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United States Patent Application 20110290169
Kind Code A1
YOICHI; Yamazaki December 1, 2011

SAIL

Abstract

A sail 100 includes: a top outhaul 1; a bottom outhaul 3; a groove 4 extending perpendicularly and attachable to a groove portion 61 formed in furling gear 6; and two swelling portions 100a and 100b on both sides of the groove 4. When a sailboat is under sail, the swelling portions 100a and 100b are spread and usable in a following wind, while the swelling portions 100a and 100b are folded along the groove 4 and usable as a jib in a head wind or a beam wind. The top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3 are connected to the furling gear 6 and the groove 4 is attached to the furling gear 6, and thereby, the furling gear 6 furls and unfurls the swelling portions 100a and 100b.


Inventors: YOICHI; Yamazaki; (Kanagawa, JP)
Serial No.: 888090
Series Code: 12
Filed: September 22, 2010

Current U.S. Class: 114/102.29
Class at Publication: 114/102.29
International Class: B63H 9/06 20060101 B63H009/06


Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
May 31, 2010JP2010-136560
Aug 19, 2010JP2010-184317

Claims



1. A sail used for sailing a sailboat, wherein: the sail is a single sheet corresponding to two right and left jibs hoisted in a front part of the sailboat; the sail includes a top outhaul 1, two right and left clew outhauls 2, a bottom outhaul 3, and a groove 4 formed on the perpendicular line between the top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3 and used for fastening the sail to furling gear; the sail is neatly folded with furled up by the furling gear arranged in the sailboat; the sail is substantially rhombic, is laterally spread in a following wind and is usable as a following-wind exclusive sail; and the sail is naturally neatly folded laterally in a head wind or a beam wind and is usable like a jib.

2. A sail used for sailing a sailboat, comprising: at least one top outhaul arranged in an upper-end part thereof; at least one bottom outhaul arranged in a lower-end part thereof; a groove extending perpendicularly on the line connecting the top outhaul and the bottom outhaul, the groove being attachable to a groove portion formed in furling gear provided in the sailboat; and two swelling portions arranged on both sides of the groove, wherein when the sailboat is under sail, the swelling portions are spread and usable in a following wind, when the sailboat is under sail, the swelling portions are folded along the groove and usable as a jib in a head wind or a beam wind, and the top outhaul and the bottom outhaul are connected to the furling gear and the groove is attached to the furling gear, and thereby, the furling gear furls and unfurls the swelling portions.

3. The sail according to claim 2, wherein the swelling portion has a lower edge part curved upward.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a sail which is capable of serving both as a sail (jib) used in a head wind or a beam wind and a following-wind exclusive sail (spinnaker) to thereby save troublesome sail-exchanging work, making a spinnaker run easily even in sailing alone (single-handed), reducing the sail area using furling gear provided in an ordinary sailboat even in the middle of sailing, and folding neatly with furled up to thereby protect the sail surfaces.

[0003] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0004] In conventional sailing, a jib and a spinnaker of a sailboat had to be exchanged according to the wind direction (refer to U.S. Patent Publication No. 3828711), thereby requiring complicated work to hoist a spinnaker and making it difficult to handle the sail. In order to avoid this, an undertrained crew had to keep using a jib even in a following wind and sail at a low speed. Especially, it was extremely hard for a single-handed crew to exchange a jib for a spinnaker to sail in a following wind.

[0005] As described in U.S. Patent Publication No. 3828711, a sail similar to the sail according to the present invention has been devised, but the sail does not have a shape designed to furl the sail by furling gear and thereby reduce the sail area in a strong wind or the like. Besides, the sail is not supposed to be completely furled neatly and protected at anchor or the like. Consequently, the sail is impracticable and unused on the sea where the weather tends to be unsettled.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to solve the above problems and hence provide a sail capable of serving by itself both as a spinnaker and a jib.

[0007] In order to solve the problems, a sail according to the present invention which is used for sailing a sailboat, includes: at least one top outhaul arranged in an upper-end part thereof; at least one bottom outhaul arranged in a lower-end part thereof; a groove extending perpendicularly on the line connecting the top outhaul and the bottom outhaul, the groove being attachable to a groove portion formed in furling gear provided in the sailboat; and two swelling portions arranged on both sides of the groove, in which when the sailboat is under sail, the swelling portions are spread and usable in a following wind, when the sailboat is under sail, the swelling portions are folded along the groove and usable as a jib in a head wind or a beam wind, and the top outhaul and the bottom outhaul are connected to the furling gear and the groove is attached to the furling gear, and thereby, the furling gear furls and unfurls the swelling portions.

[0008] In the sail according to the present invention, when the sailboat is under sail, the sail is spread in a following wind and is usable as a spinnaker, while the sail is folded along the groove in a head wind or a beam wind and is usable as a jib.

[0009] According to the present invention, there is no need to exchange a jib and a spinnaker in accordance with the wind direction, thereby saving the complicated work of hoisting a spinnaker or the like. Specifically, in a following wind, the sailboat sails with the sail spread out, and if the sailboat veers and sails in a head wind or a beam wind, then the sail is naturally folded along the groove and takes the same form as a conventional jib. If the wind direction turns to a following wind again, the sail is spread again and takes the same form as a spinnaker. Furthermore, it is unnecessary to make a sail exchange, and hence, when it turns to a following wind, even a single-handed crew can make a spinnaker run easily regardless of the degree of skill.

[0010] In addition, the top outhaul, the bottom outhaul and the groove are attached to the furling gear to thereby fix the sail securely to the furling gear. Therefore, the folded-down parts of the sail can be prevented from slipping each other in a beam wind or the like.

[0011] Furthermore, the sail is folded along the groove and furled from the groove by the furling gear. Therefore, the sail can be protected from ultraviolet rays, a salty-and-moist sea wind or the like, thereby enabling the sailboat to stay at anchor for a long time with the sail furled up.

[0012] Moreover, the swelling portion has a lower edge part bulging upward in an arc, thereby when the sailboat is under sail, preventing the swelling portion (the lower edge part of the sail) from interrupting a view ahead of the sail, and hence, certainly securing the front view.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a front view showing the whole of a sail according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a front view showing the sail folded in a head wind or a beam wind.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the sail when a sailboat sails in a following wind.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the sail when the sailboat sails in a head wind or a beam wind.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a sectional view showing how to use furling gear in a following wind.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing how to use the furling gear in a head wind or a beam wind.

[0019] FIG. 7 is a sectional view showing how to use the furling gear in a strong following wind.

[0020] FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the sail furled and reduced in size when the sailboat sails in a strong head wind or beam wind.

[0021] FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the sail furled and reduced in size when the sailboat sails in a strong following wind.

[0022] FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing how to use the furling gear.

[0023] FIG. 11 is an enlarged perspective view showing a lower part of the furling gear.

[0024] FIG. 12 is an enlarged perspective view showing an upper part of the furling gear.

[0025] FIG. 13 is a perspective view showing the sail furled.

[0026] FIG. 14 is a front view showing the whole of a sail according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

[0027] FIG. 15 is a front view showing the whole of a sail according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 16 is a perspective view showing the sail hoisted high when the sailboat sails in a following wind.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] Embodiments of the present invention will be below described with reference to the drawings.

First Embodiment

[0030] FIGS. 1 to 13 show a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 1, a sail 100 is used for sailing a sailboat hull 7 and has the shape of a sheet corresponding to two conventional jibs each laterally arranged. The sail 100 includes: at least one top outhaul 1 arranged in an upper-end part thereof; at least one bottom outhaul 3 arranged in a lower-end part thereof; a groove 4 extending perpendicularly on the line connecting the top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3, the groove 4 being attachable to a groove portion 61 formed in furling gear 6 provided in the sailboat hull 7; and two swelling portions 100a and 100b arranged on both sides of the groove 4. As shown in FIG. 2, the swelling portions 100a and 100b of the sail 100 are symmetrical with respect to the groove 4 and each have a substantially triangular shape. The lower edge part of each of the swelling portions 100a and 100b is curved toward the upside (inside) of the sail 100 and located upward (inward) from the line connecting a clew outhaul 2 (described later) and the bottom outhaul 3. When the sailboat hull 7 is under sail, as shown in FIG. 3, the sail 100 is spread in a following wind and is usable as a spinnaker. On the other hand, when the sailboat hull 7 is under sail, as shown in FIG. 4, the sail 100 is folded along the groove 4 in a head wind or a beam wind and is usable as a jib. As shown in FIG. 13, when the sail 100 is folded along the groove 4 and furled from the side of the groove 4 with the one swelling portion 100b located outside, the periphery of the sail 100 corresponds to a cover attachment portion for attaching a sail protective cover. The sail protective cover is made of fiber having a protection effect against ultraviolet rays and is adhesively attachable to the cover attachment portion. In addition, the sail 100 includes a top outhaul 1 above the groove 4, a bottom outhaul 3 below the groove 4 and a clew outhaul 2 arranged in a side-end part of each of the swelling portions 100a and 100b.

[0032] The top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3 are attached to furling gear 6, and as described later, the furling gear 6 can furl the sail 100. The clew outhauls 2 are each attached to a jib sheet (sail handling rope which will be below called the "rope") 5.

[0033] As shown in FIG. 1, the groove 4 is formed along the line connecting the top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3 on the outside surface (front surface in the heading direction) of the sail 100. As shown in FIGS. 5 to 7, the groove 4 is an edged part of the sail 100 which perpendicularly extends convexly and is attachable to the groove portion 61 formed in the furling gear 6 arranged in the sailboat hull 7. In this embodiment, the groove 20 is fixed to the furling gear 6.

[0034] Next, how to use the thus configured sail 100 will be described.

[0035] First, a description will be given about how to attach the sail 100 to the furling gear 6. The top outhaul 1, the bottom outhaul 3 and the groove 4 of the sail 100 are attached to the furling gear 6 while the ropes 5 are attached to the clew outhauls 2. The sailboat hull 7 sails with the sail 100 attached to the furling gear 6 in this manner.

[0036] In a following wind, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the sail 100 is laterally spread and sends the sailboat hull 7 sailing in the same form as a spinnaker. If the sailboat hull 7 is veering to windward, as shown in FIG. 4, the rope 5 on the leeward side is pulled and the rope 5 on the windward side is loosened, then the sail 100 is naturally folded. Then, if the sailboat hull 7 veers and sails in a head wind or a beam wind, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the sail 100 is naturally folded along the groove 4 and takes the same form as a conventional jib. If the sailboat hull 7 veers again and sails in a following wind, the sail 100 begins to be spread in the following wind, and as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the sail 100 is spread. At this time, even though the rope 5 need hardly be handled, the rope 5 on the side where the sail 100 has swollen out is slightly pulled to thereby send the wind to the opposite side of the sail 100 and spread the sail 100 smoothly.

[0037] Sequentially, how to furl the sail 100 will be described.

[0038] If the lift exerted on the sail 100 in a strong wind needs to be lowered, if the sailboat hull 7 lies at anchor or in another such case, then as shown in FIGS. 7 to 9, the furling gear 6 furls the sail 100 to thereby reduce the area thereof. At this time, as shown in FIG. 10, a rope 12 of the furling gear 6 is pulled to thereby furl the sail 100 and reduce the area thereof. As shown in FIG. 11, the lower-end part of the sail 100 is fixed to a drum 6a of the furling gear 6 with the rope 9 fixed to the bottom outhaul 3 of the sail 100. As shown in FIG. 12, the upper-end part of the sail 100 is furled by a rotation of a furl portion 6b. Hence, if the rope 12 wound onto the drum 6a is pulled, the drum 6a and the furl portion 6b are rotated to thereby furl the sail 100. If the sail 100 is completely furled, as shown in FIG. 13, the cover attachment portion covers the periphery thereof. In other words, the periphery of the furled part of the sail 100 is covered in a sail protective cover. A pulling-up portion 6c is used for pulling the sail 100 upward and pulls up the sail 100 strongly to thereby apply tension between the top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3.

[0039] As described so far, according to the sail 100, there is no need to exchange a jib used in a head wind or a beam wind and a spinnaker used in a following wind in accordance with the wind direction, thereby saving complicated work such as hoisting a spinnaker or the like. Specifically, in a following wind, the sailboat hull 7 sails with the sail 100 spread out, and hence, the sailboat hull 7 can sail fast enough with the sail 100 swollen out on both sides of the groove 4. If the sailboat hull 7 veers and sails in a head wind or a beam wind, then the sail 100 is folded along the groove 4 attached to the groove portion 61 of the furling gear 6 and takes the same form as a conventional jib. If the wind direction turns to a following wind again, the sail 100 is naturally spread laterally and takes the same form as a spinnaker. In this process, a crew does not need to do the complicated work for the sail 100. Furthermore, it is unnecessary to make a sail exchange, and hence, when the wind direction turns to a following wind, even a single-handed crew can make a spinnaker run easily regardless of the degree of skill. In addition, the sail 100 is folded and doubled and thereby becomes stronger, so that it can be thinned. Then, the sail 100 is thinned and thereby has the same advantages as a conventional spinnaker.

[0040] Furthermore, the lower part of the sail 100 is supported at the three points of the two clew outhauls 2 and the bottom outhaul 3, and further, the groove 4 is fixed to the groove portion 61 of the furling gear 6. This makes it possible to prevent the sail 100 from crushing and realize stable sailing. A conventional spinnaker is triangular, has only two supporting points in the lower part and is unstable, requiring that a spinnaker pole should be bridged from a mast to the spinnaker to thereby stabilize the spinnaker and then spread it. However, the sail 100 is supported at the three points and stable, and hence, there is no need for a spinnaker pole. Therefore, work on board can be significantly lightened, thereby making the sailing far more comfortable and safer.

[0041] Moreover, the top outhaul 1, the bottom outhaul 3 and the groove 4 are attached to the furling gear 6, and this simple configuration allows the sail 100 to be laterally folded when furled up and generate friction between the inside surfaces of the folded sail 100, thereby facilitating the furling. Therefore, in a head or beam wind or in a strong following wind, the furling gear 6 furls the sail 100 swiftly to thereby reduce the area thereof. Hence, regardless of the wind direction or the wind speed, the sailboat hull 7 can sail simply and stably with the single sail 100. In other words, a sailboat can be easily sailed in all directions, so that the sailboat can be handled even more easily. Besides, using the top outhaul 1, the bottom outhaul 3 and the groove 4, the sail 100 can be attached to the furling gear 6, thereby saving altering the existing furling gear 6 and facilitating the introduction thereof.

[0042] In addition, the groove 4 is attached to the groove portion 61 of the furling gear 6, and thereby, after the sail 100 has been folded along the groove 4, the sail 100 can be kept folded without any slip of the crease thereof. Therefore, the shape of the sail 100 stabilizes to thereby enable the sailboat hull 7 to sail stably. Besides, the groove 4 is attached to the furling gear 6 to thereby allow the furling gear 6 to furl and unfurl the sail 100 with ease.

[0043] Furthermore, when the sail 100 is furled up, the sail 100 is folded along the groove 4, the cover attachment portion is placed outside, the sail is furled from the side of the groove 4, and the cover attachment portion provided with a protective cover covers the periphery thereof. As a result, with the sail 100 kept furled up, the cover attachment portion provided with the protective cover is placed outside. Therefore, the sail can be protected from ultraviolet rays, a salty-and-moist sea wind or the like, thereby allowing the sailboat hull 7 to stay at anchor for a long time with the sail 100 attached thereto.

[0044] Moreover, the lower edge parts of the swelling portions 100a and 100b of the sail 100 are bulged upward in an arc. Therefore, when the sailboat is under sail, the lower edge parts of the sail can be prevented from interrupting a view ahead of the sail, thereby certainly securing the front view.

[0045] As described so far, the sail 100 includes the top outhaul 1, the clew outhauls 2, the bottom outhaul 3 and the groove 4. Therefore, although the sail 100 has a shape different from a conventional jib or spinnaker, it can be employed using existing gear and equipment of the sailboat hull 7 and easily handled by a crew regardless of the degree of skill. Conventionally, there has been a kite-type sail, but it is made of extremely thin cloth such as parachute texture and is not supposed at all to be furled by furling gear or used as a jib requiring a specified strength. In contrast, the sail 100 can be used together with the furling gear 6 and also used as a jib.

Second Embodiment

[0046] FIG. 14 shows a second embodiment of the present invention. A sail 110 according to the second embodiment differs in the shape of the lower edge part thereof from the first embodiment, but otherwise it is the same. Hence, the component elements are given the same reference characters and numerals as those of the first embodiment, as long as the former are identical to the latter, and their description is omitted.

[0047] The lower edge part of the sail 110 is formed with the straight lines connecting the clew outhauls 2 and the bottom outhaul 3. Hence, the sail 110 includes swelling portions 110a and 110b each enclosed with straight lines as the periphery thereof and having a substantially triangular shape symmetrical with respect to the groove 4.

[0048] The thus-configured sail 110 has substantially straight lines as the periphery and thereby can be more easily machined.

Third Embodiment

[0049] FIG. 15 shows a third embodiment of the present invention. A sail 120 according to the third embodiment is provided with slits 120c and 120d above and below the groove 4 respectively and differs in the shape of the lower edge part thereof from the first embodiment, but otherwise it is the same.

[0050] The sail 120 includes swelling portions 120a and 120b divided by the groove 4 and the slits 120c and 120d. The swelling portions 120a and 120b are each provided with the top outhaul 1 on the upside thereof and the bottom outhaul 3 on the downside thereof. In other words, the sail 120 includes the two top outhauls 1 in an upper-end part thereof and the two bottom outhauls 3 in a lower-end part thereof.

[0051] Hence, the sail 120 includes the top outhauls 1 and the bottom outhauls 3 in the upper-end and lower-end parts, respectively, of the swelling portions 120a and 120b. Therefore, the sail 120 can be securely fixed to the furling gear 6 and thereby prevented from slipping out of place even in a strong wind.

[0052] Hereinbefore, the embodiments of the present invention have been described, but without departing from the scope of the present invention, variations or the like in design should be included in the present invention. For example, the groove 4 does not always need to have substantially the full length of the straight line connecting the top outhaul 1 and the bottom outhaul 3. Below the top outhaul 1 and above the bottom outhaul 3, grooves each shorter than the full length may be provided. Further, the groove 4 maybe attached to the groove portion 61 of the furling gear 6 with the furling gear 6 kept turned by an angle of substantially 180.degree. such that the groove 4 lies on the outside surface (front surface in the heading direction) of the sail 100. In this case, when the sailboat hull 7 sails in a following wind, the sail 100 is extended outside of the furling gear 6 and spread out.

[0053] In addition, if the sail 100 does not need to be furled up when the sailboat hull 7 is under sail or in another such case, as shown in FIG. 13, then without attaching the groove 4 to the furling gear 6, the bottom outhaul 3 may be attached to a bottom-outhaul sheet (rope) 9 and the length of the rope 9 can be adjusted to thereby adjust the height from the sea surface of the lower-end part of the sail 100. In this case, even in a following wind from right behind, the sail 100 can be hoisted higher only by paying out the rope 9, thereby accelerating the sailboat hull 7 without complicated work and facilitating the sailing.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

[0054] Although a similar sail has been devised, the sail does not have a shape designed to furl the sail by furling gear and thereby reduce the sail area in a strong wind or the like. Besides, the sail is not supposed to be completely furled neatly and protected at anchor or the like, and hence, the sail is impracticable and unused. In contrast, the sail according to the present invention can be easily attached to existing furling gear and the sail is capable of solving the above problems simply, thereby contributing toward widening the navigation range or sailable wind range of a sailboat and promoting the marine industry.

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