US3605149A - Signal buoy - Google Patents

Signal buoy Download PDF

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Publication number
US3605149A
US3605149A US3605149DA US3605149A US 3605149 A US3605149 A US 3605149A US 3605149D A US3605149D A US 3605149DA US 3605149 A US3605149 A US 3605149A
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Prior art keywords
buoy
section
signal
end
visible
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Expired - Lifetime
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John B Keats
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Borg-Warner Corp
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Borg-Warner Corp
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    • 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
    • B63B22/166Buoys specially adapted for marking a navigational route comprising a light

Abstract

A FLOATABLE SIGNAL BUOY FOR MARINE USE INCLUDING AN ELONGATED BODY HAVING A VISIBLE SECTION DEFINING A SIGNAL PORTION AND A SUBMERGIBLE SECTION DEFINING A WEIGHTED END PROVIDING A RESTORING FORCE TO MAINTAIN THE BODY IN AN ESSENTIALLY VERTICAL OPERATING POSITION. THE BODY DEFINES A BALLAST CHAMBER ADJACENT THE WEIGHTED END AND A CONDUIT IS PROVIDED TO INTRODUCE AIR INTO THE BALLAST CHAMBER TO INCREASE BUOYANCY TO CAUSE THE BUOY TO ASSUME AN OBLIQUE ATTITUDE WITH RESPECT TO THE SURFACE OF THE WATER

Description

Scph 20. 1971 .1. B. Kms 3,605,149

SIGNAL BUOY Filid Aug. 22, 1969 2 Shun-She l f 6 E25] /10 l :iF-ff; L

il n 22 BYMM ATTORNEY J. B. KEATS SIGNAL BUQY sept. 2o, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet B Filed Aug. 22. 1969 lNVENTOR ATTORNEY lUnited States Patent 3,605,149 SIGNAL BUOY John B. Keats, Scottsburg, Ind., assigner to Borg-Warner Corporation, Chicago, lll. Filed Aug. 22, 1969, Ser. No. 852,389 Int. Cl. B63b 2.7/52, 51/02 ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A floatable signal buoy for marine use including an elongated body having a visible section defining 'a signal portion and a submergible section defining a weighted end providing a restoring force to maintain the body in an essentially vertical operating position. The body defines a ballast chamber adjacent the weighted end and a conduit is provided to introduce air into the ballast chamber to increase buoyancy to cause the buoy to assume an oblique attitude with respect to the surface of the water.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to signal buoys for marine use. More particularly it relates to signal buoys capable of being easily moved from location to location while remaining in the water.

Signal buoys find Wide application in marking navigable channels, danger zones, land marks, submerged obstructions, and the like. In many cases, such as when the signal buoys are used in ocean waters, they must be of rugged construction and substantial size to provide the necessary durability under adverse environmental conditions and still provide satisfactory signalling capabilities even in rough seas.

Signal buoys are constructed in a manner to maximize their signalling capability. That is, every effort is made to provide a center of gravity as close as possible to the submerged end of the buoy to insure a normally vertical attitude. For this reason buoys cannot be conveniently towed from one location to another by a vessel since the load represented by the buoy is relatively great and the tracking properties of the buoy are poor.

Movement to a location of use aboard ship is also difficult because the weight and size of the signal buoy present an unwieldly and cumbersome load. The buoy cannot be readily moved about without the use of Winches or cranes.

In addition, the necessary rugged construction requires the use of materials, such as steel or other metals, which are subject to deterioration from the elements, particularly in salt Water applications. For this reason it is necessary to take extra precautions in protecting the exposed surfaces of the buoy from the elements.

The buoy of the present invention is constructed of durable non-metallic material of the same specific gravity as sea water which provides the necessary strength and resistance to deterioration due to adverse environmental conditions. The buoy includes means to render it easily movable through the water by increase in buoyancy causing it to assume an oblique angle With the surface of the water. The buoy may therefore be easily towed from one location to another by a vessel with the minimum of effort. The tracking properties of the buoy are excellent and a single vessel may therefore tow many buoys without difficulty.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Very generally the present invention is directed to a floatable signal buoy for marine use including an elongated body having a visible section defining a signal portion adapted to be normally exposed above the surface of the water and a submergible section defining a weighted ice end opposite the visible signal portion providing maximum resistance to displacement from the vertical by wave action. The body defines a ballast chamber adjacent the weighted section. Introduction of air into the ballast chamber increases buoyancy causing the buoy to assume an oblique position with respect to the surface of the water to render the buoy easily movable through the water with minimum effort.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a signal buoy illustrative of the principles of the present invention disposed in its normal operating position.

FIG. 2 is an elevational View of a signal buoy of FIG. l shown in its towing attitude; and

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevational view of -the signal buoy of FIG. l illustrative of various features of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Turning now to the drawings, there is illustrated a floatable signal buoy generally designated 10 which embodies the principles of the present invention. As best seen in FIGS. l and 2 the buoy includes a generally elongated body having a visible section 12 and a su-bmergible section 14 connected together to form a single buoy structure.

The buoy is constructed of durable non-metallic material which is impervious to the effects of salt water and other adverse environmental conditions. In this regard the buoy may be .formed of ABS plastic such as Cycolac (registered trademark). The visible section 12 defines the signalling portion of the buoy. It includes markings 16 on its outer surface such as the illustrated alternately colored bands which may be formed of fluorescent vinyl or the like for easy viewing at great distances. In addition a signal light 18 is provided at the end of the visible section to provide a luminated signal, visible at night. A mooring chain 20 is connected to the signal buoy for attachment to appropriate mooring facilities, such as an anchoring chain 22 illustrated in FIG. l.

As seen in FIG. l `the visible section 12 includes an outer wall 24 illustrated as a cylindrical tube sealed at one end by a cap 26 and at its opposite end by a disc 28 to dene buoyant chamber. The tube cap 2-6 and disc 28 are all formed of ABS plastic and may therefore be conveniently solvent welded into a water tight unit. The interior of the tubular section is filled with rigid buoyant foam material 30. The wall thickness of the cylindrical tube is such that it offers no impedance to micro-wave transmission.

A hollow tubular conduit 32 extends from the cap 26 through the disc 28 and into the submerged section 14. A second hollow tubular conduit 34 disposed interiorly of the wall 24 open at the wall 24 and at the disc 28. A closure valve 36 is disposed within the conduit 34 at the opening through the visible section 12 defined by wall 24.

The light 18 is supported by a support 38 secured to the cap 26 as by solvent welding. The support defines a lens receiving flange 40 which supports a lens 42 secured to the flange in water tight sealing relation by a clamp 44. A sealing gasket is disposed between flange 40 and the lens 42 to prevent ingress of moisture. Internally of the lens 42 there is supported a bulb and socket 46 which provides the source of illumination of the signal light 18. Conductors 48 and 49 connected to the socket extend downwardly through the tubular conduit 32.

Additionally, a radar reflector, not shown, may be disposed internally of the visible section 12. The reflector is protected from the elements by the tubular wall 24 and is at the same time effective to produce a signal decernable by radar.

The submerged section 14 includes an outer wall 52 in the form of an elongated tubular member having an expanded end 54. The lowermost end of the visible section 14 is disposed in telescoping relation within the expanded end 54 of the submerged section. The two sections are secured together as by solvent welding to provide a water tight seal 'between the inner surface of the expanded end 54 and the outer surface of the end of the visible section A cap 56 is provided at the end of the submerged sec tion 14 opposite the expanded end 54. Intermediate the expanded end 54 and the cap 56 there is provided a pair of spaced apart discs 58 and 60. A tubular member 62 is disposed in concentric spaced relation to the tubular wall 52 and extends between the disc 60 and the cap S6 to define a battery receiving chamber open at the end of the submerged section 14. A threaded closure member 64 is secured to the tubular member to seal the open end of the battery chamber to prevent entry of water.

The hollow tubular member 32 extending from the cap 26 of the submerged section 12 extends through the discs 58 and 60 and opens into the battery receiving chamber. A battery 66 is disposed within the chamber and provides the power source for the signal light 18. The conductors 48 and 49 extend from the bulb and socket 46 through the hollow tubular conduit 32 and into the battery chamber where they are connected to the battery 66.

The space between the outer tubular wall 52 and the tubular member 62 and the space between the discs 58 and 60 are filled with ballast material such as ferro-concrete. The concrete and the battery are located at the lowermost end of the buoy and therefore provide maximum resistance to displacement of the buoy from its Vertical position illustrated in FIG. 1.

The mooring chain 20 is connected to the signal buoy by a pair of spaced apart eye bolts 72 extending through the tubular walls of the visible section 12 and the submergible section 14. The lowermost bolt is disposed just above the disc 58 of the weighted end 0f the submergible section. The mooring chain is slack and the anchoring connection may be made by a ring slidable along the chain. This reduces the tendency of the buoy to pivot from the vertical in rapidly moving water.

In accordance with the present invention the outer tubular wall 52, disc 28 of the visible section 12 and disc 58 of the submergible section 14 define a ballast chamber 68. The ballast chamber 68 includes a pair of water entry apertures 70 disposed adjacent the disc 58. The hollow tubular conduit 34 opens through the disc 28 and communicates with the ballast chamber 68 adjacent its uppermost end.

The buoy 10 is illustrated in its normal operative signalling position in FIG. 1. In ithis position the ballast chamber 68 is filled with water and has essentially no influence on buoyancy. The buoyant nature of the buoy 10 is provided by the sealed visible section 12 filled with the buoyant rigid foam material.

To increase buoyancy air is introduced into the ballast chamber 68 through the valve 36 and hollow tubular conduit 34. The air displaces water through the water apertures 70. Closure of the valve 36 traps a pocket of air within the ballast chamber below the disc 28 and above the apertures 70. In effect the water displaced by the buoy is a lesser percentage of its weight and the buoyancy is increased. The buoy therefore raises up out of the water moving the center of gravity of the buoy closer to the surface, The weight of the upper visible section 12 of the buoy 10 overcomes the restoring force of the weighted submerged section 14 and the buoy assumes an oblique angle with respect to the water surface as illustrated in FIG. 2. In this position the buoy may be readily towed by a vessel from one location to another. The angular attitude of the buoy minimizes drag and provides good tracking properties.

A specific example of a buoy embodying the principles of the present invention has been constructed using ABS,

4 Cycolac (registered trademark), plastic. The buoy 10 is 24 feet in length. The visible section 12 and the submerged section 14 are formed of tubular material 12 inches in diameter, except for the expanded end 54 of the submerged section. The visible section 12 is filled with rigid buoyant foam having a density of about 2 lb./ft.3.

The tubular member 62 defining the battery chamber is 32 inches in length and approximately 9 inches in diameter. The discs 58 and 60 are disposed approximately 4 inches apart and the longitudinal length of the ballast chamber is approximately 48 inches. All separate elements of the buoy are fastened together by solvent welding where possible. A battery 66 is disposed in the battery chamber which provides approximately pounds of 'ballast and ferro-concrete weighing approximately 200 pounds is disposed between the wall 52, tubular member 62 and discs 58 and 60.

With the ballast chamber filled with water the buoy assumes a vertical position as illustrated in FIG. 1. Approximately 10.5 feet of the visible section 12 are exposed above the surface of the water.

When air is introduced into the ballast chamber 68 the buoyancy is increased to the extent that the weight of the visible section 12 overcomes the restoring force of the weighted submerged section 14 and the buoy assumes an oblique attitude for transport to another location.

What is claimed is:

1. A tioatable signal buoy including an elongated body having a visible section defining a signal portion, a submergible section dening a weighted end portion providing a restoring force to normally maintain said buoy in an essentially vertical operating position, said body defining a oodable ballast chamber in said submergible section, means for introducing air into said chamber to increase the buoyancy of said buoy and to raise its center of gravity sufiiciently to overcome said restoring force and to permit said buoy to assume an oblique towing angle in the water, a mooring and towing chain, and means for fixing said chain at one end to the visible section and at the other end to the submergible section, said chain being of greater length than the distance between said means for fixing the chain ends to the buoy to provide sufiicient slack for mooring the buoy in a substantially vertical attitude and for towing the buoy at an oblique angle.

2. A floatable buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ballast chamber includes a top and a bottom wall, said means for introducing air into said chamber communicates therewith at said top wall, and said chamber is in communication with the ambient sea adjacent said bottom wall.

3, A lioatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 2. wherein said visible section includes an elongated tubular outer wall sealed at opposite ends to define a buoyant chamber, said submergible section including an elongated tubular wall secured to one sealed end of said visible section in liquid tight relation.

4. A fioatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 3 wherein said submergible section includes an expanded end secured to said visible member in telescoping relation, said sealed end of said visible member defining said top wall of said ballast chamber.

5. A lioatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 4 wherein said means for introducing air into said ballast chamber includes a hollow tubular conduit within said visible section, open at one end to said ballast chamber at said top wall, and open at the other end at said tubular wall of said visible section, said conduct including a closure valve at the end adjacent said tubular wall.

6. A iioatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 1 wherein said visible section includes a signal light, and said submergible section weighted end portion includes a power source therefor, and conductor means extend between said light and said power source through said visible and submergible sections.

7 A oatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 3 wherein said tubular outer walls of said visible and submergible sections are made of ABS plastic.

8. A oatable signal buoy comprising an elongated body having a visible section defining a signal portion, said visible section including an elongated tubular outer wall sealed at opposite ends to dene a buoyant chamber, a submergible section defining a weighted end portion providing a restoring force to normally maintain said buoy in any essentially vertical operating position, said submergible section including an elongated tubular outer wall secured to one sealed end of said visible section in liquid Vtight relation, said body defining a floodable ballast chamber in said submergible section, means for introducing air into said ballast chamber to increase the buoyancy of said buoy sufficiently to overcome said restoring force and to permit said buoy to assume an oblique towing angle, said ballast chamber including a top and a bottom wall and being in communication with the ambient sea adjacent said bottom Wall, said means for introducing air into said ballast chamber including a hollow tubular conduit within said visible section, open to said ballast chamber at said top wall, and open at said tubular wall of said visible section, said conduit including a closure valve adjacent the end open at said tubular wall, a mooring and towing chain, and means for fixing said chain at one end 6 to the visible section and at the other end of the submergible section, said chain being of greater length than the distance between said means for fixing the chain ends to the buoy to provide suiicient slack for mooring the buoy in a substantially vertical attitude and for towing the buoy at an oblique angle.

9. A iloatable signal buoy as claimed in claim 8 wherein said visible section includes a signal light and said submergible section weighted end portion includes a power source therefor, a tubular conduit member extends through said ballast chamber top and bottom walls in sealed relationship therewith, and electric conductor means extend between said light and said power source through said visible section, said tubular conduit member and said submergible weighted end section.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,355,013 8/ 1944 Rochestie. 3,084,354 4/ 1963 Lunenschloss 9 8 3,273,526 9/1966 Glosten 114.5

MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner GREGORY W. OCONNER, Assistant Examiner

US3605149A 1969-08-22 1969-08-22 Signal buoy Expired - Lifetime US3605149A (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4055138A (en) * 1975-02-07 1977-10-25 Klein Associates, Inc. Underwater vehicle towing and recovery apparatus
US4344110A (en) * 1979-12-31 1982-08-10 Ruediger Dennis W Supplemental identification system for channel and similar marker lights
US5295882A (en) * 1991-07-08 1994-03-22 Mcdermott Kevin Marine signal device
US9739463B1 (en) * 2013-10-14 2017-08-22 Keith Donald Brookins Dock pile lighting system with elastic lighting source

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4055138A (en) * 1975-02-07 1977-10-25 Klein Associates, Inc. Underwater vehicle towing and recovery apparatus
US4344110A (en) * 1979-12-31 1982-08-10 Ruediger Dennis W Supplemental identification system for channel and similar marker lights
US5295882A (en) * 1991-07-08 1994-03-22 Mcdermott Kevin Marine signal device
US9739463B1 (en) * 2013-10-14 2017-08-22 Keith Donald Brookins Dock pile lighting system with elastic lighting source

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