Title:
Surfboard drain and leash plug
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The disclosed device is directed towards a drain plug with leash fitting comprising a body having a first end and a second end opposite the first end. A wall portion is formed in the body between the first end and the second end. The wall portion is configured to demountably couple to a drain orifice. A leash coupler is coupled to the body proximate the first end of the body and can have a receiver configured to receive and retain a leash. The wall portion can include threads for threadably coupling to the drain orifice. The drain orifice can be formed in a hull of a surfboard.



Inventors:
Omohundro, John (Gardnerville, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/226577
Publication Date:
07/06/2006
Filing Date:
09/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDREW D. GATHY (EAST LYME, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A drain plug with leash fitting comprising: a body having a first end and a second end opposite said first end; a wall portion formed in said body between said first end and said second end, said wall portion configured to detachably couple to a drain orifice; and at least one leash coupler formed in said body proximate said first end.

2. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said wall portion comprises threads for threadably coupling to said drain orifice.

3. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said wall portion comprises a rim configured to create a watertight seal with said drain orifice.

4. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said leash coupler is configured to receive and retain a leash.

5. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said at least one leash coupler is integral with said body.

6. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said at least one leash coupler includes a cleat.

7. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 6 wherein said cleat is at least one of formed integral with said leash coupler and insertable into said leash coupler.

8. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said drain orifice is disposed in a hull.

9. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 8 wherein said hull is formed as a hollow surfboard.

10. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 1 wherein said leash coupler includes a receiver configured to receive and retain a leash.

11. A method of using a drain plug with leash fitting comprising: disposing the drain plug into a drain orifice, wherein the drain plug includes a body having a first end and a second end opposite said first end and at least one leash coupler formed in said body; and attaching a leash to said leash coupler, wherein said leash coupler detachably couples said leash to said drain orifice.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising: threadably coupling the drain plug to said drain orifice.

13. The method of claim 11 further comprising: inserting said leash into a receiver of said leash coupler.

14. The method of claim 11 further comprising: creating a watertight seal between the drain plug and said drain orifice.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein said drain orifice is formed in a hull.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said hull is formed as a hollow surfboard.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising: removing the drain plug from said hull; and venting said hull through said drain orifice.

18. A drain plug with leash fitting comprising: a body having a first end and a second end opposite said first end; a wall portion formed in said body between said first end and said second end, said wall portion configured to detachably couple to a drain orifice; and at least one leash coupler formed in said body proximate said first end, said at least one leash coupler including a receiver configured to receive and retain a leash.

19. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 18 wherein said wall portion comprises a rim configured to create a watertight seal with said drain orifice.

20. The drain plug with leash fitting of claim 18 wherein said drain orifice is disposed in a hull formed as a hollow surfboard.

Description:

PRIORITY STATEMENT

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/641,928, entitled “Surfboard Drain and Leash Plug” filed on Jan. 6, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The thrill of riding a surfboard along an ocean wave has been experienced by many people. At the conclusion of any given ride on the surfboard, the surfer eventually dismounts the surfboard. In most cases, the surfer dismounts the surfboard into the water near the shallow water amid the waves break long on the shore. The surfer maintains control over the location of the surfboard through the use of a leash attached to the surfer and to a portion of the surfboard. The leash prevents the surfboard from getting washed away from the surfer in the rough surf

The leash can consist of a cord having a strap (e.g., a leg strap) for attachment to a part of the surfer, such as an ankle, as well as a portion for attachment to the surfboard opposite the leg strap. The leash cord can be a plastic cord having about a 3/16 inch to about a ⅜ inch diameter and a length of about 4 to 12 feet and at the end near the surfboard a leash rope or line about ⅛ inch in diameter and about 8 to 10 inches in length extends from the plastic cord to a leash attachment. The cord attaches to the surfboard at the leash attachment. The leash attachment can comprise a loop formed on the deck of the surfboard. The loop can consist of a cured resin and fiberglass m Another style of leash attachment can include an attachment point formed by a hole in the head of a screw that fastens the rear fin to the surfboard Another alternative design for the leash attachment includes a leash plug.

The leash plug includes a pre-molded plastic body that can be installed in the surfboard. The leash plug permanently attaches to the surfboard and provides a secure location to tether the leash cord to the surfboard. Many surfboards comprise a mostly solid lightweight core covered with a smooth watertight deck material. The conventional leash plug can be fitted into an orifice through the deck material and into the core.

Alternative surfboard designs have included relatively hollow hulled surfboards with a hardened deck material enclosing an interior cavity with open-celled support structures. These hollow hulls allow for a lightweight design having excellent hydrodynamic properties for surfing performance. These hollow hulled vessels can include a vent and/or drain (hereinafter “vent/drain”). The vent/drain is a penetration through the hull creating a passage for air and water to pass from the interior of the hull to the exterior of the hull. The water and air pass through the vent/drain in order to equalize the air pressure inside the hull to the atmosphere due to changes in elevation and temperature. The vent/drain also allows for water to drain from within the hull, since not all watercraft are perfectly watertight. The vent/drain includes a vent/drain plug designed to seal or unseal the hull for venting and draining.

The prior art hollow hull surfboards require both a vent/drain plug as well as a leash plug. The need for both the vent/drain plug and leash plug requires that the surfboard hull include two penetrations to support both the vent/drain plug and the leash plug. The hollow surfboards often experience leakage at the penetrations due to seal failures as well as improperly fit plugs. The greater number of penetrations results in increased unwanted leakage into the hollow cavity of the surfboards. With all hollow hulled watercraft it is important to limit the number of penetrations through the hull into the interior hollow cavity.

What is needed in the art is a device that reduces the amount of penetrations through the surfboard hull while providing the necessary utility of venting, draining and leashing.

SUMMARY

The disclosed device is directed towards a drain plug with a leash fitting comprising a body having a first end and a second end opposite the first end. A wall portion is formed in the body between the first end and the second end. The wall portion is configured to demountably couple to a drain orifice. A leash coupler is formed in the body proximate the first end of the body and has a receiver configured to receive and retain a leash. The wall portion can include threads for threadably coupling to the drain orifice. The drain orifice can be formed in a hull. The hull can be formed as a hollow surfboard in a preferred embodiment.

In another embodiment, the wall portion can include a rim configured to create a watertight seal with the drain orifice. The leash coupler can be configured to receive and retain a leash. The leash coupler can be integral with the body. The leash coupler can include a cleat. The cleat can be formed integral with the leash coupler or the cleat can be insertable into the leash coupler. The leash coupler can include a receiver configured to receive and retain the leash.

A method of using a drain plug with a leash fitting can be provided. The method can include disposing the drain plug into a drain orifice, wherein the drain plug includes a body having a first end and a second end opposite the first end, a wall portion formed in the body between the first end and the second end, and at least one leash coupler coupled to the body and having a receiver configured to receive and retain a leash The method can include attaching the leash to the leash coupler, wherein the leash coupler detachably couples the leash to the drain orifice.

In another embodiment, the drain plug can be readably coupled to the drain orifice. The method can include inserting the leash into a receiver of the leash coupler. A watertight seal can be created between the drain plug and the drain orifice. The drain plug can be removed from the hull for venting the hull rough the drain orifice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Referring now to the figures, wherein like elements are numbered alike:

FIG. 1 is a top view illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a drain plug with leash attachment;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional side view illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a drain plug with leash attachment;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional front view illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a drain plug with leash attachment; and

FIG. 4 is a cross section illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a drain orifice.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Persons of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following disclosure is illustrative only and not in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure.

This disclosure describes an exemplary drain plug that includes a leash attachment. The drain plug can include a drain plug body configured to couple to a drain orifice. The drain orifice can be formed in the hull of a watercraft, such as a surfboard. The drain plug body can be formed with a wall portion including a leash attachment. The leash attachment can be configured to receive a cord that can be used as a leash. The leash can be attached to the leg of a user for maintaining control of the surfboard. The drain plug can include threading used to couple the drain pug to the drain orifice including corresponding threading.

FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 include a top view, a side view and a front view of an exemplary drain plug, respectively. The drain plug 10 includes a body 12 having a first end 14 and a second end 16. The first end 14 and the second end 16 are opposite. A wall portion 18 is formed in the body 12. The wall portion 18 extends from the first end 14 to the second end 16. The wall portion 18 can have a flanged rim 20 extending outward to form a perimeter 22 of the body 12 proximate the first end 14. The rim 20 can facilitate sealing and in an exemplary embodiment can include an O-ring, resilient seal, and the like, for providing a fluid tight seal for the drain plug 10. In a preferred exemplary embodiment, the drain plug 10 includes threads 24 formed in the outer surface 26 of the wall portion 18. The threads 24 can be used to threadably couple with a drain orifice 28 (See FIG. 4.).

A leash coupler 30 can be formed in the body 12 proximate the first end 14 so that it is integral with the body 12. In another embodiment, the leash coupler 30 can be attached to the body 12 proximate the wall portion 18. The leash coupler 30 is configured to receive and retain a leash or cord (not shown). The leash is a device that can comprise cord, and the like, used to tether an individual to a surfboard, and in relation to other hulled watercraft, the leash can be used to tether the watercraft to people or objects such as moorings, docks, and the like. The leash coupler 30 can include a receiver 32. The receiver 32 can be formed as cavities, hollowed out portions in the body 12, and the like. The receiver 32 can be configured to receive the cord and allow for the cord to wrap around a cleat (or loop or hook or similar device) 34 formed in the leash coupler 30. The cleat 34 is illustrated as spanning completely across the receiver 32 between the wall portion 18 of the body. In another exemplary embodiment, the cleat 34 can span a portion of the receiver 32. It is contemplated that multiple cleats 34 and receivers 32 can be included in the leash coupler 30.

Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary drain 36 is illustrated. The drain 36 can be a portion of a hull (not shown). The drain 36 can be configured with the drain orifice 28 formed to receive the drain plug 10. The drain 36 can include a seating surface 38 formed by multiple inside diameters and configured to allow the rim 20 to seat and seal the drain orifice 28. The drain 36 can include threads that match the drain plug 10 for threaded coupling. It is contemplated that other means of coupling can be employed to connect the drain plug 10 and the drain 36 (e.g., expanded rubber plugs, compression fittings, quick-connects, and the like).

In operation, the drain 36 allows for a hollow hull design to be vented and drained when the drain plug 10 is removed. The drain plug 10 can be disposed in the drain orifice 28 seating the perimeter 20 to the seating surface 38. The drain plug 10 can be securely mounted in the drain 36 providing structural integrity. A leash (not shown) can be coupled to the leash coupler 30 as well as to an object (e.g., a surfer's leg) (not shown) opposite the leash coupler 30. The leash can be utilized to maintain control over the surfboard, or other watercraft In an exemplary embodiment, the leash can comprise a cord that is passed through the receiver 32 and around the cleat 34 of the leash coupler 30. The cord can be tied off and secured to the leash coupler 30. It is contemplated that other coupling means can be incorporated into the leash coupler 30, such as a karabiner, shackle, hook, and the like.

The disclosed drain plug 10 is superior to prior art drain plugs. The exemplary drain plug 10 incorporates the leash coupler 30. By combining the two elements of the drain plug 10 and the leash coupler 30, the exemplary drain plug 10 can eliminate the need for an additional penetration in the hull. The exemplary drain plug 10 reduces potential leaks and simplifies the hull design of surfboards and other watercraft.

While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention.