US3379157A - Watercraft with submersible marine observation chamber - Google Patents

Watercraft with submersible marine observation chamber Download PDF

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Publication number
US3379157A
US3379157A US58681766A US3379157A US 3379157 A US3379157 A US 3379157A US 58681766 A US58681766 A US 58681766A US 3379157 A US3379157 A US 3379157A
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cabin
water
tank
observation
watercraft
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William L Post
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William L. Post
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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
    • B63C11/48Means for searching for underwater objects
    • B63C11/49Floating structures with underwater viewing devices, e.g. with windows ; Arrangements on floating structures of underwater viewing devices, e.g. on boats
    • 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
    • B63C11/34Diving chambers or underwater vessels, e.g. unmanned, with mechanical link, e.g. cable, to a base
    • B63C11/36Diving chambers or underwater vessels, e.g. unmanned, with mechanical link, e.g. cable, to a base of closed type
    • B63C11/38Diving chambers or underwater vessels, e.g. unmanned, with mechanical link, e.g. cable, to a base of closed type with entrance above water surface

Description

W. L. POST April 23, 1968 WATERCRAFT WITH SUBMERSIBLE MARINE OBSERVATION CHAMBER Filed Oct. 14, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. PO87;

W/L L L444 1.

Adz mew, 14441144 April 23, 1968 w, 051 3,379,157

WATERCRAFT WITH SUBMERSIBLE MARINE OBSERVATION CHAMBER Filed Oct. 14, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. W/LL/4M 4. P067,

Aim 12M; 1W

This invention relates to watercraft equipped for sub surface marine observation, and more particularly to a craft provided with an observation chamber movable from an elevated position above the water surface to a lowered position in which the chamber is at least partially submerged.

Conventional marine observation water-erart are deep hulled vessels accommodating one or more persons in the hull below the water surface for viewing through windows. Because of their depth, these vessels are necessarily large and expensive to build, present high inertia and frictional drag against movement, and are thus very slow and expensive to propel through the water.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a marine observation craft which will overcome the above-outlined disadvantages of the conventional craft.

It is an important object of the invention to provide a marine observation chamber, in capsule form, which may be carried above the water surface by a watercraft in motion so as to prevent drag or any hindering effect which will reduce the speed of the craft, but which chamber is readily lowerable to a submerged position for viewing purposes when the craft has stopped or is operating at reduced speed.

Another object of the invention is to provide a combination of a watercraft with a movable marine observation chamber having the above-described characteristics, in which the observation chamber is pivotally-mounted to swing from its elevated to its lowered position and for which eflicient and simply constructed means are provided to perform this movement and to return the cabin to its elevated position.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a combination of a watercraft with a marine observation cabin having the above-described characteristics, wherein is further provided a ballast water chamber attached to the observation cabin for receiving ballast water to move the cabin to its submerged position.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a combination of a watercraft with a marine observation cabin having the above-described characteristics, wherein is further provided means for jettisoning the ballast water from said chamber to return the cabin to its elevated position through resulting buoyancy of the cabin and chamber in the body of water in which they are partially submerged.

The novel features which are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures and in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a boat provided with a marine observation cabin according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the combination shown in FIG. 1, with parts broken away to reveal the observation cabin, in its elevated position, as shown in solid lines, and in its lowered position as shown in broken lines;

td States Patent FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical section of the observation cabin mounted in a well in the boat, the cabin being shown in its lowered position; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIG. 3, and looking in the direction of the arrows.

The term watercraft as used herein is intended to cover any type of vessel capable of floating or moving on the surface of a body of water including, for example, boats, rafts, pontoons, floats, and the like. An observation cabin, such as that to be described later herein, and which according to the invention is combined with the watercraft, may be pivoted between ontoons, d avited from a vessel, or pivoted in a live well on a boat.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown as comprising the combination of a boat 10 equipped with a movable, and in this instance, a pivoted chamber, or cabin, generally indicated by the reference numeral 12. The boat 10 may be of any conventional construction, size, shape and appearance, but in a preferred embodiment illustrated, is provided with a live well 14 defined by the fore-and-aft walls 16, 18 and the sidewalls 20, and being open at the top and the bottom to admit water through the bottom to a level which coincides with the level of the surface of the body of water in which the boat is floated at the exterior of the hull. A pair of aligned stub shafts 22. protrude into the well from the sidewalls 2i) and are received in suitable sockets on the observation cabin to act as pivot shafts for swinging movements of the cabin between its upper and lower positions. Similarly, a pair of brackets 24 of inverted L-shape are fastened to the sidewalls 20 of the well to act as stops for limiting the downward pivotal motion of the observation chamber.

While the observation cabin may take many different shapes and may be formed of wood, metal, plastic, or any suitable material, the cabin 12 of the preferred embodiment, with reference particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, is shown as comprising a generally rectangular chamber having fore-and-aft walls 26, 27 respectively, which are inclined downwardly toward each other, and parallel sidewalls 39 which are polyhedral in shape and larger at the top than at the bottom. The rear wall 28 is bent to form a forwardly-projecting, horizontal seat portion 30, and the forward wall projects forwardly and downwardly at 32, and then rearwardly and downwardly at 34 to enclose with the bottom wall 36 a forweirdly-projecting chamber portion 38 for the legs of one or more observers. A wrap-around window 40 is provided to cover openings in the side and forward walls 36, 26 retained by upper and lower flange supports 42, 44. The window 40 may be made of any suit able transparent material, such as glass or plastic, capable of being bent to the shape of the observation cabin. A small flat pane 48 of window glass, or plastic, is similarly secured by similar flanged supports 42, 44 to cover an opening in the rear wall 28. Suitable seals, not shown, are provided in the flanged supports 42, 44 for sealing the cabin 12 in water-tight condition at the window peripheries.

The top of the cabin is partially covered by a waterballast tank generally indicated at 50 and which comprises a closed receptacle having a bottom wall 52, rear wall 54, sidewalls 56, and inclined rearwardly and upwardly-directed upper wall 58. Tank 50 thus formed is completely watertight, being of triangular cro s-section as best viewed in FIG. 3. The sidewalls 56 are provided with exterior sockets 6%? which journal the pivot stub shafts 22 for turning the cabin 12 and the integrally-secured ballast tank 59 between their several positions to be described. The cabin and tank may be fastened together at the tank wall 52 by welding or any other suitable way which will preserve the watertightness of each.

To enable access to the observation cabin, an opening is provided in the upper wall 58 of the ballast tank 50 aligned with a similar opening in the lower wall 52, and a tubular member 72 forming a passageway for entry and exit of observers to the observation cabin, is secured in said openings in a manner to maintain the tank 50 watertight by flanges welded to said walls. The tubular access member 72 leaves the greater part of the cabin 12 open to atmosphere at all times providing air supply and avoiding claustrophobia usually associated with conventional observation vessels. The tubular member 72 is large enough to pass at least one person and is verticallydisposed when the observation cabin 12 is in its lowered posiiion with the ballast tank 50 seated on the stop members 24, so that a passenger on the boat may enter the observation cabin 12 feet first through the passageway 72.

The ballast tank is provided with a vent 62 in one of its sidewalls 56, or top wall 58, which vent is near the uppermost portion of the tank 50 when the tank and cabin are lowered, as shown in FIG. 3. The ballast tank is also provided with a water-inlet nozzle 64 controlled by a valve operated by a manual wheel 65, and a waterjettison nozzle 68 similarly controlled by valve 70. The jettison nozzle is desirably located in the lowermost wall of the ballast tank 59 close to the axis of the pivot sockets so as to be under water when the cabin 12 is in lowered position and so directed as to empty all of the water downwardly into the body of water in which the craft is floating when the observation cabin is completely elevated or in intermediate positions. However, for convenient illustration, the jettison nozzle 68 has been shown, FIG. 2, placed in the upper wall 58 of the ballast tank 50.

Any suitable means for pumping ballast water into the tank 56 may be provided, a pump 74, driven by an electric motor 76, being shown for this purpose mounted on the deck of the boat 10. The pump is provided with a flexible inlet conduit 78 which passes from the inlet of the pump across the deck and down the side of the hull to a level below the surface of the water in which the boat is floating. A similar flexible discharge conduit 80 is connected to the discharge side of the pump and passes along the deck, being looped to provide added length, for connection to the inlet 64 of the tank 50.

It will be noted that when observation cabin 12 and attached ballast tank 50 are in their upper position, shown in FIG. 2, the wall 58 of the ballast tank is more-or-less vertically disposed, while the wall 52 is inclined upwardly and rearwardly. Accordingly, the major part of the volume of the ballast tank is to the left, or rear side, of the vertical plane including the pivot axis of the ballast tank. Consequently, when the pump is operated to fill the ballast tank, the weight of the ballast water will pivot the tank and attached observation chamber downwardly from the upper fullline position to the lower, broken-line position shown in FIG. 2. Opening the jettison valve through control 70 allows ballast water to flow out of the tank 50 under atmospheric pressure introduced by the vent The buoyancy of the hollow observation cabin 12 will then cause the cabin and the attached ballast tank to rise and pivot upwardly to the illustrated upper position, which is reached when all of the ballast water has been jettisoned. Additional stops may be provided, for limiting the upward pivotal movement of the observation cabin, but these are not shown. The portion of the tank 50, which is to the right of a vertical plane containing the pivot sockets ea, acts as a counterweight to hold the cabin 12 in its upper position assisted, if necessary, by floating of wall portion 34.

The craft 10 is provided with any suitable means for propulsion as, for example, an outboard motor, or an inboard engine, shaft and propeller. These being conventional, are not illustrated.

In operation of the described device, the boat 10 is run under power and at full speed, if desired, to whatever location is chosen for underwater viewing. During this movement the observation cabin 12 is in its upper position shown in MG. 2. Upon reaching the desired location, the boat is stopped, or slowed, and water is pumped into the ballast tank 50 by operation of pump 74. As the ballast tank fills, the observation cabin pivots to its lowered position, shown in broken lines, the tank seating on the stops 24. One or more observers then enter the cabin 12 through the passageway 72, seating themselves on the seat 30, and proceed to view marine life through the window 40. Upon completion of viewing, the observers exit to the boat deck through the passageway 72. The jettison valve is opened by control 70, and as the ballast water empties out of the tank 50, the cabin 12 will pivot back to its elevated position. The boat may then be driven away at full speed, hack to a mooring dock, for example.

Although a certain specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination, a watercraft for surface aqueous movement, a cabin having transparent portions for subsurface marine observation, pivot means mounting said cabin on said craft for movement from an elevated position in which the cabin is substantially above the water surface to a lowered pOSiliOn in which the cabin is at least partially submerged, and said cabin having a ballast-waterreceiving compartment positioned above the water surface in the elevated position of the cabin, and a water discharge nozzle including a control valve mounted near the bottom of said compartment close to said pivot means.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said craft has a hull including walls defining a well open at both top and bottom to admit water to the same level as at the exterior of the hull, said pivot of the mounting means being so disposed in relation to said well walls as to allow the cabin to swing in the well to its lowered position.

3. The combination set forth in claim 2 wherein a stop is provided on a wall of said well to prevent swinging motion of the cabin beyond said lowered position.

4. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein said cabin when in its lowered position presents an upwardly opening passageway for entry and exit of observers.

5. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein is additionally provided means for feeding water to said ballast-water-receiving compartment.

6. The combination set forth in claim 5 wherein said ballast-water-receiving compartment is a tank secured to that wall of said cabin which is uppermost in said lowered position.

7. The combination set forth in claim 6 wherein said tank extends generally upwardly when the cabin is in elevated position and has the greater portion of its volume on one side of a vertical plane including the axis of said pivot means, whereby feeding of ballast water to said tank will cause the cabin to swing about said 1 pivot means to its lowered position.

8. The combination set forth in claim 7 wherein said cabin when in its lowered position presents an upwardly opening passageway through said tank for entry and exit of observers.

9. The combination set forth in claim 7 wherein said means for feeding water to said tank comprises a pump 5 having a water intake and a flexible discharge conduit connected to said tank.

10. The combination set forth in claim 9 wherein said tank has a vent port situated in an upper portion when the cabin is in its elevated position.

11. The combination set forth in claim 10 wherein said water-dischar e nozzle control valve is movably operable between closed and fully open posi ions, whereby ballast water may be jettisoned by merely openiwg said valve thereby causing the cabin to turn about said pivot and float from its lowered to its elevated position.

No references cited.

ANDREW H. FARRELL, Primary Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. IN COMBINATION, A WATERCRAFT FOR SURFACE AQUEOUS MOVEMENT, A CABIN HAVING TRANSPARENT PORTIONS FOR SUBSURFACE MARINE OBSERVATION, PIVOT MEANS MOUNTING SAID CABIN ON SAID CRAFT FOR MOVEMENT FROM AN ELEVATED POSITION IN WHICH THE CABIN IS SUBSTANTIALLY ABOVE THE WATER SURFACE TO A LOWERED POSITION IN WHICH THE CABIN IS AT LEAST PARTIALLY SUBMERGED, AND SAID CABIN HAVING A BALLAST-WATER-RECEIVING COMPARTMENT POSITIONED ABOVE THE WATER SURFACE IN THE ELEVATED POSITION OF THE CABIN, AND A WATER DISCHARGE NOZZLE INCLUDING A CONTROL VALVE MOUNTED NEAR THE BOTTOM OF SAID COMPARTMENT CLOSE TO SAID PIVOT MEANS.
US3379157A 1966-10-14 1966-10-14 Watercraft with submersible marine observation chamber Expired - Lifetime US3379157A (en)

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Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS4864989U (en) * 1971-11-25 1973-08-17
JPS493374A (en) * 1972-05-01 1974-01-12
FR2463049A1 (en) * 1979-08-07 1981-02-20 Jacques Rougerie floating and unsinkable watercraft
FR2606359A1 (en) * 1986-11-07 1988-05-13 Lepeu Jean Laurent Floating, lightweight and semi-submersible nautical craft
FR2609959A1 (en) * 1987-01-27 1988-07-29 Ramond Marcel Pleasure craft for observation Seabed
FR2654700A1 (en) * 1989-11-23 1991-05-24 Norlac Plastiques Craft intended for interventions on objects at sea
WO1998038084A1 (en) * 1997-02-27 1998-09-03 Hbs Herf R & D Pty. Ltd. Underwater viewing vessel
EP0967146A1 (en) * 1998-06-26 1999-12-29 Fabrice Ortogni Submersible watercraft
US6302043B1 (en) * 1997-08-08 2001-10-16 Gerhard Wippermann Discovery boat
US6612251B1 (en) * 2002-03-29 2003-09-02 C. Clifford Ness Mobile undersea habitat
FR2898579A1 (en) * 2006-03-15 2007-09-21 Gilbert Roux Transparent wall cabin immersing and pull up device for use with e.g. mobile hull, has cabin maintained in rails guiding vertical displacement, where cabin is immobilized in bottom position and is positioned outside water by locking device
US20070278796A1 (en) * 2006-06-06 2007-12-06 Power Daniel E System for generating electricity from fluid currents
US20110101697A1 (en) * 2008-07-01 2011-05-05 Oceana Energy Company Systems and methods for supporting underwater energy conversion devices
WO2013186760A1 (en) * 2012-06-14 2013-12-19 Martin Kuster Semi submarine
US9359991B2 (en) 2009-10-29 2016-06-07 Oceana Energy Company Energy conversion systems and methods

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None *

Cited By (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS4864989U (en) * 1971-11-25 1973-08-17
JPS516868Y2 (en) * 1971-11-25 1976-02-25
JPS493374A (en) * 1972-05-01 1974-01-12
FR2463049A1 (en) * 1979-08-07 1981-02-20 Jacques Rougerie floating and unsinkable watercraft
FR2606359A1 (en) * 1986-11-07 1988-05-13 Lepeu Jean Laurent Floating, lightweight and semi-submersible nautical craft
FR2609959A1 (en) * 1987-01-27 1988-07-29 Ramond Marcel Pleasure craft for observation Seabed
EP0277068A1 (en) * 1987-01-27 1988-08-03 Marcel Ramond Pleasure boat for observing the bottom of the sea
FR2654700A1 (en) * 1989-11-23 1991-05-24 Norlac Plastiques Craft intended for interventions on objects at sea
WO1998038084A1 (en) * 1997-02-27 1998-09-03 Hbs Herf R & D Pty. Ltd. Underwater viewing vessel
US6302043B1 (en) * 1997-08-08 2001-10-16 Gerhard Wippermann Discovery boat
EP0967146A1 (en) * 1998-06-26 1999-12-29 Fabrice Ortogni Submersible watercraft
US6612251B1 (en) * 2002-03-29 2003-09-02 C. Clifford Ness Mobile undersea habitat
FR2898579A1 (en) * 2006-03-15 2007-09-21 Gilbert Roux Transparent wall cabin immersing and pull up device for use with e.g. mobile hull, has cabin maintained in rails guiding vertical displacement, where cabin is immobilized in bottom position and is positioned outside water by locking device
US20070278796A1 (en) * 2006-06-06 2007-12-06 Power Daniel E System for generating electricity from fluid currents
US7453166B2 (en) 2006-06-06 2008-11-18 Oceana Energy Company System for generating electricity from fluid currents
US20090096216A1 (en) * 2006-06-06 2009-04-16 Oceana Energy Company System for generating electricity from fluid currents
US7604454B2 (en) 2006-06-06 2009-10-20 Oceana Energy Company System for generating electricity from fluid currents
US20110101697A1 (en) * 2008-07-01 2011-05-05 Oceana Energy Company Systems and methods for supporting underwater energy conversion devices
US9359991B2 (en) 2009-10-29 2016-06-07 Oceana Energy Company Energy conversion systems and methods
US10060473B2 (en) 2009-10-29 2018-08-28 Oceana Energy Company Energy conversion systems and methods
WO2013186760A1 (en) * 2012-06-14 2013-12-19 Martin Kuster Semi submarine
US9371111B2 (en) 2012-06-14 2016-06-21 Martin Kuster Semi submarine
US9701377B2 (en) 2012-06-14 2017-07-11 Martin Kuster Semi submarine

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