Title:
FTT clamp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is an apparatus designed to secure members of one frame work to members of another framework most commonly found when trying to secure a boat canopy to a boat tower. The clamping apparatus is fully adjustable to allow for the many different configurations of towers and canopies.



Inventors:
Jones, Justin Lindsay (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/037768
Publication Date:
08/25/2005
Filing Date:
01/19/2005
Assignee:
JONES JUSTIN L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41F1/00; B63B17/02; F16B7/04; (IPC1-7): A41F1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Clayton Howarth P.C. (P. O. BOX 1909, SANDY, UT, 84091, US)
Claims:
1. A main clamping apparatus comprising: a first semi-circular bracket; a plurality of fastening holes on said first semi-circular bracket to allow for fastening a second semi-circular bracket; a plurality of fastening holes on said second semi-circular bracket to allow for fastening to said first semi-circular bracket; and a mounting base on said second semi circular bracket.

2. The main clamping apparatus of claim 1, wherein the mounting base comprises a plurality of mounting holes.

3. The main clamping apparatus of claim 2, wherein the mounting holes are arranged in a circular pattern on said mounting base to allow rotational adjustment of a frame clamping apparatus.

4. A frame clamping apparatus comprising: a semi-circular lever having a plurality of holes for fastening to a semi-circular bracket having a flat base and a plurality of fastening holes.

5. The frame clamping apparatus of claim 4, wherein the mounting base according to claim 4 on second semi circular bracket comprising of a flat surface a multiple of mounting slots

6. A clamping apparatus comprising a main clamp apparatus according to claim 1 in conjunction with a frame clamp apparatus according to claim 5.

7. A pivot mount bracket comprising a flat bracket with a fastening hole and a plurality of slots.

8. A clamping apparatus comprising a main clamp apparatus according to claimI in conjunction with a pivot mount bracket according to claim 7.

9. A clamping assembly comprising a first clamping apparatus according to claim 6 in conjunction with a second clamping apparatus according to claim 8

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APLICATIONS

Provisional patent application for FTT Clamp 60/546001 dated Feb. 22, 2004

5,520,139King1996
409,972Todd1999
60/269634JonesFeb. 20, 2001

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to securing various types of frame components to one another, most commonly found when securing a framework of a boat canopy, to a boat tower.

In order to create a shelter on a boat, most consumers purchase a bimini top and mounted it to the gunwales of the boat. U.S. Pat. No. 5,520,139 to King 1996 shows a typical bimini top used for ski boats. A bimini top is a form of a sun shade with 2 to 4 inverted U-shaped bows held together with hinges to create a collapsible frame work that supports material for shelter.

In the past most ski ropes have been attached to the transom of the boat or to a ski pylon located in the center of the boat. The rope has been generally located about one to two feet above the water surface. With the popularity of wake boarding and the desire to enhance water sports performance, boat manufactures now mount a metal framework called a tower to the gunwales of the boat that extends upwards to create a mounting point for the rope relatively centered over the boat about six to eight feet above the water surface, thus enhancing an upward pull for the performer. U.S. patent Des. 409,972 to Todd 1999 shows a typical tower used for towing water sports activities. The framework of a typical tower consequently interferes with the framework of a traditional bimini top thus rendering it useless.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present inventions, a boat canopy consists of a collapsible or non collapsible framework mounted by means of fastening with screws, bolts or pins to a boat or a boat tower.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, the advantages of the Folding Trampoline Top (FTT) Clamp are, the FTT Clamps provide an overall stronger union between members of the framework. It provides for ease and speed of set up and take down of the FTT (boat canopy) on or off the water. The structural integrity of the tower and FTT frame is not compromised by need for drilling holes for fasteners through the framework. It makes the installation of the FTT easier. It makes the FTT possible for the professionals and consumer to install. It allows for fme tuning and minor adjustments during and after instillation. The heavy duty clamps designed for the application do not wear out with boat vibration. Front lever with quick pin eliminates the need to align pins through holes. Heavy duty adjustable clamps provide adequate strength when filling the gap between members of the framework. Clamps allow for removal of the top with out permanent structural damage to the tower. The clamps are easy to operate when deploying/collapsing the FTT. Overall structural appearance of the top is improved. Further objects and advantages are to provide a top that is inexpensive, streamline, quiet, and is easily removed for maintenance or repairs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows clamps holding a FTT in a tower with relationship to a boat.

FIG. 2 clamp assembly

FIG. 3 clamp assembly exploded view

FIG. 4 clamp apparatus

FIG. 5 clamp apparatus with clamping lever

FIG. 6 clamp apparatus bottom view

FIG. 7 clamp apparatus top view

FIG. 8 clamp apparatus adjustment rotation

FIG. 9 pivot mount assembly

FIG. 10 pivot mount assembly exploded view

FIG. 11 pivot mount back view

FIG. 12 pivot mount end view

FIG. 13 pivot mount adjustment rotation

FIG. 14 pivot mount bracket alternate

FIG. 15 pivot mount bracket alternate

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

10 boat12 tower
14 FTT (folding trampoline top)16 A-B clamping assembly
18 A-B pivot mount assembly20 main clamp
22 clamp assembly24 fastening device
26 A-B fastening device28 mounting base
30 main clamp bracket32 main clamp brackets
34 fastening device36 A-B adjustable fastening slots
38 clamp lever40 A-B fastening holes
42 pivot point44 clamp base
46 pivot bracket48 A-B fastening devices
50 fastening device52 A-B adjustable fastening slots
54 fastener hole56 tower framework
58 canopy framework

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As discussed, the framework of a typical boat tower interferes with the framework of a traditional bimini top thus rendering the two incompatible. The present invention solves this problem by creating a FTT (Folding Trampoline Top) as described in provisional patent 60/269634 Feb. 20, 2001. This top is specifically designed to fit within the boat tower. One way to fasten the FTT to the tower is drilling holes through the frame of the tower and the top and then using bolts and removable pins to hold the top in place. This approach has several disadvantages. The structural integrity of the tower and FTT frame is severely compromised by drilling holes through the framework. It is also difficult for consumers and professionals to install. It is difficult to drill and align holes so the top finctions properly. There is no adjustment once the holes have been drilled. The thin wall tubing allows the holes wear down from the vibration of the boat and pins can eventually fall out. Misalignment of locking pin holes with any flexing of the rear bolts. It does not have the ability to provide proper structural strength with the spacing on the rear or front legs of the tower. It is impossible to remove the FTT from the tower with out permanent holes/damage to the tower. The pins are awkward to use and align when deploying the FTT. The overall appearance of the craftsmanship looks substandard.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a boat 10 with a tower 12. It shows a boat canopy 14 otherwise known as a FTT being secured to the boat tower 12 with clamp assembly 16 A-B and pivot assembly 18 A-B.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of clamp assembly 16 showing the clamp assembly 22 securing to the canopy framework 14 with a fastener the main clamp 20 is secured to the tower framework 12 the clamp assembly 22 is secured to the main clamp 20 with fasteners 26.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded view of the clamp assembly 16 the fastening devices 26 A-B secure the clamp assembly 22 with the mounting slots 36 to the mounting base 28 fastening device 34 secures the main clamp bracket 32 to the mounting base 30.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the clamp assembly 22 with clamp lever 38 and clamp base 44 with fastening slots 36 A-B.

FIG. 5 illustrates an open side view of clamp assembly 22 the motion of clamp lever 38 connected with a pivot point 42 to clamp base 44 with the FTT framework 14 being secured with the motion of lever 38 and further secured by a fastener through the fastening holes 40 A-B.

FIG. 6 illustrates a closed side view of clamp assembly 22 with clamp lever 38 connected to clamp base 44 with the securing hole 40.

FIG. 7 illustrates a closed side view of clamp assembly 22 with clamp lever 38 connected to clamp base 44 with the pivot point 42.

FIG. 8 illustrates the infinite rotation of the clamp assembly 22 in conjunction with the main clamp 20.

FIG. 9 illustrates a pivot mount assembly 18 secured to the framework of a boat tower 12 with a pivot mount 46 mounted to a main clamp 20 with fasteners 48 A-B.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exploded view of rear pivot assembly 18 the fasteners 48 A-B secure the pivot bracket 46 to the mounting base 28 the fasteners 34 secure the main clamp bracket 32 to the main clamp base 30 the fastener 50 secures the pivot assembly 18 to the canopy.

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of the pivot bracket 46 with the adjustable mounting slots 52 A-B and a fastening hole 54.

FIG. 12 illustrates a side view of the pivot bracket 46 with a fastening hole 54.

FIG. 13 illustrates the infinite rotation of pivot bracket 46 in conjunction with main clamp 20.

FIG. 14 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the pivot bracket 46 with the adjustable mounting slots 52 A-B and a fastening hole 54.

FIG. 15 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the pivot bracket 46 with the adjustable mounting slots 52 A-B and a fastening hole 54.