Title:
Center bow shade cover for a center console boat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A boat cover shaped to match the bow area of a center console boat and having a flexible material with straps positioned around its periphery. The straps located on the front two edges of the cover removably attach to the rails of the boat while the straps located along the back edge of the cover removably attach to the frame of the deck of the boat.



Inventors:
Murray, Steven Vincent (Clearwater, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/313384
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
12/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B17/00; B63B17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LARSON AND LARSON (LARGO, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A boat cover for providing shade and shelter on a boat, the boat having a center console, a center deck substantially covering the center console and rails along a periphery of a front deck of the boat, the center deck having a tubular frame, the boat cover comprising: a flexible sheet of substantially triangular shape, the flexible sheet having a first side edge and two symmetrical side edges; a first plurality of straps affixed to the first side edge for attaching the flexible sheet to the tubular frame; and a second plurality of straps affixed to the two symmetrical side edges for attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

2. The boat cover of claim 1, further comprising a first plurality of buckles in line with the first plurality of straps for removably attaching the first plurality of straps to the tubular frame.

3. The boat cover of claim 1, further comprising a second plurality of buckles in line with the second plurality of straps for removably attaching the second plurality of straps to the rails.

4. The boat cover of claim 2, wherein each buckle from the first plurality of buckles has a pull strap for tightening each of the first plurality of straps.

5. The boat cover of claim 3, wherein each buckle from the second plurality of buckles has a pull strap for tightening each of the second plurality of straps.

6. The boat cover of claim 1, wherein the two symmetrical side edges curve outwardly.

7. A boat cover for a boat, the boat having a center console, a center raised deck over the center console and rails along a periphery of a front section of the boat, the boat cover comprising: a flexible sheet means, the flexible sheet having a first side edge and two substantially symmetrical side edges; a first plurality of strap means affixed to the first side edge, each of the first plurality of strap means having a first buckle means for removably attaching the flexible sheet means to the center raised deck; and a second plurality of strap means affixed to the two symmetrical side edges each of the second plurality of strap means having a second buckle means for removably attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

8. The boat cover of claim 7, wherein the two substantially symmetrical side edges curve outwardly.

9. The boat cover of claim 7, wherein each buckle means from the first buckle means has a tightening means for tightening each of the first plurality of strap means.

10. The boat cover of claim 7, wherein each buckle means from the second buckle means has a tightening means for tightening each of the second plurality of strap means.

11. The boat cover of claim 7, wherein each of the first plurality of strap means is affixed to the first side edge by stitching.

12. The boat cover of claim 7, wherein each of the second plurality of strap means is affixed to one of the two symmetrical side edges by stitching.

13. A boat cover system comprising: a boat having rails situated around a periphery of a bow area, the boat having a center console, the center console substantially covered by a deck, the deck having a tubular frame; a flexible sheet of substantially a triangular shape, the flexible sheet having a first side edge and two symmetrical side edges; a first plurality of straps affixed to the first side edge for attaching the flexible sheet to the tubular frame; and a second plurality of straps affixed to the two symmetrical side edges for attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

14. The boat cover system of claim 13, further comprising a first plurality of buckles in line with the first plurality of straps for removably attaching the first plurality of straps to the tubular frame.

15. The boat cover system of claim 13, further comprising a second plurality of buckles in line with the second plurality of straps for removably attaching the second plurality of straps to the rails.

16. The boat cover system of claim 14, wherein each buckle from the first plurality of buckles has a pull strap for tightening each of the first plurality of straps.

17. The boat cover system of claim 15, wherein each buckle from the second plurality of buckles has a pull strap for tightening each of the second plurality of straps.

18. The boat cover system of claim 15, wherein the two symmetrical side edges curve outwardly.

19. The boat cover system of claim 15, wherein each of the first plurality of straps are affixed to the first side edge by stitching.

20. The boat cover system of claim 15, wherein each of the second plurality of straps is affixed to the one of the two symmetrical side edges by stitching.

Description:

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of boating and more particularly to an apparatus that provides shade and shelter on a boat with a center console.

2. DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Notoriously, center console boats such as the Bluewater 2150 made by Bluewater Sportfishing Boats of Lake Worth, Fla., provide limited shade and shelter from the elements. In the design of this class of boats, the console with speed and directional controls is mounted in the center of the boat with a seat behind the console, the seat being possibly large enough for two occupants. Above the console is usually a raised deck that provides shade to the captain and possibly one passenger. The rest of the boat's deck is open, providing no protection from neither the rays of the sun nor the elements. Although boats of this class are mostly used for fishing, there are times when non-fishing passengers are aboard or when fishing passengers require a rest from the elements. Furthermore, although the raised deck provides limited shade, it has no sides should the boater(s) be surprised by inclement weather. Often during severe storms, rain or hail is driven sideways by wind and the unlucky boater is not suitably protected by the raised deck. Unfortunately, there is a lack of protection in the art for boaters using center console boats.

The prior art has protection systems for various configurations of boats, none of which provide protection to a center console boat in the way of the present invention. U.S. Pat. No. 6,659,035 to Treytiak filed Jul. 8, 2002 describes a two-piece boat cover for fishing boats as well as boats with a single or double console. The cover is in two pieces that join to each other with a zipper and the cover requires a plurality of masts to position it away from the deck of the boat so as to provide space for the boater beneath the cover. This device would not work well on a center console boat because the center console would interfere with the described cover. Furthermore, the size of the cover and the masts creates a storage issue and makes deployment slow which is a problem when a storm approaches quickly.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,441,066 to Harris, filed Jun. 17, 1994 describes a portable sunshade that can be mounted for protection from sun or other weather that is suited for boats or open vehicles such as truck beds. This device resembles an umbrella with rope ties attached to the spokes to support the edges. This device would also not work well on a center console boat because the center console would interfere with the described cover. Furthermore, the size of the cover and the “umbrella” mast creates a storage issue.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,262 to Lacy filed Sep. 21, 1990 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,926,782 to Lacy filed Aug. 26, 1988 both describes a windshield that is held up by two elongated support poles that affix along the side edges of the bridge. This device would also not work well on a center console boat because the center console would interfere with the described cover. Furthermore, the size of the cover and the two elongated support poles create a storage issue and make deployment slow which is a problem when a storm approaches quickly.

What is needed is an apparatus that will provide protection from the sun and elements to passengers of center console boats.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a device that provides shade and shelter to a passenger of a center console boat.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a device that provides shade and shelter to a passenger of a center console boat whereby the device is easily/quickly deployed and taken down and the device is easy to store.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device that provides shade and shelter to a passenger of a center console boat whereby the device adds no rigid support members making it easily deploy, take down and store.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device that provides shade and shelter to a passenger of a center console boat whereby the device adds no rigid support members making the device compact to easily package and ship, requiring reduced retail stocking and shelf space.

In one embodiment, a boat cover for providing shade and shelter on a center console boat (one with a center deck substantially covering the center console and rails along the periphery of the front deck of the boat and where the center deck has a tubular frame) is disclosed including a substantially triangular shaped flexible sheet with a first side edge and two symmetrical side edges. A first plurality of straps are affixed to the first side edge for attaching the flexible sheet to the tubular frame and a second plurality of straps are affixed to the two symmetrical side edges for attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

In another embodiment, a boat cover for a center console boat (a boat with a center raised deck over the center console and rails along a periphery of the front section of the boat, the center raised deck having a tubular frame) is disclosed including a flexible sheet with a first side edge and two substantially symmetrical side edges and straps affixed to the first side edge, each of those straps having a buckle for removably attaching the flexible sheet to the tubular frame. There are also straps affixed to the two symmetrical side edges each having a buckle for removably attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

In another embodiment, a boat cover system is disclosed including a boat having rails situated around the periphery of the bow area and a center console which is substantially covered by a deck that has a tubular frame. A cover includes a flexible sheet of substantially a triangular shape with a first side edge and two symmetrical side edges. Straps are affixed to the first side edge for attaching the flexible sheet to the tubular frame and straps are affixed to the two symmetrical side edges for attaching the flexible sheet to the rails.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be best understood by those having ordinary skill in the art by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a top perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention installed on a marine vessel.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention installed on a marine vessel.

FIG. 3 illustrates a close-up perspective view of a strap of the present invention connecting to a rail of a marine vessel.

FIG. 4 illustrates a detail view of a strap of the present invention connecting to a rail of a marine vessel.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of the apparatus of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Throughout the following detailed description, the same reference numerals refer to the same elements in all figures.

Referring to FIG. 1, a top perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention installed on a marine vessel is shown. The marine vessel in this example is a center console boat 30 having rails 32 around its periphery. The center console (not visible) is covered by an upper deck 22. In some center console boats, the upper deck 22 is fabricated of a sturdy material such that a boater can climb up and stand upon the upper deck 22, perhaps to look out or to fish. In other center console boats, the upper deck 22 is fabricated from a cloth material and the cloth material is strapped to a tubular frame 20 with straps 24. The present invention consists of a slightly rounded, roughly triangular-shaped cover 10 that is fastened on one side to the upper deck 22 by adjustable straps 16 and is fastened to the bow rails 32 of the boat with similar adjustable straps 12/14. The overall shape of the cover 10 is made to fit the shape of the front of the intended boat, yielding a substantially triangular shape with a first side that is substantially straight having straps 16 attached to its edges. The other two sides are substantially symmetrical and in some embodiments have flat edges and in other embodiments has slightly rounded front edges. The two symmetrical sides also have straps 12/14 attached along their edges. In still other embodiments, the two symmetrical edges have two distinct rounded edges whereby the shorter, front edge has a tighter radius than the longer back edge. In the preferred embodiment, the cover 10 is a flexible sheet made from a cloth material that provides shade from the rays of the sun. In some embodiments of the present invention, the cloth material used in making the cover 10 is also water-resistant or water-proof, providing additional protection from the elements, for example, nylon. In some embodiments, the cover 10 is transparent, while in others it is opaque while in others it is translucent.

Referring to FIG. 2, a side perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention installed on a marine vessel is shown. The marine vessel in this example is a center console boat 30 having rails 32 around its periphery. The center console is covered by an upper deck 22 (visible in FIG. 1). The upper deck 22 is fabricated from a cloth material and the cloth material is strapped to a tubular frame 20 with straps 24 (visible in FIG. 1). The present invention consists of a rounded, roughly triangular-shaped cover 10 that is fastened on one side to the upper deck tubular frame 20 by adjustable straps 16 and is fastened to the bow rails 32 of the boat 30 with similar adjustable straps 14. A close up detail of the area within the circle 3 is shown in FIG. 3. As in FIG. 1, the cover 10 is made from a cloth material that provides shade from the rays of the sun in the preferred embodiment. In some embodiments of the present invention, the cloth material used in making the cover 10 is also water-resistant or water-proof, providing additional protection from the elements.

Referring to FIG. 3, a close-up perspective view of a strap of the present invention connected to a rail of a marine vessel is shown. In this embodiment, a snap buckle 40/42 is used, much like the buckles commonly used in life preservers. One strap 44 is affixed at one end to the edge of the cover 10 and affixed at the opposite end to the male portion of the buckle 40. In one embodiment of the present invention, the strap 46 passes through the male portion of the buckle 40 and both ends of the strap 46 are affixed to the edge of the cover 10.

Another strap 46 is also attached to the edge of the cover 10 and passes around the rail 32 of the boat 30 and into the female portion of the buckle 42 and then loops out forming a pull strap 50 for tightening the strap after the buckles are mated together. Also visible in FIG. 3 are the release buttons 48 that, when pressed or squeezed, release the male portion of the buckle 40 from the female portion 42. There are many known methods of providing a similar buckling function known in the industry including snaps and “hook and loop” fasteners. In an alternate embodiment, the straps are simply tied with an easy-to-untie knot. Details of the preferred buckle are shown in FIG. 4. In other embodiments of the present invention, the male and female parts of the buckle can be exchanged or the buckle can be on the inside strap allowing access from within the bow of the boat 30.

Referring to FIG. 4, a detail view of a strap and buckle of the present invention connecting to a rail of a marine vessel is shown. A first length of strap material 44 loops through the male end of the buckle 40 and both ends are affixed to the cover 10. It is preferred that the ends of the first strap material 44 are affixed to the cover 10 by sewing or stitching, but other methods such as bonding are also viable. A second length of strap material 46 loops around the rail 32 and through the female end of the buckle 42. The first end of the second length of strap material 46 is affixed to the cover 10, preferably in the same manner and location as the first strap and preferably using the same stitches. The other end 50 of the second length of strap material 46 is free and is used to adjust the tension of the strap in the same manner as a buckle of a life preserver or airplane seat belt. The female end of the buckle 42 has openings where the release buttons 48 expand into when the male end of the buckle 40 is inserted. Pressing on the release buttons 48 releases the female end 42 from the male end 40. Again, this is the preferred way to attach the cover 10 to the boat rails 32 and to the deck rails 20, but other methods work equally as well such as simple knots, snaps and other buckle types.

Referring to FIG. 5, a top view of the apparatus of the present invention is shown. The present invention consists of a slightly rounded and triangularly shaped cover 10 that has fasteners around its periphery. The cover 10 has a generally flat edge 11 for attachment to the tubular frame of the upper deck of the boat using a plurality of straps and buckles 16. The overall shape of the cover 10 is made to fit the shape of the front of the intended boat and in some embodiments has two substantially symmetrical straight front edges 13a/13b and in other embodiments has two substantially symmetrical and slightly rounded front edges 13a/13b. In still other embodiments, the two front edges have two distinct rounded edges whereby the shorter, front edge 13a has a tighter radius than the longer back edge 13b. The front edges have a plurality of straps and buckles 12/14 for attaching the cover 10 to the boat deck rails 32 (not shown in FIG. 5). The straps are preferably made from a strong, flexible material, for example nylon.

In the preferred embodiment, the cover 10 is made from a cloth material that provides shade from the rays of the sun. In some embodiments of the present invention, the cloth material used in making the cover 10 is also water-resistant or water-proof, providing additional protection from the elements. In some embodiments, the cover is made from a nylon material.

Equivalent elements can be substituted for the ones set forth above such that they perform in substantially the same manner in substantially the same way for achieving substantially the same result.

It is believed that the system and method of the present invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood by the foregoing description. It is also believed that it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the components thereof without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention or without sacrificing all of its material advantages. The form herein before described being merely exemplary and explanatory embodiment thereof. It is the intention of the following claims to encompass and include such changes.