Title:
Floating Seat and Table Configuration
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a floating recreational apparatus that comprises a table top and a seat component. The table top is engaged to said table top so as to be in a fixed, raised position. A buoyancy component is associated with said seat component such that the table top lies above the water during use of the apparatus.



Inventors:
Viets, Richard (Avon Park, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/530494
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
09/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63C9/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOLTER VAN DYKE DAVIS, PLLC (ORLANDO, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A floating seat and table apparatus comprising a table top; a seat component rigidly engaged to said table top such that said table top is in a fixed, raised, generally parallel position relative to said seat component thereby defining a space between said table top and said seat component, wherein at least a portion of said seat component extends outward relative to at least a portion of the perimeter of the table top; and at least one buoyancy component associated with the seat component such that a majority of said at least one buoyancy component is disposed below the horizontal plane of said seat component.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said table top comprises an umbrella holder attached to or defined in said table top.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said at least one buoyancy component comprises four separate buoyancy components positioned beneath the horizontal plane of said seat component.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said seat component comprises a continuous bench component that is disposed around said table top so as to circumscribe a majority of the perimeter of the table top.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein said continuous bench component comprises a bottom surface and said at least one buoyancy component comprises one buoyancy component disposed beneath said continuous bench component, wherein said one buoyancy component is of a size and configuration to subjacently cover a majority of said bottom surface.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said seat component comprises a plurality of seats and at least one buoyancy component comprises a number of buoyancy components corresponding to a number of seats, each buoyancy component disposed below the horizontal plane of its corresponding seat.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said table top is made of metal or wood.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said seat component is made of metal or wood.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said table top and seat component are made of aluminum.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said at least one buoyancy component comprises a hollow container engaged to said seat component.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein said hollow container is a cylindrical drum.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein said hollow container comprises a portal and a removable plug disposed therein, wherein water may be allowed to flow into and out of said hollow container through said portal upon removal of said removable plug, whereby the buoyancy potential of said at least one buoyancy component is adjusted.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said at least one buoyancy component is comprised, at least partially, of foam.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of the Jul. 3, 2006, filing date of U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/806,488, which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The water provides tremendous enjoyment for humans. Whether it be frolicking in a lake, river, pool or ocean, millions of people enjoy time in and on the water every year. Huge industries are based on this fact. People are always trying to find new and improved ways of spending fun time in the water. Some even have tried to invent ways to eat and drink while being in and/or on the water. Pontoon boats are designed around having a comfortable platform for congregating, cooking and drinking while on the water. Some have even invented furniture that allows one to be touching the water while eating and/or drinking.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,878,026 discloses an amphibious table. The table comprises attached seats. The table top is constructed of a floating material. Thus, in use, the table rests on top of the water, while the seats are submerged in the water. U.S. Pat. No. 6,808,434 discloses a similar design that comprises a floating table top.

SUMMARY

Though attempts have been made to design furniture that may be used in the water, the inventor has discovered that there is much room for improvement. The inventor has realized that some of the prior art designs are unstable when implemented in the water. A table top that is floating on the water is very responsive to small waves and disturbances on the water. Thus, one attempting to place food dishes and drinks on top of the floating table top will be constantly annoyed by small disturbances tilting the table top. Having realized this problem, the inventor has designed a floating seat and table configuration that comprises a buoyancy component positioned below the seat. The table does not necessarily have a buoyancy component associated therewith. The table top is rigidly attached to the seat component such that it is in a fixed, raised position relative to the seat component. Thus, in use, the floating seat and table configuration allows for the user to sit on the seat component with their legs dangling in the water while their buttocks are typically suspended on the seat above the water. The table top is suspended above the water whereby waves and disturbances on the water merely pass below the table without disrupting it. If the weight of the users cause the seats to become submerged in the water, the table top will still be suspended above the water. These and other advantageous aspects of the floating seat and table configuration will be discussed further below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a floating seat and table configuration.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a seat and table configuration shown upside down.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a floating seat and table configuration shown in use on the water with a umbrella feature.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 with a user seated at the table.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view showing construction of an alternative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning to the Figures, FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a floating seat and table configuration. The table top 12 is attached to seat component 14 by table braces 16. The table top 12 is spaced in a raised position respective to seat component to allow one to comfortable put their legs through such space. Further, the seat component 14 is positioned outwardly from the perimeter of the table top 12 so as to allow comfortable posture and placement of hands and/or arms over table when seated. Shown is a seat component 14 which comprises a continuous bench seat that surrounds the perimeter of the table top 12. The seat component may comprise a continuous bench, which allows maximum number of users around the table top 12, or may comprise discrete seats spaced around the table top 12. The buoyancy component 18 is positioned below the horizontal plane of the seat component 14. Putting the buoyancy component 18 in a position where the table top 12, which is attached at a raised position relative to the seat component, stays above the water surface when in use. The buoyancy component 18 may comprise any suitable floating device. Shown in FIG. 1 is a plastic barrel braced beneath the seat component 14 engaged by buoyancy brace 19. An additional feature of the embodiment shown in FIG. 18, is that buoyancy potential of the barrel can be adjusted by allowing water (or other dense material) to fill the barrel to a desired level. This can be achieved by a portal defined in the wall of the barrel. One skilled in the art will appreciate that other floating devices can be implemented in view of the teachings herein, including but not limited to, foam based materials.

The table may be any suitable shape. Shown is an octagonal configuration, but the table may be round, triangular, square, hexagonal, or any other suitable geometric shape as will be appreciated in view of the teachings herein.

FIG. 2 shows the seat portion 14 and table 12 partially constructed, as well as attachment of one of the buoyancy components 18 buoyancy brace 19.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment 30 similar to that shown in FIG. 1 that is floating on the water. The embodiment comprises an umbrella holder 32 provided in the center of the table and an umbrella disposed therein 34.

FIG. 4 shows the embodiment 30 with a person 40 sitting thereon. Note that the person's legs are able to soak in the water while the table stays well above the water surface, thereby adding to the superior enjoyment of being in the water but not being disrupted by disturbances on the water. However, should the person wish to sit further down in the water, the buoyancy potential of the buoyancy component can be adjusted as discussed above.

FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment 50 being constructed comprising a bracing array 52 provided below a table top 54. This embodiment 50 represents an earlier embodiment which was found to be less preferred due to the bracing array 52 interfering with the comfortable placement of users' legs.

In most embodiments, the table top and seat components may be comprised of any suitable material including, but not limited to, metal, wood, resins, plastics or a combination thereof.

The buoyancy component may comprise a plurality of components or one continuous component that is associated with the seat component. In a specific embodiment, the buoyancy component comprises a hollow container which displaces more water than it weighs. The buoyancy of the hollow container may be adjusted by adding water, sand or other material through a portal in the hollow container. Such portal is seen in FIG. 2. The portal is a hole into which a removable plug 17 is inserted. In alternative embodiments, the buoyancy component comprises a floating material such as foam, light wood, or other buoyant material recognized in the art.

In one embodiment, the subject invention pertains to a floating seat and table configuration comprising a table top; a seat component rigidly engaged to said table top such that said table top is in a fixed, raised, generally parallel (i.e., within 45 degrees of deflection between the angle of the seat component and angle of the table top, preferably within 15 degree angle of deflection) position relative to said seat component thereby defining a space between said table top and said seat component, wherein at least a portion of said seat component extends outward from the perimeter of the table top; and at least one buoyancy component engaged to and positioned beneath the horizontal plane of said seat component. In a specific embodiment, the floating seat and table configuration comprises an umbrella holder attached to or defined in said table top. In another specific embodiment, the seat component is a continuous bench component surrounding the majority of the perimeter of the table top. In an alternative specific embodiment, the seat component comprises a plurality of seats spaced around the perimeter of the table top.

The disclosures of the cited patent documents, publications and references are incorporated herein in their entirety to the extent not inconsistent with the teachings herein. It should be understood that the examples and embodiments described herein are for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications or changes in light thereof will be suggested to persons skilled in the art and are to be included within the spirit and purview of this application.