(19)
(11)EP 3 092 172 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.02.2019 Bulletin 2019/07

(21)Application number: 14872079.0

(22)Date of filing:  02.12.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 39/395(2006.01)
B63H 9/10(2006.01)
C07K 16/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/068086
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/094638 (25.06.2015 Gazette  2015/25)

(54)

CANTILEVERED SAIL RIG

FREITRAGENDE SEGELRIGG

GRÉEMENT À VOILE EN PORTE-À-FAUX


(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: 20.12.2013 US 201361919391 P
18.11.2014 US 201414546339

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.11.2016 Bulletin 2016/46

(73)Proprietor: Hobie Cat Company
Oceanside, CA 92056 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • DOW, Philip James
    Oceanside, CA 92054 (US)
  • KETTERMAN, Gregory Scott
    Oceanside, CA 92054 (US)
  • CZARNOWSKI, James Jaylor
    Fallbrook, CA 92028 (US)
  • KARDAS, Jason Christopher
    Vista, CA 92084 (US)

(74)Representative: J A Kemp 
14 South Square Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5JJ
London WC1R 5JJ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 325 074
FR-A1- 2 551 722
FR-A2- 2 534 546
US-A- 4 435 125
EP-A1- 0 442 227
FR-A1- 2 603 551
US-A- 3 483 840
US-A- 4 690 088
  
      
    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 INVENTION



    [0001] This invention relates to novel watercraft.

    BACKGROUND OF INVENTION



    [0002] Sailboats rely on harnessing the power of the wind to create propulsion. In its most basic form, this is accomplished by affixing a vertical mast to the boat with a sail attached to the length of the mast on one side, and to an adjustable rope on the opposite corner. To support the load on the mast, the mast is connected in a cantilever fashion to the hull. Most sail rigs include a compressive member attached to the lower end of the mast below the sail, extending horizontally to the opposite tip of the sail. This is referred to as a boom. To improve the aerodynamics of the sail, battens are often integrated into the sail cloth. Battens are most commonly constructed of fiberglass rods, and are oriented in a generally horizontal position, spaced out along the vertical length of the sail.

    [0003] A variation on this conventional rig allows the mast to spin around its vertical axis. This is achieved by supporting a short length of the base of the mast with bearings. Spinning the mast consequently causes the sail to wrap, or furl around the diameter of the mast. This is a benefit to the functionality of the sailboat, allowing the user to furl or unfurl the sail to attain the appropriate amount of sail area for the conditions, or completely furl the sail. Furling the sail around the mast requires the sail to not have horizontal battens, as they are not flexible enough to wrap around the small diameter of the mast. Instead, diagonal battens are used. The compromise to this style of rig is that supporting the mast only at the base compromises the efficiency of the rig because the tip of the mast bends away under the load of the wind, decreasing the amount of power that can be harnessed. It also requires a very strong connection between the hull and the mast, and a stiff mast.

    [0004] In an effort to increase strength and decrease weight, many sailboats use stays to transmit the load of the mast to the hull of the boat. Stays are the tension members. They are wires or ropes affixed to the mast approximately two-third to three-quarters up the length of the mast. Supporting the mast at this location allows for a balanced wind loading of the mast, minimizing bending and therefore keeping an optimized sail shape. These stays extend down to the left and right sides of the hull and the front of the hull. Using stays to support the mast allows the base of the mast to be simply supported on the hull. It also decreases the strength requirements of the supporting hardware due to the larger moment arm, decreasing the weight of the rig.

    [0005] In high wind conditions, it can be necessary to decrease the amount of sail area to avoid overpowering or capsizing a sailboat. With a traditional stayed sail rig, the stays are affixed to the mast, precluding the sail from being furled around the mast because it cannot spin. The simplest solution to decreasing sail area with a stayed sail rig is called reefing. In this method, the sail is lowered part way down the length of the mast, and the lower section of the sail is gathered at the bottom of the sail. While this works, it is not very quick or tidy. Another design allows for a boom to spin as the sail is lowered down the length of the mast, furling the sail around the boom. A variation on this design works very similarly, but employs a rotating mandrel inside a hollow boom around which the sail wraps when furled. These two designs require a boom. Another design works in a similar fashion, but furls the sail around a mandrel inside the mast. This design precludes the use of battens and increases the weight of the mast. One more less common design allows for the sail to furl around the mast as it spins, with stays running to the tip of the mast. This is not a common design because only supporting the mast at the top and bottom creates a less optimal sail shape, as the mast bends in the middle. It also makes it difficult to spin the mast under sail load.

    [0006] A wind powered craft according to the state of the art is disclosed in FR 2603551.3

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] Briefly, the invention comprises a wind powered craft carrying a generally vertical mast supported by stays, said craft comprising means for supporting the mast with the stays along the vertical length of the mast but below the top of the mast while allowing the mast to rotate about its vertical axis.

    [0008] The invention further comprises a wind powered craft carrying a generally vertical mast which is rotatable about its vertical axis, a sail carried by said mast with its bottom edge attached in proximity to the bottom of the mast and extending to an attachment point in proximity to the top of the mast, a first member having an open end and partially extending around said mast, the mast being rotatable within said member, a bearing mounted stationary second member at the top of the mast and carried by the mast while allowing the mast to rotate, a support stay running from said first member to said bearing mounted second member to support said first member, and additional stays attached to said first member and splayed to attach to opposed sides of the hull of the watercraft, said sail being reefed around said mast through the open end of said first member by rotation of the mast.

    [0009] More particularly, the invention comprises a watercraft carrying a generally vertical mast which is rotatable about its vertical axis, a sail carried by said mast with its bottom edge attached in proximity to the bottom of the mast and extending to an attachment point in proximity to the top of the mast, a generally horseshoe-shaped member having an open end and partially extending around said mast, the mast being rotatable within the horseshoe-shaped member, a bearing mounted stationary member at the top of the mast and carried by the mast while allowing the mast to rotate, a support stay running from said horseshoe-shaped member to said bearing mounted member to support the horseshoe-shaped member, and additional stays attached to said horseshoe-shaped member and splayed to attach to opposed sides of the hull of the watercraft, said sail being reefed around said mast through the open end of said horseshoe-shaped member by rotation of the mast.

    [0010] According to the present invention, the rig is properly supported by stays which still allow the sail to furl around the mast. To achieve this functionality, instead of attaching the stays directly to the mast, they are attached to a preferably horseshoe-shaped component which partially encompasses the mast in the same location approximately 2/3 to 3/4 up the length of the mast, but is not attached to the mast. From this horseshoe, a support stay is run to the tip of the mast where it is affixed to a bearing, allowing the mast to rotate. This system allows for the vertical component of the force from the stays to be supported by the support stay leading to the tip of the mast, and the horizontal component of the force to be supported by the horseshoe. This device also allows the sail to furl around the mast, passing through the gap between the two ends of the horseshoe. To facilitate lower friction when furling and avoid damaging the sail cloth, rollers are attached to the ends of the horseshoe, allowing for the sail to feed through and wrap around the mast even when under load.

    THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] In the drawings:

    Figure 1 is a perspective view from the right rear of a catamaran equipped with the sail rig of the present invention.

    Figure 2 is a top view of a catamaran equipped with the sail rig of the present invention.

    Figure 3 is a rear view of a catamaran equipped with the sail rig of the present invention.

    Figure 4 is a side view of a catamaran equipped with the sail rig of the present invention.

    Figure 5 is an enlarged view of the top of the mast taken at A in Figure 4.

    Figure 6 is an enlarged top view of the mast of the catamaran shown in Figures 1 to 4, showing in more detail the horseshoe-shaped member.

    Figure 7 is a front view of the mast carrying the horseshoe-shaped member and the first stay running from the horseshoe-shaped member to the top of the mast and the two splayed stays running to opposite sides of the catamaran.

    Figure 8 is a view of the mast of Figure 7 taken from the side.

    Figure 9 is a rear view of the mast of Figure 7.

    Figure 10 is a side view of the top of the mast showing the first stay and the bearing supported member carried at the top of the mast.

    Figure 11 is a top view of the top of the mast as shown in Figure 10.

    Figure 12 is a partial sectional view taken along the line 12-12 in Figure 11.

    Figure 13 is a perspective view of that portion of the mast carrying the horseshoe-shaped member and the first stay.

    Figure 14 is a view looking down on the mast, horseshoe-shaped member and first stay of Figure 13.

    Figure 15 is a rear view of the mast, horseshoe-shaped member and first stay of Figure 13.

    Figure 16 is a side view of the mast, horseshoe-shaped member and first stay of Figure 13.

    Figure 17 is a top view of the mast showing the sail as it is being furled around the mast as the mast is rotated.


    DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0012] Turning to the drawings in more detail, the watercraft 10 has a vertical mast 12 which is rotatable about its own vertical axis and is retained in a suitable fitting within the structure of the watercraft. The mast 12 carries sail 14.

    [0013] The first member preferably is generally a horseshoe-shaped member 16 having an open end or gap 18 and otherwise extends around the mast. The horseshoe-shaped member 16 is supported by a stay 20 running from horseshoe-shaped member 16 to a second member which is bearing mounted member 22 carried by the top 24 of the mast 12. The bearings are shown in Figure 10 at 26.

    [0014] The mast 12 is freely rotatable within the horseshoe-shaped member 16 and also with respect to the bearing mounted member 22.

    [0015] Additional stays 28 and 30 extend from the horseshoe-shaped member 16 to the sides of the watercraft at 32 and 34, respectively.

    [0016] In furling, the sail 14 passes through the gap 18 between guide rollers 36 located at each side the open end 18 of horseshoe-shaped member 16. As the mast is rotated, the sail 12 is snugly furled around the mast 12, as show in Figure 17.

    [0017] When the sail 12 is unfurled, the free end is held by stay 38 attached to crossmember 40.

    [0018] The sail 14 has a sleeve 42 or pocket along the length of its front end. When assembled with the mast 12, the mast is inserted into sleeve 42 and then the sail is affixed top and bottom to the mast. In this way when the sail is furled, it starts to wind around the mast as the mast is rotated.

    [0019] The watercraft shown is a catamaran. However, the invention is applicable to sail boats generally, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art.


    Claims

    1. A wind powered craft (10) comprising a generally vertical mast (12) which is rotatable about its vertical axis;

    a sail (14) carried by said mast (12) with its bottom edge attached in proximity to the bottom of the mast and extending to an attachment point (24) in proximity to the top of the mast;

    a first member (16) having an open end (18) and partially extending around said mast (12), the mast (12) being rotatable within said member (16);

    a bearing mounted stationary second member (22) at the top of the mast (12) and carried by the mast (12) while allowing the mast (12) to rotate;

    at least one support stay (20), being a wire or rope, running from said first member (16) to said bearing mounted second member (22) to support said first member (16);

    said sail (14) being adapted to be reefed by turning completely around said mast (12) by passing freely through the open end of said first member (16) upon rotation of the mast.


     
    2. The craft (10) of claim 1, comprising additional stays (28, 30) attached to said first member (16) and splayed to attach to opposed sides (32, 34) of the hull of the watercraft, said sail (14) being reefed around said mast (12) through the open end (18) of said first member (16) by rotation of the mast (12).
     
    3. The craft (10) of claim 1, wherein the craft (10) is a watercraft and said first member (16) is a generally horseshoe-shaped member.
     
    4. The craft (10) of claim 1 or 2 wherein the open end of said first member (16) has opposed rollers (36) for contacting and guiding the sail (14) as it is reefed around the mast (12).
     
    5. The craft (10) of claim 1 or 2 wherein the first member (16) is positioned approximately two-thirds to three-quarters up the length of the mast (12).
     
    6. The craft (10) of claim 1 or 2 or 3 wherein the craft (10) is a catamaran.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Windkraftbetriebenes Fahrzeug (10), umfassend einen im Allgemeinen vertikalen Mast (12), der um seine vertikale Achse drehbar ist;
    ein Segel (14), das von dem Mast (12) getragen wird, wobei seine Unterkante in unmittelbarer Nähe zum unteren Teil des Masts angebracht ist und sich zu einem Befestigungspunkt (24) in unmittelbarer Nähe zu der Spitze des Masts erstreckt;
    ein erstes Element (16), das ein offenes Ende (18) aufweist und sich teilweise um den Mast (12) erstreckt, wobei der Mast (12) in dem Element (16) drehbar ist;
    ein gelagertes stationäres zweites Element (22) an der Spitze des Masts (12) und das von dem Mast (12) getragen wird, während dem Mast (12) ermöglicht ist, sich zu drehen;
    mindestens ein Stützbügel (20), der ein Draht oder Seil ist und der von dem ersten Element (16) zum gelagerten zweiten Element (22) verläuft, um das erste Element (16) zu stützen;
    wobei das Segel (14) angepasst ist, um durch vollständiges Drehen um den Mast (12) gerefft zu werden, indem es frei durch das offene Ende des ersten Elements (16) bei Drehung des Masts hindurch verläuft.
     
    2. Fahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1, umfassend zusätzliche Bügel (28, 30), die an dem ersten Element (16) angebracht und gespreizt sind, um an gegenüberliegenden Seiten (32, 34) des Rumpfs des Wasserfahrzeugs angebracht zu werden, wobei das Segel (14) durch das offene Ende (18) des ersten Elements (16) durch Drehung des Masts (12) um den Mast (12) gerefft wird.
     
    3. Fahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Fahrzeug (10) ein Wasserfahrzeug ist
    und das erste Element (16) ein im Allgemeinen hufeisenförmiges Element ist.
     
    4. Fahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das offene Ende des ersten Elements (16) gegenüberliegende Rollen (36) zum Berühren und Führen des Segels (14) aufweist, während dieses um den Mast (12) gerefft wird.
     
    5. Fahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das erste Element (16) ungefähr bei zwei Drittel bis drei Viertel der Länge des Masts (12) positioniert ist.
     
    6. Fahrzeug (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2 oder 3, wobei das Fahrzeug (10) ein Katamaran ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Embarcation à propulsion éolienne (10) comprenant un mât généralement vertical (12) qui peut tourner autour de son axe vertical ;
    une voile (14) portée par ledit mât (12) avec son bord inférieur attaché à proximité de la partie inférieure du mât et s'étendant vers un point d'attache (24) à proximité de la partie supérieure du mât ;
    un premier élément (16) présentant une extrémité ouverte (18) et s'étendant partiellement autour dudit mât (12), le mât (12) pouvant tourner à l'intérieur dudit élément (16) ;
    un deuxième élément stationnaire monté sur palier (22) en haut du mât (12) et porté par le mât (12) tout en permettant au mât (12) de tourner ;
    au moins un hauban de support (20), étant un câble ou une corde, allant dudit premier élément (16) audit deuxième élément monté sur palier (22) pour supporter ledit premier élément (16) ;
    ladite voile (14) étant conçue pour être arisée en tournant complètement autour dudit mât (12) en passant librement à travers l'extrémité ouverte dudit premier élément (16) lors de la rotation du mât.
     
    2. Embarcation (10) selon la revendication 1, comprenant des haubans supplémentaires (28, 30) attachés audit premier élément (16) et évasés pour s'attacher aux côtés opposés (32, 34) de la coque du bateau, ladite voile (14) étant arisée autour dudit mât (12) par l'extrémité ouverte (18) dudit premier élément (16) par la rotation du mât (12).
     
    3. Embarcation (10) selon la revendication 1, l'embarcation (10) étant un bateau et ledit premier élément (16) étant un élément généralement en forme de fer à cheval.
     
    4. Embarcation (10) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle l'extrémité ouverte dudit premier élément (16) présente des rouleaux opposés (36) destinés à entrer en contact avec la voile (14) et à guider celle-ci tandis qu'elle est arisée autour du mât (12).
     
    5. Embarcation (10) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle le premier élément (16) est positionné approximativement des deux tiers aux trois quarts le long du mât (12).
     
    6. Embarcation (10) selon la revendication 1 ou 2 ou 3, dans laquelle l'embarcation (10) est un catamaran.
     




    Drawing























    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description