Title:
Pull-up boat cleat with infinite position adjustment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lift-up cleat assembly having a base member adapted for mounting on a mounting surface with the base having at least one downwardly depending hollow cylindrical guide tube which extends through the mounting surface and is connected to a liquid drainage conduit system. The cleat assembly includes a cleat member having a head adapted to be received by and seated on the cleat base and at least one vertically downwardly extending cleat post which is telescopingly received in the guide tube of the base member and reciprocally movable therein. A cylindrical shaped elastomeric keeper member is attached to the bottom end portion of the cleat post and frictionally engages the inside surface of the guide tube. The elastomeric keeper member has a faceted cylindrical surface with longitudinally extending grooves between cylindrical surface sections to allow passage of liquids and debris from the cleat base to a discharge conduit. The keeper elements are secured to the bottom end portions of the cleat posts by screw threaded fasteners which serve to compress the elastomeric keepers for maintaining frictional contact between the keeper and the side walls of the guide tube. The lower limit of travel of the cleat posts is provided by seating of the cleat member in the cleat base and the upper limit of travel is provided by a suitable stop means within the guide tube. The cleat member may be positioned at any point along the length of travel of the post with infinitesimal increments of adjustment with the cleat posts being held in position by the keeper member.



Inventors:
King, William E. (Kapaa, HI, US)
Application Number:
10/848223
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/17/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B13/00; B63B21/04; (IPC1-7): B63B21/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100024707VARIABLE TRIM BOATFebruary, 2010Curatolo
20040094080Device for varying a multihull capsizing torqueMay, 2004Leon
20090139440SUBMARINE ESCAPE SUITJune, 2009Prendergast et al.
20050172878Double flexible keelAugust, 2005Jenkins
20090277368Boat anchorNovember, 2009Bulloch
20040221788PREVENTING MARINE VESSEL FROM COLLIDING WITH PILING OR DOCKNovember, 2004Sievewright
20090217856FIXED STRUCTURE PLATFORM ON WATERSeptember, 2009Ince
20070163484RampJuly, 2007Eng et al.
20100043693Device at a Transformable BoatFebruary, 2010Henricson
20030037717Anchor constructionFebruary, 2003Peters
20040060497Method and apparatus for transporting compressed natural gas in a marine environmentApril, 2004Smith et al.



Primary Examiner:
BASINGER, SHERMAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Carl G. Dowrey (Bothell, WA, US)
Claims:
1. In a pull-up cleat structure having a base member and a pull-up cleat member, said base member including a bottom surface for engaging a mounting surface, a top surface seating the pull-up cleat member, at least one guide tube with an inside guide surface, said guide tube extending from the base member, through said mounting surface and communicating with the base member top surface, said cleat member including at least one cleat post extending therefrom with an end portion telescopingly received in said guide tube for reciprocal movement therein along a travel path, a keeper member for restraining movement of said post, said keeper member comprising; an elongated elastomeric radially deformable cylindrical keeper body with an outside cylindrical surface, said keeper body being radially expandable by application of axial pressure, connector means connecting said keeper body to the end portion of said post with the outside surface thereof in sliding frictional contact with the inside surface of said guide tube, said frictional contact being sufficient to retain said post in any selected position of longitudinal adjustment while allowing repositioning of the post by hand pressure on said cleat member, the outside surface of said keeper including at least one longitudinal drain groove therein extending the length of the keeper body for passage of liquid from said guide tube, whereby incremental adjustment of said post along said travel path is provided and simultaneous drainage of liquid from said tube is permitted.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said keeper member is connected to the bottom terminal end of said end portion of the post.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said keeper body comprises a solid elongated cylindrical mass having a central through bore for mounting said connector means.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the outside surface of said keeper body includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced drain grooves therein extending the length thereof forming a faceted right circular cylindrical surface on said keeper body.

5. (canceled)

6. The device of claim 4 wherein; said connector means comprises a headed screw threaded element passing through said bore and received in a screw threaded opening in the terminal end of said post, and a first rigid spacer between the keeper body and the head of said screw threaded element, whereby tightening of said screw threaded element radially expands said keeper body to enhance the frictional engagement thereof with the guide tube surface.

7. The device of claim 6 including; a stop surface on said guide tube, a second rigid spacer between said keeper body and the terminal end of said post, said second rigid spacer being sized to contact said stop surface, whereby telescoping movement of said post is limited in one direction by engagement of said second rigid spacer and said stop surface and in the opposite direction by seating of said cleat member in the top surface of said base member.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein said base member includes a plurality of said guide tubes and said cleat member includes a plurality of said cleat posts extending therefrom and telescopingly received in said guide tubes, each said cleat posts including a keeper member for restraining movement of the associated post.

9. A pull-up cleat comprising; a base member having a bottom surface for engaging a mounting surface and a top surface seating a cleat member, said base member including at least one guide tube with an inside guide surface, said guide tube extending from the base member, through said mounting surface and communicating with the base member top surface, said cleat member including at least one post extending therefrom with an end portion thereof telescopingly received in said guide tube for reciprocal movement therein along a travel path, and a keeper member having an elongated elastomeric radially deformable cylindrical keeper body connected to the end portion of said post with an outside surface thereof in sliding frictional contact with the inside surface of said guide tube, said keeper body being radially expandable by application of axial pressure thereon, said frictional contact being sufficient to retain said post in any selected position of longitudinal adjustment while allowing repositioning of the post by hand pressure on said cleat member, means for selectively radially deforming said keeper body to adjust the frictional contact with the guide tube, the outside surface of said keeper including at least one longitudinally extending drain groove therein extending the length of the keeper body for passage of liquid from said guide tube, whereby infinite incremental adjustment of said post along said travel path is provided, said elongated keeper body providing axially extended surface contact between the post and guide tube to maintain substantial axial alignment therebetween and simultaneous drainage of liquid from said guide tube is permitted.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein said keeper member is connected to the terminal end of said end portion of the post.

11. The device of claim 10 including; connector means for connecting said keeper member to the post, said keeper body comprising a solid cylindrical mass having a central through bore for mounting said connector means.

12. The device of claim 11 wherein the outside surface of said keeper body includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced drain grooves therein extending the length thereof forming a faceted right circular cylindrical surface on said keeper body.

13. (canceled)

14. The device of claim 12 wherein said connector means includes a headed screw threaded element passing through said bore and received in a screw threaded opening in the terminal end of said post for connecting said keeper body to the post, and a first rigid spacer between the keeper body and the head of said screw threaded element, whereby tightening of said screw threaded element radially expands said keeper body to enhance the frictional engagement thereof with the guide tube surface.

15. The device of claim 14 including; a stop surface on said guide tube, a second rigid spacer between said keeper body and the terminal end of said post, said second rigid spacer being sized to contact said stop surface, whereby telescoping movement of said post is limited in one direction by engagement of said second rigid spacer and said stop surface and in the opposite direction by seating of said cleat member in the top surface of said base member.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein said base member includes a plurality of said guide tubes and said cleat member includes a plurality of said cleat posts extending therefrom and telescopingly received in said guide tubes, each said cleat posts including a keeper member for restraining movement of the associated post.

17. A keeper member for restraining reciprocal telescoping movement of a cleat post having a terminal end portion within a cleat base guide tube comprising; an elongated cylindrical keeper body having a central longitudinal through bore therein, connector means located in said through bore for connecting said keeper body to the end portion of said post, said keeper body including a radially deformable cylindrical elastomeric surface for sliding frictional contact with an associated guide tube, said keeper body being radially deformable by application of axial pressure thereon, and at least one longitudinal drain groove in the surface of said keeper body and extending the length thereof.

18. The keeper member of claim 17 wherein said connector means includes means to selectively apply axial pressure to radially expand said keeper body to enhance frictional contact between the elastomeric surface and the surface of said guide tube.

19. The keeper member of claim 18 wherein; said keeper body is connected to the terminal end of said post, said connector means comprises a headed screw threaded element passing through said central bore and received in a screw threaded opening in the terminal end of the post for applying axial pressure to radially expand said keeper body.

20. The device of claim 19 including; a first rigid spacer located between the keeper body and the head of said screw threaded element, a stop surface on said guide tube defining the limit of travel of said post, and a second rigid spacer located between the keeper body and the terminal end of the post and sized to contact said stop surface to limit travel of the post.

21. (canceled)

22. (canceled)

23. (canceled)

24. A cleat assembly comprising; a base member having a bottom surface for engaging a mounting surface and a top surface seating a cleat member, said base member including at least one guide tube with an inside guide surface, said guide tube extending from the base member, through said mounting surface and communicating with the base member top surface, said cleat member including at least one post extending therefrom with an end portion thereof telescopingly received in said guide tube for reciprocal movement therein along a travel path, and a keeper member having an elongated radially deformable cylindrical keeper body connected to the end portion of said post with an outside surface in sliding frictional contact with the inside surface of said guide tube, said keeper body being radially deformable by axial pressure thereon to produce said frictional contact, said frictional contact being sufficient to retain said post in any selected position of longitudinal adjustment while allowing repositioning of the post by hand pressure on said cleat member, said elongated keeper body providing axially extended surface contact between the post and guide tube to maintain substantial axial alignment therebetween, whereby infinite incremental adjustment of said post along said travel path is provided.

25. The device of claim 24 including means to selectively radially deform said keeper body to enhance said frictional contact.

26. The device of claim 25 wherein said keeper member is connected to the terminal end of said end portion of the post and further including; a connector member for connecting said keeper body to the terminal end of the post, said keeper body comprises a solid cylindrical mass having a bore for mounting said connector member.

27. The device of claim 26 wherein; said connector member comprises a headed screw threaded element passing through said bore and received in a screw threaded opening in the terminal end of said post, and a first rigid spacer between the keeper body and the head of said screw threaded element, whereby tightening of said screw threaded element radially expands said keeper body to enhance the frictional contact thereof with the guide tube inside surface.

28. The device of claim 27 including; a stop surface on said guide tube, a second rigid spacer between said keeper body and the terminal end of said post, said second rigid spacer being sized to contact said stop surface, whereby telescoping movement of said post is limited in one direction by engagement of said second rigid spacer and said stop surface and in the opposite direction by seating of said cleat member in the top surface of said base member.

29. The device of claim 28 wherein said keeper body is constructed from a cylinder of solid radially expandable elastomeric material with a central longitudinal through bore therein.

30. The device of claim 29 wherein said keeper body is constructed of a rubber material.

31. The device of claim 29 wherein said keeper body is constructed of a nylon material.

32. The device of claim 29 wherein said keeper body is provided with a roughened outside surface for frictional contact with the surface of said guide tube.

33. The device of claim 32 wherein said guide tube is provided with a roughened surface for frictional contact with the outside surface of said keeper body.

34. The device of claim 29 wherein said guide tube is provided with a roughened surface for frictional contact with the outside surface of said keeper body.

35. The device of claim 29 wherein sufficient clearance is provided between said post and said guide tube for passage of liquid, and wherein the outside surface of said keeper body includes at least one longitudinal groove therein extending the length thereof for drainage of liquid from said guide tube.

36. In a pull-up cleat assembly, a method for infinite incremental longitudinal positioning of a cleat post within a base guide tube comprising the steps of; mounting an elastomeric radially deformable keeper body on the end portion of said cleat post, applying axial pressure on the keeper body to radially expand the keeper body to provide sliding frictional contact with the guide tube, maintaining said frictional contact sufficient to retain said post in any selected position of adjustment within said guide tube while allowing longitudinal repositioning of the post by hand pressure on the cleat member.

37. The method of claim 36 including the further step of; selectively adjusting the axial pressure on the keeper body to control the radial expansion thereof for adjusting the frictional contact.

38. The method according to claim 36 wherein said keeper body comprises an elongated cylindrical mass configured to contact a substantial portion of the inside surface of the guide tube sufficiently to dampen said post against lateral vibration within the guide tube throughout its travel.

39. The method according to claim 36 including the further steps of: providing sufficient clearance between said cleat post and said guide tube for passage of liquid, and grooving the outside surface of said keeper body to permit drainage of liquid from said guide tube past said keeper body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to pull-up boat cleats such as used on the decks and rails of small pleasure craft and the like wherein a cleat member may be moved to a raised position for securing ropes or mooring lines and moved to a retracted position so as not to interfere with use of the deck or other mounting surface. More particularly, the pull-up cleat of the present disclosure incorporates a cleat position retention or keeper structure which provides for infinite increments of adjustment of the cleat member relative to its base throughout its motion while at all times permitting drainage of liquids from the cleat base to a waste discharge conduit.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The prior art contains many cleat and cleat operating designs which include both pull-up and pop-up types, the latter of which is usually biased upwardly to an operating position upon the release of spring pressure such as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,809,634 to Czipri. This type of cleat design usually requires some form of mechanical latching means to hold the cleat in the depressed position. The retractable or pull-up cleat normally employs some form of mechanical detent to hold the cleat member in either the raised position for use or the retracted or depressed non-use position. Cleats of this type utilize a cleat member with either a single or a double post or depending shaft structure mounted for reciprocation in a base mounted tubular guide structure for movement between the extended and retracted positions. The following listed patents are examples of the single post type cleat structure which include some form of mechanical latching to hold the cleat in the extended or the retracted position:

    • U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,101—Czipri
    • U.S. Pat. No. 5,301,627—Czipri
    • U.S. Pat. No. 4,672,909—Sweetsir
    • U.S. Pat. No. 4,354,445—Kafka et al.
      The Czipri U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,101 above shows the common expedient of holding the cleat post member in either the extended or the retracted position by detent means and the Czipri U.S. Pat. No. 5,301,627 illustrates one form of mechanically latching the cleat in alternate positions. Another method of holding the cleat member in the raised operable position is that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,672,909 to Sweetsir and U.S. Pat. No. 4,354,445 to Kafka et al. In these devices, the cleat is raised to the extended position and rotated to hold it in position for use. These prior art cleat structures may either be of the type including a liquid sealed housing for preventing flow of liquid from the base member or some sort of drain or weep hole allowing discharge of liquid and debris. U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,820 to Whitley illustrates still another common type of cleat structure wherein the cleat member is provided with two downwardly depending posts or shafts which are housed in cylindrical guide tubes depending from the cleat base. In this instance, the cleat is held in either its extended or its retracted position by means of detents operating on both cleat posts with seals being provided to prevent any escape of liquid or debris from the cleat base.

Another type of lift-up cleat design is illustrated in the Whitley, II et al U.S. Pat. No. 6,588,355. The Whitley II et al patent discloses a double post or shaft type cleat which utilizes a cup-shaped flexible retainer, including an elastically deformable skirt connected to the bottom ends of the cleat posts to engage the inside surfaces of the guide tubes of the cleat base. The flexible skirts serve to retain the cleat posts in any position along the cylindrical guide tubes by engagement with the sides of the guide tubes. Liquid drainage from the cleat base is provided past the retainer skirts and is collected in a suitable drain conduit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present cleat structure includes a deck or other surface mounted base usually having a depression on the top surface thereof for reception of a retractable cleat member which may be of an elongated configuration conforming to the contours of the depression in the cleat base. The cleat member is provided with downwardly depending legs or posts which are received by cylindrical guide tubes extending from the bottom side of the base. Although a double cleat post and guide tube arrangement is illustrated, the present invention applies equally to a single post design. The tubular extensions on the base extend through appropriate bores in the supporting surface and the base member may be securely fastened to the supporting wall or structure by any well known means. In the present type of cleat structure, the posts are provided with ample clearance for reciprocation relative to the base within the tubular guides. This structure allows any liquid or debris, collecting on the exposed surface of the cleat base, to drain downwardly through the guide tubes and to be channeled to a drain system. The cleat member has a range of reciprocal motion of the downwardly extending posts within the tubular guides, the lower limit being determined by its seating in the cleat base and the raised position being limited by suitable stop means within the guide tubes. At least one or both of the cleat posts are provided with an elastomeric position retention member or keeper acting against the inside walls of the cylindrical guide tube for restraining movement between the posts and the guide tube at any given location between the upper and lower limits of reciprocal motion. The outer periphery of the elastomeric retention member frictionally engages the walls of the tubular extension in order to hold the cleat posts in any position of adjustment. Additionally, the elastomeric retention member is provided with suitable channels on its periphery which permit a free flow of liquid from the base member to the drainage conduits. Elastomeric retention members may be mounted on the bottom portion of the cleat posts with a screw threaded fastener which may also be utilized to control the frictional engagement between the retention members and the inside walls of the guide tubes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the raised position of the cleat member;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the cleat structure with the cleat member in the retracted position;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view similar to FIG. 2 showing the cleat member in the raised position;

FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned bottom plan view of the guide tube with the retention member in place;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the elastomeric retention member;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the elastomeric retention member; and

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Although the present embodiment will be described with reference to a cleat structure and its mounting on a boat deck, it will be understood that the cleat is not limited in its application and may be utilized in other environments such as RVs or any other environment where a pull-up cleat is required. Although the present embodiment is described as mounted on a generally horizontal surface, it will be appreciated that the structure may be mounted on surfaces otherwise oriented, such as a wall or a railing. Referring to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings, the cleat structure is indicated generally at 10 and includes a pull-up cleat member 11, a cleat base 12 and clamping means 13 for securing the cleat base to a boat deck or a wall surface. FIG. 1 illustrates the cleat structure prior to mounting on a surface and FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the cleat apparatus mounted to a boat deck 14.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be understood that the various components of the cleat apparatus such as the cleat member 11, the cleat base 12 and the anchoring members 13 may be made from any material and commonly constructed from stainless steel castings or some other durable material of sufficient strength which is capable of resisting rust and corrosion. The cleat member comprises an elongated body with legs or posts 16 and 17 depending at right angles from the bottom side. Posts 16 and 17 are mounted for reciprocal movement within the cylindrical tubular members 18 and 19 respectively which extend at right angles from the bottom side of the base 12. Thus the cleat member 11 may be moved between the retracted position shown in FIG. 2 seated on the top surface of the cleat base and the raised or operative position shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 raised above the cleat base 12. As seen in FIGS. 1-3, the head portion 21 of the cleat is an elongated bar which may have an arched center section 22 for grasping the bar when in the retracted position. As shown most clearly in FIG. 2, the center arched section 22 is slightly raised above the surface of the cleat base when the cleat member is in the retracted position.

The downwardly directed cylindrical guide tubes 18 and 19 of the base 12 are positioned for receiving the posts 16 and 17 respectively of the cleat member 11. The tubular members 18 and 19 may be formed as an integral casting with the base 12 or may be formed in any other suitable manner so as to be rigidly connected to the base 12. With the cleat base 12 resting on the surface of the deck 14, the tubular members 18 and 19 extend through suitable bore holes 23 and 24 respectively in the deck 14 with the cleat base 12 in the illustrated embodiment, being rigidly connected to the deck by means of the anchor bolts 13. Although the anchor bolts 13 are shown as attached to the bottom of the base 15 by such means as welding, it will be understood that the anchor bolts may be separate and passed through suitable holes in the base. As aforementioned, cleat posts 16 and 17 are received within the cylindrical tubes 18 and 19 with sufficient clearance, as shown at 26 and 27 in FIG. 3, between the posts and the upper ends of the tubes 18 and 19 to permit reciprocation and also to provide for the passage of liquid or debris, collected on the top surface of the base 12, downwardly through the tubes 18 and 19 to a discharge area such as a bilge. Any liquid passing through the guide tubes is collected by the discharge conduits 28 and 29 sealingly attached or clamped to the bottom ends of the tubes. The discharge conduits 28, 29 may comprise rubber, vinyl or other plastic tubing. It will also be noted that the upper end of each of the guide tubes 18 and 19 is provided with a reduced diameter portion resulting in a shoulder forming a stop surface or wall 30 which cooperates with the retention or keeper members in a manner presently to be described to provide an upper limit of travel of the cleat member as shown in FIG. 3.

According to the present embodiments, elastomeric keeper members, indicated generally at 31, attached to the bottom ends of each of the posts 16 and 17 may be identical in structure and function. The details of the keepers 31 are shown in FIGS. 4-6. The keepers 31 may be fabricated from rubber, nylon or other elastomeric deformable plastic material by any known process such as extrusion or molding. As seen most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the keepers 31 may be attached to the bottom ends of the cleat posts utilizing screw fasteners such as machine screws 32 which engage screw threaded bores in the bottom of the posts. Stainless steel washers 33 and 34 may be used as rigid contact pressure surfaces or spacers between the keepers and the ends of the cleat posts and screw members 32. The washers 33 and 34 will, of course, be sized so as to avoid any contact with the inside surfaces of the guide tubes. As shown in FIG. 3, the washer 33 also contacts the shoulder 30 to provide a stop wall for limiting upward travel of the posts. It will be appreciated that, when the screw members 32 are tightened in the bottom of the posts, the keepers 31 will radially expand the desired amount to frictionally engage the inside surfaces 36 and 37 of tubes respectively of the tubes 18 and 19.

Although the top ends of the keeper members are illustrated as being in full surface contact with the upper washers 33 which in turn contact the terminal ends of the posts 16-17, the detail of the interface between the end portions of the posts, the washers and keepers may be modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The essential feature is the provision of a stop surface, such as provided by the washer 33 in the illustrated embodiment and the frictional engagement between the cylindrical surface of the keeper and the guide tube walls.

As viewed in FIGS. 4-6, the keepers 31 of the preferred embodiment comprise an elongated cylindrical body. The outside surface of the keeper body comprises a faceted cylindrical surface 39 of the same nominal diameter as the inside diameter of the tubes 18 and 19. Faceted surface 39 is formed by the longitudinal grooves 41 and a central bore 42 extends the length of the body of the keeper for reception of the screw member 32. With this arrangement, the keepers 31 can be clamped to the bottom ends of the posts 16 and 17 and screw members 32 tightened to provide sufficient friction between the keepers 31 and the inside surfaces of the tubes 18 and 19. The engagement of the keepers releasably holds the cleat member 11 at any chosen location between the retracted and extended positions, providing infinitesimal incremental position adjustment of the cleat. In order to augment the frictional engagement between the surfaces of the keepers 31 and the inside surfaces 36 and 37, either or both surfaces may be provided with a roughened finish or treated with a friction enhancing coating. In the event that undue wear occurs on the surfaces of the keeper 31 in the present embodiment, it is merely necessary to tighten the screw member 32 to further compress and radially expand the elastomeric body of the keeper. Grooves 41 provide for ample passage of liquid or debris from the cleat base, down the tubes 18 and 19 and into the discharge conduits 28 and 29.

As shown in FIG. 2, when in the retracted position, the cleat head 21 of the cleat member 11 is seated within the depressed surface of the cleat base 12 and is releasably held in this position by the frictional engagement of the keeper 31. When the cleat member is raised to the operative position shown in FIG. 3, the extreme limit of upward travel of the posts 16 and 17 is determined by engagement between the washers 33 and the shoulders 30 on the guide tubes 18 and 19.

It will be noted that the exact dimensions of the faceted surface 39 of the keeper, as well as the depth and configuration of the grooves 41 may be varied depending upon the amount of liquid flow desired as well as the amount of surface area of frictional contact between the faceted surface 39 and the inside surface of the guide tubes. In this regard, it is to understood that, although shown as having semi circular surfaces in the illustrated embodiments, the grooves 41 may take any form in cross section and are not limited to any specific configuration as long as adequate flow of liquid is provided. FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate a second embodiment of cleat post keeper or restraining element. The keeper element, indicated generally at 43, includes the elastomeric body 44 having a central through bore 46. The length or longitudinal extent of the keeper body 44 may be varied for any particular installation and will depend upon the size and configuration of the guide tubes 18 and 19 as well as the amount of frictional contact desired between the keepers and the inside walls of the guide tubes. As described for the FIGS. 4-6 embodiment, the keeper 43 has an outside cylindrical faceted surface made up of the surface sections 47 with intervening grooves 48 extending the length of the keeper body. The grooves 48, of course, provide for passage of liquid and debris to the drain conduits 28 and 29 as previously described. It will be noted that the grooves 48 in the FIGS. 7-8 embodiment are fewer in number than those illustrated in the FIGS. 4-6 embodiment and are of greater circumferential extent providing each groove with a greater cross sectional area for liquid flow. This embodiment, of course, provides less frictional contact between the faceted surface sections 47 and the inside surface of the guide tubes 18 and 19.

The present inventive pull-up cleat assembly provides significant improvements in retractable cleat positioning structure allowing for infinitesimal incremental position adjustments. Simplicity of structure is achieved avoiding the necessity of moving mechanical parts and consequent wear and replacement problems. The elastomeric keeper element is extremely reliable, durable and inexpensive to manufacture. The degree of frictional engagement of the keeper is capable of adjustment both initially and subsequent to installation.

Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described herein with certain modifications, it is to be understood that the present disclosure is made by way of example and that various other embodiments and modifications are possible without departing from the inventive concept and are included within the scope of the following claims, which claimed subject matter is regarded as the invention. The aim of the appended claims therefor is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.





 
Previous Patent: Boat drain valve

Next Patent: Underwater scooter