Title:
Modular dock system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A floating dock module has a hollow body, preferably hexagonal prismatic, with hexagonal top and bottom walls with side walls and bolt access wells in the top wall with bolt holes extending laterally between each bolt access well and an adjacent side wall for interconnecting dock modules together into various shapes. The resulting dock assembly is flexible and able to conform with wave action. Mating protrusions and recesses in side walls together with bolts secure the high-density roto-moulded polyethylene plastic modules together. Preferably the side walls have a chamfered top and bottom edge to enhance the flexibility of the connection. The top wall includes drainage grooves, the side walls of which form vertical reinforcing ribs. An upwardly extending peripheral wall enables placement of mats, foam, carpet, wood, gravel or sand in the top surface. The bottom wall includes downwardly open float cavities and the top wall includes accessory support holes for railing posts or parasols.



Inventors:
Lekhtman, David (Beaconsfield, CA)
Application Number:
10/454497
Publication Date:
02/12/2004
Filing Date:
06/05/2003
Assignee:
LEKHTMAN DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
114/263, 405/218
International Classes:
B63B3/08; B63B35/34; B63B5/24; (IPC1-7): B63B35/44; E02B3/00; B63C1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Future Beach Corporation (Pointe Claire Quebec, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A buoyant module for use in a dock or deck structure, comprising: a hollow body with top, bottom and a plurality of side walls, the top and bottom walls having a non-rectangular polygonal shape.

2. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the non-rectangular shape is a hexagon.

3. A buoyant module according to claim 1 including a plurality of bolt access wells in the top wall with bolt holes extending laterally between each bolt access well and an adjacent side wall.

4. A buoyant module according to claim 1 including one of mating protrusions and recesses in side walls with bolt holes.

5. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the side walls have a chamfered top and bottom edge.

6. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the top wall includes drainage grooves.

7. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the top wall includes vertical reinforcing ribs.

8. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the top wall has an upwardly extending peripheral wall.

9. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the bottom wall includes downwardly open float cavities.

10. A buoyant module according to claim 1 wherein the top wall includes accessory support holes.

11. A buoyant module according to claim 10 including accessories mounted to the accessory support holes selected from the group consisting of: posts; roofing structures; walls; slides; kiosks; parasols; chairs; hammocks; and playground equipment.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The invention relates to modular dock system made of hollow polygonal prismatic modules, preferably hexagons bolted together at their side walls and made of roto-moulded plastic.

BACKGROUND OF THE ART

[0002] Conventional floating docks are often poorly designed monolithic wood structures with various floats secured beneath. Wave action is not compensated for and the docks are subjected to wave damage, metal corrosion, rot, and solar damage. Wooden structures eventually succumb to corrosion of the metal connectors or decomposition of the wood itself and must be replaced or repaired at significant cost.

[0003] Since motorized watercraft are refuelled at the dockside, the risk of igniting flammable fuel on wooden docks is obvious. Small scale plastic docking structures are often convex on their top surface thus attracting pools of spilled fuel and are prone to generate static electricity from rubbing against each other as they ride on the waves or as a result of foot traffic which may cause ignition of the fuel.

[0004] Many floating dock structures are not connected together in a sufficiently flexible manner in all directions to accommodate rolling waves. As a result, rather than conforming to the wave surface with minimum resistance, the dock structures are subjected to impact and torsional forces by the wave action.

[0005] It is an object of the present invention to provide a flexible buoyant plastic docking system of modules that can flex to compensate for wave rolling action.

[0006] It is a further object to provide a modular docking system that can be used to construct varying shapes of docks with bolted connections, various deck surfaces, railings, boat docking facilities, deck mounted recreational accessories and decorative features

[0007] Further objects of the invention will be apparent from review of the disclosure, drawings and description of the invention below.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The invention provides a buoyant floating dock or land mounted deck module has a hollow body, preferably hexagonal prismatic, with hexagonal top and bottom walls with side walls and bolt access wells in the top wall with bolt holes extending laterally between each bolt access well the adjacent side wall for interconnecting dock modules together into various shapes. The resulting dock assembly is flexible and able to conform with wave action. Mating protrusions and recesses in side walls together with bolts secure the high density roto-moulded polyethylene plastic modules together. Preferably the side walls have a chamfered top and bottom edge to enhance the flexibility of the connection. The chamfered top and bottom edges are outwardly convex such that abutting side walls of adjacent modules create a hinge-like engagement to improve flexibility of the assembly. The assembly can roll with the waves conforming to the wave shape and direction by flexing about the axes created by adjacent abutting side walls. The top wall includes drainage grooves, the side walls of which form vertical reinforcing ribs. An upwardly extending peripheral wall enables placement of deck surfacing such as mats, grating, foam, carpet, wood, gravel, artificial turf or sand secured to the top surface. The bottom wall includes downwardly open float cavities and the top wall includes accessory support holes for railing posts, parasols, or kiosk structures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] In order that the invention may be readily understood, one embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings.

[0010] FIG. 1 is a top view of a dock assembly made of four modules showing lateral bolted connections and drainage grooves in the top wall surface.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a detailed top view of a single module.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an elevation view of a module.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a module.

[0014] FIG. 5 is a sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.

[0015] Further details of the invention and its advantages will be apparent from the detailed description included below.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] FIG. 1 shows a number of floating dock modules 1, the details of which are shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5. Each module 1 has a hollow body formed of high density roto-moulded polyethylene plastic. In the embodiment shown, the body is a hexagonal prism however other preferably non-rectangular polygonal shapes may be used as well, alone or in combinations of triangles, pentagons, hexagons, octagons and others. A hexagonal shape is preferred since the chamfered or outwardly convex abutting side walls of adjacent modules flex in a hinge-like manner that provides three degrees of freedom for rotation about three axes between the abutting side walls. As well the hexagonal modules themselves flex about diagonal axes extending between opposite corners of the hexagonal module providing a further three axes of limited freedom of movement to conform to wave action and direction.

[0017] The hollow body includes a top wall 2, bottom wall 3 and six side walls 4. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, the top wall 2 includes several bolt access wells 5 with bolt holes 6 extending laterally between each bolt access well 5 and an adjacent side wall 4. To help strengthen the attachment between connected dock modules 2 and further enhance the hinging action of the abutting side walls 4, the side walls 4 preferably include interconnecting protrusions 7 and recesses 8, preferably with ball and socket type spherical engagement surfaces for freedom to rotate relative to each other.

[0018] FIG. 1 shows the method by which adjacent modules 1 are joined with long bolts 9 that are inserted through the bolt holes 6 and manually secured with access through the bolt access wells 5. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 5, the side walls 4 have sloped or chamfered top and bottom edges that not only aids in the release from the moulds but also enables the interconnection between modules to be of a flexible nature. The abutting chamfered side walls 4 with the bolts 9 and protrusions 7 in recesses 8 combine to ensure clearance between modules for relative movement and hold the modules 1 together while allowing a degree of hinging and hollow plastic material flexing that permits the dock assembly to ride and flex with wave action on the surface of the water. As well the protrusions 7, recesses 8 and bolts 9 reduce frictional rubbing between adjacent modules to reduce the risk of static electricity build up and ignition of motor fuel.

[0019] Any water that gets on the top wall 2 can partially drain through the bolt access well 5 and bolt holes 6 while additional drainage groves 10 are providing radiating out from the centre of the module 1. The generally triangular vertical plastic walls of the drainage grooves 10 and bolt access wells 5 serve as vertical reinforcing ribs for the top wall 2 surface that supports decking and pedestrian traffic. The top wall 2 includes an upwardly extending peripheral wall 11 which enables placement of wood or plastic decking, grating, carpet, padded foam, artificial turf for a golf playing surface or other deck surfaces that are laterally restrained within the top wall 2 of the module 1 and can be secured in the accessory holes 13 or with bolts (not shown). The modules can be mounted on land or a beach for example to provide walking surfaces, boardwalks or grass covered surfaces of a temporary or permanent nature Hotels may install and rearrange the interchangeable modules on land or water to vary the landscape design and accommodate the needs of different events.

[0020] As shown in FIGS. 5 and 4, the bottom wall 3 includes downwardly open float cavities 12 which when placed on the water surface, serve to reinforce the module structure, serve to trap air aiding in floatation and can also serve as planting areas if the module is placed upside-down on a beach surface, for example, or to form of a planting area within a floating dock assembly platform or when the modules are used to create a land based walkway or deck area.

[0021] As shown in FIG. 2, the top wall 2 also includes accessory support holes 13 in each corner. These holes 13 can support a railing or recreational accessories such as a parasol, roof, walls or kiosk structure for example. In a land based deck structure or a water based dock structure, the modules can support posts in holes within the module top surface. The posts may support various roofing structures and walls. The walls and roofing may include openings or transparent panels for ventilation and lighting purposes.

[0022] The docking assembly can also be used to suspend a shark net beneath, can be anchored with ropes to the sea floor and can include ropes or other attachments to provide a docking system for boats, sailboards, kayaks or other watercraft. In this regard the teachings of the inventor's published international patent application PCT/CA02/00030 are fully incorporated herein by reference. The floating modules can be arranged in a closed structure to create a pool with suspended netting around the structure. The modules can support chairs, hammocks, umbrellas, playground equipment, slides, kiosks, and various decking or walking surfaces including artificial turf for golfing activities.

[0023] Although the above description relates to a specific preferred embodiment as presently contemplated by the inventor, it will be understood that the invention in its broad aspect includes mechanical and functional equivalents of the elements described herein. For example, the non-rectangular polygonal shape of the modules may include a triangle, a hexagon as illustrated, a pentagon, or octagon or many other common geometric shapes alone or in combination.