Title:
Paddle with attached sail for propelling watercraft
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A paddle with attached sail, whereby a small personal watercraft can be propelled either by conventional paddling or by wind power. In one aspect of the invention, the sail has two ends which can be either both attached to the handle of the paddle, or both attached to the user's hands or wrists. In either case, the user holds the paddle generally upright against the side of the watercraft with the blade of the paddle in the water in order to resist downwind drift. In another aspect of the invention, the sail is connected along the length of one of its edges to the handle of the paddle, which thereby functions as a mast for the sail. In this case a boom means may be provided for holding the sail open and for operator control of the sail.



Inventors:
Chen, Shane (Camas, WA, US)
Application Number:
13/523882
Publication Date:
12/20/2012
Filing Date:
06/14/2012
Assignee:
CHEN SHANE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAYES, JOVON E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHANE CHEN (4901 NW CAMAS MEADOWS DR. CAMAS WA 98607)
Claims:
1. A paddle for propelling a small personal watercraft, comprising: a handle; at least one blade; and a sail, having a leading edge facing windward, a trailing edge facing leeward, and two ends which are attached to said handle at a distance apart; whereby a user gripping said paddle can manipulate said sail; wherein propulsion can be achieved by conventional paddling, and can also alternatively be achieved using said sail; and wherein said sail can be folded, crumpled, or otherwise collapsed into a stowed state in which said paddle can be used for conventional paddling.

2. The paddle of claim 1, further comprising a means for securing or containing said sail in its collapsed form to said paddle.

3. Method of using the paddle of claim 1 when said sail is in use, wherein said paddle is held with said at least one blade against the side of said watercraft, said blade being at least partially submerged in the water, whereby said blade can resist downwind drifting.

4. A slippage-preventing means used in conjunction with the method of claim 3, for providing friction between said paddle and said watercraft in order to stabilize said paddle.

5. A paddle for propelling a small personal watercraft, comprising: a handle; at least one blade; and a sail, having a leading edge facing windward and a trailing edge facing leeward, said sail being attached to said handle such that said paddle may function as a mast for said sail; wherein propulsion can be achieved by conventional paddling, and can also alternatively be achieved using said sail; and wherein said sail can be folded, crumpled, or otherwise collapsed into a stowed state in which said paddle can be used for conventional paddling.

6. The paddle of claim 5, wherein said sail in said stowed state is rolled around the exterior of said handle.

7. The paddle of claim 6, further comprising an elongated securing member attached along its length to an edge of said sail, said securing member being made from a hard but slightly flexible material and curved along its own axis with a radius comparable to that of said handle, such that when said sail is rolled around said handle, said securing member fits around said sail and prevents it from unrolling.

8. The paddle of claim 5, further comprising a boom means which is coupled to said handle and to the side of said sail opposite from the side attached to said paddle, and extends generally horizontally in order to hold the sail open; and which provides a means by which a user gripping said boom means can control said sail.

9. Method of using the paddle of claim 1 when said sail is in use, wherein said paddle is held with said at least one blade against the side of said watercraft, said blade being at least partially submerged in the water, whereby said blade can resist downwind drifting.

10. A slippage-preventing means used in conjunction with the method of claim 3, for providing friction between said paddle and said watercraft in order to stabilize said paddle.

11. A personal sail device comprising: a straight elongated shaft; a sail attached to said shaft such that said shaft can function as a mast for said sail; and an elongated securing member attached along its length to an edge of said sail, said securing member being made from a hard but slightly flexible material and curved about its own longitudinal axis with a radius comparable to that of said shaft; wherein said sail can be wrapped around the exterior of said shaft into a rolled state for stowing; and wherein said securing member fits around said sail in said rolled state and prevents it from unrolling.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent applications Nos. 61/497,191 filed on 2011 Jun. 14, 61/533,219 filed on 2011 Sep. 10, and 61/560,362 filed on 2011 Nov. 16, all by the present inventor.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a sail for small watercraft; and more particularly, a sail apparatus combined with a paddle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Paddle-powered watercraft such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards have long been used for water transportation and recreation. There has been interest in sail devices which can be attached to the watercraft so that the same watercraft can be propelled by conventional paddling or by wind power. Currently there exist attachable sail devices for both stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. However, these are effective only for downwind travel. There is a need for a sail with effective cross-wind and upwind capabilities.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sail combined with a paddle wherein, when the sail is in use, the blade of the paddle is held against the side of the watercraft and at least partially submerged in the water, thereby functioning as a leeboard. Thus the sail can be made to propel the watercraft cross-wind or upward without experiencing excessive downwind drift. The submerged blade can also be used as a rudder at the same time; by controlling the angle of the blade in the water, the user can steer the watercraft in the desired direction.

One object of the present invention is to attach the sail to the paddle. Another object is to attach the sail to the operator's hands or wrists with the operator still holding the paddle. With either method, the operator can easily control both the sail and the paddle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of the paddle of the present invention, with sail attached to user's hands.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the paddle, with sail attached to handle.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the paddle, with sail attached along one edge.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a paddle 100 being used to propel a watercraft 110 which supports a human user on water. Paddle 100 comprises a blade 101, a handle 102, and a sail 120 attached to handle 102. Sail 120 has a leading (windward) edge and a trailing (leeward) edge, and two ends 121. A strap 122 is provided on each of two ends 121 for attaching sail 120 to the user's wrists or hands. The weight of the user anchors sail 120, and the user can manipulate sail 120 by means of straps 122 in order to control the magnitude and direction of propelling force. Through maneuvering of sail 120, wind power can be used to drive watercraft 110 at various angles relative to the wind direction.

During normal use, the force of the wind holds sail 120 in a curved (arced or bowed) shape. Sail 120 is constructed such that it may be folded, rolled, crumpled or otherwise collapsed when not in use. Means may be provided for stowing sail 120 in its collapsed state and securing it to paddle 100, such as with a bag or with ties. With sail 120 stowed, paddle 100 can be used to propel watercraft 110 by conventional paddling.

The method of operation of paddle 100 and sail 120 involves holding paddle 100 generally upright against the side of watercraft 110, with the paddle's blade 101 at least partially submerged in the water. Blade 101 can be angled such that the sideways resistance created by the wide face of blade 101 reduces downwind drifting. When blade 101 is submerged in the water, it can furthermore be used to assist in steering watercraft 110. The user can adjust the angle of blade 101 in order to create a rudder effect. Means may be provided for resisting slippage between paddle 100 and the edge of watercraft 110. One example of such means is a rubber cuff attachable to paddle 100. The user may hold the paddle's handle 102 with one or both hands while operating sail 120. In the case of a single-blade paddle (as opposed to a paddle with a blade on each end—see FIG. 2), after a tack or jibe the user may switch the positions of his left and right hands. Sail 120 may (but need not necessarily) include “bridles” 123 (short strings incorporated into the sail design) for supporting the intended shape of the powered sail.

FIG. 2 shows a paddle 200 similar to that of FIG. 1, but having two blades 201 instead of a single blade. The sail 220 is also similar to that of FIG. 1, but its two ends are attached to the paddle's handle 202 instead of to the user's hands. The user controls sail 220 by manipulating handle 202.

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of a paddle 300. A sail means 320 is attached to handle 302 of paddle 300 along the length of its leading, windward-facing edge, such that paddle 300 can function as a mast for sail 320. Sail 320 may be held upon by a generally horizontally disposed rod or similar structure which acts as a boom. Sail 320 can be rolled into a tube shape wrapped around the exterior of handle 302.

Usage of the paddle of the present invention is not restricted to the surfboard-like watercraft shown in the figures. Various other types of small personal watercraft (including those designed for a seated user) may be suitable for being propelled by the paddle and its attached sail.