Title:
Crab resistant, load shifting, puller oarlock and rigger assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An oar or scull is attached to the racing shell with an assembly that assures all motions required for rowing and restricts others. Over squaring and over feathering of the blade is prevented using stops which also provide positive feedback of blade orientation to the athlete and eliminate oarlock slap and rattle. Pulling on the oar handle inboard approximately 0.2 inches prior to squaring or feathering the blade moves the oarshaft outboard or inboard respectively, changing the leverage or load, at the completion of squaring or feathering. Normal rowing at the selected load is maintained with a steady outboard force of the oar handle. The oarlock is situated on the bow side of the vertical pin pulling the pin toward the bow during the propulsive phase of the rowing stroke. The vertical pin is supported by rigging which extends from the top and bottom of the vertical pin toward the stern. This rigging arrangement assures a stable pin that remains vertical because the restraining member is in tension toward the stern.



Inventors:
Zolnay, Andrew S. (Livermore, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/733812
Publication Date:
10/11/2001
Filing Date:
12/08/2000
Assignee:
ZOLNAY ANDREW S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
440/105
International Classes:
B63H16/06; B63H16/067; (IPC1-7): B63H16/067; B63H16/073
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASINGER, SHERMAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEAVER AUSTIN VILLENEUVE & SAMPSON LLP (P.O. BOX 70250, OAKLAND, CA, 94612-0250, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An oar lock assembly for adjusting the leverage of an oar relative a boat, during a feathering position and a squaring position, said lock assembly comprising: a threaded sleeve member adapted to mount to the oar, said sleeve member defining squaring sleeve cut, an opposite feathering sleeve cut and a stabilizing sleeve cut positioned therebetween; an oarlock frame device having a passage formed to slidably receive the threaded sleeve member, and having feathering stop engaging the feathering sleeve cut in the feathering position while a squaring stop is engaged with the stabilizing sleeve cut, and said squaring stop engaging the squaring sleeve cut in the squaring position while the feathering stop is engaged with the stabilizing; and a collar device contained in the frame device, and having an inboard engaging end adapted to engage the frame device during an inboard urging of the oar to enable inboard axial movement of the sleeve member at the feathering position, and an outboard engaging end adapted to engage the frame device during an outboard urging of the oar to enable outboard axial movement of the sleeve member at the squaring position.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority of U.S. patent provisional application No. 60/170,001, filed Dec. 9, 1999 by Zolnay, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to oarlock and rigger assemblies, and more particularity, relates to sculls and oars equipped with a mechanism for adjusting the leverage of oar and rigger assembly.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Boats used for rowing competition are very narrow to minimize hydrodynamic drag. The athlete sits in the boat facing towards the stern on a seat which is mounted on tracks. The vertical pin about which the oarlock, holding the oar shaft, rotates, is supported by a tubular structure or rigging bolted to the edge of the boat. The term oar refers to sweep rowing where each athlete has only one oar and rows on the port or starboard side of the boat. The term scull refers to sculling with a port scull in the right hand and a starboard scull in the left hand.

[0004] The oarlock rotates about the pin on the stern portion of the pin, pushing the pin toward the bow during the pull through. The oar shaft, covered with the sleeve, is constrained in the square aperture of the oarlock by a keeper and prevented from sliding outboard by a collar clamped to the sleeve with two bolts. The athlete maintains a steady outboard force on the oarhandle to maintain the collar snug against the oarlock during rowing.

[0005] The fit of the sleeve in the oarlock is sloppy. The sleeve slaps against the vertical portion of the oarlock at the catch and rattles up and down during the recovery. The oar can be under squared or over feathered beyond the stable positions determined by the flat portion of the sleeve resting on the oarlock causing crabbing which can result in injury to the athlete, damage to the equipment, and loss of a race.

[0006] The collar position is set with tools and cannot be changed while rowing. U.S. Pat. No. 5,324,218 provides a method to change the outboard to inboard ratio of the oarshaft, or leverage, while rowing by engaging a mechanism with the push of a button on the oar handle. In sculling, the thumb of each hand is on the end of the handle to maintain the position of the grip. In sweep rowing, both hands grasp the oar handle and the thumbs face each other.

[0007] The angle at which the oarlock is mounted on the pin determines the pitch. A variety of bushing inserts for the oarlock are provided for pitch selection. A tubular brace extends from the top of the pin to the side of the boat toward the bow. This brace is under compressive load and tends to buckle during pull through when the oarlock pushes the pin toward the bow. This condition reduces pitch as the pin leans toward the bow.

[0008] Boats used for rowing competition are very narrow to minimize hydrodynamic drag. The athlete sits in the boat facing towards the stern on a seat which is mounted on tracks. The vertical pin about which the oarlock, holding the oar shaft, rotates, is supported by a tubular structure or rigging bolted to the edge of the boat. The term oar refers to sweep rowing where each athlete has only one oar and rows on the port or starboard side of the boat. The term scull refers to sculling with a port scull in the right hand and a starboard scull in the left hand.

[0009] The oarlock rotates about the pin on the stern portion of the pin, pushing the pin toward the bow during the pull through. The oar shaft, covered with the sleeve, is constrained in the square aperture of the oarlock by a keeper and prevented from sliding outboard by a collar clamped to the sleeve with two bolts. The athlete maintains a steady outboard force on the oarhandle to maintain the collar snug against the oarlock during rowing.

[0010] The fit of the sleeve in the oarlock is sloppy. The sleeve slaps against the vertical portion of the oarlock at the catch and rattles up and down during the recovery. The oar can be under squared or over feathered beyond the stable positions determined by the flat portion of the sleeve resting on the oarlock causing crabbing which can result in injury to the athlete, damage to the equipment, and loss of a race.

[0011] The collar position is set with tools and cannot be changed while rowing. U.S. Pat. No. 5,324,218 provides a method to change the outboard to inboard ratio of the oarshaft, or leverage, while rowing by engaging a mechanism with the push of a button on the oar handle. In sculling, the thumb of each hand is on the end of the handle to maintain the position of the grip. In sweep rowing, both hands grasp the oar handle and the thumbs face each other.

[0012] The angle at which the oarlock is mounted on the pin determines the pitch. A variety of bushing inserts for the oarlock are provided for pitch selection. A tubular brace extends from the top of the pin to the side of the boat toward the bow. This brace is under compressive load and tends to buckle during pull through when the oarlock pushes the pin toward the bow. This condition reduces pitch as the pin leans toward the bow.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

[0013] The present invention provides an oar lock assembly for adjusting the leverage of an oar relative a boat, during a feathering position and a squaring position. The lock assembly includes a threaded sleeve member adapted to mount to the oar. The sleeve member defines squaring sleeve cut, an opposite feathering sleeve cut and a stabilizing sleeve cut positioned therebetween. An oarlock frame device is provided having a passage formed to slidably receive the threaded sleeve member therein. The frame device includes feathering stop engaging the feathering sleeve cut in the feathering position while a squaring stop is engaged with the stabilizing sleeve cut. During squaring, the squaring stop engages the squaring sleeve cut while the feathering stop is engaged with the stabilizing cut. A collar device is contained in the frame device, and having an inboard engaging end adapted to engage the frame device during an inboard urging of the oar to enable inboard axial movement of the sleeve member at the feathering position. The collar device further includes an outboard engaging end adapted to engage the frame device during an outboard urging of the oar to enable outboard axial movement of the sleeve member at the squaring position.

[0014] Accordingly, the oar is attached to the racing shell with an assembly that assures all motions required for rowing and restricts others. Over squaring and over feathering of the blade is prevented using stops which also provide positive feedback of blade orientation to the athlete and eliminate oarlock slap and rattle. Pulling on the oar handle inboard approximately 0.2 inches prior to squaring or feathering the blade moves the oarshaft outboard or inboard respectively, changing the leverage or load, at the completion of squaring or feathering. Normal rowing at the selected load is maintained with a steady outboard force of the oar handle.

[0015] The oarlock is situated on the bow side of the vertical pin pulling the pin toward the bow during the propulsive phase of the rowing stroke. The vertical pin is supported by rigging which extends from the top and bottom of the vertical pin toward the stern. This rigging arrangement assures a stable pin that remains vertical because the restraining member is in tension toward the stern.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0016] The assembly of the present invention has other objects and features of advantage which will be more readily apparent from the following description of the best mode of carrying out the invention and the appended claims, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of row boat incorporating the oar lock and rig assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is an enlarged, top perspective view of the oar lock assembly of FIG. 1.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a side elevation view, in cross-section, of the oar lock assembly of FIG. 2.

[0020] FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of one side of the oar lock assembly in an engaged position.

[0021] FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of the other side of the oar lock assembly.

[0022] FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevation view of the rig assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention, and illustrating the oar lock assembly (in broken lines) mounted thereto.

[0023] FIG. 7 is a rear perspective view of the rig assembly of the present invention mounted to the row boat thereof.

[0024] FIG. 8 is an enlarged, top perspective view of the oar lock assembly of FIG. 2 without a sleeve thereof.

[0025] FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of a hole holder portion of the oar lock assembly.

[0026] FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of a collar rotating plate of the oar lock assembly.

[0027] FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the collar rotating plate of the oar lock assembly.

[0028] FIG. 12 is a front elevation view of a collar of the oar lock assembly.

[0029] FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the collar of the oar lock assembly.

[0030] FIG. 14 is a front elevation view of a sleeve follower and collar locking plate of the oar lock assembly.

[0031] FIG. 15 is a top plan view of the sleeve follower and collar locking plate of the oar lock assembly.

BEST MODE OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0032] While the present invention will be described with reference to a few specific embodiments, the description is illustrative of the invention and is not to be construed as limiting the invention. Various modifications to the present invention can be made to the preferred embodiments by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. It will be noted here that for a better understanding, like components are designated by like reference numerals throughout the various figures.

Terminology

[0033] BLADE Flat surface at the outboard end of the oar shaft which grips the water.

[0034] CATCH The squared blade enters the water for the pull through.

[0035] COLLAR A clamp around the sleeve which prevents the oarshaft from sliding outboard through the oarlock.

[0036] CRABBING The blade goes deep in the water due to lack of control. During the recovery, if the leading edge of the feathered blade is too low (over feathering) and contacts the water, it will knife down deep. At the catch, if the blade is not fully squared, it will also go too deep in the water.

[0037] FEATHER After withdrawing the blade from the water at the end of the pull through, the blade surface is turned flat (parallel) to the water surface.

[0038] FINISH After the pull through, the blade is removed from the water and feathered.

[0039] INBOARD Portion of the oarshaft from the pin to the end of the oar handle. Toward the keel.

[0040] KEEL Support beam along the long axis of the boat at the bottom center of the hull.

[0041] OUTBOARD Portion of the oar from the pin to the blade. Away from the keel.

[0042] PIN Vertical shaft supported by the riggers on which the oarlock rotates approximately 90 degrees from catch to finish during the rowing stroke.

[0043] PITCH The angle, past the perpendicular, the squared blade makes with the water surface.

[0044] PULL The propulsive phase of the rowing stroke when the blade is pulled through the

[0045] THROUGH water.

[0046] RECOVERY The blade, in the feathered position, swings toward the bow above the water.

[0047] RIGGER Assembly of tubing extending from the sides of the rowing shell to support the pin on which the oarlock rotates.

[0048] SLEEVE A “D” cross section wear resistant cover on the oar shaft which fits the oarlock allowing rotation about the long axis of the oarshaft (squaring and feathering). The flat portion of the sleeve rests on the horizontal surface of the oarlock when feathered and presses against the vertical surface of the oarlock when squared.

[0049] SQUARE Just before the blade enters the water, it is turned perpendicular to the water surface in preparation to grip the water to propel the boat.

[0050] Part Numbering and Identification

[0051] 1 Oarshaft

[0052] 2 Sleeve

[0053] 3 Sleeve follower and collar locking plate

[0054] 4 Retainer ring of sleeve follower

[0055] 5 Oarlock channel

[0056] 6 Thrust bearing

[0057] 7 Hole holder

[0058] 8 Bearing, three row

[0059] 9 Collar

[0060] 10 Collar rotating plate

[0061] 11 Rig assembly

[0062] 12 Sleeve follower tines

[0063] 13 Pin, horizontal

[0064] 14 Oarlock pin, vertical

[0065] 15 Tubular brace toward stern

[0066] 16 Y-bracket

[0067] 17 Squaring stop

[0068] 18 Feathering stop

[0069] 19 Sleeve cut, squaring

[0070] 20 Sleeve cut, feathering

[0071] 21 Spring for squaring and feathering

[0072] 22 Pitch stabilizing cut

[0073] 23 Pitch adjustment plate

[0074] 24 Outboard collar serration

[0075] 25 Serration, sleeve follower

[0076] 26 Serration, collar rotator

[0077] 27 Collar rotating plate attachment holes

[0078] 28 Attachment pin

[0079] 29 Oarlock keeper

[0080] 50 Oarlock assembly

[0081] 51 Boat

[0082] 52 Threaded nut

[0083] 53 Axis pin

[0084] 54 Keeper groove 54

[0085] 55 Blade

[0086] 56 Oar handle

[0087] 57 Inboard collar serration

[0088] Referring now to FIGS. 2-5, an oar lock assembly 50 is provided for adjusting the leverage of an oar 1 relative a boat 51, during a feathering position and a squaring position. The lock assembly includes a threaded sleeve member 2 adapted to mount to the oar 1. The sleeve member 1 defines squaring sleeve cut 19, an opposite feathering sleeve cut 20 and a stabilizing sleeve cut 22 positioned therebetween. An oarlock frame device is provided having a passage formed to slidably receive the threaded sleeve member 2 therein. The frame device includes feathering stop 18 engaging the feathering sleeve cut 20 in the feathering position (not shown) while a squaring stop 17 is engaged with the stabilizing sleeve cut 22. During squaring (FIGS. 2, 4 and 5), the squaring stop 17 engages the squaring sleeve 19 cut while the feathering stop 18 is engaged with the stabilizing cut 22. A collar device 9 is contained in the frame device, and having an inboard engaging end 57 adapted to engage the frame device during an inboard urging of the oar 1 to enable inboard axial movement of the sleeve member 2 at the feathering position. The collar device further includes an outboard engaging end 24 adapted to engage the frame device during an outboard urging of the oar to enable outboard axial movement of the sleeve member 2 at the squaring position.

[0089] As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, a rig assembly 11 mounts the oarlock assembly 50 to the boat 51. The oarlock assembly 50 is removably attached to a Y-bracket 16 of the rig assembly 11 through oarlock keepers 29, 29′. A threaded nut 52 enables pivotal movement of the keeper 29 about axis pin 53. Each keeper 29, 29′ includes a notch 30, 30′ formed for receipt of attachment pins 28, 28′. As viewed in FIG. 8, the oarlock channel member 5 of the oarlock assembly 50 includes keeper groove 54 for receipt of the keeper 29.

[0090] The oarlock assembly 50 with the oarshaft 1 is located on the bow side of the vertical oarlock pin 14 (FIGS. 1, 6 and 7). The oar shaft 1 rotates about the vertical axis of pin 14 from catch to finish, together with the oarlock assembly 50. A single tubular brace 15 of the oarlock assembly 50 extends from the side of the boat toward the bow and splits into the Y-bracket 16, just before connecting to the top and bottom of pin 14. During pull through, brace 15 and Y-bracket 16 are in tension stabilizing pin 14.

[0091] As viewed in FIGS. 2-5, resistance to crabbing is provided by the squaring stop 17 engaging the longitudinal step 19 of sleeve 2 and feathering stop 18 engaging the longitudinal step 20. Squaring stop 17 and feathering stop 18 are spring loaded, 21 and 21′, respectively, to engage sleeve cuts 19 and 20 and limit rotation of the oar shaft 1 to 90 degrees about its long axis when squaring or feathering. The stops prevent over squaring or over feathering and provide definitive feedback to the athlete indicating the fully feathered and fully squared positions.

[0092] As the blade 55 of the oar 1 is squared engaging squaring stop 17 with sleeve cut 19 (FIGS. 2, 4 and 5), the pitch stabilizing cut 22 in sleeve 2 comes to rest against the pitch adjustment plates 23, 23′ eliminating oarlock slap and maintaining pitch during pull through.

[0093] The sleeve follower 3 (FIGS. 3, 14 and 15) is constrained to rotate at the outboard edge of hole holder 7 by thrust bearing 6 and retainer ring 4. Tines 12 of follower 3 slide longitudinally along sleeve 2, along sleeve cuts 19 and 20 allowing inboard or outboard motion of sleeve 2 (for leverage adjustment) but preventing rotation of the sleeve follower 3 relative to sleeve 2. A steady outboard force on the oar handle 56 engages the outboard serration 24 of collar 9 (FIGS. 12 and 13) to the sleeve follower 3 preventing rotation of the collar 9 relative to the sleeve 2. Smooth feathering and squaring is assured by thrust bearing 6 and collar bearing 8. This normal rowing condition maintains the selected outboard to inboard ratio or leverage of the oar 1.

[0094] Pulling the oar handle 56 inboard, during normal rowing, approximately 0.2 inches before squaring or feathering disengages the outboard serration 24 of collar 9 from the sleeve follower 3 and engages the inboard collar serration 57 to the serration 26 of the collar rotator 10, as shown engaged in FIG. 3. With the collar 9 engaged to collar rotator 10, which does not rotate relative to hole holder 7 (FIG. 9), squaring or feathering rotates the sleeve 2 relative to the collar 9 about 90 degrees moving the oarshaft 1 outboard or inboard, respectively. After squaring or feathering is complete, a steady outboard force on the oar handle maintains the new load setting.

[0095] Changing the outboard to inboard ratio or “load shifting” does not require altering the grip on the oar handle. The potential disaster of crabbing which could result from any change in the grip on the oar handle to manipulate a device such as a button to load shift, is avoided.

[0096] Although only a few embodiments of the present inventions have been described in detail, it should be understood that the present inventions may be embodied in many other specific forms without departing from the spirit or scope of the inventions.