Title:
Bio catcher
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bio catcher has a comb or rake like device attached to the front of a boat and which can be adjusted to more selectively collect a variety of bio matter, most notably aquatic plants. The device can either push away plants, collect those just at the surface or collect several inches below the surface. Additionaly, a trimmer can be fitted in front of the comb to cut the plants that will then be collected by the comb. In combination with a flat bottom boat and a movable propeller requiring very little depth to operate in, it is possible to use the device in as little as 6 inches of water.



Inventors:
Beauregard, Alain (Mont-St-Gregoire, CA)
Application Number:
10/894690
Publication Date:
01/27/2005
Filing Date:
07/19/2004
Assignee:
BEAUREGARD ALAIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01D44/00; E02B15/00; E02B15/04; E02B15/10; (IPC1-7): E02B15/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TORRES, ALICIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Inventarium (SUITE 1607, 4050, ROSEMONT BLVD, MONTREAL, QC, H1X2M4, CA)
Claims:
1. A bio catcher to collect aquatic plants comprising: a frame attached to the front of a boat; a skimmer; a threaded adjustment with a handle to adjust the height of said skimmer; both said threaded adjustment and said skimmer related by way of an armature; said skimmer having a plurality of tines along its bottom and its sides; a screen to contain bio matter once collected by said tines; said bio catcher having different configurations; means for moving said skimmer into different configurations such as for emptying said skimmer or for pushing bio matter

2. A bio catcher to collect aquatic plants as in claim 1 wherein: an optional trimmer attachment is removably attached in front of said skimmer.

3. A bio catcher to collect aquatic plants as in claim 1 wherein: a side skimmer is installed on at least one side of said boat.

4. A bio catcher to collect aquatic plants as in claim 3 wherein: said side skimmer being deployable from a non use configuration to an in use configuration.

5. A bio catcher having the following method of use: a skimmer collects bio matter, then moves into an emptying mode to free said bio matter for later pick up along with other bundles scattered in an area; after said area is cleared, said bundles are moved, contained by at least one side skimmer, a screen, and said skimmer.

Description:

This application claims priority based on provisional application 60/489,793 filed Jul. 25, 2003, except for claim 3.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to skimmers and collectors but more particularly to a collector of aquatic plants and related bio matter on the water surface.

2. Background of the Invention

A number of inventions decribe nettings and other such catch-all collectors designed to collect water surface borne debris but they are often designed for trash and such debris. Other systems are really underwater weed wackers and have a rather aggressive approach to the elimination of aquatic plants and can produce severe collateral damage.

There is therefore a need for a less aggressive device to handle the removal of aquatic plants on or below the surface of water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention discloses a comb or rake like device attached to the front of a boat and which can be adjusted to more selectively collect a variety of bio matter, most notably aquatic plants. The device can either push away plants, collect those just at the surface or collect several inches below the surface. Additionaly, a trimmer can be fitted in front of the comb to cut the plants that will then be collected by the comb. In combination with a flat bottom boat and a movable propeller rquiring very little depth to operate in, it is possible to use the device in as little as 6 inches of water.

The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein the preferred embodiment of the invention is shown and described, by way of examples. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modifications in various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1a Side elevation of the bio catcher installed on a boat with side skimmer in intermediate mode.

FIG. 1b detail of the side skimmer in transport mode.

FIG. 1c detail of the motor with the movable propeller taken out of the water.

FIG. 2 Side elevation of the skimmer structure with an optional trimmer attachment releasably attachable in front and generally below the skimmer.

FIG. 3 Side elevation of the bio catcher in the shallow skimmer configuration

FIG. 4 Side elevation of the bio catcher in the deep skimmer configuration

FIG. 5 Side elevation of the bio catcher in emptying configuration

FIG. 6 Side elevation of the bio catcher when pushing bundles

FIG. 7 Side elevation of the bio catcher when not in use

FIG. 8 Top view of the bio catcher and the boat

FIG. 9 Top view detail of the skimmer structure with optional trimmer attachment

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A bio catcher (10) is attached to the front of a boat (12) by way of a frame (14). A threaded adjustment (16) with a handle (18) can adjust the height of the skimmer (20) and both the threaded adjustment (16) and the skimmer (20) are related by way of an armature (26). The height of the skimmer (20) can be adjusted from below the waterline (22) as in FIG. 1, or at the water line as in FIG. 3. The skimmer (20) has a plurality of bottom tines (24) along its bottom and side tines (24′) along its sides, wherein the side tines (24′), situated on each sides of the skimmer (20) are used for containing the aquatic plants within the skimmer (20) until they are dumped off. Moreover, different configurations can be given to the skimmer (20) to more selectively collect a variety of aquatic plants by way of changes in length or spacing of the tines (24). Once collected by the tines (24), the plants are contained by a screen (60) which lets water pass. The bio catcher (10) can push away plants as in FIG. 6; go very deep as in FIG. 4; be positioned for emptying the skimmer (20) as in FIG. 5; for pushing aquatic plants or debris as in FIG. 6, so as to clear a path or pushing bundles of precut plants so as to direct them towards the shore or any other suitable location for disposal. FIG. 7 illustrates a configuration suitable for riding the boat (12) without using the bio catcher (10). Skimmer moving means (54) are provided for moving the skimmer (20) from one configuration to the next, generally in the form of a geared electric motor but various means such as hydraulically or pnematically actuated means could be used as well.

In the event of hard to manage aquatic plants, an optional trimmer attachment (30) can be removably attached in front of the skimmer (20) at a depth and angle of attack adapted to the cutting needs of the plants at hand. The trimmer attachment (30) is inspired in shape and function to a hedge trimmer and is comprised of a trimmer pivot and height adjustment means (56) and a trimmer actuator (58), which can be any suitable actuating means known in the art.

To cover a larger area with each boat (12) pass, a side skimmer (40) can be installed on at least one side of the boat (12), preferably both sides. The side skimmer (40) is deployed from a non use configuration as per FIG. 1b to an intermediate pre use configuration as per FIG. 1a by rotating around a vertical pivot (50) so that the side skimmer (40) runs parallel to the side of the boat (12), and then into an in use configuration with an angled deployment as per FIG. 8 by rotating around a horizontal pivot (52) wherein a rod (42) for each side skimmer (40) positions the side skimmer (40) into a selected angle of deployment, which contributes to collecting and maintaining large bundles of aquatic plants for moving to shore for disposal. When the skimmer (20) is in emptying mode as in FIG. 5, the boat (12) can ride on top of the disposed bundle of aquatic life and the movable propeller (54) can be lifted out, as in FIG. 1c, so that the bundle (not shown) is kept together for later pick-up along with other bundles scattered in the area. After the area is cleared, the bundles are moved, contained by the side skimmer (40) the screen (60) and, of course, the skimmer (20).