Title:
Marine child seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A marine child seat is disclosed to provide positive restraint for an infant or small child in a boat. Such restraint includes attachment of the marine child seat to the structure of the boat. The preferred embodiment is a pedestal which is bolted to the deck of the boat. The pedestal is adjustable vertically and rotationally. The marine child seat can also be removed from the pedestal to be placed on a second or third pedestal or on any fixed substantially horizontal surface where it can be held in position by a seat belt or any other conventional means. The pedestal can also be replaced with a means to secure the marine child seat to a fishing pole holder and level it to compensate for the angle to the vertical many fishing pole holders have. The marine child seat includes an adjustable back with a contoured head restraint, arm rest supports and cushions, a contoured seat, pivoting safety bar with a locking mechanism and a central cupholder.



Inventors:
Lizaso, Raul (Miramar, FL, US)
Herrera, Eduardo (Pembroke Pines, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/746724
Publication Date:
08/18/2005
Filing Date:
12/29/2003
Assignee:
LIZASO RAUL
HERRERA EDUARDO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/08; A47C1/12; A47C3/34; B63B29/04; (IPC1-7): A47C1/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert J. Van Der Wall (Coral Gables, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A marine child seat to positively restrain a child in a boat comprising: an adjustable back portion having a contoured head restraint; a contoured seat portion having a rear contour insert; a pivoting safety bar; a locking mechanism for the pivoting safety bar; side arm rest supports; arm rest cushions; a center cupholder in the pivoting safety bar; and an adjustable strap child restraint.

2. The marine child seat of claim 1 which further comprises a plurality of seat back strap apertures to alter positioning of the adjustable strap child restraint to a child's height when seated in the marine child seat.

3. The marine child seat of claim 1 which further comprises a latch to selectively connect the adjustable strap child restraint to the pivoting safety bar to positively restrain a child seated in the marine child seat.

4. The marine child seat of claim 1 which further comprises means to positively attach to marine child seat to the boat in which the marine child seat is disposed.

5. The marine child seat of claim 4 in which the means to positively attach is a pedestal firmly connected to the boat deck.

6. The marine child seat of claim 5 wherein the pedestal is adjustable vertically and rotationally.

7. The marine child seat of claim 6 wherein vertical adjustment is achieved using an exterior cylinder, a concentric interior cylinder having a series of perforations, and a pedestal adjustment knob disposed within an aperture in the exterior cylinder to be selectively inserted and retained within one of the perforations in the interior cylinder.

8. The marine child seat of claim 6 in which rotational adjustment is achieved with a swivel support mounted under a base of the marine child seat which is rotational association with an upper end of the interior cylinder and where rotation of the swivel support can be selectively terminated using a threaded swivel stop knob threaded through an opening in the swivel support to apply pressure on the interior cylinder.

9. The marine child seat of claim 4 in which the means to positively attach to marine child seat to the boat includes a pre-existing fishing pole holder firmly connected to the boat interior and comprises: an alternate exterior cylinder having a flat tapered ending; a pivoting base member connected to the flat tapered ending through a pivot point and controlled by a pivoting adjustment knob; and an expanding mandrel controlled by an expanding mandrel adjustment knob.

10. A marine child seat to positively restrain a child in a boat comprising: an adjustable back portion having a contoured head restraint; a contoured seat portion having a rear contour insert; a pivoting safety bar; a locking mechanism for the pivoting safety bar; side arm rest supports; arm rest cushions; a center cupholder in the pivoting safety bar; and an adjustable strap child restraint; and means to positively attach to marine child seat to the boat in which the marine child seat is disposed.

11. The marine child seat of claim 10 in which the means to positively attach to marine child seat to the boat is a pedestal which is adjustable vertically and rotationally firmly connected to a boat deck and supporting the marine child seat.

12. The marine child seat of claim 10 in which the means to positively attach to marine child seat to the boat includes a pre-existing fishing pole holder firmly connected to the boat interior and comprises: a cylindrical support removably attached to the marine child seat and having a connection with a pivoting base member at a pivot point; a pivoting adjustment knob attached at the pivot point to selectively fix an angle between the cylindrical support and the pivoting base member; an expanding mandrel forming the lower end of the pivoting base member for insertion into the fishing pole holder; and an expanding mandrel adjustment knob to selectively expand the expanding mandrel within the fishing pole holder to immobilize the expanding mandrel with respect to the fishing pole holder.

13. The marine child seat of claim 10 which further comprises a plurality of seat back strap apertures to alter positioning of the adjustable strap child restraint to a child's height when seated in the marine child seat.

14. The marine child seat of claim 10 which further comprises a latch to selectively connect the adjustable strap child restraint to the pivoting safety bar to positively restrain a child seated in the marine child seat.

15. The marine child seat of claim 10 wherein vertical adjustment is achieved using an exterior cylinder, a concentric interior cylinder having a series of perforations, and a pedestal adjustment knob disposed within an aperture in the exterior cylinder to be selectively inserted and retained within one of the perforations in the interior cylinder.

16. The marine child seat of claim 10 in which rotational adjustment is achieved with a swivel support mounted under a base of the marine child seat which is rotational association with an upper end of the interior cylinder and where rotation of the swivel support can be selectively terminated using a swivel stop knob threaded through an opening in the swivel support to apply pressure on the interior cylinder.

17. A marine child seat to positively restrain a child in a boat comprising: an adjustable back portion having a contoured head restraint; a contoured seat portion having a rear contour insert; a pivoting safety bar; a locking mechanism for the pivoting safety bar; side arm rest supports; arm rest cushions; a center cupholder in the pivoting safety bar; an adjustable strap child restraint; a latch to selectively connect the adjustable strap child restraint to the pivoting safety bar to positively restrain a child seated in the marine child seat; a plurality of seat back strap apertures to alter positioning of the adjustable strap child restraint to a child's height when seated in the marine child seat; and a pedestal which is adjustable vertically and rotationally firmly connected to the boat deck and supporting the marine child seat.

18. The marine child seat of claim 17 wherein vertical adjustment is achieved using an exterior cylinder, a concentric interior cylinder having a series of perforations, and a pedestal adjustment knob disposed within an aperture in the exterior cylinder to be selectively inserted and retained within one of the perforations in the interior cylinder.

19. The marine child seat of claim 17 in which rotational adjustment is achieved with a swivel support mounted under a base of the marine child seat which is rotational association with an upper end of the interior cylinder and where rotation of the swivel support can be selectively terminated using a swivel stop knob threaded through an opening in the swivel support to apply pressure on the interior cylinder.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of infant and/or young child safety equipment. More specifically, it relates to a child safety seat especially adapted for use in a marine environment and having a unique mounting means especially adapted to use in a motor boat.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There are scores if not hundreds of U.S. patents related to child safety seats in cars or other vehicles. A few of the many are Carine, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,471,298; Moffa, U.S. Pat. No. 6,554,357; Jackson et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,082,819; Darrow, U.S. Pat. No. 6,030,046; and Stack, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,095,604. These and many similar references clearly imply or specifically state that they refer to cars and other motor vehicles. A very tiny percentage of restraints or safety seats for children mention a marine environment. Most of those, if not all of them, refer to flotation or buoyancy, i.e., a child seat used in a marine environment must be a device that will float in a body of water. A prime example of this type of reference is Ponton, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,993,276. It describes chair member having a seat portion with a backrest portion perpendicularly depending therefrom and having upper and lower inflatable flotation devices secured to either side of the chair member to suspend the chair member on the surface of a body of water. The Ponton, et al., device includes adjustable straps for securing the child to the chair member, but there is no structure of any type described or claimed that provides for attachment of the chair to any structure of a boat.

Some references describe dual use child safety seats such as for use in both motor vehicles and boats. Two such references are both invented by Bedard, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,059,360 and 6,412,865. Both of these references describe a child safety seat that includes a base member that is a planar surface as compatible with placing the invention either on the surface of a seat of a motor vehicle or on the surface of a watercraft. These references lack any means for fixing the safety seat to a specific location within a boat.

An improvement over those references is Gainforth, U.S. Pat. No. 5,514,020. Gainforth is the only reference located in the applicant's prior art search that includes means to attach a child safety seat structure within a boat. It does that with straps which may be attached to either bench seats on boats or bucket seats.

In order to appreciate the role of the present invention, it is useful to understand the marine environment for which the present invention is designed for use. The present invention is intended for use with power boats in a safe and sensible marine environment. In the first place it is the parents and guardians of infants and small children who bear the sole responsibility for keeping their child in a safe environment. Infants and small children do not belong in rough marine environment, but circumstances can and do arise where infants and small children are found where they should not be. The facts are that the overwhelming majority of present day motor vessels are less than fifty (50) feet in length and some are very high powered. They range from small runabouts with outboard engines to powerful “cigarette” boats that operate at very high speeds and often exceed fifty (50) feet in length. Such high powered craft result in a very rough ride at cruising speeds, because boats are almost never used on flat water. A high powered boat, whether having inboard power, inboard/outboard power or outboard engines continually takes a vicious pounding from hitting the waves and the wakes of other boats at cruising speeds. Everyone on board such vessels is obligated to hold on virtually all the time to avoid being knocked over. In such an environment with the apparent prior art, the presence of an infant or small child absolutely necessitates that the child be held almost full time by a responsible adult to avoid injury. This responsibility is awkward indeed, since the responsible adult must hold on to the boat like everyone else while at the same time supporting and restraining the child. This is a perfect example of where infants and young children should not be. On the other hand, so far as is known to the present inventors, there is no reference that specifically addresses the need for safe and positive restraint for infants and small children in the above described environment.

The present inventors cannot over emphasize that infants and small children do not belong in a “cigarette” boat taking a vicious pounding in a rough marine environment or at high speed. The present inventors do not mean to suggest that such conduct is appropriate by providing a marine child seat that might encourage such conduct. In fact, the opposite is the case. Rather, the present inventors intend to provide a safe marine child seat that will be up to the challenge in the not unusual event that weather conditions deteriorate and rough water is encountered after a boating trip is commenced. But if otherwise well meaning parents do subject infants and small children to a rough marine environment, at least the present invention provides a means to secure the infant or young child against injury from contact with injurious contact with the interior surfaces in the boat or from being thrown overboard.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Bearing in mind the foregoing, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a marine child seat that would secure a child with structure attached to the interior of a boat in a marine environment.

A related object of the present invention is to provide a means to secure an infant, or young child safely within a boat.

Another related object of the invention is to free adults from a necessity to physically restrain a child in a marine environment.

An additional object of the invention is to permit parents the pleasure of taking their young children with them while boating without fear of injury to the child because of the lack of adequate restraint.

A further object of the invention is to provide child restraint apparatus that allows multiple means of attachments to the interior of a boat depending on the available circumstances.

A related object of the invention is to provide child restraint apparatus for use in a marine environment in which the support means may be alternated from one to another depending on the preferences of the responsible adult.

A further object of the invention is to provide a child restraint safety seat that has supporting means that is adjustable in a plurality of modes, including height.

One more object of the invention is to equip a marine child seat with a cupholder to retain a beverage container.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the following descriptions and the appended drawing.

In accordance with a principal object to the invention, there is provided a marine child safety seat having a plurality of support means. The first of these is a pedestal which includes a circular member that is bolted to the deck of a boat. These circular members can be bolted to the deck of a boat in a plurality of places so that the supporting means and child safety seat can be moved from one secure location to another. The deck mounted support is equipped with means to adjust the height of the marine safety seat, and the means to swivel the safety seat to any of 360 degrees. Another means of support includes conventional seat belts to attach the marine child seat to another seat already fixed in place on the vessel such as a fishing chair or the like. A further means of support is to use a fishing pole holder with an accessory intended to secure the marine child seat to the fishing pole holder. Fishing pole holders are well known to be rigidly attached to boat interiors, and thus can easily accommodate a marine child seat to provides a secure point of attachment of the invention to the boat interior. The fishing pole holder support is especially adapted to compensate for the fact that fishing pole holders are frequently slanted to the vertical, and to provide a means to secure the accessory to the fishing pole holder.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the preferred environment of the present invention showing the fixed deck mounted adjustable pedestal.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view showing the inventive marine child seat without the pedestal suitable for attachment to any fixed substantially horizontal surface.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the inventive marine child seat showing the contoured head restraint.

FIG. 4 is a broken side elevation view showing the alternative means of attachment of the inventive marine child seat to the interior of the boat using a fishing pole holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

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.

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.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational drawing of the preferred embodiment of the invention. It shows the marine child seat 10 supported on a boat deck 12 with an adjustable pedestal 14. The adjustable pedestal is supported by a circular base member 15 which is fixedly attached to the deck 12 using connectors 16. Marine child seat 10 includes an angularly adjustable back portion 18 with a contoured head restraint 20, arm rest supports 22, arm rest cushions 24, contoured seat portion 26, contoured back insert 28, and pivoting safety bar 30. Pivoting safety bar 30 pivots about axis 32 and is held in place and released by locking mechanism 34. Pivoting safety bar 30 also carries central cupholder 36.

The adjustable pedestal 14 is comprised of an exterior cylinder 38, and an interior cylinder 40. Adjustment means include interior cylinder perforations 42 and pedestal adjustment knob 44. Vertical adjustment is achieved using the pedestal adjustment knob 44 disposed within an aperture in the exterior cylinder 38 to be selectively inserted and retained within one of the perforations 42 in the interior cylinder 40. The marine child seat 10 is also designed for rotational adjustment. This is achieved using swivel support 46 which is attached to the chair base (as seen in FIG. 2) and which is rotationally movable with respect to interior cylinder 40. Rotation of the swivel support 46 can be selectively terminated using swivel stop knob 48 threaded through an opening in the swivel support 46 to apply pressure on the interior cylinder 40. Note that swivel support 40 is raised slightly above arm support lower edges 50. This is so that marine child seat 10 can be removed from the adjustable pedestal 14 to be placed on any fixed substantially horizontal surface where it can be held in position by a seat belt or any other conventional means.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the marine safety chair 10 which shows chair back portion 18, contoured head restraint 20, arm rest supports 22, arm rest cushions 24, contoured seat 26, pivoting safety bar 30, locking mechanism 34, central cupholder 36, arm support lower edges 50, chair base 52 and threaded swivel stop knob 48. Also seen in this front elevational view are adjustable seat back straps 54, alternate seat apertures 56, latch means 58 and pivoting safety bar handles 60.

In FIG. 3, a top plan view is seen of marine child seat 10. Of particular interest in this view are contoured head restraint 20, seat back portion 18, rear contoured insert 28, central cupholder 36 and latch 52.

Turning finally to FIG. 4, there is a broken and partially exploded side elevational view of an alternative means to secure the inventive device to the interior of a boat using a fishing pole holder. Since fishing pole holders are well known to frequently be disposed at differing angles to the vertical, an adjustment means is indicated. The fishing pole holder support also includes means to fasten the support to the fishing pole holder.

The lower portion of marine child seat 10 is shown with swivel support 46 which is attached to the chair base 52 and which is rotationally movable with respect to interior cylinder 40. Rotation of the swivel support 46 can be selectively terminated using swivel stop knob 48 threaded through an opening in the swivel support 46 to apply pressure on the interior cylinder 40. Alternate exterior cylinder 38′ includes a flat tapered ending 62 which is connected through a pivot point (not shown) to pivoting base member 64. The angle between alternate exterior cylinder 38′ and pivoting base member 64 can be fixed by tightening pivoting adjustment knob 66. This feature allows levelling of marine child seat 10 to compensate for the fact that fishing pole holder 68 is set at an angle to the vertical in boat gunwale 70. As is usual, fishing pole holder 68 includes a bottom diametrical pin 72 to prevent fishing poles from falling too far down the holder. This bottom diametrical pin 72 serves the same purpose with regard to the present invention. Pivoting base member 64 includes at its lower end expanding mandrel 74, which is controlled by expanding mandrel adjustment knob 76. Expanding mandrel 74 is inserted into fishing pole holder 68, and then is expanded using expanding mandrel adjustment knob 76 so that it is immovable axially or rotationally with respect to the fishing pole holder 68 and the boat's interior.

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. 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.





 
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