(19)
(11)EP 3 066 004 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.07.2018 Bulletin 2018/27

(21)Application number: 14860978.7

(22)Date of filing:  05.11.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B63B 35/40(2006.01)
B63B 27/36(2006.01)
B63B 23/38(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/NO2014/050210
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/069118 (14.05.2015 Gazette  2015/19)

(54)

MULTI CRADLE APPARATUS

VORRICHTUNG MIT MEHREREN WIEGEN

APPAREIL À PLUSIEURS BERS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 08.11.2013 NO 20131491

(43)Date of publication of application:
14.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/37

(73)Proprietor: Vestdavit Gruppen AS
5160 Laksevåg (NO)

(72)Inventor:
  • KALVE, Atle
    N-5108 Hordvik (NO)

(74)Representative: Protector IP Consultants AS 
Oscarsgate 20
0352 Oslo
0352 Oslo (NO)


(56)References cited: : 
DE-A1- 1 965 838
GB-A- 527 599
GB-A- 191 214 420
DE-A1- 3 635 238
GB-A- 580 241
US-A1- 2006 182 554
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention in general, relates to an apparatus for launching and recovering boats from and onto a mother vessel or a ship.

    [0002] Particularly, the present invention relates to handling of daughter boats on a mother vessel, which apparatus can, accommodate, a substantially large number of daughter boats on the deck of the mother vessel and can launch and retrieve substantially large number of daughter boats, applying only a limited number of davits, making the overall arrangement very simple.

    [0003] More particularly, the present invention relates to an apparatus for handling daughter boats on a mother vessel according to the preamble of claim 1 and to a methodology for launching and retrieving daughter boats from and onto a mother vessel, according to the preamble of claims 7 and 8 respectively.

    TECHNICAL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0004] Apparatuses/devices for launching and recovery of daughter boats from and onto a mother vessel/ship are already known.

    [0005] Such mother boats may be lifeboats or rigid inflatable boats (commonly termed RIBs) and other designs of boats or vessels, often deployed by the navy or by maritime rescue operators.

    [0006] For launching daughter boats from a mother vessel, davits are connected to a line at each end of the boat and the boat is hoisted into water. This is time consuming and leaves the chances of detachment of the boats wide open. Similar chances exist during recovery of the mother boat as well. Hence, this traditional method and similar such methods have potentialities of causing loss of life and material.

    [0007] Deployment of ramp to avoid the problem in the aforesaid paragraph is known but then chances of collision exist in such ramp technology, which is nonetheless dangerous.

    [0008] Slightly more advanced technology for launching and recovery of daughter boats are also known. Davit assemblies on each side of the mother vessel are known, which are placed above a stationary cradle. Several transversely movable cradles carry these boats below the davit assemblies on the stationary cradle along rails for launching. However, the existence of too many transversely movable cradles limit the total space available for handling the daughter boats on the deck of the mother vessel. Further, too many davit assemblies have to be deployed for picking up the boats from the transversely moving cradles and for launching and retrieving the boats.

    [0009] Japanese patent publication JP2002087376 represents the closest prior art and discloses a simplified construction of a davit type boat-lifting device comprising a pair of hydraulically drivable columnar cradles turnably connected to a mother ship. A pair of wire ropes are delivered from the turnable ends of the cradle. The cradles are turned and a mounted boat lifted via wire ropes is lifted into and out of the mother ship. WO 20122069853, discloses a cradle for launching and recovering a boat. The cradle is shaped to have an axis and to support a boat. A moving mechanism moves the cradle in a first stowed position and to a second ramp position.

    [0010] US 1118499 A describes an apparatus for launching lifeboats from ships, comprising a series of frames pivotally mounted on the side of the ship, where each frame having a horizontal boat supporting member, said members being arranged out of horizontal alinement, and rollers carried by said horizontal members.

    [0011] US 2319855 A describes a motor torpedo boat carrier having upper and lower decks, a compartment between the decks for stowing motor torpedo boats, a hatch in the upper deck communicating with said compartment, a movable cradle in said compartment for supporting a motor torpedo boat, vertical guide rails in said compartment adjacent and supported by said hatch, upstanding arms on said cradle adapted to interlock with said guide rails for guiding the vertical movement of the cradle, a travelling carriage om the upper deck for carrying said cradle across the upper deck, depending guide rails carried by said carriage adapted to align with the guide rails in said compartment for co-acting with the arms on said cradle.

    [0012] NO 1361236 B describes a device for launching lifeboats from a ship, where the lifeboats are stored in a room in the aft part of the ship, from which room to a location close to the ship's water line a glide path in the form of a downward inclined tunnel to convey the lifeboats, is provided.

    [0013] The prior art documents acknowledged in the preceding paragraph and similar such documents not only have a complicated construction, but also fail to teach a simple mechanism by means of which a large number of daughter boats can be handled on and from the mother vessel, using a fewer number of davits. Further, prior art technology does not specifically teach how a single davit can handle a substantially large number of daughter boats.

    [0014] The present invention solves the drawbacks of prior art as recited in the preceding paragraph and meets other associated needs by applying a very simple apparatus having a plurality of longitudinally movable cradles which can securely hold, receive, lift and lower daughter boats and can simultaneously interact with a single transversely movable cradle. A single davit can pick up or deliver on the transversely movable cradle, a large number of daughter boats one after another.

    OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION



    [0015] It is the principal object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methodology for handling daughter boats on a mother vessel, which can accommodate, a substantially large number of daughter boats on the deck of the mother vessel and can launch and retrieve substantially large number of daughter boats, applying only a limited number of davits.

    [0016] Another object with present invention is to provide an apparatus of the above-mentioned kind, avoiding crossing of rails in order to achieve a substantially flushed deck.

    [0017] It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methodology for handling daughter boats on a mother vessel such that a single davit can launch and retrieve a substantially large number of daughter boats one after another.

    [0018] It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for handling daughter boats on a mother vessel which has a simple construction and is cost effective and boats can be launched selectively and also parked in desired locations.

    [0019] All through the specification including the claims, the words "vessel", "ship", "daughter boat" "life boat", "cradle", "davit/davit assembly", "deck", to be interpreted in the broadest sense of the respective terms and includes all similar items/devices/methods in the field known by other terms, as may be clear to persons skilled in the art.

    [0020] Restriction/limitation, if any, referred to in the specification, is solely by way of example and understanding the present invention.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0021] Present invention relates to an apparatus for handling daughter boats on a mother vessel comprising one davit assembly positioned atop a stationary cradle, each of which is located near a side edge of a deck of the vessel for launching and retrieving the boats from and onto the stationary cradle wherein the apparatus has a plurality of longitudinally movable cradles on the deck of the vessel for securely holding plurality of boats thereon and that the longitudinally movable cradles can move back and forth longitudinally and lift up vertically to transfer a boat onto or to receive a boat from, one transversely movable cradle which can transversely move back and forth for placing a boat onto or for receiving a boat from, the longitudinal cradles and any one stationary cradle.

    [0022] The invention also relates to a method for launching boats by applying the above apparatus according, wherein the method comprises the following steps:
    1. a) moving the transversely movable cradle along the transverse rail and positioning it selectively in line with the longitudinal cradle on which a boat desired to be launched is positioned;
    2. b) applying the lifting device to lift up the boat on the longitudinal cradle and moving the boat and the longitudinally movable cradle along longitudinal rail (3b) towards the transverse cradle;
    3. c) on reaching a suitable location very near the transverse cradle, placing the boat on the transverse cradle by lowering the lifting device;
    4. d) moving back the longitudinally cradle along the deck back to its original position on the deck;
    5. e) moving the transverse cradle near any one stationary cradle along the transverse rail;
    6. f) on reaching a suitable position, placing the boat on the stationary cradle;
    7. g) lifting the boat by a davit to allow the transversely movable cradle to move away from the stationary cradle for bringing further boats, using the davit to place the boat on the stationary cradle and launching the boat on sea applying the davit;
    8. h) repeating steps (a) to (g) as many times as required.


    [0023] Further preferred features of the invention are presented in the dependant claims

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0024] Having described the main features of the invention above, a more detailed and non-limiting description of an exemplary embodiment, with reference to the drawings is provided below.

    Figure 1a is a perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention according to a preferred embodiment when the launching operation has not begun.

    Figure 1b is an exploded view of the apparatus shown in figure 1a but without the daughter boats for the sake of simplicity and understanding.

    Figure 1c is a side view of the apparatus shown in figure 1a.

    Figure 1d is a front view of the apparatus shown in figure 1a.

    Figures 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a, 8a, 9a and 10a are perspective views of the apparatus shown in figure 1a, at various stages of launching operation in that order.

    Figures 2b and 2c are side views and front views respectively of the perspective shown in figure 2a.
    Similarly, figures 3b, 3c, 4b, 4c, 5b, 5c, 6b, 6c, are side views and front views respectively of the perspective views 3a, 4a, 5a and 6a in that order. Figures 7b, 8b, 9b and 10b are front views of the corresponding perspective views 7a, 8a, 9a and 10a.

    Figure 3d is an enlarged view of the front view shown in figure 3c just as figure 5d is that of figure 5c.

    Figure 11a is an enlarged side view of a longitudinally movable cradle with lifting units moved up to lift the daughter boat.

    Figure 11b is an enlarged side view of a longitudinally movable cradle with lifting device moved down and the daughter boat is lowered on the transversely movable cradle.

    Figures 12a and 12b are corresponding front views respectively of figures 11a and 11b.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0025] The following describes a preferred embodiment of the present invention which is purely exemplary for the sake of understanding the invention and non-limiting.

    [0026] In all the figures, like reference numerals represent like features. Further, when in the following it is referred to "top", "bottom", "upward", "downward", "above" or "below" , "right hand side " or "left hand side" and similar terms , this is strictly referring to an orientation with reference to the deck is considered to be horizontal with the sea bed, where the sea bed is considered to be horizontal and at the bottom.

    [0027] It should also be understood that the orientation of the various components might be otherwise than shown in the drawings, without deviating from the principle of the invention. Furthermore, the vessel/ship in detail, davits/davit assemblies and other related units are not shown in detail, as those are not consequential to the present invention and should be understood by persons skilled in the art.

    [0028] The number of components shown in the figures can also vary within the scope of the present invention. Furthermore, the description refers to lifeboats on a ship and similarly the figures also illustrate lifeboats. This is for the sake of simplicity. It should be understood that other daughter boats/vessels as may be known, also fall within the scope of the present invention.

    [0029] Figure 1a is a perspective view of the basic structure of the apparatus 1. It comprises of a transverse rail 3a at a slightly elevated height above the deck 11 of a vessel (not shown as confirmed at the outset of detailed description of the invention). A single transversely movable cradle 4 moves back and forth along this rail 3a, on wheels(not shown) along both sides of the vessel, such that it can rest atop a stationary cradle 5, each of such stationary cradle 5, being ideally located at the two lateral ends 11a of the deck 11.

    [0030] However, there can be more than two stationary cradles 5. In that event, a single transversely movable cradle 4 would interact with every two such stationary cradles 5, one each on either side of the vessel. This would be further clear, on perusing the description of functioning of the invention, a little later.

    [0031] The transversely movable cradle 4 can move along the transverse rail 3a by rack and pinion arrangement (not shown) or by other means. The movement is transverse to the normal direction of propelling of the vessel. This is again explained with reference to the exploded view in figure 1b a little later.

    [0032] Referring again to figure 1a, the deck 11 also has a plurality of longitudinally movable cradles 7, which can move in longitudinal direction back and forth along the longitudinal rail 3b, on wheels 7b (best shown in figure 1b). The longitudinal cradles 7 have a hydraulic cylinder 6 arrangement for moving back and forth, but other methods are also within the scope of the present invention. It would clear from figure 1b which is discussed a little later that these cradles 7 move longitudinally along the normal direction of propulsion of the vessel.

    [0033] Each longitudinally movable cradle 7 can securely hold a lifeboat 2. In the figure 1a only four longitudinal cradles 7 parking four lifeboats 2 are shown by way of example. So there is a dedicated longitudinally movable cradle 7 for each lifeboat 2, which can be parked on such cradle 7. A life boat 2 can be parked on fixed keel rests 10(best shown in figure 1b) along a transverse hanger (not shown) on the vessel and as it would be clear from the subsequent description of functioning of the invention a little later, the longitudinally movable cradles 7 can move such a life boat 2 from the hanger (not shown) to the davit assembly.

    [0034] Figure 1b is an exploded view of the apparatus 1 without the lifeboats 2. It shows the transversely movable cradle 4 which can move along the transverse rail 3a. It can move in either direction 8 which is always transverse to the normal direction of propulsion of the vessel. This figure also shows the longitudinally movable cradles 7 which can move back and forth in a direction 9 parallel to the direction of movement of the vessel along the longitudinal rail 3b, on wheels 7b. The hydraulic cylinder arrangement 6 facilitates such movement. The fixed keel rests 10 can also be seen which can park the lifeboats 2.

    [0035] The figure 1b will be taken up again while explaining the functioning of the invention.

    [0036] Referring again to figure 1a it would be clear that the transversely movable cradle 4 has a rail 3a and wheels only at one end. The other end is free from which end it receives lifeboats 2 as it would be clear from the functioning explained a little later.

    [0037] Figure 1c is a side view of the apparatus shown in figure 1a. From side, only one lifeboat 2 is visible which rests on the longitudinally movable cradle 7. This figure also shows the transversely movable cradle 4 atop the stationary cradle 5. The difference in height between the transversely movable cradle 4 and the stationary cradle 5 is evident from this figure 1c.

    [0038] The front view of the apparatus 1 is shown in figure 1d. All the four lifeboats 2 can be seen which are parked on respective dedicated longitudinally movable cradle 7. A the left side of the figure 1d there is a stationary cradle 5 without any transverse cradle 4 atop it. However, on the right side of the figure 1d it is worth noticeable that a transversely movable cradle 4 is atop the stationary cradle 5.

    [0039] For every two stationary cradle 5 on either side 11a, 11b(best shown in figure 1a) there is a single transversely movable cradle 4, which can move along both sides for launching and retrieving life boats 2 at both sides 11a, 11b of the vessel. These are explained in more detail a little later.

    [0040] Figures 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a, 8a, 9a and 10a are different stages of launching operation of lifeboats. The corresponding side views and front views respectively of figures 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, in that order are 2b and 2c, 3b and 3c, 4b and 4c, 5b and 5c, 6b and 6c. Figures 7b, 8b, 9b and 10b are front views of the corresponding perspective views 7a, 8a, 9a and 10a.These shall be referred to again while explaining the functioning of the apparatus.

    [0041] Referring to figure 11a, an enlarged side view of a longitudinal cradle 7 is shown.

    [0042] It has a telescopic lifting device 7a which is hydraulically operable. Figure 11a is a position where, the lifting device 7a has moved vertically up to lift the cradle 7 along with the lifeboat 2 for placing it on the transversely movable cradle 4. This would be clear from the corresponding front view in figure 12a which corresponds to the position shown in figure 11a. It can be seen clearly from figure 12a that the longitudinally movable cradle 7 has lifted the boat 2 and moved along the rail 3b(best shown in figure 1a) to very near the transversely movable cradle 4.

    [0043] The figure 12a shows that the boat 2 is now atop the transversely movable cradle 4.

    [0044] Figure 12b is a view where the lifting device 7a has now come down so that the lifeboat 2 rests on the transversely movable cradle 4. Figure 11b is just a side view of this position which is shown in figure 11b. Referring again to figure 1b in this context, the two extreme positions 7c, 7d to which the longitudinally movable cradles 7 can rise and fall back have been shown.

    [0045] Having described elaborately the basic structure of the apparatus and the working interrelations of the various components now the functioning of the apparatus is described. For that purpose, all the above figures are again referred, of course without detailing the structural aspects again.

    [0046] Referring to figures 1a, 1c and 1d again, these figures show a stage when the launching operation has not begun and the lifeboats 2 are all parked on the respective longitudinally movable cradles 7. From figures 1a and 1d in particular it would be clear that the transversely movable cradle 4 now rests atop a stationary cradle 5 at one side 11a of the deck 11. It could have rested on the stationary cradle 5 at the other side 11b as well and it is within the scope of the present invention, that the operation could have begun from the other side 11b as well.

    [0047] In any event, referring now to figure 2a, the transversely movable cradle 4 has now moved along the transverse rail 3a and aligned itself with the longitudinal cradle 7, which is the first one from the right. The first lifeboat 2 from the right is selected to be launched, according to the exemplary method described and illustrated.

    [0048] Referring to figure 2b, the lifeboat 2 selected for launching can be seen resting on the corresponding cradle 7. Figure 2c shows that as described with reference to figure 2b, the transverse cradle 4 has aligned with the longitudinally movable cradle 7, on which the lifeboat 2 selected for launching rests. Now referring to figure 1d again, it would be clear how, the transverse motion of the cradle 4 takes place, away from the stationary cradle 5. Further, it would be now further clear with reference to figures 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d and 2a that the transversely movable cradle 4 has a transverse rail 3a and wheels (not shown) at only the end which is opposite to the end from where it receives life boats 2.

    [0049] Figure 3a, is the next stage, when the lifting device 7a of the longitudinally movable cradle 7 has started to rise up and reached its maximum vertical position 7c as shown in figure 1d. The side view of this stage in figure 3b further explains this aspect. This would be particularly clear from the front view in figure 3c of this stage. The enlarged view in figure 3d, which corresponds to the extreme right lifeboat position 2 in figure 3c clearly illustrates, that the lifeboat 2 is now at a height, which is above the transversely movable cradle 4. However, at this stage, as it would be particularly clear from figure 3b, the cradle 7 has not started to move along the rail 3b. Hence, only one lifeboat 2 can be seen in the side view in figure 3b, which is the one selected to be launched.

    [0050] Figure 4a is the next stage when the longitudinally movable cradle 7, along with the boat 2 selected for launching has moved very near to the transversely movable cradle 4. This would be clear in particular from figures 4a and 4b, the latter clearly showing that the boat 2 selected for launching has moved very near the transversely movable cradle 4 ahead of the other boats. It would be clear from figure 4a, that the selected boat 2 and the respective longitudinally movable cradle 7 cannot move further beyond Figures 11a and 12a also illustrate this position when the lifeboat 2 is just atop the transversely movable cradle 4.

    [0051] The stage described in the preceding paragraph, is also corroborated by the position shown in the front view in figure 4c.

    [0052] Figures 5a, 5b and 5c show the next stage when the lifting device 7a of the longitudinal cradle 7 has gone down to its lower most position 7d(best shown in figure 1b) and placed the life boat 2 to be launched on the transversely movable cradle 4. Figures 11b and 12b also clearly show this position. The enlarged view in figure 5d of the front view of the boat 2 selected for launching and the corresponding transversely movable cradle 4 further make this stage clear. The enlarged view in figure 5d clearly shows that the lifting device 7a has now come down and the lifeboat 2 rests on the transversely movable cradle 4.

    [0053] Figure 6a shows the next stage when the longitudinal cradle 7 has moved back along the rail 3b to its original position. This stage is particularly clear from figure 6a. Figures 6b and 6c also corroborate this.

    [0054] Figure 7a illustrates the next stage, when the transversely movable cradle 7 has moved atop the stationary cradle 5.The front view in figure 7b makes this further clear. The longitudinally movable cradle 7 is seen empty. The lifeboat 2 rests on the transversely movable cradle 4 and the latter rests on the stationary cradle 5.

    [0055] Figure 8a illustrates the next stage when the davit (not shown) has lifted the boat 2 so that the transversely movable cradle 4 can slide back along the rail 3a for bringing the next boat. The front view 8b in particular clearly illustrates that the lifeboat 2 has been lifted above the transversely movable cradle 4, the latter being still atop the stationary cradle 5.

    [0056] Figure 9a illustrates the next stage when the transversely movable cradle 4 has moved away from the stationary cradle 5, towards the interior of the vessel for bringing another lifeboat 2. This would be particularly clear from the front view in figure 9b.

    [0057] Figure 10a is the next stage when the davit (not shown) has again lowered the lifeboat 2 on the stationary cradle 5. This position is also clear from figure 10b which is the front view. This is the launching position. The lifeboat 2 is now ready to be lowered on the sea. The next stage involves lowering of the lifeboat 2 on the sea by the davit.

    [0058] The retrieval operation is just opposite to the launching opposition as explained with reference to the figures in the preceding description and it is not elaborated for the sake of brevity particularly as it would be clear to persons skilled in the art. In brief, it involves, lifting the boat 2 from the sea by a davit on a longitudinally movable cradle 4 atop a stationary cradle 5; moving the transversely movable cradle 4 along the transverse rail 3a and positioning it selectively in line with the longitudinal cradle 7 which is empty and on which the boat 2 is desired to be positioned.

    [0059] Thereafter, the retrieving operation involves, applying the lifting device 7a to lift up the longitudinally movable cradle 7 to receive the boat 7 on the longitudinal cradle 7 and moving the longitudinally movable cradle 7 along longitudinal rail 3b towards the transversely movable cradle 4.

    [0060] Then the retrieving operation involves, on reaching a suitable location by the longitudinally movable cradle 7, placing the boat 2 on the longitudinally movable cradle 7 by the transversely movable cradle 4 and lowering the lifting device 7a by the longitudinally movable cradle 7; moving back the longitudinally movable cradle 7 along the rail 3b back to its original position on the deck11; moving the transverse cradle 4 towards any one stationary cradle 5 along the transverse rail 3 a and placing it on the stationary cradle 5.

    [0061] The launching and retrieval steps can be repeated as many times as required. Thus it would be clear that a multiplicity of daughter boats can be handled on the deck of the mother vessel easily and conveniently and that too with a very limited number of davits. One davit can launch and retrieve a substantially large number of boats. The in-built lifting mechanism of the longitudinally movable cradles makes the operation simple and yet cost effective. This is true in respect of using only one transversely movable cradle for launching retrieving daughter boats from either side of the mother vessel, which cradle has a rail and wheels only at one of its ends which is opposite to the end, that receives daughter boats. It is also possible to selectively launch lifeboats and retrieve lifeboats and park them on selected cradles on the deck.

    [0062] From the description with reference to the drawings, it would be clear to persons skilled in the art that all objectives of the invention have been achieved.

    [0063] The present invention has been described with reference to some preferred embodiments and some drawings for the sake of understanding only and it should be clear to persons skilled in the art that the present invention includes all legitimate modifications within the scope of what has been claimed in the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. An apparatus (1) for handling daughter boats (2) on a mother vessel comprising one davit assembly positioned atop a stationary cradle (5), each of which is located near a side edge (11a, 11b) of a deck (11) of the vessel for launching and retrieving the boats (2) from and onto the stationary cradle (5) characterised in that the apparatus has a plurality of longitudinally movable cradles (7) on the deck (11) of the vessel for securedly holding plurality of boats thereon and in that the longitudinally movable cradles can move back and forth longitudinally and lift up vertically to transfer a boat (2) onto or to receive a boat (2) from, one transversely movable cradle (4) which can transversely move back and forth for placing a boat (2) onto or for receiving a boat (2) from, the longitudinal cradles (7) and any one stationary cradle (5).
     
    2. The apparatus according to claim 1, characterised in that there are at least two stationary cradles (5) on either side of the deck (11) for launching and retrieving boats (2) from both sides of the vessel.
     
    3. The apparatus according to claim 1, characterised in that the longitudinally movable cradles (7) move along longitudinal rails (3b) on wheels (7a) by means of hydraulic cylinder (6) arrangement and the transversely movable cradle (4) has a single transverse rail (3a) at one of its ends for moving along it by means of rack and pinion arrangement.
     
    4. The apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that the longitudinal cradles (7) are equipped with a hydraulically operated telescopic lifting arrangement (7a) that can lift the cradles (7) to the desired height.
     
    5. The apparatus according to claim 3, characterised in that each boat (2) has a dedicated longitudinally movable cradle (7) for parking.
     
    6. The apparatus according to claims 1 and 3, characterised in that the boats (2) are parked along a transverse hanger and are placed on fixed keel rests (10) and each longitudinally movable cradle (7) can dislodge and move a boat (2) from the hanger and hold it securedly for moving along the longitudinal rails (3b) as and when required.
     
    7. A method for launching boats by applying the apparatus according to claims 1 to 6, said method is characterised by:

    (a) moving the transversely movable cradle (4) along the transverse rail (3a) and positioning it selectively in line with the longitudinal cradle (7) on which a boat (2) desired to be launched is positioned;

    (b) applying the lifting device (7a) to lift up the boat (7) on the longitudinal cradle (7) and moving the boat and the longitudinally movable cradle (7) along longitudinal rail (3b) towards the transverse cradle (4);

    (c) on reaching a suitable location very near the transverse cradle (4), placing the boat (2) on the transverse cradle (4) by lowering the lifting device (7a);

    (d) moving back the longitudinally cradle (7) along the deck (11) back to its original position on the deck (11);

    (e) moving the transverse cradle (7) near any one stationary cradle (5) along the transverse rail (3a);

    (f) on reaching a suitable position, placing the boat (2) on the stationary cradle (5);

    (g) lifting the boat (2) by a davit to allow the transversely movable cradle (4) to move away from the stationary cradle (5) for bringing further boats, using the davit to place the boat (2) on the stationary cradle (5) and launching the boat (2) on sea applying the davit;

    (e) repeating steps (a) to (g) as many times as required.


     
    8. A method for retrieving boats from the sea by applying the apparatus according to one claims 1 to 6, said method is characterised by:

    (a)lifting the boat (2) from the sea by a davit on a longitudinally movable cradle (4) atop a stationary cradle (5);

    (b) moving the transversely movable cradle (4) along the transverse rail (3a) and positioning it selectively in line with the longitudinal cradle (7) which is empty and on which the boat (2) is desired to be positioned;

    (c) applying the lifting device (7a) to lift up the longitudinally movable cradle (7) to receive the boat (7) on the longitudinal cradle (7) and moving the longitudinally movable cradle (7) along longitudinal rail (3b) towards the transverse cradle (4);

    (d) on reaching a suitable location by the longitudinally movable cradle (7) to very near the transversely movable cradle (4), placing the boat (2) by the transversely movable cradle (4) on the longitudinally movable cradle (7) and lowering the lifting device (7a) by the latter;

    (e) moving back the longitudinally movable cradle (7) along the rail (3b) back to its original position on the deck (11);

    (f) moving the transverse cradle (7) towards any one stationary cradle (5) along the transverse rail (3a) and placing it on the stationary cradle (5);

    (g) repeating steps (a) to (f) as many times as required.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung (1) zur Handhabung von Tochterbooten (2) auf einem Mutterschiff, das einen Davit-Aufbau aufweist, der oben auf einer stationären Wiege (5) positioniert ist, die jeweils nahe an einem Seitenrand (11a, 11b) eines Decks (11) des Schiffs zum Zuwasserlassen und Einholen der Boote (2) von der und auf die stationäre Wiege (5) angeordnet ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Vorrichtung eine Vielzahl von längsbeweglichen Wiegen (7) auf dem Deck (11) des Schiffs zum Festhalten einer Vielzahl von Booten darauf aufweist, indem sich die längsbeweglichen Wiegen in Längsrichtung vor und zurück bewegen können und vertikal angehoben werden können, um ein Boot (2) auf eine querbewegliche Wiege (4) zu bewegen oder um ein Boot (2) von einer querbeweglichen Wiege (4) aufzunehmen, die sich zum Platzieren eines Boots (2) auf den längsbeweglichen Wiegen (7) oder zum Aufnehmen eines Boots (2) von den längsbeweglichen Wiegen (7) und jeder einzelnen stationären Wiege (5) quer vor und zurück bewegen kann.
     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass mindestens zwei stationäre Wiegen (5) auf einer Seite des Decks (11) zum Zuwasserlassen und Einholen von Booten (2) von beiden Seiten des Schiffs vorhanden sind.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sich die längsbeweglichen Wiegen (7) entlang von Längsschienen (3b) auf Rädern (7a) mittels hydraulischer Zylinder (6)-Anordnung bewegen und die querbewegliche Wiege (4) eine einzelne Querschiene (3a) an einem ihrer Enden zum Entlangbewegen mittels einer Zahnstangen- und Zahnradanordnung aufweist.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Längswiegen (7) mit einer hydraulisch betriebenen Teleskop-Hebeanordnung (7a) ausgestattet sind, die die Wiegen (7) auf die gewünschte Höhe anheben kann.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jedes Boot (2) eigene längsbewegliche Wiegen (7) zum Parken aufweist.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 und 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Boote (2) entlang eines Queraufhängers geparkt und auf fixierten Kiel-Stützen (10) angeordnet werden und jede längsbewegliche Wiege (7) verrutschen und ein Boot (2) von dem Aufhänger bewegen kann und es, bei Bedarf, zum Bewegen entlang der Längsschienen (3b) sicher festhalten kann.
     
    7. Verfahren zum Zuwasserlassen von Booten durch Anwenden der Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 bis 6, wobei das Verfahren gekennzeichnet ist durch:

    (a) Bewegen der querbeweglichen Wiege (4) entlang der Querschiene (3a) und selektives Positionieren in Flucht mit der Längswiege (7), auf der ein Boot (2), dessen Zuwasserlassen gewünscht ist, positioniert ist;

    (b) Anwenden der Hebevorrichtung (7a) zum Heben des Boots (7) auf der Längswiege (7) und Bewegen des Boots und der längsbeweglichen Wiege (7) entlang der Längsschiene (3b) in Richtung der Querwiege (4);

    (c) beim Erreichen einer geeigneten Stelle sehr nahe an der Querwiege (4), Platzieren des Boots (2) auf der Querwiege (4) durch Absenken der Hebevorrichtung (7a);

    (d) Zurückbewegen der Längswiege (7) entlang des Decks (11) zurück in seine ursprüngliche Position auf dem Deck (11);

    (e) Bewegen der Querwiege (7) in die Nähe jeder einzelnen stationären Wiege (5) entlang der Querschiene (3a);

    (f) beim Erreichen einer geeigneten Stelle, Platzieren des Boots (2) auf der stationären Wiege (5);

    (g) Anheben des Boots (2) durch einen Davit, um zu ermöglichen, dass sich die querbewegliche Wiege (4) von der stationären Wiege (5) zum Heranbringen weiterer Boote unter Verwendung des Davits zur Platzierung des Boots (2) auf der stationären Wiege (5) weg bewegt und Zuwasserlassen des Boots (2) zur See unter Anwenden des Davits;

    (h) (e) Wiederholen der Schritte (a) bis (g) so oft wie erforderlich.


     
    8. Verfahren zum Einholen von Booten auf See durch Anwenden der Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei das Verfahren gekennzeichnet ist durch:

    (a) Anheben des Boots (2) aus dem Wasser durch einen Davit auf einer längsbeweglichen Wiege (4) auf einer stationären Wiege (5);

    (b) Bewegen der querbeweglichen Wiege (4) entlang der Querschiene (3a) und selektives Positionieren in Flucht mit der Längswiege (7), die leer ist und auf der das Boot (2) wunschgemäß positioniert werden soll;

    (c) Anwenden der Hebevorrichtung (7a) zum Anheben der längsbeweglichen Wiege (7) zum Aufnehmen des Boots (7) auf der Längswiege (7) und Bewegen der längsbeweglichen Wiege (7) entlang der Längsschiene (3b) in Richtung der Querwiege (4);

    (d) beim Erreichen einer geeigneten Stelle durch die längsbewegliche Wiege (7) sehr nahe an der querbeweglichen Wiege (4), Platzieren des Boots (2) durch die querbewegliche Wiege (4) auf der längsbeweglichen Wiege (7) und Absenken der Hebevorrichtung (7a) durch Letztere;

    (e) Zurückbewegen der längsbeweglichen Wiege (7) entlang der Schiene (3b) zurück in ihre Ursprungsposition auf dem Deck (11);

    (f) Bewegen der Querwiege (7) in Richtung jeder einzelnen stationären Wiege (5) entlang der Querschiene (3a) und Platzieren auf der stationären Wiege (5);

    (g) Wiederholen der Schritte (a) bis (f) so oft wie erforderlich.


     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil (1) pour manoeuvrer des embarcations-filles (2) sur un navire-mère comprenant un ensemble de bossoir placé sur un berceau stationnaire (5), chacun étant situé près d'un bord latéral (11a, 11b) d'un pont (11) du navire pour lancer et récupérer les embarcations (2) depuis et sur le berceau stationnaire (5), caractérisé en ce que l'appareil comporte une pluralité de berceaux mobiles longitudinalement (7) sur le pont (11) du navire pour supporter de manière sûre plusieurs embarcations sur celui-ci, et en ce que les berceaux mobiles longitudinalement peuvent se déplacer en va-et-vient longitudinalement et se relever verticalement pour transférer une embarcation (2) sur ou recevoir une embarcation (2) depuis un berceau (4) mobile transversalement qui peut se déplacer transversalement en va-et-vient pour placer une embarcation (2) sur ou pour recevoir une embarcation (2) depuis les berceaux longitudinaux (7) et un quelconque berceau stationnaire (5).
     
    2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce qu'il y a au moins deux berceaux stationnaires (5) de chaque côté du pont (11) pour lancer et récupérer des embarcations (2) des deux côtés du navire.
     
    3. Appareil selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que les berceaux mobiles longitudinalement (7) se déplacent le long de rails longitudinaux (3b) sur des roues (7a) au moyen d'un agencement de vérin hydraulique (6), et le berceau mobile transversalement (4) présente un rail transversal unique (3a) à l'une de ses extrémités pour se déplacer le long de celui-ci au moyen d'un agencement à pignon et crémaillère.
     
    4. Dispositif selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que les berceaux longitudinaux (7) sont équipés d'un agencement de levage télescopique à commande hydraulique (7a) qui peut soulever les embarcations (7) à la hauteur souhaitée.
     
    5. Appareil selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que chaque embarcation (2) comporte un berceau mobile longitudinalement dédié (7) pour le stationnement.
     
    6. Appareil selon les revendications 1 et 3, caractérisé en ce que les embarcations (2) sont stationnées le long d'un dispositif de suspension transversal et sont placées sur des appuis de quille fixes (10), et chaque berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) peut déloger et déplacer une embarcation (2) à partir du dispositif de suspension et la supporter de manière sûre pour un déplacement le long des rails longitudinaux (3b) si et lorsque nécessaire.
     
    7. Méthode de lancement d'embarcations en appliquant l'appareil selon les revendications 1 à 6, ladite méthode étant caractérisée par les étapes consistant à :

    (a) déplacer le berceau mobile transversalement (4) le long du rail transversal (3a) et le positionner sélectivement en ligne avec le berceau longitudinal (7) sur lequel est positionnée une embarcation (2) dont un lancement est souhaité ;

    (b) appliquer le dispositif de levage (7a) pour lever l'embarcation (7) sur le berceau longitudinal (7) et déplacer l'embarcation et le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) le long du rail longitudinal (3b) vers le berceau transversal (4) ;

    (c) en atteignant un emplacement approprié très proche du berceau transversal (4), placer l'embarcation (2) sur le berceau transversal (4) en abaissant le dispositif de levage (7a) ;

    (d) déplacer le berceau longitudinal (7) en arrière le long du pont (11) jusqu'à sa position d'origine sur le pont (11) ;

    (e) déplacer le berceau transversal (7) près d'un berceau fixe (5) le long du rail transversal (3a) ;

    (f) en atteignant une position appropriée, placer l'embarcation (2) sur le berceau stationnaire (5) ;

    (g) lever l'embarcation (2) via un bossoir pour permettre au berceau mobile transversalement (4) de s'éloigner du berceau stationnaire (5) pour amener d'autres embarcations, en utilisant le bossoir pour placer l'embarcation (2) sur le berceau stationnaire (5) et lancer l'embarcation (2) en mer en appliquant le bossoir ;

    (e) répéter les étapes (a) à (g) autant de fois que nécessaire.


     
    8. Méthode pour récupérer des embarcations depuis la mer en appliquant l'appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 6, ladite méthode étant caractérisée par les étapes consistant à :

    (a) lever l'embarcation (2) depuis la mer via un bossoir situé sur un berceau mobile longitudinalement (4) au-dessus d'un berceau stationnaire (5) ;

    (b) déplacer le berceau mobile transversalement (4) le long du rail transversal (3a) et le positionner sélectivement en ligne avec le berceau longitudinal (7) qui est vide et sur lequel le positionnement de l'embarcation (2) est souhaité ;

    (c) appliquer le dispositif de levage (7a) pour lever le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) afin de recevoir l'embarcation (7) sur le berceau longitudinal (7) et déplacer le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) le long du rail longitudinal (3b) vers le berceau transversal (4) ;

    (d) en atteignant un emplacement approprié, via le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7), très proche du berceau mobile transversalement (4), placer l'embarcation (2), via le berceau mobile transversalement (4), sur le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) et abaisser le dispositif de levage (7a) via ce dernier ;

    (e) déplacer le berceau mobile longitudinalement (7) en arrière le long du rail (3b) jusqu'à sa position d'origine sur le pont (11) ;

    (f) déplacer le berceau transversal (7) vers un quelconque berceau stationnaire (5) le long du rail transversal (3a) et le placer sur le berceau stationnaire (5) ;

    (g) répéter les étapes (a) à (f) autant de fois que nécessaire.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description