Title:
Accessory Platform Assembly for a Kayak
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to an accessory platform assembly for attachment to kayak. The assembly comprises attachment means for attaching the assembly to the deck of a kayak, a frame attached to the attachment means, the frame holding a platform and allowing the platform to be moved from a closed position to an open position whereby in the open position the deck of the kayak lying below the platform in the closed position is exposed. The assembly optionally includes an outrigger assembly comprising parallel arms attached at one end to the attachment means and having an outrigger floatation device attached to an opposite end of the arms spaced away from the kayak to provide increased stability to the kayak.



Inventors:
Boelryk, Bart (Barrie, CA)
Application Number:
11/969859
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
01/04/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
114/123
International Classes:
B63B17/00; B63B43/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENNISON ASSOCIATES (133 RICHMOND STREET WEST, SUITE 301, TORONTO, ON, M5H 2L7, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An accessory platform assembly for attachment to a kayak, the assembly comprising attachment means for attaching the assembly to the deck of a kayak, a frame attached to the attachment means, the frame holding a platform and allowing the platform to be moved from a closed position to an open position whereby in the open position the deck of the kayak lying below the platform in the closed position is exposed.

2. The accessory platform assembly as claimed in claim 1 further including an outrigger assembly comprising at least one arm attached at a first end to the attachment means and having an outrigger floatation device attached to a second end of the arm spaced away from the kayak to provide increased stability to the kayak.

3. The accessory platform assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein the attachment means comprise attachment brackets for attachment to the deck of the kayak at opposite sides thereof and an attachment tube attached at either end to the attachment brackets, the frame being attached to the attachment tubes.

4. The accessory platform assembly as claimed in claim 3 wherein the attachment bracket comprises an L bracket with the base of the L bracket being for attachment to the deck of the kayak and an attachment tube clamping assembly attached to the upright of the L bracket.

5. The accessory platform assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein the arm of the outrigger assembly is attached at the first end thereof to the attachment tubes.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an accessory platform for attachment to a kayak, in particular to an accessory platform which can be moved from an open to a closed position to allow for access to the kayak deck in the open position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Kayaks have long been used for transporting people as they are highly manoeuvrable, however kayaks generally do not have a large amount of storage space. It is also not easily possible to bring along pets, such as dogs, in a kayak, especially a sea kayak having a closed-cockpit, as there is no place for the animal to be safely placed. In addition, kayaks are not easily adaptable for other uses such as being used as a platform for swimming, diving or fishing.

There have been many attempts in the past to increase the versatility of a kayak by providing accessories for the kayak. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,457,430 issued Oct. 1, 2002 to Drabkin describes a sail kit for a kayak to adapt the kayak to a sailing vessel. Various versions of paddle holders have been described in for example U.S. Pat. No. 6,027,387 issued Feb. 22, 2000 to Allin, U.S. Pat. No. 6,632,111 issued Oct. 14, 2003 to Oathout and U.S. Pat. No. 6,755,145 issued Jun. 29, 2004 to Bolebruch. U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,213 issued Apr. 18, 2000 to Stevens describes a beverage holder for a kayak and U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,527 issued Dec. 7, 1999 to Ambrozic describes a fishing rod holder for a kayak. U.S. Pat. No. 5,243,928 issued Sep. 14, 1993 to Brenamen describes cargo racks for mounting on opposed sides of the cockpit opening on a kayak to mount cargo on a kayak when limited cargo space is available within the kayak. These racks include pairs of rail members mounted to support posts to fixedly secure the rails relative to the deck of the kayak.

Outrigger stabilizer floats for kayak are also available such as for example, outrigger stabilizer floats available from Castle Kraft in Illinois, Easy Rider of Seattle, Wash. and a Tribalance available from Tribal Kayaks of Villa Hills, Ky.

There however still remains the need for an accessory for a kayak to enable a platform to be mounted on the kayak on top of the deck and which optionally may include an outrigger for increasing stability of the kayak.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an accessory platform assembly for attachment to kayak. The assembly comprises attachment means for attaching the assembly to the deck of a kayak, a frame attached to the attachment means, the frame holding a platform and allowing the platform to be moved from a closed position to an open position whereby in the open position the deck of the kayak lying below the platform in the closed position is exposed.

In an aspect of the invention the assembly further includes an outrigger assembly comprising parallel arms attached at one end to the attachment means and having an outrigger floatation device attached to an opposite end of the arms spaced away from the kayak to provide increased stability to the kayak.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the present are illustrated in the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a kayak having a first embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention attached thereto;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the accessory platform assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the accessory platform assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the mounting assembly of the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an end view of the mounting assembly of the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the mounting assembly of the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the mounting assembly of the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of a variation the mounting assembly of the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a bottom perspective view of the mounting assembly of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the universal mounting brackets of the mounting assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is an end view of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14a is an exploded perspective view of a further embodiment of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 15 is an exploded perspective view of the clamping assembly of the universal mounting bracket of FIG. 10;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a jump seat being used with the accessory platform of FIG. 1;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a second platform being used with the accessory platform of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 19 is an exploded perspective view of the accessory platform assembly of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is detail view of the releasable locking means of the accessory platform assembly of FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a sixth embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention; and

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a seventh embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A first preferred embodiment of an accessory platform assembly of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 generally indicated by the numeral 10 attached to a kayak 12. Kayak 12 has a kayak deck 14 which defines the upper surface of the kayak 12. A cockpit opening 16 in the deck 14 allows for the user to enter into the kayak 12. Kayak 12 illustrated in FIG. 1 is a sea kayak which is generally provided with storage compartments which are sealed with storage compartment covers 18. Typically a sea kayak will be provided with both fore and aft such storage compartments.

The accessory platform assembly 10 is attached to the deck 14 of the kayak 12 to the aft of the cockpit opening 16. The accessory platform assembly 10 has a platform 20 which can be used for many purposes. As illustrated in FIG. 1, platform 20 can allow a dog owner to take their dog with them on sea kayak excursions without the balance of the boat being upset when the dog changes positions. Alternatively platform 20 can be utilized for storage of camping equipment, coolers, scuba dive equipment, or the platform can also be used for swimming and diving off the kayak.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the accessory platform assembly 10 has a platform frame 22 which allows the platform 20 to be removed to allow access to the deck 14 of the kayak 12 below the platform 20. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the frame 22 is provided with an interior slot 24 to hold the platform. One end 26 of the frame 22 is hinged and releasable to allow it to be opened such that the platform 20 may be moved into the open position by sliding it from within the interior slot 24 of the frame 22. The frame 22 is constructed from an extruded material, preferably an extruded thermoplastic or metal, more preferably an extruded metal, and most preferably an extruded aluminium. In order to increase the flexibility of the platform assembly 10, the extruded aluminium frame 22 is provided with T slots 28 along the exterior edges to allow mounting of accessories such as paddle holders, side rails, tie down hooks, jump seats, etc.

The platform frame 22 is attached to the deck of the kayak by an attachment means 30. In the embodiment illustrated in the figures, this attachment means 30 uses attachment brackets 32 which are attached directly to the deck 14 of the kayak 12 and which hold attachment tubes 34 to which the underside of the platform frame 22 is in turn attached. The attachment bracket 32 in the embodiment illustrated in the figures has an upper L bracket 36 to be attached to the top surface of the deck 14 and a lower backing plate 38 which is to be attached to the underside of the deck 14 of the kayak 12. In this way, the deck 14 of the kayak 12 is sandwiched between the L bracket 36 and backing plate 38 to distribute the load carried by the attachment bracket 32 over a larger area of the deck 14. The L bracket 36 and backing plate 38 are attached to one another by means of suitable nuts 40 and bolts 42 passing through holes in the L bracket 36, holes drilled in the deck 14 of the kayak 12 and holes in the backing plate 38. In order to provide for proper sealing between the attachment bracket 32 and the kayak deck 14 to prevent water infiltration into the interior of the kayak 12, a suitable sealing material such as a rubber gasket is preferably placed between the bottom surface of the L bracket 36 and the top surface of the kayak deck.

An alternative means of attaching the L bracket to the kayak deck is illustrated in FIG. 14A. The L bracket 136 and backing plate 138 in this embodiment are attached to one another by means of a thumb nut 140 which attaches to a carriage bolt 142 passing through a hole 144 in the L bracket 136 and hole 148 in the backing plate 138. By utilizing the thumb nut 140, tools are not necessary for the installation and removal of the platform onto the kayak. In addition, in order to prevent rotation of the carriage bolt 142, the hole 144 in the L bracket is square or rectangular to grip the head of the carriage bolt 142 and prevent it from rotating while the thumb nut 140 is being attached to the carriage. The attachment means of this figure provides additional advantage for the convenient installation and removal of the outrigger and platform system including the ability to completely remove the system each time it is used allowing for easy transportation of the kayak without any additional weight. Also, with the addition of 4 poles and suitable brackets, the platform system easily converts to a table suitable for use when camping.

The attachment bracket 32 is further provided with a clamping assembly 41 to releasably clamp the attachment tubes 34. In the embodiment illustrated, the clamping assembly 41 comprises a ring 44 and saddle 46 to attach the deck attachment tubes 42. This ring 44 and saddle 46 arrangement mounts to the upright 48 of the L bracket 36 and is pivotable and rotatable such that the attachment bracket 32 may accommodate different configurations of kayak deck 14 profiles while maintaining the deck attachment tubes 34 in a level plane between the attachment brackets 32 at opposite ends thereof. In order to accommodate the various possible positions of the clamping assembly 41, a plurality of holes 49 are provided in the upright 48 of the L bracket 36 for mounting of the clamping assembly 41.

To mount the platform assembly 10 of the present invention, the attachment brackets 32 are attached to either end of the deck attachment tube 34 and placed on the kayak deck 14 in the proper location. The brackets 32 are marked and holes drilled in the deck 14. The individual attachment brackets 32 are then attached to the kayak deck 14 by passing the bolts 42 through the holes in the base of the L bracket 36 through the holes drilled in the deck 14 and through the holes of the backing plate 38. The bolts 42 and nuts 40 are then tightened down. The deck attachment tube 34 is then mounted between the two rings 44 of the clamping assembly 41 and the nut tightened down to clamp the tubes 34 in proper location. The platform frame 22 is then mounted to the ends of the deck attachment tubes 34 by suitable brackets 48 as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9.

The accessory assembly 10 of the present invention is optionally provided with an outrigger arrangement for increasing the stability of the kayak 12. The outrigger arrangement comprises parallel outrigger arms 50, one end of which fits within the deck attachment tube 34 and is attached thereto by pins 54 inserted through aligned holes 56 in the deck attachment tube 34 and the outrigger arm 50. An outrigger floatation device such as a pontoon 52 is then attached to the other end of the outrigger arm 50 spaced away from the kayak to provide increased stability of the kayak especially when the platform is being used for activities such as swimming, diving, etc. This spacing away of the outrigger also prevents interference with the kayak stroke.

Other accessories may also be provided. For example, as shown in FIG. 16, a jump seat 60 may be attached to the platform frame 22 to allow the kayak 12 to carry an additional passenger or to provide seating when the kayak 12 is being used for other activities such as fishing. The jump seat 60 is releasably attached to the frame 22 utilizing the T slots of the preferred embodiment. In this way, the positioning and orientation of the seat 60 may be adjusted based upon the desired use. A second platform 70 mountable on the outrigger tubes 50 outboard of the first platform 20 may also be provided to allow for a more stable position for fishing as shown in FIG. 17. Other options may include a motor bracket for mounting of a small electric or gas trolling motor. The motor bracket may be provided on one of the outrigger arms or may be secured to the platform frame.

Other variations on the frame may be provided to allow for the platform to be releasably mounted therein such that it can be removed for access to the deck of the kayak below. For example, a second embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 18 to 20 generally indicated by the numeral 110. Accessory platform 110 is attached to the deck 14 of the kayak 12 to the aft of the cockpit opening 16. The accessory platform assembly 110 has a platform 120 mounted in a platform frame 122 in a manner which allows the platform 120 to be removed to allow access to the deck 14 of the kayak 12 below the platform 120. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 18, the frame 122 is constructed of angle pieces to accept the platform 120 which is provided with a hold down means 124 to releasably hold the platform to the frame. The platform 120 may be moved into the open position by releasing the hold down means 124 and lift it from within the interior of the frame 122. The frame 122 is constructed from an extruded material, preferably an extruded thermoplastic or metal, more preferably an extruded metal, and most preferably an extruded aluminium.

A further embodiment of the accessory platform assembly of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 21. This embodiment is of particular use with a smaller kayak which may have difficulty with interference of a forward crossbar with a paddle stroke. In this embodiment, the accessory platform assembly 210 is a platform frame 212 holding the platform 214 in releasable engagement similar to the embodiments described above. The platform frame is attached to the deck of a kayak by attachment means in the manner as described for the previous embodiments. The platform assembly of this embodiment is provided with a single outrigger arm for attachment at the forward position of the kayak. The outrigger arm extends to either side of the platform assembly and to either side of the kayak. Outrigger floatation devices such as pontoons are attached to each of the outer end of the outrigger arm. The double pontoon design of this embodiment provides equal stability to both sides of the kayak to decrease the likelihood of the kayak being tipped. This may be especially important for recreational kayakers.

On some kayaks, as the result of the location of the rear hatch relative to the seat of the paddler, the location of the front crossbar can cause interference with the paddle stroke. Various configurations of the platform assembly to overcome this problem are illustrated in FIGS. 22 through 24. In FIG. 22, an adaptor is provided to allow for the foremost outrigger arm to be displaced forwardly to eliminate the possibility of interference with the paddle stroke. FIG. 23 illustrates a further version of this where the crossbar has been cut and welded to provide the spacing for the paddle stroke. FIG. 24 illustrates a bent outrigger bar to allow for the spacing for the paddle stroke.

A further embodiment of the platform assembly of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 25. In this embodiment, the platform assembly may be releasably attached to a kayak hull without having to drill holes for the mounting assembly. The platform assembly of this embodiment is provided with soft foam blocks which preferably have an anti-slip rubber coating on the lower surface which contacts the upper deck of the kayak. Two straps with cam buckles are provided to strap the unit to the kayak by placing the strap around the kayak hull and cinching the straps tight. The anti-slip rubber coating prevents the unit from shifting during use. This embodiment of the platform assembly is useful for demonstration purposes and also allows rental of the platform assembly and outrigger as there is no permanent attachment of the assembly to a kayak hull.

The accessory platform assembly of the present invention provides a platform mounted on top of the deck of a sea-kayak behind the operator. The platform may be equipped with a removable outrigger pontoon for stability. The platform assembly features an easily removable platform for access to the rear storage hatch of the kayak. The assembly is attached to the deck of the kayak with adjustable mounting brackets for easy adaptation to most sea-kayak designs. The frame of the assembly is preferably constructed from extruded aluminium with t-slots to allow the convenient mounting of accessories such as paddle holders, side rails, tie down hooks, jump seats, etc.

The accessory platform assembly of the present invention allows dog owners to take their dogs with them on sea-kayak excursions without the balance of the boat being upset when the dog changes position. The accessory platform assembly also serves as an excellent storage rack for dive tanks and equipment, coolers and storage totes and camping equipment among many others. The platform can be used for swimming and diving off the kayak. The outrigger pontoon makes it easy to climb back aboard the kayak when used for these activities.

Extensive testing in a variety of wind and sea conditions show excellent results and increased stability of the craft with minimal impact on paddling effort.

Although various preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.