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Патент USA US3058325

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Oct. 16, 1962
S. A. M0 DOWELL
3,058,312
MARINE RAILWAY
Filed June- 9, 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 1
Oct. 16, 1962
S- A. MCDOWELL
3,058,312
MARINE RAILWAY
Filed June 9, 1959
4, Sheets-Sheet 2
IN VEN TOR.
bY wwwzsmq,
Oct. 16, 1962
s. A. MCDOWELL
3,058,312
MARINE RAILWAY
4 Sheets-Sheet 3
Filed June 9, 1959
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1N VEN TOR.
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BY WWW Ema‘
Oct. 16, 1962
s. A. MCDOWELL,
3,058,312
MARINE RAILWAY
Filed June 9, 1959
4 Sheets-Sheet 4
Samuel A. McDowell
1NVENTOR.
aoéi'n.
3) Alma]:
3,658,312
Uit
Patented Get. 16, 1962
2
1
ventional forms of manufacture, be of relatively simple
3,058,312
MARINE RAILWAY
Samuel A. McDowell, Star Rte, Brainerd, Minn.
Filed Liane 9, 1959, Ser. No. 819,096
10 Claims. (Ci. 61--67)
construction, be easy to operate and long lasting so as to
provide a useful and desirable device that may be used to
great advantage by many boat owners.
These together with other objects and advantages which
will become subsequently apparent reside in the details
of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter
described and claimed, reference being bad to the ac
This invention relates to a novel and useful marine
railway and more particularly relates to a marine railway
companying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like
that will enable a boat owner to launch his boat into the
water and retrieve it from the water without having to 10 numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the marine railway
step from the boat.
With boating becoming increasingly more popular
there is a widespread demand by many boat owners for
a means for retrieving their boat from the water after
showing a boat being carried by the dolly thereon, only
one section of the railway being shown;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the marine
each period of use. Many forms of marine railways have 15 railway on a somewhat reduced scale showing the manner
in which it is used to either raise or lower a boat thereon;
‘been heretofore designed but most of these have had many
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the uppermost rail
drawbacks. In many instances it is desired to have a rail
section of the railway, the adjacent rail section being
way that may, itself, be removed from the water during
shown in poition to be removably secured thereto;
the non-seasonal period of the year when a boat owner
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the uppermost
does not desire to use his boat or during a period when he 20
section of the railway shown with the motor and winch
is away from his waterside property. Most of the marine
secured thereto;
railways now in use are of the permanent type, and if a
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged top plan view of the boat
person lives away from his waterside property during the
dolly shown mounted upon one of the rail sections, parts
non-seasonal months it is extremely hard for him to feel
con?dent that his railway will not be damaged by storms, 25 thereof being broken away and the ?exible cables shown
secured to the boat dolly;
high water, and various other factors which might have
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the boat dolly
detrimental effects thereon. There have been attempts to
as seen in FIGURE 5 with a pivoted position of the front
design marine railways that may be removed from the
and rear cradles being shown in phantom lines;
water during the non-seasonal months, but most of these
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary top plan view of a joint be
have met with failure because shorelines sometimes change 30
tween two of the rail sections, parts of the rail sections
their shapes, and the bottom of a lake or river and the like
being broken away and the locked position of the operat
is apt to change in contour during a storm which could
ing lever being shown in phantom lines;
cause a railway to be completely covered and rendered
FIGURE 8 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view of
useless.
The main object of this invention is to provide a marine 35 the joint between two of the rail sections taken substan
tially upon the plane indicated by the section line 8‘—-8
railway comprising a series of removably secured inter
of FIGURE 7;
connected double rail track sections that may be secured
FIGURE 9 is an end elevational view of the boat dolly
to form a continuous railway, and to provide a means
shown mounted upon one of the rail sections, the rail
whereby each rail section is mounted for limited lateral
movement relative to the adjoining rail sections so that 40 sections being shown in section;
FIGURE 10 is an end elevational view of the upper end
it may conform to the contour of the surface on which it
of
the railway showing the details of the motor and winch
is supported.
for effecting the movement of the boat dolly along the
A further object of this invention is to provide a marine
railway having a boat dolly thereon with various cradles
railway; and
A further object, in accordance with the preceding
objects, is to provide a boat dolly having double ?anged
lines.
Referring now more speci?cally to the drawings the
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary view of one side of the
that will engage and guide a boat into position on the 45
bow cradle showing one of the pivotally mounted bow
cradle so that it is not necessary to guide it into position
guides, a pivoted position thereof being shown in phantom
on the boat dolly.
wheels which are adapted to engage and embrace the
rails of each track section and a means for preventing the
numeral 10 generally designates the marine railway of
the instant invention having a boat dolly generally desig
nated by the reference numeral 12 mounted thereon for
longitudinal movement therealong, there being an electric
Still another object is to provide a boat dolly having 55 motor 14 operatively connected to a double drum winch
16 which in turn is secured to the boat dolly 12 by means
a pair ‘of rear cradles adapted to engage the aft portion of
of cables 18 and 20.
a boat hull with means thereon for automatically retain
With attention now drawn more particularly to vFIG
ing the boat in position on the dolly while the latter is
URE 5 it will be seen that the boat dolly 12‘ comprises a
moved up the railway and out of the water.
A further object is to provide an extensible bow cradle 60 rectangular frame 22 that has at each end a pair of stub
axles 24, each of which has a double ?anged wheel 26
on the doat dolly that may be secured in adjusted extended
rotatably journaled thereon. The double ?anged wheels
positions so as to adapt the boat dolly for use with boats
26 on each side of the dolly 12 are aligned and engage the
of varying lengths.
rails 28 of the railway 10 as shown in FIGURE 9.
Still another object in accordance with the preceding
object, is to provide a pivotally mounted V-shaped bow 65 Secured to the front of the frame 22 is a ?rst pair of sup
ports 30 which pivotally mount the two forward cradles
plate for the boat cradle so that the cradle may be further
32 to the dolly 12. It will be noted, with attention drawn
adapted to receive boats having different shaped bows.
more particularly to FIGURE 6‘, that the forward cradles
.Yet another object is to provide a power means that
32 may be adjusted in height along the vertical extent of
may be operated to selectively move the boat dolly in
the
supports 30 by means of aligned apertures 34 and
either direction along the'rail sections.
70 pivot bolts 36 which extend therethrough and through the
A ?nal object to be speci?cally enumerated herein is
rear portion of the rear cradles 38. Also secured to the
to provide a marine railway which will lend itself to con
wheels from becoming disengaged with the rails of the
track sections.
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3,058,312
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frame 22' at the rear‘ end thereof, is a second pair of sup- ’
ports 30 to which is pivotally secured a pair of rear cradles
38 which may also be adjusted upon support 30 by means
of apertures 34‘ and pivot pin 36. It will be further noted,
adjacent rail sections together comprises a cam lever 84
having an offset end portion '86 pivotally secured to the
see FIGURES 2 and 6, that the rear cradles 38 are provid
ed with shoulder portions 40 which are adapted to engage
the lower edge of a boat transom to retain the boat 42 in
a turnbuckle 90 having the other end pivotally secured to
position upon the dolly 12 until the level of the water is
sufficient to heat the boat 42 from engagement with the
dolly 12.
With attention now drawn to FIGURE 9 it will be
forwardmost cross member 80 as at 88. Pivotally secured
to the upper rail section by means of eye 92 is one end of
the cam lever 84 on the adjacent rail section as at 94.
The cam lever '84 may then be pivoted to the position
shown by the phantom lines to draw the two rail sections
together. It is to be understood that any convenient
means may be provided to retain the offset end portion 86
of the cam lever 84 in a rotated position so that the rail
noted that the dolly 12 is provided with a guide 42 adja
sections are locked together. Further, it is to be under
cent each wheel 26 which is positioned a spaced distance
stood that if it is desired the cam lever could be moved
beneath the undersurface of the rails 28 to insure that the
beyond an over center position against a stop so that it
dolly 12 will not be derailed.
15 would be unnecessary to provide a locking means to re
As shown by FIGURES 1 and 2 each of the cradles is
tain the rail sections together. The tapered projections
provided with a resilient covering 44 on which the bottom
82 received in the open end of the adjacent rail sections
of the boat 46 is adapted to rest.
enable the rails to move a limited amount laterally rela
The dolly 12 is provided with a bow cradle generally
tive to each other adapting the railway 10 to be used
referred to by the reference numeral 48 which is exten 20 even though the bottom of the river of lake may be
sible in length so as to be readily adaptable to boats of
uneven.
different lengths. The bow cradle 48 comprises a pair of
The motor 14 may be operatively connected to the
rigidly mounted upwardly and forwardly extending tubu
lar members 50 which are suitably apertured as at 52 and
Winch 16 by any convenient means such as endless belt
100 through a reduction gear box 102. Referring now to
slidably receive the free ends of a generally U-shaped bow 25 FIGURES l, 2 and 5, it will be noted that there is reeled
supporting member 54 the free ends of which are aper
on one Winding drum 70 one end of a ?exible cable 18
tured as at 56, the apertures in the bow supporting mem
and that one end of a ?exible cable 20 is reeled about the
ber 54 and in the tubular members 52.‘ being registrable,
other winding drum 70‘. Flexible cable 18 is secured to
and a pin 58 being passed through the aligned apertures
the front cross member of the dolly frame 22 as at 104
to adjustably position the bow supporting member 54. 30 and the free end of the cable 20 is slidably received
Fixedly secured to each side of the bow supporting mem~
through each of the cable guides 106 that are secured
ber 54 is a ?ange or shoulder 60 having a bow guide 62
to the underside of the dolly 12 and passed through the
pivotally secured thereto for movement about a substan
shiv 188 that is secured to the lowermost cross member
tially vertical axis. Each of the bow guides 62 is arcuate
80 on the lowermost end of the lower rail section 76 and
in shape and has on its free end a bumper 64 which is 35 secured to one end of an expansion spring 110, the other
adapted to engage the sides of the forward portion of the
boat hull 46. It is to be understood that the bow guide
end of the expansion spring being secured to the dolly 12
can either be adjustably positioned to receive a bow of a
It is to be understood that the upper rail section 68
should be permanently af?xed to the ground On which it
certain width, or that they can be spring urged towards
as at 112.
each other so as to resiliently guide the bow of a boat 46 40 rests and for this purpose any convenient means may be
into engagement with the V-shaped bow plate 66. The
used such as cement block 114, the upper rail section 68
bow plate 66 is pivotally secured to the bow supporting
member 54 for movement about a transversely extending
axis by means of pivot bolt 67 secured between the arms
being removably secured thereto by any convenient
means. In operation, assuming that the dolly has been
adjusted to receive the particular type of boat resting
of the bow support and rotatably journaled in aligned 45 upon it, control 72 may be operated to start the motor 14
apertures (not shown) formed in the sides of the bow
in a direction that will reel in cable 20 and reel out cable
plate 66 so that it will adapt itself to receive a bow of
any shape.
Mounted on the uppermost part of the upper rail sec
tion v68 is a power means in the form of a reversible Winch
18. The dolly 12 will in this manner he moved down the
railway and into the water 116 until the control 72 is
manipulated to stop the motor when the dolly has been
lowered into the water a su?icient amount to ?oat the
16 having two winding drums 70 thereon. Motor 14 is
of the reversible type having a control 72 therefor which
may be mounted upon a support (not shown) carried by
the boat dolly 12. The railway 10 is shown, see FIGURE
2, having three rail sections including an upper section 68, 55
boat and lift it from the cradles of the dolly 12. The
control 72 may then be placed on a suitable support (not
shown) until it is desired to retrieve the boat 46 from the
an intermediate section 74, and a lower section 76. Each
of the rail sections comprises a pair of rails 28 that are
secured by any suitable means such as welding to angle
members 78. The two angle members 78 of each rail 7
section are interconnected by means of cross members 60
‘80. Each of the rails 28 is in the form of an elongated
tubular member and is provided with a truncated cone
structed of a buoyant material so that as the boat 46 is
water.
It is to be understood that the boat cradles are con
?oated, the forward ends of the boat cradles will be in
clined upwardly so that when it is desired to retrieve the
boat from the water the boat cradles will assist in guiding
the boat 46 into the correct position above the boat cradle
12. As the boat cradles 32 and 38 together with the bow
guides 62 guide the boat 46 until the bow thereof engages
shaped projection 82 on its lower end, the upper end of
the bow plate 66 the boat 46 is positioned correctly above
each of the rails 28 being open with the projection 82
the boat cradle 12. If there is only one person aboard
received within the upper open end of the adjacent lower 65 the boat 46 he may leave the boat in gear with the motor
rail section.
running at an idle to urge the boat into engagement with
With attention now. drawn to FIGURES 2 and 8, it
the bow plate 66 as he operates control 72 to start the
‘will be noted that the projections 82 may be inserted into
motor 14 to Wind cable 18 about its corresponding drum.
the open ends 84 of the adjacent lower rail section and
As the boat cradle 12 is moved up the railway 10, the
that when the two rail sections are drawn together, they
cradles 38 will engage the bottom of the boat 46 with the
will be secured for limited lateral movement relative to
shoulder 40 positioned to the rear of the transom of the
each other.
boat. After the shoulders 40 have engaged the rear por
In order to tightly secure one rail section to the other,
tion of the boat 46, the boat’s motor may then be stopped
a means for removably securing the rail sections together
without danger of the boat sliding rearwardly from the
is provided. The connection mechanism for securing two 75 cradle as it moves up the railway 10.
3,058,312
5
If it is desired, control 72 may be of the dead man
type so that there will be no danger of the winch 16
operating without a person at the control 72.
It is to be further understood that cables 18 and 20
do not necessarily have to be of the same size. On the
contrary, since steel cable is quite expensive, and since
6
4. The combination of claim 3 including a pair of how
guides pivotally secured to opposite sides of said bow
cradle for movement about vertically extending axes
adapted to slidably engage both sides of a boat hull and
guide the bow into engagement with said bow plate.
5. The combination of claim 4 including means for
it is not necessary to have as strong a cable to lower
the boat into the water, cable 20 may be of considerably
retaining said dolly wheels in engagement with said rails.
6. A marine railway assembly comprising a double
and unwinding on the drums as well as absorb the initial
for pulling the latter along said track, said boat dolly
including a frame, a pair of forwardly projecting, up
rail track, a boat dolly, means mounting said boat dolly
less strength than cable 18. If two different sized cables
are used, the expansion spring 110 will compensate for 10 for movements along said track, power means, means
operatively connecting said power means to said dolly
the difference in the diameters of the cables winding
starting shock of the boat dolly 12 down the railway 10.
wardly inclined, spaced and substantially parallel bow
In order to prevent the cables 18 and 20 from snag
ging or rubbing against the cross members 80, rollers 15 cradle support members, a generally U-shaped bow cradle,
means on said support members slidably receiving the
120 may be provided to guide the cables when the boat
free ends of the legs of said bow cradle with the latter
dolly 12 is on the lower part of the railway 10.
aligned and overlapping the free ends of said support
Thus it can be seen that herein described is a marine
members, means for adjusting the overlap of said legs
railway that is easy to operate, adaptable to boats of
various sizes and river or lake bottoms of different con 20 and the corresponding support members, and abutment
means carried by the bight portion of said cradle for
tours, and a railway that may be operated by a person
engagement by the bow stem of a boat supported by
aboard a boat during both the launching and retrieving
said cradle.
processes, and a railway that may be dismantled and
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said abutment
stored if desired during the off season months.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the 25 means includes a generally V-shaped plate opening rear
wardly of said dolly and mounted for pivotal move
principles of the invention. Further, since numerous
ment about a transversely extending horizontally dis
modi?cations and changes will readily occur to those
posed axis.
skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention
8. The combination of claim 7 including a pair of bow
to the exact construction and operation shown and de
scribed, and accordingly all suitable modi?cations and 30 guides each including a portion mounted on a leg of
said cradle adjacent the bight portion thereof for move
equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope
ment toward and away from the other leg of the bow
of the invention as claimed.
guide, and means normally resiliently urging said mov
What is claimed as new is as follows:
able portions of said bow guides toward each other.
1. A marine railway comprising a double rail track,
9. A marine railway assembly comprising a double
a boat dolly, means mounting said boat dolly for move 35
rail
track, a boat dolly, means mounting said boat dolly
ment along said track, power means, means operatively
for movement along said track, power means, means
connecting said power means to said dolly for pulling
operatively connecting said power means to said dolly
the latter along said track selectively in either direction
for pulling the latter along said track, said dolly in
in response to the operation of said power means, said
connecting means including resilient tension means for 40 cluding a pair of longitudinally extending rear cradles
adapted to support the aft portion of a boat hull, means
absorbing the starting shock of said power means in at
pivotally connecting said rear cradles to opposite sides
least one direction when the latter is effecting movement
of said frame about a transversely extending axis, a pair
of said dolly along said track, said power means includ
of longitudinally extending forward cradles adapted to
ing a double drum winch disposed at one end of said
track, said connecting means including a ?rst ?exible 45 support the mid-portion of a boat hull, means pivotally
connecting said forward cradles to opposite sides of said
tension member having one end disposed about one of
frame for movement about transversely extending axes,
said drums and the other end portion secured to said
said forward and rear cradles being pivotally connected to
dolly, a second ?exible tension member having one end
said frame adjacent their rear ends, said cradles being con
disposed about the other of said drums, guide means car
ried by said other end of said track, the other end of said 50 structed of buoyant material.
10. An elongated boat dolly adapted to be moved
second tension member passing through said guide means
longitudinally along an inclined marine railway, said
and secured to said dolly, said dolly comprising a frame
having a pair of transversely extending axles secured
thereto, a double flanged wheel rotatably journaled at
opposite ends of each axle, the wheels on each side of
said frame being aligned and adapted to engage and
embrace one of said rails, a pair of longitudinally ex
tending rear cradles adapted to support the aft portion
of a boat hull, means pivotally connecting said rear
cradles to opposite sides of said frame for movement 60
boat dolly including a pair of longitudinally extending
rear cradles adapted to support the aft portion of a boat
hull, means pivotally connecting said rear cradles to
opposite sides of said dolly for movement about a trans
versely extending axis, a pair of longitudinally extend
ing forward cradles adapted to support the midportion
of a boat hull, means pivotally connecting said forward
cradles to opposite sides of said dolly for movement
about axes extending transversely of said dolly, the front
about transversely extending axes, a pair of longitudinally
ends of each of said forward and rear cradles, disposed
extending forward cradles adapted to support the mid
forwardly of their pivotal connections to said dolly, being
portion of a boat hull, means pivotally connecting said
more buoyant than the rear ends of said cradles.
forward cradles to opposite sides of said frame for
pivotal movement about the transversely extending axes, 65
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
said forward and rear cradles being pivotally connected
UNITED STATES PATENTS
to said frame adjacent their rear ends, said cradles being
2,911
Flannigain ___________ ___ Jan. 16, 1843
constructed of buoyant materal.
925,332
Grant ______________ __ June 15, 1909:
2. The combination of claim 1 including an extensible
Haalck ______________ _._ May 18, 1926
bow cradle adapted to engage and embrace the bow of 70 1,585,193
a boat hull.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said bow
cradle includes a V-shaped bow plate pivotally secured
to the apex of said \U-shaped bow cradle for movement
about a transversely extending axis.
75
2,371,461
2,415,805
2,419,361
2,570,161
2,859,704
Newell ______________ .__ Mar. 13,
Atwood ______________ __ Feb. 18,
Miles _______________ __ Apr. 22,
Schwartz _____________ __ Oct. 2,
Howard ____________ __ Nov. 11,
1945
1947
1947
1951
1958
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