 80 and also the yoke 84, which causes rudder 88 to rotate about the axis of shaft 72 for the purpose of steering the sailboat.

The shaft 72 is rotated about its axis by means of a tiller 92 having handle 94 and a bifurcated end portion formed in a pair of vertically extending horizontally spaced leaves 96 which bracket the upper end of the shaft 72. A pivot pin 98 extends horizontally through both leaves 96 and through a hole formed in the upper end of the shaft 72 to fix the tiller, the axis of shaft 72, the yoke 84, and the rudder 88 in a common vertical plane while permitting angular movement of the tiller 92 about pivot pin 98 in that common plane. The angular orientation of that common plane relative to the longitudinal axis of the boat may be adjusted by swinging the handle 94 of the tiller 92 in a horizontal arc which transmit the torque through the shaft 72 to the yoke 84 and the rudder 88.

The vertical position of the shaft 72 is adjusted by swinging the tiller 92 in a vertical arc about the pivot pin 98. This changes the point of contact of the peripheral edge of the leaves 96 on the upper surface of the top arm 74t of the channel member 68. As clearly illustrated in FIG. 6, the radial dimension between the pivot pin 98 and the point on the peripheral edge of the leaves 96 in contact with the upper surface of the arms 74t varies from a maximum in the position illustrated in the solid lines to a minimum in the position illustrated in phantom. By rotating the tiller 92 upward in a vertical plane, the vertical radial distance between the pin 98 and the peripheral edge of the leaves 96 in contact with the upper surface of the top arm 74t gradually decreases to permit the shaft 72 to descend vertically.

To assure that shaft 72 will assume its lower position when the tiller 92 is rotated up and over in a vertical plane about the pivot pin 98, a spring 100 is disposed concentrically about the shaft 72, bearing, at its top end, against the under surface of the top arm 74t and bearing, at its lower end, against a washer 102 also disposed concentrically about the shaft 72 and supported by a pin 104 extending therethrough. The spring 100 biases the shaft 72 downwardly so that when the tiller 94 is swung upwardly to shorten the vertical radial distance between the pivot pin 98 and the point of contact of the peripheral edge of the leaves 96 against the upper surface of the top arm 74t, the spring 100 will force the shaft 72 downwardly against the stud 90 thereby rotating the rudder 88 in a vertical plane about the pivot pin 86.

In use, while the catamaran sailboat is underway, the rudder and tiller assembly is in the configuration as illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 6. When the catamaran is to be collapsed and removed from the water for transportation and/or storage the tiller is first swung horizontally in a 180° arc to position the handle 94 of the tiller 92 aft. The plane of the rudder 88 has rotated 180° but the rudder remains extending vertically down into the water. The handle 94 is then rotated up in a vertical plane in a 180° arc to position the shortest radial distance between the pivot pin 98 and the peripheral edge of the leaves 96 against the top surface of the bracket arm 74t and allow the spring 100 to push the shaft 72 downwardly to its extreme lowest position to cock the rudder 88 forward and upward. The hulls are then folded together, as previously described, which shifts the control spar forward to compactly position the rudder between the hulls and provide a compactly folded package for easy transportation or storage.

Looking now at FIGS. 8 and 9, the third embodiment of the rudder tiller assembly illustrated therein includes a tube 106 extending through a pair of flanged bushings 108 in a pair of aligned openings 110 through the aft end of center control spar 20 which, in this embodiment, is square in vertical cross-section. A ferrule 112 fits concentrically over the top portion of tube 106 and is fixed thereto by a pin 114 extending through a pair of aligned holes in the top portion of the ferrule 112 and the tube 106. The bottom edge of the ferrule 112 rests against the flange 116 formed on the top bushing 108 to prevent the tube 106 from dropping vertically through the holes 110 in the control spar 20. A pair of longitudinally extending diametrically aligned slots 118 in the ferrule 112 and the tube 106 receive the aft end of a tiller 122 which is flattened and enlarged to form a leaf 120. By means of the engagement of the leaf 120 in the slots 118, horizontal rotation of the tiller causes rotation of the tube 106 about its axis.

A yoke 124 is connected, as by welding, to the bottom end of tube 106 in abutting relationship to the flange 126 on the lower bushing 108. A pair of vertically extending horizontally spaced vanes 128 extend from the yoke 124 along both sides of a rudder 130. A pin 132 extends through a pair of aligned holes 134 in the vanes 128 and through a hole 136 in the rudder to support the rudder 130 for pivotal movement in a vertical plane between the vanes 128. A spring 138 connected between the forward edge of the rudder 130 and a vertically projecting tang 140 on the bottom end of the tube 106 biases the rudder 130 forwardly.

A stud 142 is formed on the upper forward corner of the rudder 130 and engages the bottom end of a pin 144 supported axially in the tube 106 by means of a pair of vertically spaced centrally apertured guide discs 146 fixed in the tube 106. The pin 144 has a large rounded upper end 148 which engages the peripheral edge of the leaf 120 of the tiller 122. As best illustrated in FIG. 9, the radial distance between the pivot pin 114 and the peripheral edge of the leaf 120 is shortest in the operational position illustrated in FIG. 9. To cause the rudder 130 to rotate in a vertical plane it is merely necessary to pivot the handle of the tiller 122 about the pivot pin 114 which causes the increasingly greater radial distance between the pivot pin 114 and the peripheral edge of the leaf 120 to cam the pin downwardly and force the rudder 130 to pivot about its pivot pin 132 in a vertical plane.

While underway, the configuration of the rudder and tiller assembly is as shown in FIG. 9. When the sailboat is to be folded, the tiller 122 is first swung in a horizontal 180° arc to position the handle of the tiller aft. This rotates the tube 106 about its axis and rotates the rudder 130 about the axis of tube 106 in a 180° arc. At this time the rudder remains extending vertically downward into the water. The handle of the rudder 122 is then swung in a 180° vertical arc which, because of the increasing vertical radial distance between the pivot pin 114 and the peripheral edge of the leaf 120 in contact with the pin 144, cams the pin 144 downward against the stud 142 of the rudder 130, thereby cocking the rudder 130 about its pivot pin 132 in a vertical plane upwardly and forwardly. The hulls are then folded together as previously described which carries the center control spar 20, forwardly to position the rudder and tiller assembly between the hulls, producing a compact easily transportable package in which neither the rudder nor the tiller project beyond the exterior dimensions of the folded package.

Looking now at FIG. 10, the telescoping mast 12 may be formed of two sections; a bottom section 150, and a top section 152. The external diameter of the top section 152 is slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the bottom section 150 to permit the top section 152 to telescope downwardly within the bottom section 150.

To provide a smooth exterior surface for the mast 12, the sections may be telescoped upwardly by a mechanism located completely within the interior of the mast 12. The mechanism includes a stanchion 154 supported within the bottom section 150 by a bolt 156 which extends diametrically through the section 150 and the stanchion 154. A pulley 158 is journaled for rotation at the bottom of stanchion 154 by a pivot pin 160. A pulley 162 is journaled for rotation at the top end of the stanchion 154 by pivot pin 164. A line which could be braided steel cable or the like is fastened at one end to a connector 168 at the bottom of the top section 152 and passes upwardly over the pulley 162 and then down again and under pulley 158 and out through an opening 170 on the bottom section 150 of the mast 12.

To raise the mast is merely necessary to pull on the line 166 which raises the secured end of the line 166 at its attachment 168 and causes the top section 152 to slide upwardly through the bottom section 150 to its erect position. The line 166 is then secured to a cleat (not shown) until the mast is to be telescoped.

Another embodiment of the mast for use with the inventive wind propelled vehicle is shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. In this embodiment, the exterior diameter of the bottom section 150' of the mast is slightly smaller than the interior diameter of the top section 152' to permit the bottom section 150' to telescopically slide within the top section 152'. A stanchion 154' is connected near the top of the top section 152' of the mast by a pin 156' extending diametrically through the top section 152' of the mast and the top of the stanchion 154'.

A pulley 158' is pivotally mounted on the bottom end of stanchion 154' by means of a pivot pin 160', and another pulley 162' is pivotally mounted at the top end of the bottom section 150' of the mast by means of a threaded fastener 164' or the like. A pulley 165b is mounted in a bracket 167b secured in the base end of the bottom section 150' of the mast opposite an opening 170b therein and another pulley 165t is mounted a similar bracket 167t secured in the top end of the top section 152' of the mast opposite an opening 170t therein.

A halyard 166' is connected to a grommet in the top of a sail connected along one edge thereof to a plurality of rings concentrically disposed on the mast. The halyard 166' extends through the top opening 170t in the top section 152' of the mast and is trained around the pulley 165t. From there, the halyard 166' extends downwardly through the mast, around the pulley 158' and back upwardly to and around the pulley 162' fastened to the top of the bottom section 150' of the mast. The halyard then extends downwardly again through the mast, around the pulley 165b and out through the bottom opening 170b in the bottom section 150' of the mast.

In operation, the mast and the sail may be erected and raised by merely pulling on the end of the halyard 166' extending through the opening 170b. Pulling the halyard through opening 170b is effective to raise the sail up to snub against the opening 170t and then raise the pulley 158' toward the pulley 162' secured to the top of the bottom section 150' of the mast. The resulting upward force on the pulley 158' is effective to raise the stanchion 154' to which the top section 152' is attached. When the mast is raised to the limit permitted by a pair of stays 169 connected to a pair of stay brackets 171 integral with the bottom of the bottom section 152' of the mast, the halyard is secured to a cleat (not shown) at the base of the mast. Alternatively, the halyard could be connected to a winch through which a predetermined tension could be applied to the halyard to maintain the mast in erect configuration with a predetermined tension in the stays 169.

An alternative halyard arrangement is shown in FIG. 13 wherein the halyard 166" instead of passing over the pulley 165t to its connection with the sail, is fastened to a bracket 164b connected to the top of the lower section 150' of the mast by means of the same screw 164' that holds the pulley 162' to the top of the lower section of the mast 150'. This arrangement achieves a better mechanical advantage for the pulley arrangement and facilitates erection of the mast by requiring a less forceful pull on the lower end of the halyard 166".

Since the upper end of halyard 166" is not connected to the sail, a separate halyard 166s is connected to the sail and passes over the top of pulley 165t, thence passes down through the interior of the mast and around the second groove of a double groove pulley 165dg and then out through the same opening 170b through which passes the lower end of the halyard 166".

The length of the sail halyard 166s is equal to the distance between pulleys 165b and 165t with the mast in collapsed configuration plus the length of the top section 152' of the mast. With this arrangement, the lower end of the halyard 166s may be permanently attached to the lower end of the lower section 150' of the mast thereby dispensing with a need for a double groove pulley 165dg. Thus, when the mast is erected the upward movement of the top section 152' of the mast automatically raises the sail so that when the mast is fully erected, the top of the sail has reached the top of the mast.

If it is not desirable to arrange the sail halyard 165s so that the length of line on the outside of the mast in collapsed configuration is the same length as the top section 152' of the mast, or if for any other reason it is desired to erect the mast and sail separately, then the double pulley 165dg is used and after the mast is erected by pulling on halyard 166" and fastening the end thereof to its appropriate cleat on the mast, the sail halyard 166s is then used to raise the sail and when the sail is fully raised, the end of the halyard 166s is likewise secured to a cleat on the mast.

It is now apparent that the collapsible catamaran sailboat described above provides a rigid, stable, reliable platform while underway and yet may be folded into a small compact package suitable for easy transportation and storage. The design is simple for economical fabrication and also for quick and easy erection and collapse, yet provides the strength and reliability of performance comparable or superior to conventional non-collapsible catamarans.

These same advantages are obtained by the wind propelled vehicle shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. In this embodiment of the invention, the vehicle takes the form of a trimaran skiboat having a pair of longitudinal members 172p and 172s pivotally connected at their fore ends to a fore bracket 174 and connected at their aft ends to aft brackets 176p and 176s respectively. A strut 178, formed of a starboard section 178s and a port section 178p, is connected between the longitudinal members 172 at the brackets 176 and is centrally hinged to a rear connector 180. Also connected to the rear connector 180 is a center control spar 182 which extends from the rear connector 180 axially forward to its forward end somewhat forward of midships. At its forward end, the center control spar 182 is embracedd by the upstanding arms of a U-shaped bracket 184 connected thereto, which also embrace the hell of the mast 186 and pivotally support the mast by means of a pivot pin extending through both bracket arms and the heel of the mast. A telescoping shaft 188, connected at its forward end to the fore bracket 174, telescopes within the center control spar 182. A stop is provided by a pin 189 extending upwardly through the crosspiece of bracket 184 and through a longitudinal slot in the underside of the telescoping shaft 188 to prevent the struts 178 from opening beyond 180°. A lock is provided, consisting merely of a pair of lateral holes through the center control spar 182 and the telescoping shaft 188 which align when the skiboat is fully erect and through which a pin 189' may be inserted to lock the skiboat in erect configuration.

A mast brace spar 190 is connected at one end to the fore bracket 174, and at the other end is pivotally connected to a bracket 192 fastened near the top of the mast 186. A mast brace spar 190 provides longitudinal support for the mast in operation, and lateral support is provided by a pair of stays 191p and 191s connected to the top of the mast 186 and respective longitudinal members 172p and 172s.

A vertically extending standard 194 is rotatably supported within each of the two aft brackets 176 and rigidly mounted in the fore bracket 174. The lower end of each standard 194 is connected to a carrier such as a pontoon, an ice skate, a wheel or as illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15, a ski 196.

Motive power for the vehicle is provided by the wind acting on a sail 198 connected by suitable booms to the mast 186. Steerage control is obtained by shifting, in unison, the angular orientation of the aft carriers, or in the case of a waterborne vehicle, shifting the angular orientation of rudders such as illustrated in FIGS. 4-9. The carriers or rudders are rotated by tillers 200 connected to each of the aft standards 194.

When in use, the vehicle is in the erect configuration illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15. To collapse the vehicle for convenient transportation and storage, it is merely necessary to disengage the lock 189' and exert a forwardly directed force on the rear connector 180 or the base of the mast 186 which will cause the center control spar 182 to slide forwardly in telescoping relation to shaft 188. The mast brace spar 190 acts as a fulcrum about which the mast 186, acting as a lever, pivots to facilitate the folding operation. Forward movement of the center control spar 182 is effective to pivot the strut 178 at its midpoint and draw the aft ends of the longitudinal members 172 inwardly toward each other. In fully collapsible position, the forward end of the center control spar 182 lies adjacent the aft face of the fore bracket 174 and the longitudinal members 172 lie parallel and adjacent each other. The mast swings down to lie horizontally adjacent the longitudinal members 172 and the entire vehicle is folded in a compact package for convenient transportation and storage.

Obviously numerous modifications and variations of the above described preferred embodiment are possible in light of the above described preferred embodiment. For example, the center control spar 20 shown in the embodiments in FIGS. 1-3, may be replaced with a third hull 20', as shown in FIG. 16, which performs the same functions as the center control spar 20 and translates forwardly in the same manner when the sailboat is folded, but also provides vertical support to the deck (not shown) and provides the improved stability afforded by a trimaran. The third hull 20' must have a slot formed in its stern to receive the rudder when it cocks forwardly in folded configuration. Thus it will be understood that the term "center control spar" also contemplates a central hull which performs the same functions as the disclosed center control spar. Therefore it is expressly to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described while remaining within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.