United States Patent 3863591

A mooring bar for boats, having an elongated central tube, and a ball at each end seated on a plastic cap inserted into the tube. A single or double run of rope passes through the tube, caps and balls, and the ends of the rope are used to tie a boat to a mooring point. The mooring bar thus forms a stiff pivot arm, having a ball joint at each end, between the boat and mooring point. A buoyant plastic foam sleeve wraps the central tube to protect it and to allow use of the mooring bar as a bumper.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
114/219, 267/140
International Classes:
B63B21/00; (IPC1-7): B63B21/00
Field of Search:
114/230,235A,219 115
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3406651Boat-mooring means1968-10-22Jalbert
3307514Boat mooring device1967-03-07Young
3224404Mooring device1965-12-21De Jong
2965407Protective elements displaceable on a lifting sling1960-12-20Meisen
2903990Marine fender1959-09-15Brown
2771053Boat mooring means1956-11-20Gustafson

Primary Examiner:
Blix, Trygve M.
Assistant Examiner:
Kazenske, Edward R.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rogers, Bereskin & Parr
What I claim is

1. A mooring bar for mounting between a boat and a dock, said mooring bar comprising:

2. A mooring bar according to claim 1 including a layer of resilient, buoyant material covering said central member, so that said mooring bar will float and so that said mooring bar may be used as a bumper.

3. A mooring bar according to claim 1 wherein each joint member has a second rounded surface opposed to said first mentioned rounded surface, said passage of each joint member extending between the rounded surfaces thereof, said second rounded surface facilitating limited rotation of each joint member against an object to which said mooring bar is secured.

4. A mooring bar according to claim 1 wherein each joint member has substantially the shape of a sphere.

5. A mooring bar according to claim 1 wherein all of said passages are large enough to accommodate two runs of said rope.

6. A mooring bar according to claim 1 where each joint member has substantially the shape of a sphere, all of said passages being large enough to accommodate two runs of said rope, and a layer of resilient, buoyant material covering said central member, so that said mooring bar will float and so that said mooring bar may be used as a bumper.

7. A mooring bar for mounting between a boat and another object, said mooring bar comprising:

8. A mooring bar according to claim 7 wherein said central elongated member is an aluminum tube, said caps are formed of plastic, said balls are rubber balls, and further including a resilient buoyant plastic foam sleeve covering said central member to protect said central member and to provide buoyancy for said mooring bar.

9. A mooring bar according to claim 1 including an extension member adapted to plug snugly into one end of said central member and having an end adapted to receive one of said caps, so that said extension member can be used to extend the length of said mooring bar.

10. A mooring bar for mounting between a boat and another object said mooring bar comprising:

This invention relates to a mooring bar for boats.

It is often necessary to tie up a boat to a dock or to another boat, and when the water is rough or when there is a wind, the boat tends to move about relative to the object to which it is moored. Under such conditions, the boat may rub against or hit the object to which it is moored, damaging the boat, and in addition the uncontrolled movements tend to fray and snap the mooring ropes.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a mooring bar which will allow a boat to float freely up and down within the length of the mooring bar but which will, when suitably used (usually in pairs), prevent the boat from moving back and forth and in and out in relation to the object to which the boat is moored. This helps prevent damage to the boat and allows users to board the boat in greater safety (particularly since rolling of the boat is controlled). The mooring bar of the invention will also reduce the likelihood of the mooring ropes being snapped.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a mooring bar according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a central member of the mooring bar of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a cap of the FIG. 1 mooring bar;

FIG. 4 is a plan view illustrating an application of the FIG. 1 mooring bar;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a tie-down fitting for use with the FIG. 1 mooring bar;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modification of the FIG. 1 mooring bar;

FIG. 7 is a plan view showing an application of the FIG. 6 mooring bar;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a modified central member for a mooring bar of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing an extender tube for the FIG. 1 or FIG. 6 mooring bar.

Reference is first made to FIG. 1, which shows a mooring bar according to the invention and generally indicated at 10. The mooring bar 10 includes an elongated stiff central member 12, which as shown in FIG. 2 may simply be a tubular member having straight ends (and typically made of aluminum or tough plastic pipe). The length of the central member may vary, depending on the length desired for the mooring bar, but it will typically range in length between about 10 and 24 inches.

A pair of caps 14 are located one in each end of the central tube 12. The caps 14, also shown in FIG. 3, are typically made of plastic and include a cylindrical base 16 which plugs snugly into the central tube 12, and an enlarged diameter face 18 which overlies the end of the tube 12 and has a rear shoulder 20 which abuts against the end of the tube 12. The front surface of the cap 14 is concave as indicated at 22. A passage 24 extends axially through each cap 14 to accommodate a mooring rope 26.

Two spherical balls 28 are provided, one for each end of the mooring bar 10. Each ball 28 is preferably formed of resilient tough material such as rubber and has a cylindrical passage 30 therethrough to accommodate the mooring rope 26. Preferably the rope 26 runs relatively freely through each passage 30.

The mooring bar is completed by a sleeve 32 of protective, resilient buoyant material which encircles the central tube 12. The sleeve 32 is typically cylindrical in shape and formed from plastic foam, with an axial hole drilled or formed at its centre to accommodate the central tube 12.

The use of the mooring bar 10 will next be explained, with reference to FIG. 4 which illustrates (not to scale) a typical mooring situation. FIG. 4 shows a boat 34 having rope tie-up fittings of the kind shown at 36 in FIG. 5. The tie-up fitting 36 is simply an enlarged upside down T-shaped member having a wide stem 38 with a rope passage 40 therethrough. The crossbar 42 of the T contains apertures 44 by which the fitting may be screwed to the deck of the boat 34. In FIG. 4, the boat 34 is shown as having two tie-up fittings 36a, 36b identical to fitting 36 of FIG. 5. FIG. 4 also shows two mooring bars 10a, 10b, each identical to mooring bar 10 of FIG. 1, and reference characters with an "a" or "b" indicate parts for mooring bars 10a, 10b corresponding to those of mooring bar 10.

The mooring bar 10a is connected as follows. One end of its rope 26a is tied around a cleat 46 on the dock 48, and mooring bar 10a is then slid along its rope 26a until one of its balls 28a snugly seats against the cleat 46. The other end of rope 26a is inserted through the passage in fitting 36a and pulled until the other ball 28a is brought snugly against the fitting 36a. The free end of rope 26a is then brought back to another cleat 50 on the dock and is tied to cleat 50. Similarly, one end of rope 26b of mooring bar 10b is tied around cleat 50; mooring bar 10b is positioned snugly between cleat 50 and fitting 36b, and the free end of rope 26b, after having been passed through the passage in cleat fitting 36b, is brought down to and tied around cleat 46 on the dock.

With this arrangement, either end of boat 34 is relatively free to move up and down about its associated mooring bar. The mooring bars will act as stiff pivto arms which hold the boat off the dock, and at the same time the balls at the ends of the mooring bars act as hinges or ball joints allowing each mooring bar to pivot about either of its ends without bending its central tube. Since the balls are not fastened to the central tube, they can move along the rope slightly as each mooring bar is forced up and down, so that hinges or joints formed by the balls are in effect free-floating. In addition, since the balls are resilient, they impart flexibility and resiliency to the mooring bar.

The outer buoyant sleeve 32 is not essential to the mooring bar, but is much preferred for several reasons.

Firstly, it provides buoyancy so that if the mooring bar falls in the water, it will float and not be lost. Secondly, the resilient sleeve 32 allows the mooring bar to perform double service as a bumper (which would be used when the boat owner does not wish to tie up his boat but simply wishes to hang bumpers down the sides of his boat to protect the boat against contact with a dock, canal lock, or other wall). Thirdly, the resilient sleeve 32 ensures that the mooring bar will not cause damage when it is thrown onto the deck of a boat or stored in a boat, and it also protects the central tube 12 from damage. For this purpose the sleeve 32 will usually be relatively thick, e.g. about one inch thick for a one inch diameter aluminum tube.

Reference is next made to FIG. 6, which shows a mooring bar identical to that of FIGS. 1 to 4 except that a double rope is used instead of a single rope. Primed reference numerals are used in FIG. 6 to indicate parts corresponding to those of FIGS. 1 to 4. As shown in FIG. 6, the passages 24' in the caps 14' are large enough to accommodate two runs of the rope 26', and the balls 28' each include two spaced cylindrical passages 30' instead of a single such passage. The rope 26' has a pair of free ends 52, 54, and the rope runs from one such free end 52, through one ball 28', through one cap 14', through the central tube 12', through the other cap 14' and other ball 28', to a loop 56, and then extends back through the balls 28', caps 14' and central tube 12' to its other free end 54.

The manner in which the double rope mooring bar of FIG. 6 is used is shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 7 shows two mooring bars 10a', 10b' each identical to mooring bar 10', and again reference numerals with an "a" or a "b" added are used to differentiate between the parts of mooring bars 10a', 10b'.

The use of the mooring bars of FIG. 7 is the same as that shown for the mooring bars of FIG. 4, except for the following differences. Firstly, the loop 52a of mooring bar 10a is placed over cleat 46, and one or both free ends of the rope 26a' are then pulled to draw the rope 26a' through the mooring bar 10a', to tighten the loop 52a around the cleat 46'. This pulls one of the balls 28a' tightly against the cleat 46'.

Next, one of the free ends 52a of rope 26a' is inserted through one of the holes in tie-down fitting 36a' (which now is provided with two rope holes instead of one) and then tied to a cleat 58 on the boat 34'. The other free end 54a of the rope 26a' is inserted through the other hole in fitting 36a' (or one hole large enough for two ropes can be used) and is then tied to the other cleat 50'. The same procedure is followed for mooring bar 10b'.

The double rope mooring bar shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 is preferred over that shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 because the availability of a rope loop at one end allows simple connection to a cleat, and the availability of two rope ends at the other end of the mooring bar allows one rope end to be tied to a cleat on the boat and the other rope end to be brought back to a cleat on the dock in a very simple manner. In addition, the mooring bar can more conveniently be used as a bumper; since if it is hung from the boat by its rope ends 52, 54, the ball 24' at the other end of the mooring bar cannot fall off the mooring bar because of the presence of loop 56, and therefore no retaining means (such as a knot in the rope) are needed to hold such ball 24' in position.

Although it is preferred that the balls 28' each include two separate passages 30', they can if desired contain only a single passage large enough to accommodate snugly two flights of the rope 26'. In addition, although the caps 14' have been shown as including a single passage 24', they can if desired contain two discrete passages aligned with the passages 30' in the balls 28'.

The concave surface 22 in the face of each cap 14 is not essential but is preferred since it locates the balls 28 at the ends of the central tube 12, and facilitates limited rolling of the balls as the bar moves during its mooring function.

It will be appreciated that the caps 14 need not be discrete members, but could instead be formed by flaring the ends of the central tube. This is shown in FIG. 8, where a central tube 60 is shown having flared ends 62 which form seats for the balls (not shown). However, if the resilient buoyant sleeve 32 is to be used, it is easier to apply the sleeve when the central tube 12 has straight ends. Indeed, in that case the mooring bar can be sold inexpensively as a kit of parts (central tube 12, caps 14, balls 28, rope 26, and sleeve 32) which can easily be assembled by the buyer. Since all of the parts are readily available commercially and are inexpensive (in a typical mooring bar of the invention ordinary hard rubber balls were used, drilled to provide the rope passages), the cost of the mooring bar can be made very low.

Although the balls 28 have been shown as spherical, other forms could be used. For example, cubes of resilient material could be used, as indicated at 66 in FIG. 9 (which also shows a co-operating central tube 68 and rope 70). Since the cube 66, being unconnected to the central tube 68, is able to move along the rope 70, it still provides the function of a ball joint, except that it deforms as it is rotated relative to the central tubing. This form allows more positive abutment against a cleat is some instances. If desired, as shown for member 66' of FIG. 9, one end 72 of the member 66' (which seats on the tube 68) can be rounded to improve the ball joint action, and the other end 74 can be left flat (alternatively end 74 can be rounded convexly but the portion of the member 66' between them can be left of square or other cross-section). The important feature is that in all cases, the balls 28 or the members 66, which may be termed joint members, are in all cases loosely connected to the central tubing by their ropes and are not otherwise rigidly connected to the central tubing, so that a ball-joint type of action can occur at each end of the mooring bar.

In some cases it may be desirable to extend the mooring bar to a greater length, e.g. several feet, for a special mooring situation. The mooring bars 10, 10' of FIGS. 1 and 6, which have separate caps 14, 14', lend themselves well to this requirement. As shown in FIG. 10, a separate extension tube 80 is provided, which may if desired be prefitted with its own plastic foam sleeve, shown in dotted lines at 82. The extension tube 80 has a swedged end 84 which fits telescopically into either end of the central tube 12 or 12' to lock the tubes together. In use, one of the caps 14 or 14' and its corresponding ball are removed. The rope or ropes 26, 26' are then strung through the extension tube 80, and the end 84 of tube 80 is then pushed into the tube 12 or 12'. The removed cap and ball are then reconnected to complete the extended mooring bar. (If the extension bar 80 is of plastic, it will have a reduced diameter end instead of a swedged end, to plug tightly into the central tube 12 or 12'.)