PONTOON BOAT WAKE SURF SYSTEM
A pontoon boat includes a deck supported by two pontoons extending in a fore-aft direction and water diverters mounted to the pontoons, the water diverters being movable between a neutral position that does not substantially divert water and a deployed position extended laterally from the boat to divert water.
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The invention is directed to a pontoon boat having apparatus for producing a wake suitable for wake surfing and a method for operating such a pontoon boat.BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY
Wake surfing has become a popular water sport. Inboard ski/wakeboard boats are the most popular choice for this sport as the propellers are under the boat, and are less likely to make contact with the rider. The boats may be equipped with movable tabs configured to deflect water to increase the size of the wake. The pontoon boat is a popular vessel for large groups of people, but has not been suitable for wake surfing due to a small, weak wake that is not clean enough for the application. The invention is directed to modifications to a pontoon boat adapting it for wake surfing without detracting from the other positive attributes of a pontoon boat such as low cost, smooth ride in rough water and large amount of deck space.
A pontoon boat with modifications as described here can produce a wake for wake surfing.Adding Tapers to the Rear of the Pontoons:
In a conventional pontoon boat, the back or aft end of the pontoons is generally flat which causes a large disturbance in the water flow as it leaves the pontoon and this is a major reason for the sloppy wake.
A modification according to the invention is replacing the flat end of the pontoon with or adding a tapered section to the back of the pontoon which allows a smooth release of the water from the pontoon and therefore a cleaner wake.Adding a Wake-Generating Tab to the Lower Side of Each Pontoon:
One tab is mounted on the outboard side of each pontoon at the aft end. The tabs are pivotable between a neutral, water non-deflecting position and a deployed water-deflecting position extending into the flow of water along the pontoon. One tab is deployed at a time to generate a surfing wake on one side of the boat. The deployed tab causes the boat to travel in a straight direction, but with a crab angle and it also causes the boat to tilt somewhat and load one side more than the other.Adding Ballast by Using the Pontoons as Ballast Tanks:
Normally there are separate containers used in wake boarding or wake surfing boats to add ballast. According to the invention, the pontoons are used as the ballast tanks, either as a single tank, or by dividing the pontoon into two or more compartments.
A pontoon boat with wake surfing system is described. By pontoon boat is meant a watercraft having two or more elongated buoyant pontoons, also called floats, which are laterally spaced and extend in the boat's fore-aft direction. The pontoons support a platform for an operator and passengers. A third pontoon may be included and disposed between the two pontoons. A propulsion device, for example, an internal combustion engine and propeller drive, may be mounted at the aft end of the boat and supported by the third, middle pontoon, if the boat has one, or by the platform or structure supported by the two laterally-spaced pontoons. An example of a conventional pontoon boat is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,892,052 to Zook, et al.
Pontoons or floats typically have a cone or prow shaped fore end 14 and a flat or semi-spherical aft end, as may be seen in
The pontoons may also serve as ballast tanks. The pontoons may be configured as a single tank using part or all of the interior space. Alternatively, the pontoons may be configured with one or more compartments that may be flooded and emptied individually. Each tank or compartment may have baffles to inhibit water sloshing inside the tank or compartment.
Alternatively, the pontoons may have a so-called ram fill system to fill the ballast tanks. In a ram fill system, there is an opening in the bottom of the pontoon controlled by a fill valve which opens to allow the tank to fill by ram pressure while the boat is moving. The tanks empty using valves at the back end of the boat which open to allow water to exit while the boat is underway.
In operation for generating a surfing wake, a pontoon on one side of the boat will be flooded with water until the boat attains the desired attitude and/or the pontoon is submerged to a desired degree. For a pontoon configured with two or more tanks, the tanks may be flooded one by one, either partially filled or fully filled as conditions merit.
Referring again to
The invention has been described in terms of illustrative and alternative embodiments, components, and features. However, the scope of the invention is not necessarily limited thereby, but is defined by the appended claims.
1. A boat, comprising:
- a deck supported by two pontoons extending in a fore-aft direction; and,
- a water diverter mounted to one of the deck and at least one pontoon, the water diverter being movable between a neutral position that does not substantially divert water and a deployed position extended laterally from the boat to divert water.
2. The boat as claimed in claim 1, wherein the water diverter is a first water diverter mounted to the deck and comprising a second water diverter mounted to deck on a side opposite the first water diverter.
3. The boat as claimed in claim 1, wherein the water diverter is a first water diverter mounted to the at least one pontoon and comprising a second water diverter mounted to the other pontoon.
4. The boat as claimed in claim 1, comprising at least one ballast chamber formed in the at least one pontoon and configured to selectively fill or discharge water therefrom.
5. The boat as claimed in claim 1, wherein the aft end portion of each pontoon is tapered to converge at the aft end.