Title:
Boat fume warning device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new and improved apparatus for warning a boat use is disclosed for use when he initially opens up a switched lid on top of the ignition, whether fuel fumes are too high around and in the engine compartment. A blinking LED light would be installed above the ignition switch. The LED would be connected to a gas fume sensor installed in the engine compartment. A lid switch attached to the switched lid would be connected with a timer switch to blower motor on the boat. When a boater would lift the switched lid to start the engine, the LED light would blink red if there are excess fuel fumes present in the engine compartment area. Each and every time a user opens the switched lid, the blower motor for the blower would turn on, irregardless of whether there are excess fumes present in the engine compartment. When the LED light would go out, a boater would know that it would be safe to start the engine of the boat without fear of explosion. A boater would have the option in emergency situations, such as drifting toward a bunch of rocks, to throw the lid of the engine compartment open to allow immediate airing of the engine compartment so that a boater would be able to start the engine immediately without fear of an explosion In any regards, the ignition will always allow a boater to start the boat engine and will never disable the boat motor, instead relying on the judgment of a boater.



Inventors:
Nickle, Howard (Marcus Hook, PA, US)
Application Number:
09/864419
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
05/23/2001
Assignee:
NICKLE HOWARD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B43/00; B63J2/06; (IPC1-7): B63H21/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WRIGHT, ANDREW D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Matthew J. Peirce, Esq. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:

What I claim as my invention is:



1. A boat safety apparatus comprising: (a) a boat, the boat including an engine compartment, (b) an engine located within the engine compartment, (c) an ignition plate mounted within the boat, the ignition plate having a front surface, the ignition plate being electronically connected to the engine, the ignition plate including an ignition cover pivotally mounted to the front surface of the ignition plate, (d) an ignition unit incorporated into the ignition plate, (e) means for detecting the presence of fuel fumes in the engine compartment and notifying a boat user if a specific level of fuel fumes was exceeded, and (f) means for removing any excess fuel fumes in the engine compartment.

2. A boat safety apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for detecting the presence of fuel fumes in the engine compartment and notifying a boat user if a specific level of fuel fumes was exceeded further comprises: (a) a lid switch located on the ignition plate, the lid switch being in an “off” position when the ignition cover is flush against the ignition plate, the lid switch being activated upon the opening of the ignition cover, (b) a LED light located on the front surface of the ignition plate, (c) a fume sensor located in the engine compartment, the fume sensor electronically connected to the lid switch, the fume sensor also electronically connected to the LED light, (d) whereby the lid switch, upon being activated, will send electronic signals to the fume sensor, causing the fuel sensor to be activated and take a reading of airborne fuel fumes within the engine compartment, and (e) whereby if the tree sensor measures fumes above a specific predetermined rate, then the fuel sensor would activate the LED light

3. A boat safety apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for removing any excess fuel fumes in the engine compartment further comprises: (a) a blower located within the engine compartment, (b) a blower motor located within the blower, (c) a timer switch connected to the blower, the timer switch being electronically connected to the lid switch, the timer switch capable of being set to be activated for a set period of time, (d) whereby the lid switch, upon being activated, will send electronic signals to the timer switch, causing the timer switch to activate the blower motor and the blower for a set period of time, causing any fuel fumes within the engine compartment to be minimized or eliminated.

4. A boat safety apparatus according to claim 2 which further comprises a feedback mechanism process comprising the steps of: (a) causing the fume sensor, once activated, to continually take fuel fume readings in the engine compartment at regular intervals, (b) activating the LED light for each fuel fume reading that is at or above a specific predetermined rate, (c) not activating the LED light for each fuel fume reading that is below a specific predetermined rate, (d) thereby providing notice to a boat user when it would make safe to activate the ignition.

Description:

I. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention concerns that of a new and improved apparatus for warning a boat user, when he initially opens up a switched lid on top of the ignition, whether fuel fumes are too high around and in the engine compartment.

II. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0002] U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,833, issued to Lewis, discloses a method and apparatus for clearing fumes from an engine compartment by providing a pressure switch which is activated when a pressure sensor responds to increased pressure when a boat is at rest or traveling at a wakeless speed in water.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 5,233,226, issued to Hanover et al, discloses a gasoline powered boat safety ignition system which has a start timer that requires the engine room blowers to operate for a time prior to allowing engine start up.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 4,473,025, issued to Elliott, discloses a starter control circuit which has particular utility in boats with inboard or inboard/outboard engines.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 4,235,181, issued to Stickney, discloses a control system for automatic actuation of an exhaust blower associated with an internal combustion inboard marine engine.

III. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention concerns that of a new and improved apparatus for warning a boat user, when he initially opens up a switched lid on top of the ignition, whether fuel fumes are too high around and in the engine compartment. A blinking LED light would be installed above the ignition switch. The LED would be connected to a gas fume sensor installed in the engine compartment. A lid switch attached to the switched lid would be connected with a timer switch to blower motor on the boat. When a boater would lift the switched lid to start the engine, the LED light would blink red if there are excess fuel fumes present in the engine compartment area. Each and every time a user opens the switched lid, the blower motor for the blower would turn on, irregardless of whether there are excess fumes present in the engine compartment. When the LED light would go out, a boater would know that it would be safe to start the engine of the boat without fear of explosion A boater would have the option in emergency situations, such as drifting toward a bunch of rocks, to throw the lid of the engine compartment open to allow immediate airing of the engine compartment so that a boater would be able to start the engine immediately without fear of an explosion. In any regards, the ignition will always allow a boater to start the boat engine and will never disable the boat motor, instead relying on the judgment of a boater.

[0007] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of a boat safety device in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated There are, of course, additional features of the boat safety device that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

[0008] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the boat safety device in detail, it is to be understood that the boat safety device is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The boat safety device is capable of other embodiments and being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of descriptions and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0009] As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present boat safety device. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regard as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0010] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a boat safety device which has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

[0011] It is another object of the present invention to provide a boat safety device which may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.

[0012] It is another object of the present invention to provide a boat safety device which is of durable and reliable construction.

[0013] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a boat safety device which is economically affordable and available for relevant purchasing government entities.

[0014] Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment when considered with the attached drawings and appended claims.

IV. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the ignition plate along with related components.

[0016] FIG. 2 shows the present invention and all other related components as they would be shown preferably electronically configured to a boat.

V. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0017] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the ignition plate 1 along with related components, while FIG. 2 shows the present invention and all other related components as they would be electronically configured to a boat. Ignition plate 1 can be seen with ignition 4 attached to the front face of ignition plate 1, which would be attached to a dashboard within a boat. A user would place a key 6 into ignition 4 and turn key 6 in order to start engine 22 of the boat.

[0018] Ignition plate 1 would also have LED light 8 fixedly attached to the front face of ignition plate 1. LED light 8 would be electronically connected to fume sensor 2 by electronic means 7, with fume sensor 2 being located within engine compartment 12 Engine compartment 12 would be located internally on a standard boat and would include engine 22.

[0019] Ignition plate 1 would be covered by switched lid 10, which would be pivotally mounted to cover ignition plate 1 when the boat would not be in use. Ignition plate 1 would be connected to power means of a boat, which would likely be a battery. Once ignition plate 1 would be needed to start a boat and a user would open switched lid 10 to be able to access ignition 4, the act of opening switched lid 10 would activate lid switch 14, which would be electronically connected via electronic means 11 to blower motor 18. Blower motor 18 would be located within blower 20, which would be located within engine compartment 12 immediately adjacent to engine 22. Blower 20 would immediately and properly vent any excess fuel fumes remaining once a user would open switched lid 10, and would do so even independently of whether fume sensor 2 has indicated inappropriate amounts of fuel fumes are present. Timer switch 16 would operate blower motor 18 on blower 20 for a specific length of time.

[0020] Lid switch 14 would also be electronically connected to fume sensor 2. When activated, lid switch 14 would electronically transmit a signal to fume sensor 2, causing fume sensor 2 to become activated and take a reading as to the fuel fume content with the engine compartment. If the fuel fume content with the engine compartment would be too high, the fume sensor 2 would send electronic signals to LED light 8, causing it to either blink or stay on continuously. As long as lid switch 14 would be open, a feedback mechanism would be present which would cause fume sensor 2 to continually make fume measurements. Each time the fuel fume content with the engine compartment would be too high, the fume sensor 2 would send electronic signals to LED light 8. This configuration would allow LED light 8 to notify a user even if the engine for the boat has not yet been turned on. Even if a user is just drifting with the engine 22 off, the user would be able to see if there are too many fumes due to the fact that LED light 8 would commence blinking.

[0021] This process would continue until fume sensor 2 would not register a problematic fume level (as determined by preset levels on fume sensor 2) and stop sending signals to LED light 8, causing LED light 8 to not light up. Once LED light 8 would turn off, a user would then be able to safely turn key 6 in ignition 4, thereby starting engine 22 in engine compartment 12.

[0022] A user would always have the option of opening up engine compartment 12 and venting fuel fumes immediately if a user would need to start engine 22 immediately in order to avert a disaster. In any regard, ignition 4 would always allow a boater to start the boat engine 22 and would never disable the boat engine 22, instead relying on the judgment of a boater on whether it would be proper to start the boat engine 22 or wait until a more proper time.

[0023] In an alternative embodiment, LED light 8 would not need to be on the ignition plate 1. However, LED light 8 would need still be in a location that would be readily observable by a boat user, such as a dashboard.