US20070178782A1 - Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same - Google Patents

Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20070178782A1
US20070178782A1 US11/345,827 US34582706A US2007178782A1 US 20070178782 A1 US20070178782 A1 US 20070178782A1 US 34582706 A US34582706 A US 34582706A US 2007178782 A1 US2007178782 A1 US 2007178782A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
buoy
liquid
ballasting
chamber
ballast
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
US11/345,827
Other versions
US7244156B1 (en
Inventor
R. Hazelett
Jeffrey Lefebvre
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Hazelett Strip Casting Corp
Original Assignee
Hazelett Strip Casting Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Hazelett Strip Casting Corp filed Critical Hazelett Strip Casting Corp
Priority to US11/345,827 priority Critical patent/US7244156B1/en
Assigned to HAZELETT STRIP CASTING CORPORATION reassignment HAZELETT STRIP CASTING CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAZELETT, R. WILLIAM, LEFEBVRE, JEFFREY P.
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US7244156B1 publication Critical patent/US7244156B1/en
Publication of US20070178782A1 publication Critical patent/US20070178782A1/en
Assigned to MIDCAP BUSINESS CREDIT LLC reassignment MIDCAP BUSINESS CREDIT LLC SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAZELETT STRIP-CASTING CORPORATION
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B22/00Buoys
    • B63B22/16Buoys specially adapted for marking a navigational route
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B22/00Buoys
    • B63B22/18Buoys having means to control attitude or position, e.g. reaction surfaces or tether
    • B63B22/20Ballast means

Abstract

A lightweight constructed navigation buoy, and method for handling the same, is provided with waterborne stability comparable to the conventional and much heavier navigation buoys. The desired waterborne stability is achieved using a liquid-ballasting/-venting system in which a ballasting compartment and a connection cooperate to allow a liquid ballast to be added and/or removed from the ballasting compartment. The position-accuracy of said buoy can be improved by incorporating the liquid ballasted buoy with a high-strength, flexible, elastic tether providing a scope of between 1.5-to-1 and 1-to-1 at high water.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to marine buoys as aids to navigation.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Thousands of buoys are employed as aids to navigation, serving, among other things, to indicate channel locations, warn of hazards to navigation, and announce speed or wake restrictions. Navigation buoys are constantly exposed to harsh environmental forces and occasional collisions from watercraft. Sturdy buoy construction and design is required. Additionally, to facilitate the visibility and/or operability of many buoys it is desired that the buoys have a relatively high height above the waterline while demonstrating minimal pitching and rolling during heavy seas, thus requiring the inertia of a heavy overall weight combined with substantial buoyancy and ballasting that achieves a low center of gravity.
  • To satisfy these requirements, navigation buoys are usually constructed of heavy gauge steel for durability and ballasted with solid ballast at a location below the waterline. Concrete is a commonly used ballast material. Buoys designed to fulfill these requirements are thus very heavy and difficult to handle.
  • Because of the substantial weight of navigation buoys, buoy retrieval and deployment typically requires relatively large ships with high capacity davits and other specialized equipment (buoy tenders). Even with such equipment, handling heavy buoys can be difficult and dangerous, particularly when high winds and seas complicate retrieval and deployment operations. The capacity of buoy tenders to store buoys once onboard may also be restricted by the heavy weight of the buoys. The stability and trim of buoy tenders may be adversely impacted if too many buoys are stored on deck.
  • Accordingly, it can be seen that there is a need for a lightweight navigation buoy to facilitate in the buoy's transportation, launching, and retrieval when not deployed that can be altered to exhibit the stability characteristics of the much heavier-constructed conventional buoys when deployed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a navigation buoy with a liquid-ballasting/-venting system in which a predetermined amount of liquid ballast can be added or removed, resulting in a buoy that can be made substantially lighter and easier to handle when not deployed, but can be efficiently altered to possess the necessary weight and stability of currently designed navigation buoys when deployed.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide a buoy with a liquid-ballasting/-venting system that further increases the stability by providing one or more internal baffles to minimize any free-surface movement of said liquid ballast.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide a buoy with a square bottom plate wide enough to provide a roll-resistant surface when the buoy is stored on deck.
  • These and other advantages of the present invention will be better understood in light of the detailed description of a preferred embodiment.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a cross-sectional view of a buoy according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Turning to FIG. 1, the structure of a marine buoy according to an embodiment of the present invention is described. Although a “nun”-type navigational buoy is depicted in FIG. 1, it will be readily understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is equally applicable to other types of navigational buoys. A buoy 10 is provided with a cap 20 with radar-reflective stiffening-flanges 22 and 24, a ballasting compartment 30, and a mooring/stabilization component 50. The use herein of terms indicative of an orientation, like top, bottom, upper, lower, side, and underneath, are to be understood relative to the normal waterborne orientation of the buoy 10.
  • A body 12 of the buoy 10 is preferably constructed from a lightweight or light gauge material, relative to conventional heavy gauge carbon steel buoys. Materials such as aluminum, light-gauge stainless or carbon steel, or non-metallic materials can be selected. The use of lighter-weight materials can result in a weight reduction of up to 65% for a given size of buoy. Material selection is at least partially driven by cost and operational constraints. Operational constraints, including suitable protective coatings, may include factors like environmental conditions at a deployed location, traffic density and likelihood of collision, and size/visibility requirements.
  • The ballasting compartment 30 is sized to accommodate sufficient liquid ballast for the desired stability characteristic, given the size and design of the buoy 10 while deployed. In high-corrosion environments (e.g., saltwater), corrosion-resistant coatings can be applied. If the buoy 10 will be subjected to freezing conditions, an anti-freeze agent can be added to the liquid water ballast.
  • The liquid ballast can be added-to or removed from the ballasting compartment by a liquid- ballasting/-venting pipe 36. Liquid ballast is externally supplied to or removed through connection 34 at the upper end of the liquid- ballasting/-venting pipe 36 extending through the upper wall 32. The liquid- ballasting/-venting pipe 36 extends substantially to the bottom of the ballasting compartment 30 inside of an inner cylindrical wall 40. Liquid ballast supplied to or removed from connection 34 enters or leaves the ballasting compartment 30 from the lower end of the liquid- ballasting/-venting pipe 36. One-inch diameter communication hole(s) 42 formed in the cylindrical wall 40 convey liquid ballast to or from compartment 30 to pass through the cylindrical wall 40. Baffle plate 44 reduces any free surface movement of the liquid ballast during pitching and rolling of the buoy 10.
  • Ballast plate 44 is immersed a few inches below the surface of the liquid ballast. Baffle plate 44 is welded to cylindrical wall 40, but is loosely fitted and not sealed to the internal wall of body 12.
  • A square plate 52 is bolted, or otherwise fastened, to the lower wall 46 of body 12. The weight and hydrodynamics of the plate 52 help maintain the proper orientation of the buoy 10 when deployed. The square plate 52 has a width equal to the widest diameter of buoy 10, which allows the buoy 10 to be stably placed on its side on a flat surface, such as the deck of a ship.
  • A distal end 54 is adapted to receive a high-strength, flexible tether (not shown). Preferably a high-strength, flexible, elastic tether can be employed. A high-strength, flexible, elastic tether allows the buoy 10 to be securely moored in a given water depth using a shorter scope than would be required for a traditional heavy mooring chain. More accurate positioning of the buoy is thereby made possible.
  • From the foregoing, it can be seen that the present invention provides a buoy that is lightweight yet still enjoys the stability of a conventional, much heavier buoy when deployed.
  • In a retrieval operation, a retrieval vessel comes alongside the buoy 10, usually attaching a line to the buoy to ensure the appropriate relative positioning of vessel and buoy during retrieval operations. The retrieval vessel accesses connection 34 and attaches a de-ballasting means, typically a pump or the like, to connection 34. The liquid ballast is then removed from the ballasting compartment 30. The significantly lightened buoy is then lifted from the water, using a crane or davit. The buoy 10 is stored on its side such that the square plate 52 inhibits rolling.
  • Once the required maintenance has been performed, or whenever deployment is required, the buoy 10 is re-attached to the tether (if detached) lowered into the water, by a crane or davit. A ballasting means, preferably the same as the de-ballasting means (e.g. a pump or the like), is attached to replace the liquid ballast.
  • Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described, but that various modifications and alterations can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Claims (10)

1. A navigation buoy comprising:
a cylindrical body of lighter construction having an interior and an exterior;
a ballasting chamber in a lower portion of said body interior, adapted to store a liquid ballast, said ballasting chamber having a circumference, the ballasting chamber including an inner cylindrical wall, said inner cylindrical wall having a circumference smaller than said ballasting chamber circumference, said inner cylindrical wall having an aperture open to said ballasting chamber; and
a connection used to ballast and vent said ballasting chamber allowing liquid communication between the ballasting chamber bottom and the body exterior, said connection being within said inner cylindrical wall;
whereby the buoy can be ballasted and de-ballasted by a liquid supplied to and removed from the ballasting chamber so as to duplicate the dampened motion of the conventional heavily constructed buoys when deployed, said liquid being supplied to the connection within said inner cylindrical wall and into the ballasting chamber through said aperture.
2. The navigation buoy of claim 1, wherein the ballasting chamber includes an internal baffling system to minimize free-surface effect of a liquid contained within the ballasting the chamber, said baffling system including a horizontal baffle secured to said inner cylindrical wall, said horizontal baffle allowing liquid to pass beyond the baffle to an upper portion of the ballasting chamber;
whereby waterborne stability of the buoy is improved.
3. The navigation buoy of claim 2, wherein the internal baffling system is a horizontal baffle located approximately 2-inches below the surface of said liquid ballast.
4. The navigation buoy of claim 1, further comprising:
a bottom plate having a flat edge, the bottom plate being directly attached to the exterior of said buoy body at a lower end of the body such that the bottom plate is wide enough to provide a roll-resistant surface when the buoy is stored prior to launching and deployment.
5. The navigation buoy of claim 1, further comprising:
a high-strength, flexible, elastic tether attached below a lower end of the body and adapted to securely connect the navigation buoy to an anchor;
whereby the high-strength, flexible, elastic tether provides a means of anchoring the buoy permitting a shorter scope than required by a conventional anchor chain whereby the accuracy of the buoy's position is improved.
6. A method for handling a waterborne liquid-ballasted buoy, the method comprising the steps of:
attaching a liquid-ballasting/-venting system to the buoy, said system having a liquid ballasting connection above the waterline from which the buoy is to be removed, said connection allowing removal of liquid ballast from an interior portion of said buoy including an interior portion of the buoy that is below said waterline;
removing liquid ballast from the buoy via the ballasting/venting system; lifting the buoy out of the water;
whereby lifting the buoy from the water is facilitated by removing the liquid ballast.
7. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of:
stably storing the buoy on a side corresponding to a flat edge of a bottom plate attached underneath the buoy;
whereby the flat edge of the bottom plate inhibits the buoy from rolling when stored on a flat surface.
8. The method of claim 6, further comprising the step of:
lowering the buoy into the water;
attaching a liquid-ballasting/-venting system to the buoy;
adding liquid ballast to the buoy via the ballasting/venting system;
deploying the liquid-ballasted buoy;
whereby the waterborne stability of the deployed liquid-ballasted buoy is enhanced by the addition of the liquid ballast.
9. (canceled)
10. (canceled)
US11/345,827 2006-02-02 2006-02-02 Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same Expired - Fee Related US7244156B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/345,827 US7244156B1 (en) 2006-02-02 2006-02-02 Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/345,827 US7244156B1 (en) 2006-02-02 2006-02-02 Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same
CA002568309A CA2568309A1 (en) 2006-02-02 2006-11-16 Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
US7244156B1 US7244156B1 (en) 2007-07-17
US20070178782A1 true US20070178782A1 (en) 2007-08-02

Family

ID=38235548

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/345,827 Expired - Fee Related US7244156B1 (en) 2006-02-02 2006-02-02 Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (1) US7244156B1 (en)
CA (1) CA2568309A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
RU186495U1 (en) * 2018-02-08 2019-01-22 Евгений Ефимович Стрижевский River navigation buoy

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3084354A (en) * 1960-06-14 1963-04-09 Franz Lunenschloss G M B H Device for marking locations at sea, particularly emergency marker
US3329015A (en) * 1963-06-07 1967-07-04 Douglas Aircraft Co Inc Stabilized buoy assembly
US3464071A (en) * 1967-08-03 1969-09-02 James Donald Starratt Navigational buoy construction
US3939510A (en) * 1974-11-07 1976-02-24 Curd Jr Robert F Lighted plastic discrepancy buoy
US5273468A (en) * 1993-02-22 1993-12-28 Nichols Edward R Marker buoy

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3084354A (en) * 1960-06-14 1963-04-09 Franz Lunenschloss G M B H Device for marking locations at sea, particularly emergency marker
US3329015A (en) * 1963-06-07 1967-07-04 Douglas Aircraft Co Inc Stabilized buoy assembly
US3464071A (en) * 1967-08-03 1969-09-02 James Donald Starratt Navigational buoy construction
US3939510A (en) * 1974-11-07 1976-02-24 Curd Jr Robert F Lighted plastic discrepancy buoy
US5273468A (en) * 1993-02-22 1993-12-28 Nichols Edward R Marker buoy

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CA2568309A1 (en) 2007-08-02
US7244156B1 (en) 2007-07-17

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US8479674B2 (en) System and method for the active and passive stabilization of a vessel
EP2271548B1 (en) Offshore floating production, storage, and off-loading vessel for use in ice-covered and clear water applications
DK2496469T3 (en) Liquid offshore structure for drilling, manufacturing, storage and unloading
US7140317B2 (en) Central pontoon semisubmersible floating platform
KR101785965B1 (en) Mono hull vessel and method for submerging equipment or retrieving submerged equipment
EP1960256B1 (en) Dual draft vessel
US7287483B2 (en) Boat fender and method of protecting floating objects
US8387550B2 (en) Offshore floating platform with motion damper columns
FI114306B (en) Procedure and pontoon for mounting a deck on a floating sea engineering substructure
US6220194B1 (en) Hull construction
CN101027213B (en) Vessels
CN105151239A (en) Shipboard supporting structure used for integrally dismounting offshore platform topside module by means of two boat flotage
US7244156B1 (en) Lightweight marine buoy and method of handling the same
KR20200027952A (en) Marine vessels for the production and storage of hydrocarbon products
US9463848B2 (en) Semi-submersible integrated port
EP3810500A1 (en) Method and vessel for deploying heavy objects
US20180319467A1 (en) Device and method for securing a watercraft
CN110352159A (en) For coupling the device of two ships
JP2008049977A (en) Floating shipway
KR101871103B1 (en) Nomad Buoy for Multi-purpose Marine Platform with Submarine Cable Connection
KR20170004373A (en) Balance compensation system for the semi-submersible offshore pontoon
WO2017091086A1 (en) Floating installation for petroleum exploration or production or related use
KR20030046881A (en) Double hull construction of Oil or product carrier
Nikas Where the Street Meets the Sea: A Nautical Glossary for Maritime Lawyers
Van Leer Small Catamaran Research Vessels

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: HAZELETT STRIP CASTING CORPORATION, VERMONT

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HAZELETT, R. WILLIAM;LEFEBVRE, JEFFREY P.;REEL/FRAME:017285/0773

Effective date: 20060209

REMI Maintenance fee reminder mailed
LAPS Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
STCH Information on status: patent discontinuation

Free format text: PATENT EXPIRED DUE TO NONPAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEES UNDER 37 CFR 1.362

FP Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee

Effective date: 20110717

AS Assignment

Owner name: MIDCAP BUSINESS CREDIT LLC, CONNECTICUT

Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HAZELETT STRIP-CASTING CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:038092/0440

Effective date: 20160318