Title:
THREE-SIDED WIND SCOOP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A three-sided wind scoop is provided for aerating and cooling the interior of a sailboat. The wind scoop comprises three flexible rectangular shaped panels, one side of each panel being joined together to form a center seam; the top of each said three panels being attached in an equal angel Y-shaped configuration to an essentially circular flexible fabric which forms a cap or top cover for said wind scoop. The Y-shaped configured panels of the wind scoop are designed to capture the wind and the direct the flow of air down into the boat regardless of the direction of the wind in relation to the boat and the cap of the wind scoop is designed to capture the wind flowing upward from said Y-shaped configured panels and direct it back downward, thereby adding to and facilitating the downward flow of the air.



Inventors:
Fieber, Richard G. (Fort Myers Beach, FL, US)
Gallagher, Timothy W. (Cape Coral, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/785125
Publication Date:
10/16/2008
Filing Date:
04/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63J2/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050235895Rudder with controllable tabOctober, 2005Furlong
20100000462SHIP WITH STERN EQUIPPED WITH A DEVICE FOR DEFLECTING A FLOW OF WATERJanuary, 2010Morand et al.
20090241820MAGNUS ROTOROctober, 2009Rohden
20080276854Mechanical member for favouring the movement of means of transportNovember, 2008Besenzoni
20080196649Hatch assembly with seat and storage binAugust, 2008Kalil
20100031864Kayak hull/deck flaresFebruary, 2010Aubrey
20060027156Flexible keel and fiting thereforFebruary, 2006Jenkins
20090013915DEVICE FOR ACTUATING SHEETS OF SAILING BOATSJanuary, 2009Cazzaro
20050252432Extendable sailboat mastNovember, 2005Pamula
20020178985Sail rigDecember, 2002Roberts
20080229993Spade RudderSeptember, 2008Seo et al.



Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARD G. FIEBER IN CARE OF TOP STITCH (FT. MYERS, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A three-sided wind scoop for aerating the enclosed interior of a sailboat through an open hatch thereof, comprising; (a) three flexible essentially rectangular-shaped panels made of a fabric material and being orientated for capturing the wind and directing the air down into open hatch of an anchored sailboat regardless of the direction of the sailboat in relation to said wind, each panel being essentially of the same size, one side of each panel attached together to form a center seam, the top of each panel being attached in an equal angle Y-shaped configuration to a cap for wind scoop: (b) said cap comprising an essentially circular shaped flexible fabric which overlaps the outer edges of the three wind capturing panels, three flexible battens permanently sewn into the cap, and three sleeves suitable for holding three rigid battens, each of said sleeves running from about the outer edge of the cap to an equal angle Y-tube connector positioned at about the center of the cap and along about the same lines as that of each panel attached to the cap, and wherein each flexible batten runs from about the outer edge of the cap and along a line that is about half-way between two adjacent rigid batten lines to about the center of the cap; (c) means at about the center of the cap to help support and adjust the wind scoop in an upright position over an open hatch of the sailboat; (d) each bottom edge of each of said three wind catching panels having a sleeve suitable for holding a rigid batten for stabilizing the wind scoop inside an open hatch of the sailboat, each sleeve running from about the outer edge of each panel to a second equal angle Y-tube connector positioned at about the central meeting point of the bottom of the center seam of the Y-shaped configured panels.

2. A wind scoop according to claim 1, wherein the flexible battens are reinforced plastic tubes.

3. A wind scoop according to claim 2, wherein the three sleeves attached to the cap are themselves each a part of the attachment of one of the three panels of the cap.

4. A wind scoop according to claim 3, wherein a flexible non-reinforced plastic tube is encased along the entire outer edge of the cap.

5. A wind scoop according to claim 4, wherein the sleeves attached to the cap and the sleeves attached to the bottom edge of the wind catching panels all contain a rigid batten.

6. A wind scoop according to claim 5, wherein the flexible fabric of the rectangular-shaped panels and the cap is light weight nylon pack cloth.

7. A wind scoop according to claim 6, wherein each rigid batten is a wooden dowel.

8. A wind scoop according to claim 7, wherein the wind scoop is held in a vertical upright position over an open hatch of a sailboat by way of a jib halyard leading to an upper part of the mast of the sailboat and a support line connected to the sailboat's main stay, along with an exposed portion of each of the rigid battens contained in the sleeves at the bottom of the wind catching panels that abuts up against the underside of the deck adjacent to the open hatch.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a three-sided wind scoop for aerating and cooling the interior of a sailboat. The term wind scoop is a commonly used name in the art for a ventilation device designed to direct the flow of fresh air into the interior of a sailboat through an opening such as a hatch on the sailboat.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A major problem often encountered by sail boaters is excessive warmth and humidity that may build up in the interior of the forward cabin of the sailboat when it is at anchor, due to insufficient ventilation throughout the cabin. Preventing this problem and maintaining a comfortable temperature and humidity is particularly personally desirable, since the cabin generally comprises the living and galley space of the sailboat.

Numerous types of wind scoops or ventilators have heretofore been proposed for use in aerating said cabin of a sailboat. However, the present invention comprising a simple three-sided wind scoop possesses numerous advantages not disclosed nor rendered obvious by such prior art.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,757,664 to Jalbert and U.S. Pat. No. 5,327,846 to Androus, both describe a complex constructed 2 part ventilator, requiring (1) a top-half comprising an X-shaped cross-sectional wind scoop for catching or capturing the wind and (2) a bottom-half comprising a hollow column, (in the shape of a diffuser in Jalbert and in the shape of a squared column in Androus) to receive the air from the top-half of the ventilator and direct it into the interior of the boat. Aside from additional advantages and differences, the three-sided wind scoop of the present invention does not require nor employ a two-part wind scoop system such as described and required by either Jalbert or Androus.

An on-line boating wind scoop advertisement by Best Marine Import, Inc. (i.e. http://www.bestmarineimporta.com/Scoops.html) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,706,593 to Vail are both directed to wind scoop constructed-type sails concerned with capturing the wind and directing the air down into the cabin of a sailboat independent with respect to the direction of the wind. The scoop of Best Marine accomplishes its purpose by employing a narrow four chambered spear-like scoop coming to a central point at its top so that it can be held and secured upright, while Vail discloses a more conventional type sail attached to a mast and having wind a mechanism responsive to the direction of the wind for changing the orientation of the sail via a swivel mechanism for rotating the sail on the mast. The present invention does not comprise of a narrow four chambered spear-like scoop as disclosed by Best Marine, but rather a three-sided wind scoop having a far superior surface area for capturing the wind to provide more air for ventilation of the cabin, nor does the present invention involve a conventional sail attached to a mast as described in Vail. Further, an on-line wind scoop advertisement by Torresen Marine, Inc. (i.e., http://torresen.com/shops.store) discloses a one-sided wind scoop ventilator which unlike the present invention must be manually repositioned to capture the wind when either the boat or wind changes direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The subject invention relates to a unique three-sided wind scoop for capturing the wind and directing a flow of the fresh air down into the interior of a sailboat, e.g. its enclosed cabin, through an open hatch to improve the ventilation and atmospheric conditions, e.g. temperature, humidity, etc. therein. In addition to its basic purpose the wind scoop of the present invention provides numerous other advantages. For instance, it is very simple to manufacture, requiring essentially only sewing and/or heat sealing of the fabric materials involved; it is easily installable and readily maintainable in a stationary working position, as well as, being easily collapsible and storable in a small bag or pouch within the confines of the said sailboat. Indeed the pouch could be as small as about 1 foot by 2 feet. The wind scoop of this invention may also be employed without having to detach the hatch cover, as well as without having to drill, screw or nail any holes in the sailboat, since the open hatch cover does not interfere with the use of the three-sided wind scoop. Thus the hatch cover needs only to be opened in its conventional manner and remain so during the use of the three-sided wind scoop. Further the unique three-sided wind scoop of this invention provides more surface area for capturing the wind and thus provides more air for better ventilation of the cabin and this advantage is coupled with the fact that the wind scoop of this invention is capable of capturing the wind for said ventilation regardless of the direction of an anchored sailboat with respect to the wind. Thus regardless of whether the wind changes direction when the sailboat is anchored or the anchored boat itself changes direction with regard to the wind, the three-sided wind scoop of this invention will self-automatically continue to capture the wind and direct its airflow down into the cabin of the anchored sailboat.

Accordingly the three-sided wind scoop of this invention comprises three flexible rectangular-shaped fabric panels, one side of each panel being joined together to form a center seam; the top each said three panels being attached in an equal (about 120 degree) angle Y-shaped configuration to an essentially circular flexible fabric which forms a cap or top cover (hereinafter referred to as “cap”) for said three-sided wind scoop. While the Y-shaped configured panels of the wind scoop are designed to capture the wind and direct the flow of air down into the boat regardless of the direction of the wind in relation to the boat, the cap of the wind scoop is designed to capture the wind flowing upward from said Y-shaped configured panels and redirect it back downward, thereby adding to and facilitating the downward flow of the air.

The cap of the present wind scoop of this invention comprises an essentially circular flexible fabric having three flexible battens permanently encased in the cap by sewing or heat sealing them into the top or bottom surface of the cap, each flexible batten running from the outer edge of the cap to about the center of the cap, and three sleeves or pockets, (hereinafter referred to as “sleeves”) each being provided to hold a rigid batten. In addition the outer edge of the cap may be supported in any conventional manner to help maintain the shape of the cap. There is also an equal (about 120 degree) angle Y-tube connector at about the center of the cap for insertion of one end of each of the rigid battens so as to help hold them in place. The sleeves for these three rigid battens each run from about the outer edge of the cap to said equal angel Y-tube connector and along about the same lines as that of the above mentioned three rectangular shaped panels attached to said cap, while each flexible batten runs along a line that is about half-way between two adjacent rigid batten lines. The cap also has a means, e.g. a strap, hook or loop (hereinafter referred as a “strap”) at the general center of the cap for fixing the wind scoop to a support line so that the wind scoop can be adjusted and maintained in an upright position over the open hatch of the sailboat. While said strap may be made from any suitable material, preferably it is made from the same fabric as that of the cap and it is positioned around about the center of said Y-tube connector by sewing the ends of the strap to the cap.

Finally, a sleeve or pocket (hereinafter referred to as a “sleeve”) is provided along the bottom of each of said Y-shaped configured rectangular panels, each sleeve being designed to hold a rigid batten for insertion at one end into a second equal (about 120 degree) angle Y-tube connector at the general central meeting point at the bottom of said Y-shaped configured rectangular panels. Moreover, this second set of rigid battens at the bottom of said Y-shaped configured rectangular panels is such that an exposed portion of the other end of each batten can abut up against the deck of the boat adjacent to the bottom opening of the hatch and thereby secure the bottom of the wind scoop upright and inside the hatch opening when in use.

Both sets of rigid battens, i.e. those in the cap and those at the bottom of the panels, may be made of any suitable material, e.g., essentially non-flexible plastic or wood, and are preferably oval and ⅜th of an inch in diameter. Most preferably all such rigid battens are wooden dowels. The battens in the cap need only run from insertion in its Y-tube connector to about the outer edge of the cap, while the battens at the bottom of the panels need run only from insertion in its Y-tube connector to about a few inches under the deck of the boat adjacent to the hatch.

Said sleeves for the rigid battens of the cap may be positioned on the top or underside surface of the cap by sewing or heat sealing a part of the panels to themselves or by using a strip of additional fabric in any conventional manner. More preferably the sleeves for the rigid battens are on the underside of the cap and not only run along the lines of the top edge of the rectangular panels attached to the cap, they are a part of said panel attachment itself. Likewise the sleeves for the rigid battens along the bottom edge of the three panels of the three sided wind scoop may be made by heat sealing or sewing a part of the panels to themselves or by sewing an additional strip of fabric to the panels. It is preferred to merely fold a strip of fabric around the bottom edge of each panel and sew each side of the fabric to the panel to form such bottom sleeves. Such sleeves for all the rigid battens employed in the wind scoop are preferably only large enough to snugly fit and maintain the battens therein and long enough to fit over the ends of the equal angle Y-tube connectors employed. It is preferred that any additional fabric employed to prepare the wind scoop used to form the sleeves of the rigid battens be the same as the fabric used for the cap and panels of the wind scoop. The flexible and rigid battens provide strength and stability to the cap during use of the three-sided wind scoop.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings serve to help visualize the subject invention and are more fully discussed in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of the three-sided wind scoop of this invention having a cap along with its Y-shaped configured three rectangular wind capturing panels and various means for strengthening and stabilizing the wind scoop in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 1a is a schematic view of the equal angle Y-tube connectors employed to hold the rigid battens of the three-sided wind scoop.

FIG. 1b is a schematic view of the cap and its equal angle Y-tube connector along with the positioning of the rigid and flexible battens of the cap and the flexible plastic tube surrounding the outer edge of the cap.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a sailboat having the three-sided wind scoop of this invention erected over an open hatch of the sailboat.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1 a three-sided wind scoop 20 is shown which comprises a cap 2, having a permanently encased flexible plastic tube 19 around the entire outer edge of the cap, as well as, three flexible battens 3 also permanently encased in the cap and three sleeves 8 for holding three rigid battens 4, each such rigid batten 4 having one of its ends contained in an equal angle Y-tube connector 9 (also shown in FIGS. 1a &1b) and three equal angle Y-shaped rectangular panels 5 for capturing the wind, said panels being attached to the underside of said cap via said sleeves, and to each other to form a center seam 15; the bottom of each of the three wind catching panels each having a sleeve 11 for holding a rigid batten 6, wherein one end of each batten 6 is contained in a second equal angle Y-tube connector 9 (also shown in FIG. 1a), the other end of each batten 6 being exposed portion so that it can abut against the deck of the sailboat adjacent to the bottom opening of a hatch 21 (also shown in FIG. 2); and a means 10 for the general center of the cap (also shown in FIG. 2) and for erecting the wind scoop 20 over the opening of the hatch of a sailboat.

The cap and three rectangular-shaped panels of the three-sided wind scoop of this invention can be constructed of any suitable flexible fabric or material, such as nylon, sailcloth, and the like. Preferably the flexible fabric is also waterproof and strong enough to be resistant to tearing. It is preferred to employ lightweight nylon, e.g., having about 2 to 8 ounces per square yard and commonly referred to pack cloth, since such is very resistant to tearing even after having been punctured. Further referring to FIG. 1, the three flexible panels 5 may be joined together and attached to the cap by any suitable means such as sewing and/or heat sealing. Said panels serve as the main means for capturing the wind and directing the air down into an open hatch of the sailboat. Essentially the entire surface of each panel is capable of capturing the wind when it comes in contact with the wind. Preferably the three panels are about the same size, while the height and width of said panels are not narrowly critical for such need only be sufficient to produce the result desired. Accordingly it is considered that a height for each panel of from about 30 to 42 inches and a width for each panel of about 12 to about 16 inches should generally be sufficient to achieve very good ventilation of an enclosed cabin of a sailboat. A width of about 14 inches for each panel and height of about 38 inches has been found to be very effective for a sailboat having a 21×26 inch hatch. While each panel is preferably made of one piece of fabric, more then one piece of fabric could be used and of course each panel can be of any color desired. Moreover, if desired strips of additional fabric may be used to fortify the edges of cap 2 and the outer sides of panels 5 and/or the center seam 15.

Being flexible and preferably about 3/16th of an inch in diameter, it has been found that there is no need to remove the flexible battens from the cap when the wind scoop is not being used, since they do not hinder the collapsing, folding and storage of the wind scoop. Thus the flexible battens may be permanently encased in the cap, e.g., by sewing or heat-sealing them therein in any conventional manner so that they fit snugly and are held in position. The need not to insert and remove the flexible battens from the cap every time the wind scoop is put up and taken down is clearly of benefit to the user of the wind scoop. Further the flexible battens need only be sufficiently flexible enough to allow some minor billowing of the cap due to captured wind that rises from the panels during use of the three-sided wind scoop, while at the same time being stiff enough to stiffen the cap so as to help push the wind back downward and to keep the outer part of the cap from folding back on itself and losing the captured wind rising from the panels. The flexible battens which are preferably oval may be hollow or solid and made of any suitable material such as conventional reinforced plastic tubing and the like. More preferably they are reinforced plastic tubes of about 3/16th of an inch in diameter.

As previously noted, the sleeves for the rigid battens of the cap are preferably attached to the underside of the cap. More preferably said sleeves for the rigid battens of the cap are formed by folding a part of the top of each panel into a sleeve and sewing it to itself, which sleeve in turn may be sewn to the underside of the cap so that the sleeve itself is part of the attachment of the panels to the cap. Moreover, sleeves for all the rigid battens of the wind scoop require openings at or about both ends of the sleeves. One opening of a sleeve is provided so that the battens can be inserted therein any time desired prior to the active use of the wind scoop (e.g., before or after the sail of the wind scoop to the user of same) and then removed when it is desired to take the wind scoop down after its use in order to facilitate packing and storing of the wind scoop. The other opening of the sleeve is provided so that the battens can be inserted into their respective equal angle Y-tube connectors. It is also preferred that the sleeves for the rigid battens encase a part of the equal angle Y-tube connector in which the rigid battens are inserted. While the sleeve openings may be held closed by any suitable means when the wind scoop is in use, such is not necessary with regard to the sleeves of the rigid battens at the bottom of the panels. Generally it's preferred to tie all the sleeves to their respective equal angle Y-tube connectors via a Velcro fabric strap and such is also the preferred method for closing the opening at the other end of the sleeves for the rigid battens of the cap.

The circumference of cap 2 need only be sufficiently large enough to overlap the outer edges of the rectangular panels attached to the cap (as shown in FIG. 1) by about one inch. Too much overlay may hinder the desired purpose of the cap by the collapsing and folding of its outer area during use, while no overlap at all may prevent the desired billowing affect of the cap during use. The outer edges of the cap may be reinforced in any conventional manner, e.g., by sewing or heat sealing a part of the cap to itself or by sewing a strip of additional fabric, and if desired, permanently encasing any suitable conventional flexible plastic tube therein, as shown in FIG. 1. Preferably a very flexible 3/16th of an inch in diameter non-reinforced plastic tube is encased around the outer edge of the entire cap to help maintain the shape of the cap. Like the permanently encased flexible battens, the permanently flexible plastic tubing, when employed, doesn't have to be removed when the wind scoop is taken down after use and stored. A cap having a diameter of about 36 inches was found very effective for the above mentioned panels found to be effective for a sailboat having about 21×26 inch hatch.

Referring to FIG. 1a, a better view of an equal angle Y-tube connector is shown. It will be noted that the three-sided wind scoop of this invention employs two such Y-tube connectors, one for the rigid battens in the cap and one for the rigid battens at the bottom of the panels wind scoop. Each Y-tube connector is preferably the same and may be constructed of any suitable conventional light weight plastic, such as polypropylene, and the like, and may be of any suitable size that will firmly hold the battens of this invention tightly in place. Thus it is preferred that the Y-tube connectors contain arms of about 1 to 2 inches in length that have about a ⅜ inch (inside diameter) bore at the end of the arms and which increasingly tighten the rigid battens as they are inserted into the arms till they are held fast. The polypropylene equal (about 120 degree) angle Y-tube connector shown as stock number 64120 on page 261 of the United States Plastic Corporations. “Plastics Product Catalog”, 2006, Volume 12, has been found to be very satisfactory for holding the rigid battens used in this invention.

Referring to FIG. 1b a better view is shown of how the rigid battens 4 of the cap 2 are inserted and held by an equal angle Y-tube connector 9, as well as, the positioning of the permanently incased flexible battens 3 and the permanently encased flexible plastic tube 19 around the entire outer edge of the cap. Moreover the rigid battens 6 at the bottom of the panels 5 are inserted into a second Y-tube connector 9 as seen in FIG. 1 in the same manner as the rigid battens shown in FIG. 1b.

Referring to FIG. 2, the depiction of the three-sided wind scoop of the present invention for ventilating an enclosed interior area of a sailboat through a hatch opening thereof (as more completely shown in FIG. 1) has been simplified for viewing purposes, and is shown in a vertical upright operational position over the hatch. Lines 16 and 17 show how the vertical upright operational position of the three-sided wind scoop is maintained. Lines 16 and 17 may be any suitable support means e.g. cord, chain, rope, halyard, and the like. Line 16 is shown as a jib halyard connected to fabric strap 10 positioned around the equal angle Y-tube connector of cap 2 as previously described herein and shown in FIG. 1. The jib halyard is shown going to an upper part of the mast of the sailboat and being tied off in conventional manner. The main purpose of Line 16 is to pull and hold the wind scoop upright in a taut manner. Line 17 is shown as a support line (e.g., a rope) which may be connected to strap 10 (or thereabout to the jib halyard), and is tied to the head or fore stay 22 of the sail boat. The main purpose of Line 17 is to keep the wind scoop in a vertical position over the open hatch. Line 17 may be tied to the fore stay 22 at any suitable position and in any suitable manner. Such positioning will obviously depend on the size of the sailboat and is readily determinable by pulling line 16 taut. The use of line 17 is unique for without such it would be very difficult to maintain the wind scoop in an essentially stationary vertical position. Rigid battens 6 of the wind scoop in FIG. 2 are seen located inside the hatch just below the frame supports of the hatch (as also shown in FIG. 1). It's the exposed portions of said battens that extend beyond the opening of the hatch under said frame supports and abut up against the underside of the deck that also help hold the wind scoop in place during use. While the exposed portions of said battens 6 are preferably the result of employing a wooden dowel that is long enough to achieve the result desired, they could be the result of employing an equally long plastic batten, or one oval plastic batten within another, having a twist lock device to hold the smaller batten inside the larger batten that allows for withdrawing a portion of the smaller batten from main batten, so as to provide an exposed portion of the smaller batten to achieve the result desired. The length of said exposed portions of battens 6 need only be sufficient to help stabilize the wind scoop during its use and such may be easily determined in any conventional manner. In general, the length of said exposed portions of battens 6 need only extend a few inches, e.g., about 2 to 4 inches beyond the opening of the hatch. Moreover, while only two of such battens are shown in FIG. 2, obviously that there will always be a third batten (as shown in FIG. 1) present which operates in the same manner as the two shown battens. Likewise it is to be understood that in FIG. 2, any incomplete description of the three-sided wind scoop of this invention may be found previously completely described herein and shown in FIG. 1.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications could be made to the subject three-sided wind scoop without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention and any such modifications are to be construed as falling with the scope and spirit of this invention.