Title:
Attachable bow stop for a watercraft float system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bow stop is removably secured in a bow stop recess at a front of a watercraft ramp on a watercraft float. A molded mooring loop on the bow stop receives a tie line from the watercraft. The removably attachable bow stop is alternately placed in one of the recessed corners of a stackable watercraft float for compact storage or shipment.



Inventors:
Jackson, Jeffrey (Chapin, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/789836
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
04/25/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OLSON, LARS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF BRETT N. DORNY (NORTHBOROUGH, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A removably attachable bow stop device for a watercraft float, the device comprising a bow stop comprising a main body portion having an angled recess extending from a top surface to a back surface of the main body for receiving a portion of a bow of a watercraft therein, the angled recess having means to absorb a shock of the portion of the bow of the watercraft without damage to the watercraft; a bottom surface mating with a bow stop receiving recess in a top of a watercraft float for removably receiving the bow stop therein; means for removably attaching the bow stop to the watercraft float in the bow stop receiving recess to secure the bow stop therein so that the bow stop stops forward movement of a watercraft moving onto the watercraft float; and a mooring loop attached to the main body portion for receiving a line from a watercraft to secure the watercraft to the mooring loop.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the bow stop is configured to fit alternately within a corner recess of a stackable watercraft float so that the bow stop is positioned below a top surface of the stackable watercraft float so that a number of watercraft floats are stackable in a close stacked vertical array with the top surface of a lower stackable watercraft float contacting a bottom surface of an upper stackable watercraft float in the close stacked vertical array.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the bow stop is formed of a molded synthetic material having a shock absorbing quality serving as the means to absorb the shock of the portion of the bow of the watercraft without damage to the watercraft and the mooring loop comprises a molded mooring loop formed on the main body.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for removably attaching the bow stop to the stackable watercraft float comprises at least one opening in the bow stop for receiving a removable connector connecting to the stackable watercraft float.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein the main body has a pair of side recesses therein with a bottom surface of each of the recesses having an opening therethrough to receive one of the removable connectors therethrough.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein each of the removable connectors comprises a threaded connector.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the bottom of the bow stop comprises a flat substantially rectangular surface to fit with a tight friction fit within a mating substantially rectangular recess with a flat recess bottom in a top surface the stackable watercraft float at a front portion of an angled ramp surface of the stackable watercraft float for receiving a watercraft moving onto the angled ramp surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to floats for watercraft and in particular to a removably attachable bow stop to be removably secured in a bow stop recess at a front of a watercraft ramp on a watercraft float, wherein the bow stop has a molded mooring loop which allows a watercraft to tie onto it so that the watercraft will be secured on the float, wherein the removably attachable bow stop can alternately be placed in one of the recessed corners of a stackable watercraft float for compact storage or shipment.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Personal watercraft floats are well known. Common features of a dry dock watercraft float consist of a durable plastic shell outside and air or foam filled inside. The watercraft is driven onto the float with guidance of the floats rails, which are generally located on top of the float. Often, there is a high cost associated with the storage and transportation of watercraft floats due to their bulk. To compensate for this problem several prior art devices are a simple float device with a hull receiving channel. These devices do not have the added safety of a bow stop device. The bow stop is needed to safely stop the forward movement of a watercraft being driven up onto the float and for mooring the float. What is needed is a removably attachable bow stop with a mooring loop for a stackable personal watercraft floatation device, which will help retail customers and wholesalers who buy and store the stackable watercraft products benefit from a reduction in cost of shipping and storage of these items.

Prior art devices do not provide a removable bow stop device for a personal watercraft floatation device which can be removed from a bow stop recess at the front of a float and placed in one of the four recessed in the corners of the float for stacking the floats for transportation and storage of the stacked floats.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,687, issued Dec. 28, 1999 to Hillman, provides a modular floating boat lift capable of accommodating a wide variety of V-hulled boats. The boat lift is comprised of docking members, a bow stop that protects the hull of the boat, a stern segment and at least one intermediate segment. The stern segment and intermediate segment contain a channel with rollers that assist in conveying the boat over the boat lift and supporting the boat when docked. The rollers have different height configurations and can be positioned in different trays in the channel so that they can be used with boats that have different dead rise angles.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,855,180, issued Jan. 5, 1999 to Masters, puts forth a tilting dry dock upon which a small watercraft may be docked in a dry condition and from which a boater may access from an associated structure for launching the watercraft without entering the water. The dry dock comprises a floating dock having a forward end and a rear entry end. A motion mechanism connects the floating dock to the pier. The motion mechanism includes a mechanical pivot carried by the floating dock by which the floating dock is connected to the associated structure. The floating dock pivots about the pivot during docking and launching of the watercraft in a seesaw motion. A buoyant fulcrum is included in the floating dock which provides buoyancy and assists the seesaw motion of the floating dock during docking of the watercraft. The dry dock seesaws between an entry position in which the floating dock is tilted rearwardly for receiving a bow section of the watercraft to initiate docking and a docked position in which the watercraft is moved forward on the floating dock and the floating dock tilted forwardly from the entry position. The motion mechanism includes a connecting link pivotally connecting the floating dock and the pier which moves in a vertical motion. A limit element limits the range of the vertical motion of the connecting link as the floating dock seesaws.

U.S. Pat. No. D506,431, issued Jun. 21, 2005 to Elson, shows the ornamental design for the floating dock.

U.S. Pat. No. D398,576, issued Sep. 22, 1998 to Hillman, claims the ornamental design for a personal watercraft dock.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,923,132, issued Aug. 2, 2005 to McKenzie, is for a watercraft lift assembly with a bow stop. The apparatus secures a watercraft to another vessel or platform with a rack assembly. The rack assembly is adapted to lift and carry a watercraft out of the water. The rack assembly has a pair of rails adapted to support the watercraft. The pair of rails pivot whereby the ends of the pair of rails moves from a submerged position suitable for driving the watercraft onto the pair of rails to a raised position with the ends of the pair of rails is above the water level.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,051,668 issued May 30, 2006 to Quinta et al., is for a docking system for personal watercraft such as a Jet Ski which docking system is moored to the shore by at least one stake which permit the dock to float several feet away from the shore. The present invention docking system has a shape which is conformed to the shape of the personal watercraft with the method of having a rolling means on a rope stretched across the entrance to the dock so that the dock itself is pulled adjacent the sides of the personal watercraft as it enters the slip so that the personal watercraft will not bang against other personal watercraft and is snugly retained within the dock. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the dock comprises an island which maintains a multiplicity of personal watercraft at 90 degrees to each other so that a multiplicity of personal watercraft can be moored at the same time and moored in a configuration so that they will not hit each other.

U.S. Patent Application #20040018054, published Jan. 29, 2004 by Rueckert, claims a shadowless floating dock for use in areas having endangered flora, sensitive to the lack of sunlight. The floating dock is assembled from modular units in such a manner that sunlight can pass through the dock to impinge on the ecology.

U.S. Patent Application #20060272566, published Dec. 7, 2006 by Rueckert, describes a connecting link assembly and socket arrangement for assembling modular dock and/or deck elements into walkways, decks and drive-on docks.

U.S. Patent Application #20050204989, published Sep. 22, 2005 by Ahern, discloses a multidirectional floating dock element. The multidirectional floating element is preferably a polyhedron in overall shape including a first generally planar surface adapted for use a deck, a second surface having a V-shaped channel adapted for receiving and guiding a watercraft keel and a plurality of side walls for adjoining and maintaining spacing between the first surface and the second surface.

Five U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,106 issued Aug. 13, 2002; No. 5,947,050 issued Sep. 7, 1999; No. 5,931,113 issued Aug. 3, 1999; No. 5,682,833 issued Nov. 4, 1997 and No. 5,529,013 issued Jun. 25, 1996 to Eva, III, disclose a floating, drive-on dry dock assembly for a small craft which is assembled from two kinds of hollow floatation units, tall units and short units. The units are interconnected so that their top surfaces are substantially coplanar. The units are arranged to form two arms which support the hull of the craft on each side of the longitudinal center line of the craft. The entire length of each arm is made up of tall units except the distal end portions of each arm which may be made up of short units. The short units are able to flex downward as a craft begins to ride up on the dock because of the location of the connection between adjacent units. The tall units, however, cannot flex relative to each other nearly to the same extent as the short units, and so they form a stable generally planar surface. The distal ends of the arms are connected to each other by an upside down short unit. The short units are proportioned so that the uppermost surface of each is out of the water both when the dock is empty and when a craft is “parked” on the dock.

Two U.S. Pat. No. 5,941,660 issued Aug. 24, 1999 and No. 5,795,098 issued Aug. 18, 1998 to Rueckert, indicate a modular watercraft support structure formed from a plurality of rigid platforms that are coupled together by the use of linking pins or insertion plugs. Each platform having independent buoyancy formed integral therein for support of most any size watercraft. The structure includes multiple ramp, cradle, and flat platforms, allowing an individual to customize a support structure for a particular sized watercraft. The platforms allow the structure to raise or fall with each tidal change. One embodiment of the dock assembly includes a hinge-type connection that promotes ease of loading and unloading of a watercraft. The dock assembly may also be configured to provide a surface to which watercraft may be moored.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,117,809, issued Oct. 10, 2006 to Lamoureux, concerns a watercraft support platform casing for a floating dry dock for light weight watercrafts. The support platform casing has integrally formed floatation chambers and an elongated central ramp is formed in the top surface of the casing to support the hull of a watercraft positioned thereon. The ramp has a trough-like upper surface with a sloped forward entry way formed integral therewith and terminates in a lower forward projecting edge. The support platform is provided with connectors on opposed side walls thereof for a rigid connection with a plurality of floatation casings to support the platform casing on a water surface with the entry way positioned to receive the bow of a watercraft in movement whereby the watercraft can project itself on the central ramp above the water surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,069,872, issued Jul. 4, 2006 to Ostreng, illustrates a floating drive-on watercraft dock which comprises a one-piece molded body defining a watercraft receiving area. The watercraft receiving area includes roller assemblies on the bottom of the watercraft receiving area and glide assemblies on the sides of the watercraft receiving area. The roller and glide assemblies can be easily removed and replaced for servicing of the watercraft dock. An extension unit is provided which can be connected to the watercraft dock body. The extension unit includes an extension body and a tongue extending from the extension body. The tongue is sized and shaped to have a bottom surface complementary to the entrance to the watercraft receiving area of the watercraft dock body. The extension unit also includes a watercraft receiving area, which, when the extension unit is connected to the watercraft dock, increases the length of the watercraft receiving area.

U.S. Pat. No. D521,442, issued May 23, 2006 to Ostreng, shows the ornamental design for an extended floating drive-on boat dock.

U.S. Pat. No. D532,360, issued Nov. 21, 2006 to Ostreng, provides the ornamental design for a floating drive-on boat dock.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,249,545, issued Oct. 5, 1993 to Gettman, claims a lightweight cradle system for use in launching, beaching, transporting and storing personal watercraft, such as Jet-Skis. The cradle system cradles a personal watercraft with side and front support pads, and with roller systems at the lower aspect thereof. During use water is allowed to enter hollow side pipes and provide stabilizing effective weight to the cradle system. Use of the present invention allows an unaided young or small physical stature person to safely secure a launched personal watercraft without causing damage thereto. The present invention also provides elements which allow grasping and carrying of a cradle system/personal watercraft combination by two or more physically capable persons.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,051,668, issued May 30, 2006 to Quinto, describes a floating docking system for personal watercraft such as a Jet Ski which is moored to the shore by at least one stake which permits the dock to float several feet away from the shore. The present invention docking system has a shape which is conformed to the shape of the personal watercraft with the method of having a rolling means on a rope stretched across the entrance to the dock so that the dock itself is pulled adjacent the sides of the personal watercraft as it enters the slip so that the personal watercraft will not bang against other personal watercraft and is snugly retained within the dock. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the dock comprises an island which maintains a multiplicity of personal watercraft at 90 degrees to each other so that a multiplicity of personal watercraft can be moored at the same time and moored in a configuration so that they will not hit each other.

What is needed is a removable bow stop device for a personal watercraft floatation device which can be removed from a bow stop recess at the front of a float and placed in one of the four recessed in the corners of the float for stacking the floats for transportation and storage of the stacked floats.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a removable bow stop device for a personal watercraft floatation device which can be removed from a bow stop recess at the front of a float and placed in one of the four recessed in the corners of the float for stacking the floats for transportation and storage of the stacked floats.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a removable bow stop device which has a built-in loop for tying a mooring line to secure a personal watercraft to the float.

In brief, a removably attachable bow stop for a stackable watercraft float system has a molded mooring loop which allows a watercraft to tie onto it so that the watercraft will be secured on the float. The bow stop has two vertical side notches with bottom screw holes to screw the bow stop removably within a mating shaped bow stop recess near the front end of the float adjacent to the forward end of the mounting ramp for the personal watercraft on the top surface of the float. Each watercraft float has a pair of spaced parallel indented slots on a bottom of the float to receive and mate with two protruding spaced parallel tracks on the top of each float so that a number of the floats can be stacked together for transportation and storage in a stack which takes up less vertical space than floats with no bottom slots to receive the top tracks. Four recessed corners of the stackable float have openings to receive a PVC pipe for securing the floating dock to a stationary dock or into the sand below the water. The removably attachable bow stop can be placed in one of the recessed corners of the stackable float for compact storage or shipment.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a resilient rubberized plastic bow stop means for stopping the forward motion of a personal watercraft onto the stackable float for mooring the watercraft without damaging the portable watercraft.

Another advantage of the present invention is that the bow stop has a mooring loop to tie the personal watercraft to the float.

A further advantage of the present invention is that the bow stop is removable to fit into a recessed corner of the stackable float for stacking a number of floats in a closely stacked array for shipping and storage to save space and costs of shipping and storage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a back, top, and side of the attachable bow stop of the present invention showing the angled bow receiving notch and a side screw receiving vertical notch and hole therein;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bottom of the attachable bow stop of FIG. 1 showing the mooring loop protruding from the front of the bow stop and the attaching screw holes in the bottom of the bow stop;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the attachable bow stop of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the attachable bow stop of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bow stop of FIG. 1 mounted in a bow stop recess at a front of a stackable personal watercraft floatation dock showing a bow of a personal watercraft contacting the bow stop;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the bow stop of FIG. 1 mounted in a recessed corner of a stackable personal watercraft floatation dock for transportation or storage of the floatation dock;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of two of the bow stops of FIG. 1 each mounted in a recessed corner of a stackable personal watercraft floatation dock showing a pair of stackable floatation docks stacked for transportation or storage of the floatation docks.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1-7, an attachable removable bow stop 20 for a watercraft float 40 comprises a main body portion 21 having an angled recess 22 extending from a top surface 26 to a back surface 27 of the main body for receiving a portion of a bow 51 of a watercraft 50 (shown dashed) therein, as shown in FIG. 5.

The bow stop 20 is formed of a molded synthetic material having a shock absorbing quality serving as a means to absorb the shock of the portion of the bow 51 of the watercraft in the angled recess 22 without damage to the watercraft 50. In FIGS. 2 and 3, a molded mooring loop 25 is formed on a front surface 29 of the main body 21 for receiving a line from a watercraft to secure the watercraft to the mooring loop.

In FIG. 2, a flat substantially rectangular bottom surface 28 of the bow stop 20 mates with a bow stop receiving recess 46 in a top of a stackable watercraft float 40 for removably receiving the bow stop 20 therein, as shown in FIG. 5, to fit with a tight friction fit at a front portion of an angled ramp surface 42 of the stackable watercraft float 40 for receiving a watercraft 50 moving onto the angled ramp surface 42.

A means for removably attaching the bow stop 20 to the stackable watercraft float in the bow stop receiving recess 46 to secure the bow stop therein so that the bow stop stops forward movement of a watercraft 50 moving onto the stackable watercraft float comprises at least one opening 24 in the bow stop for receiving a removable connector connecting to the stackable watercraft float 20. Preferably the main body 21 has a pair of recesses 23 in two sides 30 of the main body with a bottom surface of each of the recesses having an opening 24 therethrough to receive a threaded connector for removable attachment of the bow stop to the stackable watercraft float 40.

In FIGS. 6 and 7, the bow stop 20 is configured to fit alternately within a corner recess 45, 45A and 45B of the stackable watercraft float 40 so that the bow stop 20, 20A and 20B is positioned below a top surface of the stackable watercraft float so that a number of watercraft floats are stackable in a close stacked vertical array with the top surface of a lower stackable watercraft float contacting a bottom surface of an upper stackable watercraft float in the close stacked vertical array, as in FIG. 7.

In FIG. 7, each stackable watercraft float 40, as claimed in applicant's U.S. Pat. No. 7,063,033, has a pair of spaced parallel indented slots 43 on a bottom of the float to receive and mate with two protruding spaced parallel tracks 41 on the top of each float so that a number of the floats can be stacked together for transportation and storage in a stack which takes up less vertical space than floats with no bottom slots to receive the top tracks. The closely stacked array for shipping and storage to save space and costs in shipping and storage.

In use, the bow stop 20 screws onto the stackable watercraft float 40 in the bow stop receiving recess 46 at the desired position of the bow 51 of a watercraft resting on the float for mooring, so that the forward movement of the watercraft 50 on the float is stopped by the bow stop 20 to position the watercraft in the right place for mooring. The watercraft 50 is tied to the loop 25 on the front of the bow stop for mooring.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.