Title:
Underwater platforms supported by inflatable sacks
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A platform structure surrounded by water is disclosed. The platform structure is put together with hollow tubes passing through recesses and internal passages of inflated sacks floating on the water surface, so as to hold a stretched net underwater, thereby providing an underwater platform. The apparatus additionally provides above the water platforms in the form of floating inflatable sacks, which also serve as bumpers having cushioned surfaces in opposite sides of the underwater platform, so that sudden waves do not thrust the underwater platform users against a rigid structure. The apparatus is designed to be disassembled and compactly stored inside the trunk of an automobile.



Inventors:
Arias, Anthony M. (Panama, PA)
Application Number:
10/384690
Publication Date:
08/14/2003
Filing Date:
03/11/2003
Assignee:
ARIAS ANTHONY M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B27/14; B63B59/02; B63B23/32; (IPC1-7): B63B35/44
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Oltman (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US)
Claims:

I claim as my invention:



1. An assembly comprising at least two inflatable sacks, supporting at least one underwater platform; wherein the whole assembly floats surrounded by the same body of water; and wherein said underwater platform is stable enough in calm waters to enable a group of people to stand on their feet and walk around easily, without supporting themselves with their hands, in the whole area within the perimeter of said underwater platform; and wherein the firm but still cushioned surfaces of said inflated sacks serve as bumpers for the users of said underwater platform, allowing them to relax as they stand on their feet and walk around with their upper bodies over the surface of the water, without fear of being hurt in case a sudden wave thrusts them towards either one of said inflatable sacks; and wherein to enhance the stability in the water of the entire assembly as said underwater platform is used, and to protect as much as possible the users of said underwater platform from nearby watercrafts, the underwater platform is located at least partially in the middle of said inflatable sacks.

2. An assembly comprising at least one underwater platform supported by a buoyant structure; wherein the whole assembly floats surrounded by the same body of water; and wherein said underwater platform is stable enough in calm waters to enable a group of people to stand on their feet and walk around easily, without supporting themselves with their hands, in the whole area within the perimeter of said underwater platform; and wherein said buoyant structure has firm but still cushioned surfaces which serve as bumpers for the users of said underwater platform, allowing them to relax as they stand on their feet and walk around with their upper bodies over the surface of the water, without fear of being hurt in case a sudden wave thrusts them towards said buoyant structure; and wherein to enhance the stability in the water of the entire assembly as said underwater platform is used, and to protect as much as possible the users of said underwater platform from nearby watercrafts, the underwater platform is located at least partially in the middle of said buoyant structure.

3. An assembly comprising a buoyant structure supporting at least one underwater platform; wherein the whole assembly floats surrounded by the same body of water; and wherein said underwater platform is stable enough in calm waters to enable a group of people to stand on their feet and walk around easily, without supporting themselves with their hands, in the whole area within the perimeter of said underwater platform; and wherein said buoyant structure has firm but still cushioned surfaces which serve as bumpers for the users of said underwater platform, allowing them to relax as they stand on their feet and walk around with their upper bodies over the surface of the water, without fear of being hurt in case a sudden wave thrusts them towards said buoyant structure.

Description:

FILING HISTORY

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/751,784 filed on Dec. 29, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of recreational equipment for supporting people in the water. More specifically, the present invention relates to an underwater platform structure which is supported by inflatable sacks floating on the water. The underwater platform is connected to aluminum tubes which extend through opposite sets of inflatable sacks floating on the water surface, which serve to support and stabilize the underwater platform.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A main object of the present invention is to provide a recreational platform for supporting people with their lower bodies underwater.

[0004] Another important object is to support the recreational underwater platform with floating inflatable sacks, which firm but still cushioned surfaces protect the users of said underwater platforms, in case sudden waves thrusts them against said sacks.

[0005] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a lightweight apparatus which can be disassembled, deflated, and folded for compact transportation to the beach or lake in, for instance, the trunk of an automobile.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The object, advantage and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

[0007] FIG. 1 shows an aluminum segment 2 having a circular ring 19.

[0008] FIG. 2 shows a joint 4 with side openings which serve to connect segment 2 with another similar aluminum segment 6.

[0009] FIG. 3 shows cylindrical aluminum segments 2 and 6 secured by joints 4.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a close up of joint 4 connecting segments 2 and 6.

[0011] FIG. 5 shows rectangular-like inflatable sacks 8 with inner longitudinal passages 10 across their width. The inner longitudinal passages end on C-shaped recesses 11 on the long sides of said sacks.

[0012] FIG. 6 shows how connected segments 2 and 6 can be snugly fitted inside inner longitudinal passages 10 to assemble sets of inflatable sacks 8.

[0013] FIG. 7 shows a rectangular net 44.

[0014] FIG. 8 shows rectangular net 44 as it is stretched and secured to an aluminum outer frame 87.

[0015] FIG. 9 shows four separate short vertical aluminum segments 22 secured to circular rings 18 on outer frame 87. Short vertical segments 22 are passed through circular rings 18 and attached thereto by pins 20.

[0016] FIG. 10 shows a set of three inflatable sacks 8 connected to a side of stretched net 44 and another set of three inflatable sacks 8 secured to an opposite side of said net 44. The stretched net 44 is shown at approximately the same level as the set of inflatable sacks 8 on each side of the apparatus.

[0017] FIG. 11 shows the apparatus 50, which includes four additional vertical segments, namely, long vertical segments 28, which are secured on top of short vertical segments 22.

[0018] FIG. 12 shows the apparatus 50 as it is deployed for use in the water, with net 44 stretched horizontally and lowered a few feet under inflatable sacks 8 on opposite sides of the apparatus.

[0019] FIG. 13 shows apparatus 51, which is similar to apparatus 50 but includes another net, 39, stretched horizontally a few feet over one of the two sets of inflatable sacks 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. However, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

[0021] Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various FIGURES are designated by the same reference numerals.

[0022] FIG. 1 shows an aluminum segment 2, consisting of a hallow tube having a cylindrical shape, a circular ring 19 on one end and a grip 3 on the other end.

[0023] FIG. 2 shows joint 4 with side openings, one of which can be used to insert grip 3 of segment 2 and attach it thereto.

[0024] FIG. 3 shows that grip 3 of cylindrical hallow tubes or segments 6 can likewise be inserted inside an opposite side opening of joint 4, to assemble a pair of side arms 7, with combinations of aluminum segments 2 and 6.

[0025] FIG. 4 shows how grip 3 of segments 2 and 6 is locked inside joint 4. Each grip 3 has a pin 64 which retracts inside grip 3 as a spring 65 is pressed. As the spring then returns to its normal extended position, pin 64 locks grip 3 inside a chamber on joint 4.

[0026] FIG. 5 shows a set of three identical rectangular-like inflatable sacks 8. Each inflatable sack 8 has two separate inner longitudinal passages 10 across its width, which end on C-shaped recesses 11 on the long sides of said sacks. The longitudinal passages 10 are shown generally parallel with their counterpart passages and spaced a certain distance while at the same time being not so distant to be adequately separated from the edges of the short sides of said rectangular-like sacks.

[0027] FIG. 6 shows how connected segments 2 and 6 can be snugly fitted inside inner longitudinal passages 10 to assemble sets of side by side inflatable sacks 8, with said rigid aluminum segments 2 and 6 located well underneath the cushioned surfaces of said sacks when inflated. Circular rings 19 at the end of the pair of side arms 7 (formed by connected segments 2 and 6) are located within C-shaped recesses 11 and thus do not protrude beyond the main periphery of said rectangular-like sacks. Joints 4 connecting segments 2 and 6 are also shown located within opposing C-shaped recesses 11.

[0028] FIG. 7 shows a rectangular flexible sheet 44, preferably in the form of a net. The sheet also may be a solid, un-perforated fabric, but this is less preferred.

[0029] FIG. 8 shows rectangular net 44 stretched and secured to an aluminum outer frame 87, assembled with removably attached segments 14 and 16. Said aluminum outer frame 87 has four separate short arms 12, one at each corner. As shown, each short arm 12 has a circular ring 18 at its outer end.

[0030] FIG. 9 shows four separate short vertical aluminum segments 22. Each short segment 22 is secured to a different circular ring 18 of short arms 12 on outer frame 87. Short vertical segments 22 are passed through circular rings 18 and attached thereto by pins 20.

[0031] FIG. 10 shows a set of three inflatable sacks 8 and a pair of side arms 7 connected to a side of stretched net 44 and another set of three inflatable sacks 8 a pair of side arms 7 secured to an opposite side of said net 44. The stretched net and the two sets of inflatable sacks are all shown connected at approximately the same level. The stretched net 44 is connected between the two sets of inflatable sacks 8 and the two pairs of side arms 7 with aluminum short vertical segments 22, circular rings 19 and 18. Each one of the four short vertical segments 22 passes through a circular ring 19 (of longitudinal segments 2) and a circular ring 18 (of short arms 12), and is secured to said rings by upper pins 58 and lower pins 20, which rest on corresponding holes 98 and 90. Each vertical segment 22 has a circular ring 19 secured over a circular ring 18.

[0032] FIG. 11 then shows the apparatus 50, which includes four additional vertical segments, namely, long vertical segments 28, which are attached over short vertical segments 22 and are in essence an extension of said short vertical segments.

[0033] FIG. 12 shows the apparatus 50 as it is deployed for use in the water, with net 44 stretched horizontally and lowered a few feet under inflatable sacks 8. Inflatable sacks 8 float and provide a stable above the water platform for the underwater platform users. To lower stretched net 44 the four upper pins 58 are removed from corresponding holes 98 so that short and long vertical segments 22 and 28 can slide downward along with outer frame 87 and stretched net 44. Upper pins 58 are thus shown in FIG. 12 resting on holes 99 (not 98) in the upper end of long vertical segments 28. Holes 99 are located immediately under stopper 29 on top of long vertical segments 28. However, vertical segments 28 can also have other intermediate holes (not shown) between holes 99 and 98, where pins could rest to hold the underwater platform at an intermediate depth.

[0034] FIG. 13 shows apparatus 51, which is similar to apparatus 50 but includes another net, 39, stretched horizontally a few feet over one of the two sets of inflatable sacks 8. Whereas stretched net 44 serves as an underwater platform, stretched net 39 serves as a top to intercept the sun rays and provide a shaded area on one side of the apparatus. Stretched net 39 is supported by four poles 38, two secured over stoppers 29 on top of long vertical segments 28 and two over circular rings 19 on an opposite side of the set of inflatable sacks 8.

[0035] While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in various terms or certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be, nor should it be deemed to be, limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teachings herein are particularly reserved especially as they fall within the breadth and scope of the claims here appended.