Title:
Rub rail with a moisture seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rub rail assembly for mounting on a surface of a vessel includes a rigid portion having a mounting side facing the surface of the vessel, a wear side facing away from the surface of the vessel. Flexible strips are disposed on the mounting side for preventing moisture from reaching the surface of the vessel under the rigid portion.



Inventors:
Limansky, Joseph (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/188460
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
07/25/2005
Assignee:
Taco Metals, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B59/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP (HOLLYWOOD, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rub rail assembly for mounting on a surface of a vessel, the assembly comprising: a rigid portion having a mounting side facing the surface of the vessel, a wear side facing away from the surface of the vessel; and flexible strips disposed on said mounting side for preventing moisture from reaching the surface of the vessel under said rigid portion.

2. The rub rail assembly according to claim 1, wherein said rigid portion has a plurality of holes formed therein, each of said holes receiving a respective fastener.

3. The rub rail assembly according to claim 2, further comprising a flexible elongated pad disposed at said holes on said mounting side, said elongated pad sealing the surface of the vessel when said fasteners are in place.

4. The rub rail assembly according to claim 3, wherein said rigid portion includes legs disposed on said mounting side of said rigid portion, each of said legs having a respective one of said flexible strips disposed thereon.

5. The rub rail assembly according to claim 4, wherein one of said legs is longer than the other for accommodating a shoebox-type deck/hull construction.

6. The rub rail assembly according to claim 4, wherein said legs are substantially of equal length for accommodating a flange-type deck/hull construction.

7. The rub rail assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flexible strips have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

8. The rub rail assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flexible strips are co-extruded with said rigid portion.

9. A rub rail assembly for mounting on a surface of a vessel, the assembly comprising: a rigid portion having a substantially U-shaped cross-section, a mounting side facing the surface of the vessel and a wear side facing away from the surface of the vessel, said U-shaped cross-section having two ends on said mounting side; and said ends each having a respective flexible strip disposed thereon for preventing moisture from reaching the surface of the vessel under said rigid portion.

10. The rub rail assembly according to claim 9, wherein said rigid portion has a plurality of holes formed therein, each of said holes receiving a respective fastener.

11. The rub rail assembly according to claim 10, further comprising a flexible elongated pad disposed at said holes on said mounting side, said elongated pad sealing the surface of the vessel when said fasteners are in place.

12. The rub rail assembly according to claim 9, wherein said ends are substantially coplanar for accommodating a flange-type deck/hull construction.

13. The rub rail assembly according to claim 9, wherein said ends are not coplanar for accommodating a shoebox-type deck/hull construction.

14. The rub rail assembly according to claim 9, wherein said flexible strips have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

15. The rub rail assembly according to claim 9, wherein said flexible strips are co-extruded with said rigid portion.

16. The rub rail assembly according to claim 3, wherein said flexible strips and said elongated pad have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

17. The rub rail assembly according to claim 3, wherein said flexible strips and said elongated pad are co-extruded with said rigid portion.

18. The rub rail assembly according to claim 12, wherein said flexible strips and said elongated pad have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

19. The rub rail assembly according to claim 12, wherein said flexible strips and said elongated pad are co-extruded with said rigid portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/590,568, filed on Jul. 23, 2004, entitled MOISTURE SEAL INEGRATED WITH RUB RAIL; the prior application is herewith incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a rub rail for attaching to a deck and/or hull of a boat, more specifically, to a rub rail with a moisture seal and a filler for the space between the boat and the rub rail.

2. Description of the Related Art

The present invention is a rub rail with a moisture seal. Rub rails are used generally in boats, and for mounting to the hull and/or deck of a boat to prevent damage to the hull or deck when the boat comes in contact with another object.

Many types of land-based and marine vehicles use some form of energy-absorbing protective strip to reduce the likelihood and extent of body damage in the event of contact with some foreign object. In the case of vehicles such as automobiles, this protective strip is called “body side molding”, while in marine vessels it is called a “rub rail”.

Rub rails presently in common use are extrusions of aluminum, rigid vinyl, or flexible vinyl. Both the aluminum and the rigid vinyl rub rails lay straight when installed on the deck or hull of the boat and generally do not show distortions or pucker marks due to fastener pressure. This results in aesthetically pleasing installations.

Commercially available PVC rub rails include solid rub rails with fasteners visible on the outer surface of the extrusion, rub rails having an elongated region where a rope or flexible tubing may be inserted, and those with a channel in which a rigid stiffener is inserted.

Moisture entry into the backing of the PVC rub rails currently in use is one disadvantage of the placement of the rub rails because it promotes growth of fungus and molds. Caulking material is currently applied between the backing of the rub rail and hull to impair moisture entry. While this does provide one solution to the problem, the application and cleanup of the caulking material is messy and time consuming.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide rub rail which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known devices of this general type and which provides a rub rail that is easy to install and does not require any caulk to seal properly.

With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention a rub rail assembly for mounting on a surface of a vessel. The assembly includes a rigid portion having a mounting side facing the surface of the vessel, a wear side facing away from the surface of the vessel. Flexible strips are disposed on the mounting side for preventing moisture from reaching the surface of the vessel under the rigid portion.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the rigid portion has a plurality of holes formed therein, each of the holes receive a respective fastener.

In accordance with a further feature of the invention, a flexible elongated pad is disposed at the holes on the mounting side. The elongated pad seals the surface of the vessel when the fasteners are in place.

In accordance with an added feature of the invention, the rigid portion includes legs disposed on the mounting side of the rigid portion. Each of the legs having a respective one of the flexible strips disposed thereon.

In accordance with an additional feature of the invention, one of the legs is longer than the other for accommodating a shoebox-type deck/hull construction.

In accordance with another mode of the invention, the legs are substantially of equal length for accommodating a flange-type deck/hull construction.

In accordance with a further mode of the invention the flexible strips have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

In accordance with an additional mode of the invention, the flexible strips are co-extruded with the rigid portion.

In accordance with yet an additional mode of the invention, the flexible strips and the elongated pad have a shore A durometer of 55-85.

In accordance with still an additional mode of the invention, the flexible strips and the elongated pad are co-extruded with the rigid portion.

With the objects of the invention in view, there is also provided a rub rail assembly for mounting on a surface of a vessel. The assembly includes a rigid portion having a substantially U-shaped or concave cross-section, a mounting side facing the surface of the vessel and a wear side facing away from the surface of the vessel. The U-shaped cross-section has two ends on the mounting side. The ends each have a respective flexible strip disposed thereon for preventing moisture from reaching the surface of the vessel under the rigid portion.

In accordance with yet an added feature of the invention, the ends are substantially coplanar for accommodating a flange-type deck/hull construction.

In accordance with yet an additional feature of the invention, the ends are not coplanar in order to accommodate a shoebox-type deck/hull construction.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a rub rail with a moisture seal for a boat, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the rub rail in an unmounted state of the rub rail;

Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the of the rub rail according to FIG. 1 in an unmounted state of the rub rail;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the of the rub rail according to FIG. 1 in a mounted state on a “shoebox” style deck/hull construction; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the of the rub rail according to FIG. 1 in a mounted state on a “pancake” style deck/hull construction.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, a rub rail 1 having a substantially u-shaped cross section is shown. The rub rail 1 is extrusion molded from rigid PVC material in the shape provided. The rub rail 1 includes a mounting side 2, which faces the hull 21 of the boat and a wear side 3, which faces away from the hull 21 of the boat. The rub rail 1 includes ends 7 which are on the mounting side 2 of the rub rail. Flexible or elastic strips 4 are provided on the ends 7 of the rub rail 1. The strips 4 are attached to the ends 7 of the rub rail 1 by an extrusion process, which attaches flexible material to the ends 7 as indicated by the darker segments at the ends 7 of the rub rail 1. The flexible strips 4, when seated against the hull 21 or deck 20, provide a secure moisture seal without the need for applying caulking or other moisture barrier compounds, which saves both labor and material costs.

An elongated pad 6 of flexible material is provided at the center section of the rub rail 1 on the mounting side 2. The elongated pad 6 acts as a moisture barrier where a center screw 5 attaches the rub rail to the deck 20 and hull 21. This elongated piece of material may be approximately 0.6 inches in length and 0.03 inches in thickness. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the various dimensions of the flexible strips 4 and elongated pad 6 of the present invention can be changed to suit the intended application without departing from the scope of the invention.

The flexible material that is used for the flexible strips 4 and the elongated pad 6 of the rub rail includes materials with the following characteristics:

Shore A durometer55-95 
Tensile Strength1200-2800 psi
Elongation300-400%
100% Modulus300-1400 psi
Abrasion Resistance250-1100 mgs

Brittle point (F-50 value) *0 to (−20) degrees C.

* tested as directed according to ASTM D746

Examples of such material include flexible PVC, urethane, silicone, TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), TPO, or rubber modified flexible PVC. The preferred range for the Shore A durometer is 65-75. The property values of the material used can be greater than or less than the above-documented ranges.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show that the mounting side of the rub rail is fitted to the hull 21 and/or deck 20 and secured by one or more screws 5 that pass through the center section of the rub rail 1. The wear side 3 of the rub rail 1 provides some degree of protection from collision damage. The rub rail 1 shown in FIG. 2 incorporates a “water jacket” lying behind a curved stainless steel insert 8 at the center section of the rub rail on the wear side 3 of the rub rail 1. The water jacket permits water to drain from behind the stainless steel insert 8 thereby facilitating drying of the stainless steel, which helps to prevent corrosion. The present invention can also be used with rub rails 1 that do not incorporate the stainless steel insert 8.

Attachment of the rub rail 1 including the flexible strips 4 to the hull 21 and deck 20 of the marine vessel is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In FIG. 3 the hull 21 and deck 20 fit together in what is commonly know as a “shoebox” configuration. In the shoebox configuration, the deck 20 and the hull 21 are not flush or coplanar with one another (one is mounted on top of the other). Screws 5 are inserted into the rub rail 1 and press the elongated pads 6 against the surface of the deck 20 to seal the screw holes in the deck 20 for preventing moisture from entering. The flexible strip 4 is pressed against the deck 20 on an upper section, while the lower section has a “dogleg” that extends beyond an edge of the deck 20 to the hull 21 of the vessel that allows the flexible strip 4 to be pressed against the hull 21. In FIG. 3 the hull 21 and the deck 20 fit together in a flange-type connection. In the flange-type assembly, the hull 21 and the deck 20 are substantially coplanar. The hull 21 and deck 20 are joined together at the flange. The screws 5 are screwed into the flange to mount the rub rail 1 and for pressing the elongated pad 6 against the flange to prevent moisture from entering at the flange. The flexible strips 4 are pressed against the deck 20 on the upper section and at the hull 21 on the lower section.

While these are a couple of methods of fitting the protective rub rail 1 with the flexible strips 4 to the exterior of the vessel, other methods may be applicable under different arrangements of fit between the deck and the hull. Those methods are intended to be encompassed within the scope of the present invention.

Coloration, finishes, and aesthetic design detail may be added while keeping within the intended scope of the present invention. Coloration may be added to the material prior to extrusion or applied after molding the product.

The embodiment of the rub rail moisture seal of the present invention has been described for use on a marine vessel. Another embodiment of the present invention is in moisture sealing protective side-molding for use on terrestrial vehicles such as automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles and the like.