Title:
Folding boat that converts to a car top carrier and storage container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A more utilitarian folding boat, comprising two identical rigid halves that are held in a parallel position by a single longitudinal hinge fixed to opposing flanges, running from transom to bow, and braces placed on or otherwise affixed to the fore and aft flanges and seat mounts, that when assembled form a twin hull water craft. The hinge affixed to the hull sections allow the sections to be rotated around a centerline of the open boat to then mate at their flange in the same manner as a clam, to form a sealed container suitable for transport on the roof of an automobile. The interior of the closed boat is intended to be used to contain components of the boat and camping gear or other items to be transported by vehicle or stored by standing the closed container on its end like a locker.



Inventors:
Mccarthy, Patrick Albert (Oakland, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/742772
Publication Date:
10/18/2001
Filing Date:
12/20/2000
Assignee:
MCCARTHY PATRICK ALBERT
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/486, 224/309
International Classes:
B60R9/045; B60R9/055; B63B7/02; B63B7/06; (IPC1-7): B63B7/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASINGER, SHERMAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patrick, Mccarthy (437 Elwood Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94610, US)
Claims:

What I claim as my invention is:



1. A portable folding boat that can interchangeably function as a car top carrier for camping gear or other items or a storage vessel comprising: a. two identical hull sections fabricated each as single rigid pieces with a flange at the open face; b. the hull sections being connected by a permanent hinge at their flange along the length of said hull sections from the aft most to the fore most points of the hull; c. brace pieces that removably attach one to each of the forward and rear flanges across the entire width of the boat to support and stabilize the boat in an open position and allow for the mounting of a small motor for propulsion; d. at least one seat board upon which seats may be mounted, removably attached athwart the vessel to the outer flanges, at intervals suitable for occupants and to aid in the balance of the craft;

2. Said hinge to allow the hull sections to reside in a parallel plane forming left and right hulls when open and the rotation of one hull around the axis of the hinge to a flange upon flange mating for a closed car top carrier configuration; a. in car top carrier form the device may be used to contain and/or transport material in a sealed environment; b. closed configuration does not rely upon towing apparatuses for transport or launching; c. owing to light weight closed configuration may be placed on the roof of an automobile by hand without the use of other mechanical contrivance, and affixed there for transport;

3. Boat hardware provided is common and configured to use without the use of tools for ease of assembly and convenient replacement.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to a boat that may be folded, or closed to produce a car-top carrier or portable storage unit, with little effort.

[0005] A boat is generally comprising a rigid or inflatable hull that is difficult to move or store when out of the water. Further, the utility of the hull remains fixed only in the water environment owing to a single use aspect of its design. This invention addresses the utility of a boat that may be manually closed to provide storage, a container/boat that may be transported with a sturdy roof rack on a typical sedan type automobile such that items, for example camping gear, may be transported within the container/boat and not inside the automobile, a folding boat that is suitable for multiple persons and may be assembled using common hardware and no tools.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention relates to boats that fold and provide multiple uses for the configuration.

[0007] The present invention is able to provide a folding boat that enhances the utility of the fundamental boat design to allow for several uses of the same vehicle. The object of the invention is to provide a boat that will fold to a smaller size and having been folded closed provide storage for material such as camping gear while allowing for a boat/storage container that can be transported by sedan without the expense of a towing contrivance.

[0008] Further, this invention is intended to provide quick and simple conversion from car top carrier/storage container to boat without tooling required. This boat is intended for use with a small gas or electric motor or with oars or paddles for propulsion. The boat will accommodate a variety of rigid or folding seats for the comfort of the passengers. The boat is made of rigid material such that it has resistance to puncture, abrasion or repeated assembly and may be accessorized with conventional water craft equipment. Most water craft require trailers and towing accessories and are therefore set apart from those who have automobiles not equipped for towing or those who have no adequate space to store the vessel while not in use . This invention is, by design, sized to be used with suitable automobile rack rather than be towed so that those with an automobile have a means by which they may take camping equipment, normally relegated to the back seat, and a boat, all with a minimum of automotive accessories.

[0009] The car top carrier may be opened on the car and emptied of its contents and closed to make an easily removable container that, when on the ground may be converted in minutes into a power boat. Similarly the boat, once disassembled may be placed on the car by one or two persons and filled with gear, closed and secured on the rack for transport.

[0010] The car top carrier may be removed from the vehicle and will stand on end like a locker to provide compact storage inside a typical garage when not in use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a front view of the boat at a fully open position without bracing or seat boards.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a left side view of the boat at a fully open position without bracing or seat boards.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a plan view of the boat at a fully open position without bracing or seat boards.

[0014] FIG. 4 is an perspective drawing of the open boat from the bottom aft looking forward.

[0015] FIG. 5 is an perspective drawing of the open boat from the top aft looking forward.

[0016] FIG. 6 is an perspective drawing of the boat closed to form a container, from the bottom aft looking forward.

[0017] FIG. 7 is a partially open view from the top looking forward showing how seat boards and braces are positioned.

[0018] FIG. 8 is an perspective drawing of the fully assembled boat, from the top aft, looking forward.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] FIG. (1), Two hulls (1) (2) are fastened permanently by a central hinge (3), in a side by side of parallel alignment such that the either hull is allowed to rotate around the axis of the hinge to form a closed container, FIG. (6), used for storage and transport of gear.

[0020] FIGS. (1,3,4,5,8) the hulls are opened 180 degrees, to a point where the flanges reside in the same plane. FIG. (7) the braces (4), and the seat boards (5) are placed in their respective position and secured with bolts (6), and washers and wing nuts (7), to form FIG. (8) a fully functional boat with which a small motor may be used by attachment on the forward or rear braces, or the boat may be paddled or rowed.

[0021] Said boat to be manufactured of material such as fiber reenforced plastics, wood or metal, possessing sufficient strength to resist flexing, cracking or collapse, while allowing repeated assembly and disassembly cycles, yet light weight enough to be handled by one or two average persons.

[0022] The simplicity of use is born out in assembly with few if any parts and no tools needed while utility of interchangeability from a boat, to a car top carrier, to a storage container, is obvious and clearly unique.