United States Patent 3614417

A buoyant support for portable lanterns of molded thermoplastic construction includes a lantern-receiving socket of varying cross-sectional configuration designed to permit the support to be used with lanterns having different size bases. The ballast chamber of the support is divided by a series of primary and secondary baffles to inhibit movement of the water which is used as a liquid ballast in the support.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
362/181, 362/190, 362/341, 362/415, 441/28, D26/50
International Classes:
A01K75/02; F21L19/00; (IPC1-7): F21V31/00
Field of Search:
240/52R,82,83,11.1 9
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3382834Ship stabilizer1968-05-14Lewis
3097622Stabilization of floating bodies1963-07-16Bell
2917755Floating lantern support1959-12-22Peck
2761423Liquid container1956-09-04Heidler

Primary Examiner:
Queisser, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Whalen, John
What is claimed is

1. A buoyant lantern support comprising:

2. The support of claim 1 further comprising:

3. The support of claim 2 wherein:

4. The support of claim 3 further comprising:

5. The support of claim 4 wherein:

6. The support of claim 1 further comprising:

7. The support of claim 6 wherein:

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein:

9. The support of claim 7 further comprising:

10. The support of claim 6 wherein:

11. A floatable lantern support comprising:


In night fishing it is desirable to have some means of providing a source of light positioned adjacent the surface of the water. While an illuminated buoy would serve this function, it is preferable to provide a support which, instead of having the light source permanently attached thereto, merely provides a supporting base for a portable lantern so that the lantern may be used for other purposes as well. U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,917,755 and 3,137,872 both show buoyant supports of this general type. It will be noted, however, that both of the supports shown in these patents are adapted to support only a single type of portable lantern and both require an immobilizing attachment to impart some degree of stability to the units. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,917,755, the support must be anchored to the lake or river bottom whereas in the case of U.S. Pat. No. 3,137,872, the support is attached to a pole which in turn may be attached to a boat or the like to impart stability to the support. Additionally, it is desirable to form the support of inexpensive, yet noncorrodible materials which lend themselves to conventional manufacturing processes with a minimum of labor.


The portable lanterns which find the most widespread use in the environment of the present invention are generally of two types. In one type, a cylinder of a gaseous material such as propane is used as fuel, and in a second type a tank is provided for a liquid fuel such as gasoline or kerosene. The buoyant support of the present invention is adapted to receive and firmly engage lanterns of either of the two general types discussed above by providing a stepped socket, the upper portion of which is somewhat wider than the lower portion and is thereby adapted to receive the wider fuel tank characteristic of the liquid fuel type of portable lantern and the lower part of which is of narrower cross-sectional area and, is, therefore, adapted to receive the longer, yet narrower cylinders which are usually associated with the gaseous fuel-type portable lanterns.

Additionally, the buoyant support of the present invention incorporates a ballast chamber which conveniently uses water as a liquid ballast to impart stability to the support without requiring immobilization thereof. Thus, the support may be loosely tethered to a boat or other object and will not be affected by waves and changes in tides, for example, as would be the case if it were anchored to the bottom of a lake or river. On the other hand, it may be loosely towed behind the boat if desired, and requires no rigid support, thereby facilitating navigation of the craft. The ballast chamber is provided with a series of baffles which tend to inhibit movement of the liquid ballast within the chamber and further enhance the stability of the support.


FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the support of the present invention with a portable lantern of the liquid fuel type installed therein;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the support engaging a portable lantern of the gaseous fuel type;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the support per se;

FIG. 4 is view taken on line 4--4 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a reflector which finds use with the support of the present invention.


As seen in the several figures of the drawings, the buoyant support of the present invention incorporates a ballast chamber 10 defined by bottom wall 11, a top wall 12, a substantially cylindrical, vertically extending outer wall 13, and an inner, cylindrical, vertically extending wall 14 of stepped configuration, to define a substantially toroidal ballast chamber. A filler spout 15 is mounted on the top wall adjacent the intersection of the top and outer sidewalls and a cap 16 is threaded thereon to seal the interior of the ballast chamber.

The stepped inner wall 14 defines a socket, including an upper portion 20 which extends from the top wall downwardly, and a second portion 21 of smaller cross-sectional area than the socket which extends from the lower end of the portion 20 downwardly to the bottom of the support. A drain 22 is provided in the bottom wall of the portion 21 to prevent standing water in the socket.

Extending outwardly from the portion 21 of the socket to the outer walls 13 of the ballast chamber are a series of radially extending primary baffles 30 which extend upwardly from the bottom wall 11 and terminate short of the intersection of the top and sidewalls. The segments formed by the primary baffles 30 are further subdivided by secondary baffles 31 which extend radially inwardly from the outer walls 13 towards the stepped inner wall 14 and upwardly from the bottom wall 11 to a lesser extent than the vertical extent of the primary baffles 30. Normally, ballast liquid is added to the level of the top of the baffles 31, and slots 33 provide communication through the primary baffles to equalize the level in the ballast chamber.

A series of threaded metal inserts 40, three being shown are secured in the top wall 12 and receive thumb screws 41 for securing clips 42 to the top wall. The clips 42 are conveniently made of a light gauge spring metal and have a first flat portion 43 and second arcuate portion 44 which is designed to engage the upper surface of the fuel tank of the particular lantern being used. The portion 43 of the clip may conveniently be slotted to permit the clip to be positioned inwardly to engage the usually narrow base 45 of the gaseous fuel-type lantern or slid outwardly to accommodate the usually wider base 46 of the liquid fuel-type lantern. Additionally, a loop 47 may be provided on the top wall 12 to receive a tethering line 48.

The buoyant support as thus far described may be formed for the most part, of a thermoplastic material which will easily permit it to be constructed by molding and which is relatively unaffected by corrosive materials such as salt water. A suitable material for this purpose is polyethylene.

As seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, a reflector 50 of inverted dishlike configuration may be provided for directing light from the lantern positioned in the support toward the surface of the water. As seen in FIG. 5, an opening 51 is defined centrally of the reflector to accommodate the globe of a portable lantern. Additionally, the edge 52 of the opening 51 and a line of weakness 53 formed in the reflector, together define a frangible portion 54 which may be easily knocked out to accommodate a globes of greater diameters. It will also be noted that a series of louvres 55 are formed outwardly of the frangible portion 54 to provide for dissipation of heat generated by the lantern, and to reflect some light generally horizontal.

It will be apparent that where the lantern to by supported by the present invention is of the liquid fuel type and consequently has a fairly broad base, it is snugly received within the upper portion 20 of the socked defined by the inner wall 14. On the other hand, as seen in FIG. 2, where a lantern of the gaseous fuel type is to be used, and consequently is provided with a narrower but longer base 45, it will be received in the lower portion 21 of the socket defined by the inner wall 14. Additionally, a filler piece, shown in dotted lines at 60 in FIG. 2, may be utilized to provide further support for narrower lantern bases.

Depending upon the conditions under which the support is used, an appropriate amount of water is placed in the ballast chamber and serves to stabilize the float while the baffles 30 and 31 inhibit he movement of the ballast within the chamber. Thus, the present invention provides a stable buoyant support for portable lanterns of various sizes which may be constructed from inexpensive materials by conventional construction techniques.

While the form of apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this precise form of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing form the scope of the invention.