Title:
BIMINI TOP VISOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A visor is cooperable with a bimini top for a boat. The visor includes a bracket attachable to a bimini top frame, and a visor frame pivotally and removably secured to the bracket. The visor frame is positionable relative to the bracket between an inward position and an outward position. A visor cover is disposed on the visor frame.



Inventors:
Parniske, Dennis J. (Parrish, FL, US)
Application Number:
14/161101
Publication Date:
05/15/2014
Filing Date:
01/22/2014
Assignee:
Taylor Made Group, LLC (Gloversville, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AVILA, STEPHEN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (901 NORTH GLEBE ROAD, 11TH FLOOR, ARLINGTON, VA, 22203, US)
Claims:
1. A visor cooperable with a bimini top for a boat, the visor comprising: a bracket attachable to a bimini top frame; a visor frame pivotally and removably secured to the bracket, the visor frame being positionable relative to the bracket between an inward position and an outward position; and a visor cover disposed on the visor frame.

2. A visor according to claim 1, wherein the visor cover is formed of a water resistant material.

3. A visor according to claim 1, wherein the visor cover includes a mesh pocket.

4. A visor according to claim 1, wherein the bracket comprises a connecting portion attachable to the bimini top frame and defining a slot, and wherein the visor frame comprises a tab engageable with the slot and secured with a post or screw.

5. A visor according to claim 4, wherein the visor frame is pivotable across a range of about 180°.

6. A visor according to claim 1, further comprising a foam tube surrounding the visor frame.

7. A visor according to claim 6, wherein the visor cover is disposed on the visor frame over the foam tube.

8. A visor according to claim 1, wherein in the inward position, the visor frame is positionable adjacent an interior surface of the bimini top, and in the outward position, the visor frame is positionable about 180° from the inward position.

9. A visor according to claim 8, wherein the visor frame is secured to the bracket such that the visor frame can be frictionally held by the bracket in any position between the inward position and the outward position.

10. A visor according to claim 1, wherein the visor frame is secured to the bracket with a quick disconnect assembly.

11. A visor according to claim 1, wherein the visor cover comprises a rigid transparent material.

12. A bimini top for a boat comprising: a bimini top frame attachable to a boat adjacent a boat cockpit; a canvas top secured to the bimini top frame; and a visor cooperable with the bimini top frame, the visor comprising: a bracket attachable to the bimini top frame, a visor frame pivotally and removably secured to the bracket, the visor frame being positionable relative to the bracket between an inward position and an outward position, and a visor cover disposed on the visor frame.

13. A bimini top according to claim 12, wherein the visor cover is formed of a water resistant material.

14. A bimini top according to claim 12, wherein the visor cover includes a mesh pocket.

15. A bimini top according to claim 12, wherein the bracket comprises a connecting portion attached to the bimini top frame and defining a slot, and wherein the visor frame comprises a tab engageable with the slot and secured with a post or screw.

16. A bimini top according to claim 15, wherein the visor frame is pivotable across a range of about 180°.

17. A bimini top according to claim 12, further comprising a foam tube surrounding the visor frame.

18. A bimini top according to claim 17, wherein the visor cover is disposed on the visor frame over the foam tube.

19. A bimini top according to claim 12, wherein in the inward position, the visor frame is positioned adjacent an interior surface of the bimini top, and in the outward position, the visor frame is positioned about 180° from the inward position.

20. A bimini top according to claim 19, wherein the visor frame is secured to the bracket such that the visor frame can be frictionally held by the bracket in any position between the inward position and the outward position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part (CIP) of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/056,269, filed Oct. 17, 2013, pending, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/714,987, filed Oct. 17, 2012, the entire contents of each of which are hereby incorporated by reference in this application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

(NOT APPLICABLE)

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to bimini tops for boats and the like and, more particularly, to a bimini top visor that is attachable to an existing bimini top.

A bimini top is typically an open-front canvas top for the cockpit of a boat. The canvas top is usually supported by a metal frame. Most bimini tops can be collapsed when not in use and raised again if shade or shelter from rain is desired.

Bimini tops primarily protect boat occupants from high sun. When the sun is low in the sky, however, current bimini tops are less effective.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It would thus be desirable to provide structure for selectively extending coverage of an existing bimini top, particularly during times of the day when the sun is lower in the sky. According to preferred embodiments, a bimini top visor is attachable to an existing bimini top frame with a suitable bracket. The bimini visor serves as an extension of the bimini top that can be selectively deployed when needed.

In an exemplary embodiment, a visor is cooperable with a bimini top for a boat. The visor includes a bracket attachable to a bimini top frame, and a visor frame pivotally and removably secured to the bracket. The visor frame is positionable relative to the bracket between an inward position and an outward position. A visor cover is disposed on the visor frame. In one embodiment, the visor cover is formed of a water resistant material. The visor cover may include a mesh pocket.

The bracket may include a connecting portion attachable to the bimini top frame and defining a slot, where the visor frame includes a tab engageable with the slot and secured with a post or screw. In this context, the visor frame may be pivotable across a range of about 180°.

A foam tube may surround the visor frame. In this regard, the visor cover may be disposed on the visor frame over the foam tube.

In the inward position, the visor frame may be positionable adjacent an interior surface of the bimini top, and in the outward position, the visor frame may be positionable about 180° from the inward position. The visor frame may be secured to the bracket such that the visor frame can be frictionally held by the bracket in any position between the inward position and the outward position. The visor frame may be secured to the bracket with a quick disconnect assembly. The visor cover may include a rigid transparent material.

In another exemplary embodiment, a bimini top for a boat includes a bimini top frame attachable to a boat adjacent a boat cockpit, a canvas top secured to the bimini top frame, and the visor of the described embodiments cooperable with the bimini top frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects and advantages will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bimini top including a bimini visor of the preferred embodiments;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the bimini top including two bimini visors in a deployed position; and

FIG. 3 shows the bracket that secures the visor to the bimini frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a bimini top 10 is shown installed over a cockpit area of a boat. The bimini top includes a bimini top frame 12 attachable to the boat adjacent the boat cockpit. A canvas or other suitable material top 14 is secured to the bimini top frame 12. The frame 12 and top 14 are configured for easy installation when needed and for easy folding for storage.

A visor 16 is cooperable with the bimini top frame 12. The visor 16 is configured to fold up and out similar to an automotive visor. Preferably, the visor 16 is movable forward and back across about 180° for maximum coverage and storage.

In a preferred construction, with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the visor 16 includes a bracket 18 that is attachable to the bimini top frame 12. A visor frame 20 is pivotally and removably secured to the bracket 18. As noted, the visor frame 20 is positionable relative to the bracket 18 between an inward position, folded up against the canvas top 14 of the bimini top 10, and an outward position displaced about 180° from the inward position. A visor cover 24 is disposed on the visor frame 20.

Preferably, the visor cover is formed of a water resistant material. Exemplary suitable materials may include any marine grade fabric such as acrylic fabric. The cover 24 may also be provided with a mesh pocket including a zippered closure or the like. The mesh material is preferably Textaline fabric. The mesh pocket can be used for storing small objects like wallets, keys, sunscreen, and the like. As an alternative construction, the visor cover may be formed with a rigid transparent material such as a thermoplastic material including, for example, polycarbonate (PC) or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The rigid transparent material may be secured to the visor frame 20 or alternatively may take the place of the visor frame 20 and visor cover 24. The alternative material will serve to block UV rays and provide for better visibility.

As shown in FIG. 3, the bracket 18 includes a connecting portion attachable to the bimini top frame 12 and defining a slot. A tab member 22 of the visor frame 20 is engageable and securable in the slot and secured with a post or screw. The bracket 18 enables the visor to be readily removed if necessary or desirable for cleaning or the like. The visor frame 20 is secured to the bracket 12 such that the visor frame 20 can be frictionally held by the bracket 12 in any position between the inward position and the outward position. As an alternative to the bracket 18, a ‘quick disconnect’ assembly 21 may be used to facilitate attachment and removal of the visor frame. In an exemplary construction, the tab member 22 may include spring-biased buttons 23 engageable with corresponding openings 25 in the bracket 18. The visor frame 20 can be removed by simply depressing the buttons 23 and sliding the tab member 22 from the bracket 18. Of course, other quick disconnect assemblies may be used, and the invention is not necessarily meant to be limited to the exemplary assembly shown.

The visor may include a foam tube 28 surrounding the visor frame 20 (see FIG. 1). The foam tube 28 preferably extends around the perimeter of the visor frame 20 and may be helpful to cushion an inadvertent impact, e.g., if the user hit her head on the visor. In this arrangement, the visor cover 24 is disposed on the visor frame 20 over the foam tube 28.

Since the visor assembly includes brackets that are securable to an existing bimini top frame, one or more visors of the preferred embodiments can be sold independently and can be added to an existing bimini top structure. The visor provides for selective extension of the bimini top and added functionality.

While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.