US3039415A - Diving apparatus - Google Patents

Diving apparatus Download PDF

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US3039415A
US3039415A US848583A US84858359A US3039415A US 3039415 A US3039415 A US 3039415A US 848583 A US848583 A US 848583A US 84858359 A US84858359 A US 84858359A US 3039415 A US3039415 A US 3039415A
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sled
body
diver
keel
water
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US848583A
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Franz M Foster
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Franz M Foster
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63CLAUNCHING, HAULING-OUT, OR DRY-DOCKING OF VESSELS; LIFE-SAVING IN WATER; EQUIPMENT FOR DWELLING OR WORKING UNDER WATER; MEANS FOR SALVAGING OR SEARCHING FOR UNDERWATER OBJECTS
    • B63C11/00Equipment for dwelling or working underwater; Means for searching for underwater objects
    • B63C11/46Divers' sleds or like craft, i.e. craft on which man in diving-suit rides

Description

June 19, 1962 F, FOSTER I 3,039,415

DIVING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 26, 1959 IN VENTOR FRANZ 'M FOSTER.

ATTORNEYS United States Patent fifice 3,939,415 Patented June 19, 1962 3,039,415 DIVING APPARATUS Franz M. Foster, Sarasota, Fla. Filed Oct. 26, 1959, Ser. No. 848,583 6 Claims. (Cl. 11416) This invention relates to diving apparatus, and more particularly, to a device which may be towed through the water by a vessel and manipulated by a diver so as to control the vertical and horizontal movements of the diver.

This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 755,613, filed August 18, 1958, now abandoned.

In recent years, diving for both pleasure and profit has become very widespread. There is now available simple and relatively inexpensive diving equipment referred to as skin diving equipment, which will permit swimmers to remain submerged for substantial lengths of time. People from all walks of life have been attracted to the use of this equipment in recreational activities, such as spear fishing and observing marine life forms. This simple equipment also has provided an impetus to commerical activities which depend upon the discovery and recovery of submerged material, such as treasure.

With the increased popularity of diving, there has come a demand for effective apparatus to be used in controlling the vertical and horizontal movements of a diver through the water. Such apparatus must be effective to minimize the physical exertion required of the diver, and it also must be inexpensive and easy to use if it is to fit into the general pattern established for skin diving equipment.

Various proposals have been advanced in attempts to meet this demand. One type of direction-controlling apparatus that has received some attention includes a board or sled structure adapted to be towed through the water by a power boat and controlled by the diver. When the diver changes the inclination of a control surface relative to the direction of bodily movement of the sled through the water, a reaction is produced tending to move the apparatus in a new direction. The diver clings to the apparatus and is carried along with it in the direction established by the inclination of the control surface.

The present invention is concerned with apparatus of this type. Its primary object is to provide improved apparatus which will be inexpensive to manufacture and which will be easy to use eifectively in controlling the movements of a diver through the water.

Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus of this type which will have improved steering characteristics in both the vertical and the horizontal directions.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide apparatus of this type which may be controlled effectively when grasped either by one hand of the diver or by both hands of the diver.

The foregoing objects may be realized, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, by the provision of a unitary buoyant article formed of plastic material. The article includes a main body provided with control surfaces suitable for controlling the vertical movements of the diver, handles protruding from opposite sides of the main body in position to be grasped by the diver and being provided with means for attaching tow ropes to the device, and a keel depending from a mid-portion of the body and having a hand grip near its rear edge by which the diver may control the inclination of the device with one hand when necessary. The keel is disposed at approximately right angles to the main body, and its side faces provide control surfaces by which the sufficient buoyancy to cause the sled 10 to float.

diver may control the horizontal movements of the device.

The body of the apparatus preferably has a concave top surface and a substantially fiat bottom surface. The concave top surface provides a fore-and-aft channel which tends to give a stabilizing eifect as the body moves through the Water. Moreover, when the front end of the body is inclined downwardly, the raised lateral edges of the body, resulting from the concave top face, provide control surface by which lateral movements of the article may be brought about during descent of the article. That is to say, these marginal portions of the body may provide control surfaces which assist the keel in controlling lateral movements of the device through the water.

This particular shape of the body also permits the establishment of a beneficial arrangement of buoyancy compartments or spaces within the interior of the body. The increased thickness of the lateral margins of the body makes it possible for the buoyancy to be greater in these zones than in the central portions of the unit, so as to increase the overall stability of the unit.

In the under Water environment where the present invention is to be used, it is often difiicult to hold on to moving objects. With this in mind, the various hand grip portions of the article of the present invention are so constructed as to minimize slippage. The handles preferably have rearwardly bowed hand grip portions, and these portions are grooved on their exterior surfaces. The hand grip in the keel also is virtually slip proof in that the divers hand actually passes around the rear edge of the keel, the fingers being inserted through an opening adjacent the rear edge and the palm or heel of the hand being disposed against the rear edge of the keel itself.

A more complete understanding of the invention, and a better appreciation of its many advantages, will be gained from a consideration of the following detailed description of certain embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a divers sled constructed in accordance with the present invention, the front of the sled being disposed toward the bottom of the sheet of drawings;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view, partly in section, of the sled of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the sled, taken from the right-hand side of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic View suggesting an alternative form of interior construction for the sled; and

FIG. 5 is a partial vertical cross sectional view through a portion of a sled constructed in the manner suggested in FIG. 4.

The sled 10 shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the drawings includes a main body 12, a keel 14 depending from the main body 12, and a pair of extensions or handles 16 and 18 projecting laterally from the mainbody 12. -It is preferred that the sled 10 be formed of a suitable plastic material and when so formed, the several portions of the sled may be integral with each other.

The main body 12 of the sled 10 preferably is of the shape illustrated best in FIGS. 1 and 2. It includes a concave upper face 20 and a fiat lower face 22. This gives the body 12 a relatively thin central portion and relatively thick lateral edge portions. These edge portions are identified in the drawings by the reference numerals 24 and 26.

The main body 12 preferably is hollow to provide As shown by the broken away part of FIG. 2, the thickness of the air space 28 within the body 12 is greatest at the 3 marginal edge portions 24 and 26 and at a central portion adjacent the upper end of the keel 14 of the sled 10. This air space 28 extends generally from front to back of the sled 10, except for the portion 30 thereof that protrudes into the interior of the keel 14. This portion 30 terminates inwardly of the device, as shown in FIG. 3.

The keel 14 is generally planar in configuration. Its front edge 32 slopes rearwardly and downwardly from a point spaced from the leading edge of the main body 12 of the sled. Its rear edge 34 also slopes rearwardly and downwardly from the main body 12 of the sled 1i and the two edges meet in a smoothly curved line at the bottom. Smooth curves 36 also are provided in the zone where the keel 14 joins the main body 12 of the sled.

As shown in FIG. 3, the keel 14 is provided with an opening 38 and a smoothly curved hand grip 39 near its rear end. This opening 38 is of a size such that it may accommodate the hand of a diver and permit the diver to hold on to the sled with one hand.

Each of the handles 16 and 18 includes a rearwardly bowed hand grip 40 having a grooved outer surface to prevent the hands of the diver from slipping. It is preferred that the handles 16 and 18 be disposed approximately along a vertical plane passing through the center of gravity of the sled 10. This arrangement materially facilitates the guiding operation to be performed by the diver in utilizing the sled 10.

The outer end portion of each of the handles 16 and 18 is provided with a vertical aperture 42 for receiving a tow rope 44, or the like, by which the sled 10 may be drawn through the water. In this connection, it is pointed out that the ropes 44 may be components of a conventional bridle of the type employed by water skiers. The bridle is connected to a cable leading to some powered vessel.

The manner in which the sled 10 is utilized to control the direction of movement of a diver through the Water now will be evident. When the sled 10 is being towed by a boat, there is relative movement between the water and the various exterior surface portions of the sled 10. If a major control surface is inclined relative to the direction of bodily movement of the sled 10 through the water, reaction forces will be developed tending to swing the sled into some other path.

As an example, let it be assumed that the sled 10 is moving along horizontally and that the diver wishes to descend. This may be accomplished by pivoting the main body 112 of the sled 10 about a horizontal axis passing through the tow rope holes 42 to a position in which the front end of the main body 12 is substantially below the rear end of the main body 12. In this position, the top face is inclined relative to the direction of horizontal movement of the sled 1t through the water, and a reaction force is established tending to move the whole sled 1% downwardly. by the handles 16 and 18 or by the hand grip opening 38 in the keel 14 will be carried down with the sled 10.

During downward movement of the sled 10, the keel 14 loses some of its effectiveness as a means for controlling the lateral movements of the sled 10. However, the vertical surfaces of the thick marginal edge portions 24 and 26 of the body 12 are available and are effective when the front end of the main body 12 is depressed and the sled 10 is descending.

When the diver desires to ascend, the procedure is reversed. in this case, the front end of the main body 12 is tilted upwardly, so that the bottom surface 22 of the main body 12 becomes available as a control surface to produce a lifting force.

The operation of the keel 14 in controlling lateral movements of the sled 10 is very much like that of the rudder of a boat. The major difference is that the entire sled 10 moves with the keel 14. Nevertheless, the effect is similar in that the surfaces of the keel 14 develop reaction forces when they are inclined relative to the direction A diver clinging to the sled 10 either that they close oil? the individual cells 56.

of bodily movement of the sled 10 through the water. These forces combine with the towing force to establish a new path for the sled It).

Should the diver ever release the sled 10 while submerged, it will immediately float to the surface of the Water where it may be recovered easily. The appearance of the sled 10 at the surface also provides notice to the boat operator of the fact that the diver is no longer being towed so that appropriate action may be taken.

Another embodiment of the invention is suggested diagrammatically in FIG. 4. It is very similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the principal dilference being that the interior of the sled 50 of FIG. 4 is cellular in construction.

Over most of the body portion 52 andlhehandle portions 54 of the sled 50, the interior is made up of small cells 56 each of which has an area in a horizontal plane of about one quarter of an inch. Similar cells 58 are provided in a central portion of the main body 52, but these are somewhat larger. The area of a typical cell 58 may be about one inch, for example.

FIG. 5 illustrates a plastic construction by which the cells 56 may be formed, and it will be understood that the cells 58 may be formed in a similar manner. The body 52 and the handles 54 are made up of a lower skin 60, an upper skin 62, and a multiplicity of longitudinal and transverse ribs 64 and 66 extending between the upper and lower skins 60 and 62.

The ribs 64 and 66 serve two major purposes. First of all, it will be observed that they result in an egg-crate type of construction. Such a construction is very strong for its weight, and it can be expected to Withstand the various strains that are imposed upon diving apparatus during use. Another purpose of the ribs 64 and 66 is If the sled 50 should contact some under water object that would rupture a portion of its lower skin 60, for example, the cellular construction would prevent flooding of the entire interior of the body portion 52 and the handles 54. Instead, only those cells 56 or 58 immediately adjacent the point of rupture would be affected. Thus, the buoyancy of the sled 50 as a whole would be retained.

Although certain embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail, it is obvious that various changes and modifications will occur to persons skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the foregoing be considered as exemplary only and that the scope of the invention be ascertained from the following claims.

I claim:

'1. Apparatus for use in controlling the movements of a diver through the water either above or below the surface comprising a unitary body, a keel having a handle therein and depending from said body, and a pair of handles protruding laterally from opposite sides of said body and rigidly secured thereto by which the diver may manipulate said body to control his movement through the water. 7

2. Apparatus for use in controlling the movements of a diver through the water comprising a rigid, unitary body and a keel depending from said body substantially midway between the lateral margins thereof, said keel being provided with means for permitting the diver to grip the keel with one hand and thereby to control both the inclination of said body relative to a horizontal plane and the inclination of said keel relative to a vertical plane.

3. Apparatus for use in controllingthe movements of a diver through the Water either above or below the surface comprising a body having a concave top surface forming vertical surfaces at both edges of said body and a substantially flat bottom surface, and a pair of extensions protruding laterally from opposite sides of said body at locations intermediate the front and rear ends of said body, each of said extensions being provided with means adapted to permit attachment of a towing element thereto whereby the apparatus may be towed through the water.

4. Apparatus for use in controlling the movements of a diver through the water either above or below the surface comprising a buoyant body having a concave top surface and a substantially flat bottom surface, a keel depending from said body, and a pair of handles protruding laterally from opposite sides of said body at locations intermediate the front and rear ends of said body so that a greater area of said body is disposed forwardly of said handles, each of said handles including a rearwardly bowed hand grip portion having a grooved exterior surface, each of said handles also being provided with an opening spaced outwardly from said hand grip portion adapted to permit attachment of a tow rope thereto.

5. A unitary buoyant plastic article for use in controlling the movements of a diver through the water comprising a body portion having a concave top surface and a substantially flat bottom surface, said body portion including a closed air space intermediate said top and bottom surfaces, said space being of greater depth near the lateral margins of said body than at interior portions thereof, a keel portion depending from said bottom surface midway between the lateral margins of said body portion and having a snrall air space in its upper end communicating with the air space in said body portion, said keel portion being provided with an aperture near the rear end thereof substantially below the body portion adapted to enable the diver to grip the keel with one hand, and a pair of handle portions protruding laterally from said body portion at locations intermediate the front and rear ends of said body portion, each of said handle portions being provided with a hand grip portion and an aperture spaced outwardly from said hand grip portion to permit the attachment of a tow rope thereto.

6. Apparatus for use in controlling the movements of a diver through the Water either below or above the surface of the water, comprising a horizontally extending body having a concave top surface and vertically extending surfaces at both edges thereof, a pair of extensions protruding laterally from opposite sides of said body at locations intermediate the front and rear ends of said body, each of said extensions being provided with means adapted to permit attachment of a towing element thereto whereby the apparatus may be towed through the water, and means rigid with said body including a hand grip portion substantially midway between the lateral margins of said body for permitting the diver to control the inclination of said body as it is being towed through the water.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 146,659 J-aegar Apr. 22, 1947 D. 157,564 Byerly Mar. 7, 1950 1,608,000 Ranlett Nov. 23, 1926 2,052,240 Min Aug. 25, 1936 2,531,946 Parker Nov. 28, 1950 2,708,759 Strawn May 24, 1955 2,709,266 Munn May 3 1, 1955 2,722,021 Keogh-Dwyer Nov. 1, 1955 2,843,860 Grootveld July 22, 1958

US848583A 1959-10-26 1959-10-26 Diving apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3039415A (en)

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3163148A (en) * 1963-05-06 1964-12-29 Howard C Duren Diving plane
US3379164A (en) * 1966-03-03 1968-04-23 Pillon Justin Benoit Nautical apparatus having a removable centerboard
US3441952A (en) * 1967-12-04 1969-04-29 John Gary Strader Hand held propulsion unit
US3625172A (en) * 1969-10-03 1971-12-07 William James Gilster Underwater steering and diving vane for swimmers
US3942205A (en) * 1975-05-12 1976-03-09 Gnosjoplast Ab Swimming plate with handle
US4207829A (en) * 1978-07-24 1980-06-17 Robert L. Meister Towable swimmer-controlled aquatic plane device
EP0309024A1 (en) * 1987-09-10 1989-03-29 Franz Baumann Device for floating in the towing wake of a ship
FR2635307A1 (en) * 1988-08-12 1990-02-16 Hugel Christian Submarine exploration device
US20110053442A1 (en) * 2009-09-01 2011-03-03 Jones Justin E Water board

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1608000A (en) * 1926-06-26 1926-11-23 Balsa Wood Company Inc Waterboard
US2052240A (en) * 1935-11-06 1936-08-25 Frank K Min Water skate
US2531946A (en) * 1948-01-29 1950-11-28 George B D Parker Surfboard
US2708759A (en) * 1952-04-29 1955-05-24 Wilbur C Kinney Power driven draft unit
US2709266A (en) * 1952-04-18 1955-05-31 Joseph E Munn Swimming boards
US2722021A (en) * 1951-10-12 1955-11-01 Walter C Keogh-Dwyer Surface and sub-surface human being propulsion device
US2843860A (en) * 1956-08-07 1958-07-22 John Dylong Underwater vehicle or sled

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1608000A (en) * 1926-06-26 1926-11-23 Balsa Wood Company Inc Waterboard
US2052240A (en) * 1935-11-06 1936-08-25 Frank K Min Water skate
US2531946A (en) * 1948-01-29 1950-11-28 George B D Parker Surfboard
US2722021A (en) * 1951-10-12 1955-11-01 Walter C Keogh-Dwyer Surface and sub-surface human being propulsion device
US2709266A (en) * 1952-04-18 1955-05-31 Joseph E Munn Swimming boards
US2708759A (en) * 1952-04-29 1955-05-24 Wilbur C Kinney Power driven draft unit
US2843860A (en) * 1956-08-07 1958-07-22 John Dylong Underwater vehicle or sled

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3163148A (en) * 1963-05-06 1964-12-29 Howard C Duren Diving plane
US3379164A (en) * 1966-03-03 1968-04-23 Pillon Justin Benoit Nautical apparatus having a removable centerboard
US3441952A (en) * 1967-12-04 1969-04-29 John Gary Strader Hand held propulsion unit
US3625172A (en) * 1969-10-03 1971-12-07 William James Gilster Underwater steering and diving vane for swimmers
US3942205A (en) * 1975-05-12 1976-03-09 Gnosjoplast Ab Swimming plate with handle
US4207829A (en) * 1978-07-24 1980-06-17 Robert L. Meister Towable swimmer-controlled aquatic plane device
EP0309024A1 (en) * 1987-09-10 1989-03-29 Franz Baumann Device for floating in the towing wake of a ship
FR2635307A1 (en) * 1988-08-12 1990-02-16 Hugel Christian Submarine exploration device
US20110053442A1 (en) * 2009-09-01 2011-03-03 Jones Justin E Water board

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