To improve on the problem of providing a stable platform for the transfer of personnel at Sea this invention replaces grip and friction between two subjects with 'purchase', it is dependant on the predisposition of a cylindrical tube or parallel cylindrical tubes
(depending on the desired application) of suitable dimensions, fixed vertically to the receiving subject to enable its deployment, thus creating a stable platform between the subjects to/ from which personnel and equipment may be transferred safely at Sea.
Current methods on vessels rely largely on rubber pads or strakes to grip against the receiving subject, the grip diminishes in momentous Seas because the area of contact becomes pivotal further reducing the grip or purchase between subjects . This invention is able to exploit a great proportion of a tube's facia to provide purchase and stability with regards to both horizontal and vertical movement, largely overcoming the multidirectional influences effecting the stability between the two subjects.
This invention is able to take purchase or 'hold' onto a predisposed cylindrical tube without the danger of unintentional mechanical entanglement to the subject, as the purchase and hold is achieved solely through forward propulsion of the subject to which it is attached, the subsidence of which will automatically release the device.
It can however 'hold on' to a tube by anchoring a part of the mechanism if required for certain applications such as : A tugboat or other vessel which needs take a barge astern whilst manoeuvring in a restricted port area, or where a vessel needs to be placed in trailer afforded as a result of the devices perfect central alignment of a vessel or other predisposed subject when fully deployed.
The device can be used singularly or in a 'pair' depending on the application and the predisposition of cylindrical tubes mounted on the receiving subject.
The device can use either a 'sling' mechanism or ' ergonomic rubber shoes' or 'both' to effect its deployment to a cylindrical tube.
The device can be fitted with or without the use of a mounting plate with sliding keyway or similar which would enable it to be retractable, permit side shift ability and afford hydraulic deployment and trailer type anchoring.
The device can incorporate various ancillary equipment to :-
1) Automatically arm/re-arm/re-open and absorb initial deployment energy of device during/ after its deployment preferably by use of Air rams but could alternatively use coil springs, shock absorbers or hydraulic or gas rams
2) Maintain correct attitude during/ready for its deployment such as Air, hydraulic gas or coiled spring self centring devices.
4) Afford retract ability and/or side shift ability by use of a raised mounting bed in preparation for its deployment together with ancillaries such as hydraulic, air or gas rams, or positional screw worms,
5) Visually indicate 'device status' to the operator during its deployment, such
as position lights, pressure meters, or led pressure gauges.
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6) Claims (continued)
1. A tube docking device comprising attachment means for attaching the device to a boat, bridge, gantry or another subject, to enable it to dock through the partial or full encompassment of the pre calibrated and unencumbered facia of a single cylindrical tube, or parallel cylindrical tubes, fixed vertically to any other subject.
2. A tube docking device according to claim 1, in which the encompassment of the tube is achieved by the use of a sling and the purchase intensified by use of sling retaining Tee bars and rubber finals which permit vertical pivot ability thus affording constant contact pressure and purchase to the tube from any angle.
3. A tube docking device according to claim 2 in which the forward energy provided by the subject to which it is attached, closes the sling retaining jaws which in turn compress the sling and rubber finals or rubber shoes, onto a cylindrical tube when deployed.
4. A tube docking device according to claim 1 in which the initial deployment energy and recharging energy is absorbed/ provided, preferably by the incorporation of Air rams, or alternative means such as springs, shock absorbers , hydraulic or gas rams.
5. A tube docking device according to any of the preceding claims in which the encompassment of a tube is provided by use of rubber shoes or pads in addition to/ instead of, slings retained by the device jaws.
6. A tube docking device according to any of the preceding claims in which the deployment can be calibrated, restricted or variable to suit a cylindrical tube with limited exploitable facia area.
7. A tube docking device according to claim 1 in which the device can be fully retractable and adjustable, with or without side shift ability when attached to a device bed and incorporating the use of hydraulic rams, air rams or screw worms.
8. A tube docking device according to claim 7 in which the mechanism can be blocked and and/or energised by use of hydraulic rams, air rams or screw worms thus affording independent hydraulic or other means to enable its operational deployment.
9. A tube docking device according to all preceding claims in which the Sling/ shoe retaining Jaws are mounted to the floating shaft by rigid or swivel means, i.e. the use of male pin/ female receptor to permit swivel.
10. A tube docking device according to all preceding claims in which two or more tube docking devices are installed in parallel at the bow or stern of a boat and deployed to relevantly calibrated cylindrical tubes, thus multiplying the purchase area accordingly and consequently increasing stability to the boats transfer platform in respect to multidirectional influence.
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6)
T.D.D ( Tube Docking Device)
This invention relates to a device which will stabilize the subject typically a boat, bridge or gantry to which it is installed, to a receiving subject typically an offshore oil/gas rig, offshore wind turbine, another vessel, quay wall or pontoon provided the receiving subject is predisposed with a fixed vertically aligned cylindrical tube, or parallel cylindrical tubes, to which the invention(s) may be deployed, in an attempt to provide a stable and safe platform between both subjects to/from which personnel and equipment may be transferred safely at Sea typically :-
Vessel to Vessel - Current methods rely largely on the use of fixed rubber fenders, rubbing strakes and/or inflatable fenders to both protect superstructures and grip for the duration of personnel or equipment transferral from one vessel to the other, often in momentous seas where vessels are adversely affected by wind, tide, wave height and unequal buoyancies, and as a result struggle to afford a stable and reliable platform between subjects for the transfer of personnel and equipment.
Boat to large ship, to transfer personnel to/from very large ships, the boat steers along side the ship on its Leigh side where it will be less affected by the elements and relies on the vessels rubbing strake to both protect the vessel's hulls and create grip, there is not usually a specifically designated area for this operation, the vessel is not 'docked' in any way which means that a gap can emerge at the time of transfer, and/ or the forward/ aft position to/from which the crew are attempting to climb can change in an instant, This invention will permit the smaller vessel to take up a secure and stable landing position, provided the ship is predisposed with cylinders as aforementioned attached to its transom, or a cylinder on either of its beams thus offering a suitable landing position.
Where a vessel such as a barge is dependent on other forms of propulsion such as a tug, this invention will be useful both during their voyage and at time of manoeuvring in restricted port areas, provided both vessels are suitably predisposed as aforementioned, because the propelling vessel will have a purchase on the barge affording improved directional control, the ability to hold position and to take the reliant vessel astern if it chooses to do so, without the use of warps or towing bridles which require considerable obstacle free zones to permit the relevant tow turning circles.
Vessel to Subject - Such as a boat to offshore oil/gas rig, construction, or wind turbine. Current methods rely largely on rubber bow pads, shoes or strakes, fitted to the bow of the vessel being pushed onto a designated landing area, grip is provided using forward vessel propulsion. However in turbulent Seas the grip created between the two subjects becomes pivotal and inconsistent reducing the grip made good, thus making it increasingly difficult to create a stable transfer platform.
This invention will be far less affected by vertical or horizontal movement to the transfer platform and create greater stability when the vessel is undergoing increased wave height, strong wind, or tidal influence on her beam.
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6) Description, Patent Title & Background (continued)
Bridge or gantry to subject- such as ship's/ boat's bridge or gantry to a construction or sister ship.
Current methods rely largely on a sophisticated bridge or gantry launching platform to compensate for wave movement, the gantry docks on to a predisposed receiving device to which it maintains position without mechanical attachment.
However this invention will permit the bridge or gantry to dock directly onto 'any' part of the construction securely without mechanical attachment, provided the receiving subject incorporates cylindrical tubing in its construction or the desired docking area is predisposed with cylindrical tubing as aforementioned
Quay wall or pontoons, current methods rely largely on the vessel going alongside or fender-ed bow onto a quay wall or pontoon, often with tidal and/ or wind influence to transfer personnel and equipment ashore, this invention will permit the vessels to dock at a predisposed point firmly and securely temporarily for the objective of transfer or permanently in respect of mooring as it would save a great amount of space in mooring areas and on pontoons.
This invention together with the predisposition of a tube or tubes has been devised because It is able to exploit a large are of a cylindrical tube facia with the utilization of pivotal sling retaining Tee bars or ergonomic rubber shoes fixed within the arc of two jaws. The tube is suitable because it is less hazardous in the case of accidental collision and it will permit effective deployment from any angle whereas the device jaws are held open to a greater width than the cylindrical tube ready for deployment thus affording the operator a fab- margin for error as the device will automatically deploy in central alignment even if the alignment of device and tube is not central when the device initially engages.
It will not move continuously up and down the tube facia in attempt to grip because the purchase area is substantial, the contact purchase and pressure being rendered stable, constant, because the device purchase is pivotal and afforded by a mechanical device whose function is dependent solely through the forward propulsion of the subject to which it is attached, this propulsion energy is transferred to the sling retaining jaws through mechanical movement, the greater the propulsion the firmer the purchase, if the forward pressure is reduced then the sling will slip permitting instant and constant ability to adjust the docking height, perhaps necessary through variable swell heights, without full disengagement. However if the pressure is significantly reduced the device will automatically disengage, in the case of the subject itself being a boat, when the device(s) is fitted to its bow or in some cases perhaps its stern the boat itself will pin and subsequently pivot on the tube or tubes leaving wave energy to release at its stern or bow, the vessel will also be far less affected by strong cross wind, tide or other multidirectional influences as the device makes a form around the tube whilst virtually eliminating the risk of unintentional entanglement. However the device can also incorporate a blocking and/or hydraulic shift mechanism, which will afford locking and/ or hydraulic or other means of operational deployment if desired.
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6) Tube Docking Device drawings
The invention will now be described solely by way of reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig 1 - shows the main features and functions of the Tube docking device attached to an optional base plate to permit retract ability and/or hydraulic deployment and is predisposed for 'sling' deployment to a vertically mounted cylindrical tube.
Fig 2 - shows all components of a tube docking device to be deployed with use of a prescribed sling.
Fig 3 - shows Tube docking device showing its full deployment onto a cylindrical tube.
Fig 4 - shows Tube docking device with alternative ergonomic tube shoes.
The Tube Docking Device is predisposed for 'sling' deployment to a vertically mounted cylindrical tube in which a tube docking device unit 1 , includes attachment means 15 directly to a boat, bridge, walkway, a desired subject, or to a mounting bed 21 which will afford retract ability, hydraulic operation/deployment of device and to put vessels in trailer through the employment of hydraulic rams 22 a pivotal sling 8 (or rubber pads) which when deployed by the device will take purchase of the unencumbered facia of a cylindrical tube C which is fixed to a receiving subject, the forward propulsion of the sling 8 and the jaws 4 against the cylinder forces the floating shaft 2 back through the hollow body 1 the initial energy is absorbed by two air rams 16 the propulsion energy then transfers to energy levers 11 subsequently to the jaws 4 which deploy the sling around the tube facia C and will finally compress the rubber finals 7 against the tube as this pressure increases.
The docking device consists of the hollow casing 1 through which passes the floating shaft 2 to the front end of which is attached the jaw retainer 3 to which are located two jaws 4 and held in position by a steel pin 5 passing through the ends of both jaws there is a sling retaining Tee bar 6 which will afford pivot ability, attached to both ends of the Tee bars there is a rubber final 7 the sling 8 is fastened between the Tee bars which are kept in position with self centring coil springs and locking nuts 9 there are female reception energy lever hinges 10 to which are attached the male energy levers 1 1 and held in position by a steel pin 12 the other end of the energy levers are attached to a female hinge on the main casing 13 and held in position by a steel pin 14 there are four deployment/fixing position brackets 15 two Air rams 16 are connected to the floating shaft pins 17 which pass directly through slots -
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6) Tube Docking Device drawings Fig 2 (continued)
-sufficiently elongated in the sides of the main body hollow casing 1 to allow the full stroke of the air rams 16 the other end of the air ram 16 is attached directly to the hollow casing 1 and secured by a bolt 18 there is a deployment restricting pin 19 with multiple positions to limit deployment if required, fixed to an independent position just to the rear of device is a floating shaft anchor bracket 20 which will enable locking of device in deployed position if 'desired' by the insertion of deployment restricting pin 1 through anchor bracket 20 and floating shaft 2.
In Fig 3
Through continued pressure on the sling 8 against the cylindrical tube C the sling retaining jaws 4 close inwards then transfer this pressure back to floating shaft 2 which depresses through the hollow casing 1 and is now protruding out of the rear of the hollow casing 1 in situ with shaft anchor bracket 20 with the removal of deployment restricting pin 19 the initial energy has been absorbed by the air rams 16 and the piston stroke has closed indicated by the compressed position of the floating shaft pins 17 as a result of this depression of the floating shaft 2 through the hollow casing 1 the energy transfer levers 1 1 have transferred this energy back to the jaws 4 compressing the rubber finals 7 onto the cylindrical tube C as the jaws continue to attempt to close inwards, if we now wish to lock the device and/ or hydraulically operate the device without the use of forward propulsion, this can be achieved by the insertion of restriction pin 19 through floating shaft anchor 20 and floating shaft 2 then energising/de-energising hydraulic rams 22 whilst de-energising air rams 16.
Shows alternative means to purchase/hold a cylindrical tube whereby shoes 23 have replaced the sling retaining Tee bars ( Fig 1, item 6 ) the deployment of which can be assisted by the attachment of a sling 8B this will still allow pivot ability of device when fully deployed, However if pivot ability is unnecessary shoes could be fixed on the inside of the retaining jaws (fig 1 item 4) with or without the addition of a nudge pad 24 and deploy in similar fashion to sling deployment.
INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (RULE 20.6)
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