Title:
BRAKING DEVICE FOR THE BOOM OF A SAIL BOAT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a braking device (4) for braking the boom of a sail boat, comprising a body (12) with fixation means (5) mainly to the boom or a control rope, and means for braking a main rope (6) having its ends connected or guided at two points on both sides of the central longitudinal axis of the sail boat, characterised in that the braking means include at least a first passage opening (14, 15, 16) formed in the body (12) for a loop (20) of the main rope (6), and a second opening (18) formed in the body (12), essentially parallel with the first opening (14, 15, 16) and inside which protrudes a member (19) for retaining the loop (20) that passes around it.



Inventors:
Tardif, Sebastien (Saint Nazaire, FR)
Application Number:
12/513820
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
10/29/2007
Assignee:
WICHARD (THIERS, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H9/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OLSON, LARS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (20 Church Street 22nd Floor, Hartford, CT, 06103, US)
Claims:
1. A braking device for a boom of a sail boat, comprising a body equipped with means of attachment, and with means of braking a main rope the ends of which are fixed or guided at two points positioned one on each side of a longitudinal central axis of the sail boat, wherein braking means comprise at least one first passage opening for a loop of the main rope, which opening is created in the body, and a second opening created in the body, substantially parallel to the first opening and into which there projects an element intended to retain the loop by passing the loop around it.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the projecting element consists of a finger projecting toward an inside of the second opening, on an opposite side to the first opening, a length of the finger being shorter than a length of the second opening along an axis of the projecting element.

3. The braking device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the body comprises at least two passage openings for the loop of the main rope, these being substantially mutually parallel.

4. The device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the body comprises three passage openings for the loop of the main rope.

5. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the body is of flat elongate shape, the passage openings for the loop of the main rope being offset from one another along a longitudinal central axis of the body and centered on this axis.

6. The device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the passage opening is of oblong shape, an axis defined by the opening being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal central axis of the body.

7. The device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the means of attachment are positioned at one end of the body and centered on the longitudinal central axis thereof.

8. The device as claimed in claim 7, wherein the second opening is situated toward an end of the body that comprises the means of attachment.

9. A method of using the braking device as claimed in claim 1, comprising: forming a loop with the main rope, slipping the loop into at least one passage opening of the body, slipping the loop leading out of the passage opening around the projecting element.

10. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein, between the second and third steps, the loop leading out of the passage opening is slipped into the second opening and then back into the passage opening.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a braking device for the boom of a sail boat.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A device such as this is of particular benefit during a jibing maneuver. Such a maneuver is performed when a sail boat is sailing with a following wind, when the boom is overhanging the outside of the sail boat. A jibing maneuver consists in deliberately or involuntarily changing the heading of the sail boat to make it cross the eye of the wind from behind.

When doing this, if this maneuver is uncontrolled or poorly controlled, the boom swings violently from one side to the other, very rapidly gaining speed, especially if the wind is strong and the sea is rough. The boom can then strike the shrouds and lead to breakage of the boom or of the gooseneck which is the articulation between the boom and the mast.

It is also possible that a member of the crew standing on the deck may be taken by surprise by the speed at which the boom is moving, often leading to very serious, particularly head, injuries.

In order to make a jibing maneuver safer, it is known practice to use devices for braking the boom that reduce the speed at which it moves.

A main rope is then fixed or guided at its ends on each of the sides of the sail boat, for example at the shroud bottom chain plates. The rope is slipped through the braking device, the latter being attached under the boom.

Devices of this type are known from documents EP 0 630 806, U.S. Pat. No. 4,941,420, GB 2 299 798, U.S. Pat. No. 4,138,962 and GB 2 358 847.

These devices comprise a body equipped with means of attachment, particularly to the boom or to a control rope, and with means of braking a main rope the ends of which are fixed or guided at two points positioned one on each side of the longitudinal central axis of the sail boat.

These devices are generally complicated, made up of several components, bulky and expensive. Furthermore, in order to implement them, they require one end of the rope to be slipped through the braking device. They cannot therefore be installed directly in the middle of the rope. Implementation of such devices is therefore lengthy and tiresome.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention aims to overcome these disadvantages by proposing an inexpensive, lightweight braking device of smaller dimensions that is easy to install.

To this end, the invention relates to a braking device of the aforementioned type, characterized in that the braking means comprise at least one first passage opening for a loop of the main rope, which opening is created in the body, and a second opening created in the body, substantially parallel to the first opening and into which there projects an element intended to retain the loop by passing the loop around it.

The user thus simply makes a loop in the main rope, inserts it into the passage opening, then slips the loop around the projecting element.

Friction between the rope and the body is increased by the differences in curvature of the rope and by the tension applied to it.

According to one feature of the invention, the projecting element consists of a finger projecting toward the inside of the second opening, on the opposite side to the first opening, the length of the projecting element being shorter than the length of the second opening along the axis of the element.

Advantageously, the body comprises at least two passage openings for the loop of the main rope, these being substantially mutually parallel.

The greater the number and surface area of the regions of curvature of the rope, the greater the degree of braking. As a result, slipping the rope through a plurality of openings makes it possible to increase the braking effect afforded by the device.

As a preference, the body comprises three passage openings for the loop of the main rope.

According to one feature of the invention, the body is of flat elongate shape, the passage openings for the loop of the main rope being offset from one another along the longitudinal central axis of the body and centered on this axis.

According to one possibility of the invention, the passage opening is of oblong shape, the axis defined by the opening being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal central axis of the body.

Advantageously, the means of attachment are positioned at one end of the body and centered on the longitudinal central axis thereof.

As a preference, the second opening is situated toward that end of the body that comprises the means of attachment.

The invention further relates to a method of using the braking device according to the invention, characterized in that it comprises the following steps:

    • a first step of forming a loop with the main rope,
    • a second step of slipping the loop into at least one passage opening of the body,
    • a third step of slipping the loop leading out of the passage opening around the projecting element.

According to one possibility of the invention, between the second and third steps, the loop leading out of the passage opening is slipped into the second opening and then back into the passage opening.

The loop is then wound around the region of the body that lies between the passage opening and the second opening, so as, through friction, to increase the amount of braking.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In any event, the invention will be clearly understood with the aid of the description which follows, with reference to the attached schematic drawing which, by way of nonlimiting example, depicts one embodiment of this braking device.

FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a sail boat equipped with the braking device according to the invention, according to first and second implementations respectively;

FIGS. 3 to 5 depict the successive steps of a first configuration of the main rope on the braking device;

FIGS. 6 to 8 depict alternative configurations of the main rope.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a sail boat comprising a mast 1 equipped with a boom 2 and with a sail 3.

A braking device 4, also known as a boom brake, is positioned under the boom 2 and attached thereto by a shackle 5.

According to a first implementation of the braking device 4 depicted in FIG. 1, a main rope 6 is mounted on the braking device 4, the two ends of the main rope being led into the cockpit via turn pulleys 8 fixed to each side of the sail boat at the shroud bottom chain plates.

The tension in the rope can then be adjusted from the cockpit.

According to another implementation option depicted in FIG. 2, the ends of the main rope 6 are attached directly to the shroud bottom chain plates. The braking device 4 is connected to a first end of a control rope 10 in which a tension can be adjusted in a predefined manner. The second end of the control rope is led into the cockpit via turn pulleys 11.

The tension applied to the braking device 4 therefore influences the tension in the main rope 6 and, therefore, the amount of braking.

As is clear in particular from FIG. 3, the braking device 4 comprises a body 12 made of a metallic material and forged as a single piece. The body 12 is of flat elongate shape, the attachment shackle 5 being located at a first end 13 of the body 12.

The body comprises a first 14, a second 15 and a third 16 passage opening, all of which are oblong, these being offset from one another along the longitudinal central axis A of the body 12, from the first end 13 to the second end 17 of the body 12 respectively, and centered on the axis A.

The axis defined by each of the passage openings 14, 15, 16 is positioned substantially perpendicular to the axis of the body A.

The body further comprises an opening 18 created between the passage openings 14, 15, 16 and the first end 13 of the body 12, into which opening there projects, along the axis of the body A and in the direction of the first end 13, a finger 19 forged as one with the body 12.

The length of the finger 19 is shorter than the length of the opening 18 along the axis of the body A. The space defined between the free end of the finger 19 and the body 12 is at least equal to the diameter of the running part of a rope.

It should be noted that the number of passage openings can vary to suit the application, this braking device being suited to sail boats equipped with sails of a surface area of up to 40 m2.

We shall now describe the successive steps of a first way of configuring the braking device on the main rope.

According to a first step depicted in FIG. 3, a loop 20 is formed in the main rope 6. A second step depicted in FIG. 4 is to slip the loop 20 into a passage opening. In this type of configuration, this would be the first passage opening 14.

In a third step depicted in FIG. 5, the loop 20 leading out of the passage opening 14 is passed around the finger 19, inside the second opening 18 situated at the first end 13 of the body 12.

The braking device 4 can thus be positioned on the main rope 6 without the need to detach the braking device 4 or the ends of the rope 6.

FIG. 6 describes a second type of configuration in which the loop 20 is slipped into the second passage opening 15 and then into the first 14, then finally around the finger 19.

FIG. 7 describes a third configuration in which the rope 20 is slipped in succession into the third passage opening 16, into the second 15, into the first 14, and then finally around the finger 19.

FIG. 8 describes a fourth configuration similar to that depicted in FIG. 4, in which the loop 20 is slipped in succession into the third passage opening 16, into the second 15, into the first 14, into the opening 18 equipped with the finger, then back into the first passage opening 14 and then is finally passed around the finger 19.

It is of course possible to use any other alternative configuration that will be obvious from the configurations explained hereinabove.

As goes without saying, the invention is not restricted to the embodiment of this braking device that has been described hereinabove by way of example but on the contrary encompasses all variants thereof.