Title:
Cover for a boat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Frame for carrying a cover for a boat. The frame consists of a number of longitudinal beams which are hingeably coupled to one another to follow the shape of the boat. Transverse beam structures extend between opposing longitudinal beams and each transverse beam structure consists of a number of transverse beams which are hingeably connected to one another. At a hinge location not adjoining the longitudinal beams, ridge beams extend for carrying the cover. Preferably, at least some of the hinges are configured in such a way that, in the desired hinge position, this hinge position can be fixed or prestress can be applied thereto. A carrier structure is present to support the transverse beam structure and more particularly an upright thereof. A cover structure according to the invention comprises the frame and an associated cover and also a tarpaulin cover.



Inventors:
Van Berkel, Cornelis Everardus (Roelofarendsveen, NL)
Application Number:
12/178668
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
07/24/2008
Assignee:
C.E. VAN BERKEL H.O.D.N. SIMPLE SCREEN (ROELOFARENDSVEEN, NL)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VASUDEVA, AJAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-14. (canceled)

15. Frame for carrying a cover for a boat, said frame comprising longitudinal beams to be attached in the use position to both sides of a vessel, transverse beam structures extending between opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beam structures comprising transverse beams extending from opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beams being joined together, wherein at least three longitudinal beams, which are hingeably connected to one another in order to form the shape of a boat, are attached to each side of the frame, and wherein the span of the transverse beam structure in proximity to the end longitudinal beams is smaller than the span of the transverse beam structure in the central longitudinal beam.

16. Frame according to claim 15, wherein the transverse beams of a transverse beam structure are hingeably connected to one another.

17. Frame according to claim 15, wherein ridge beams extend between transverse beams of adjoining transverse beam structures.

18. Frame according to claim 17, wherein said ridge beams are hingeably connected to said transverse beam structures.

19. Frame according to claim 15, wherein said transverse beam structure comprises four transverse beams.

20. Frame according to claim 15, wherein a hinge connection between beams comprises securing means for fixing a hinge position.

21. Frame according to claim 20, wherein said securing means comprise a connecting beam extending between said hingeably connected beams in proximity to the hinge point on the acute side of the hinge angle, said pressure means acting between said connecting beam and that hinge point being present.

22. Frame according to claim 15, wherein said beams are made of wood and said hinges comprise metallic parts with accomodations for said beams.

23. Cover structure comprising a frame for carrying a cover for a boat, said frame comprising longitudinal beams to be attached in the use position to both sides of a vessel, transverse beam structures extending between opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beam structures comprising transverse beams extending from opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beams being joined together, wherein at least three longitudinal beams, which are hingeably connected to one another in order to form the shape of a boat, are attached to each side of the frame, and wherein the span of the transverse beam structure in proximity to the end longitudinal beams is smaller than the span of the transverse beam structure in the central longitudinal beam.

24. Cover structure according to claim 23, comprising a carrier structure for carrying said longitudinal beams.

25. Cover structure according to claim 24, wherein said carrier structure is configured for supporting said transverse beam structure extending below and perpendicularly to said longitudinal beams.

26. Cover structure according to claim 24, wherein said carrier structure comprises floating bodies.

27. Cover structure according to claim 24, wherein said carrier structure comprises a connection extending below a vessel.

28. Cover structure according to claim 24, wherein said carrier structure is provided with heating means.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a frame for carrying a cover for a boat.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Boats, and in particular pleasure boats, are used above all in pleasant weather, and in less good weather conditions the boat is not used and is exposed to poor weather conditions. In order as far as possible to prevent boats from deteriorating, all manner of protective structures have been proposed, and in winter boats are often hoisted up onto the quayside and/or placed in a shed.

Such measures are either expensive (placing in sheds) or inadequate. The latter applies if a tarpaulin is attached around the upper side of the boat. In the event of a storm or the like, and certainly if the boat is left unsupervised for a relatively long time, a cover of this type often becomes damaged. The beating of the wind causes the cover to move and to lie more and more loosely around the boat, so that it will eventually fail.

The object of the present invention is to provide a structure which is comparatively simple to attach around the vessel both in the water and outside the water and wherein it is possible to attach a cover wherein it can be ensured that this cover will withstand even the severest of storms undamaged. In addition, it is an object of the present invention to provide a structure which can be manufactured comparatively inexpensively.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect subject invention relates to a frame for carrying a cover for a boat, which frame comprises longitudinal beams to be attached in the use position to both sides of a boat, transverse beam structures extending between opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beam structures comprise transverse beams extending from opposing longitudinal beams, said transverse beams are joined together, wherein at least three longitudinal beams, which are hingeably connected to one another in order to form the shape of a boat, are attached to each side of the frame, and wherein the span of the transverse beam structure in proximity to the end longitudinal beams is smaller than the span of the transverse beam structure in the central longitudinal beam.

The present invention provides a frame which is adapted as much as possible to the dimensions of the boat. This is brought about as a result of the fact that the longitudinal beams hinge with respect to one another, thus allowing the outer circumference of the boat to be followed with precision at the level of the deck or preferably somewhat lower. The use of transverse beam structures allows rigidity to be imparted to the frame. This transverse beam structure is also attached at the desired location so as to be individually matched to the vessel. In other words, both the height and the width thereof (in the use position) can vary as a function of the shape of the vessel.

Once a frame of this type is present, it is possible in a particularly simple manner to tighten therearound a tarpaulin or other cover which does not become damaged even in the event of high wind loads and other loads (snow loads, frost and the like). Such a structure can, if the boat no longer has to be covered, easily be collapsed and stored in a compact manner. The costs associated with the structure are comparatively low and consist predominantly of the customizing of the various beams to match the circumference of the boat. Once the frame has been manufactured, it is particularly good for the service life because, in the use position, said frame is protected at all times by the cover.

According to a particularly advantageous aspect of the invention, the transverse beams of the transverse beam structure are also hingeably connected to one another. More particularly, use is made in this case of a hinge structure which in the desired hinge position allows the angular position of the respective transverse beams to be fixed. According to one particular variation of the invention, prestress is applied. Preferably, this prestress acts in such a way that two transverse beams which stand at an acute angle and are hingeably connected to each other are driven in a direction in which said acute angle is reduced in size.

Further sturdiness can according to a further aspect of the invention be obtained if ridges extend between the transverse beam structures and more particularly between adjoining transverse beams, i.e. not at the location of the longitudinal beam. These ridges are preferably also hingeably attached to follow the shape of the boat as much as possible.

According to one particular embodiment of the invention, each transverse beam structure comprises at least four transverse beams.

According to a further advantageous embodiment of the invention, the frame can easily be made up of wooden beams, the hinges being made of metallic material. The hinges are provided with accomodations for the beams so that once the beams have been shortened to the correct length, said beams can easily be connected to the hinges. This fastening can for example be carried out with bolts and nuts through predrilled holes in the beams. A connection of this type can be repeatedly detached and re-established. Once customized, further later adaptation is no longer possible.

The invention also relates to a cover structure consisting of the combination of the frame described hereinbefore and some form of cover such as a tarpaulin cover, covering hood or the like. This cover can be fastened to the frame using conventional tightening means. Examples include securing means such as are used in large goods vehicles with a carrier frame and tarpaulin cover.

The frame can be secured with respect to the boat in any conceivable manner. Thus, it is possible for the longitudinal beams to rest on the deck of the boat.

According to an advantageous mode of the invention, the frame rests on a carrier attached to the boat. As a result, the frame, consisting of longitudinal beams and the transverse beam structure, is set apart from the boat so as to prevent damage thereto. A carrying structure of this type can comprise a metallic carrier extending around and below the boat. When the boat is in the water, a metallic carrier structure of this type will also be in the water. Preferably, the carrier structure is configured in such a way that a part of the metallic carrier extends thereabove for supporting the frame. More particularly, the transverse beam structures are supported by the metallic structure. This metallic carrier can be made up of tubes, wherein heating means can be present in the tubes to keep the boat free from frost. The material for the metallic structure can comprise steel, aluminium and the like.

The structure consisting of the carrier and frame can for example be positioned with respect to the boat using ropes which can be fastened to the bollards which are already present on the boat. To prevent damage to the boat, it is preferable for the carrier to which the frame is attached to be located at all times a few centimeters from the local outer circumference of the boat. In conjunction with the above-described attachment of heating means, a part of the metallic carrier should be at least one centimeter under water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described hereinafter in greater detail with reference to an embodiment illustrated in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a boat provided with the cover structure according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross section along line II-II in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 shows a detail of the hinge structure between two transverse beams and two ridge beams.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIG. 1, a boat to be protected is denoted in its entirety by reference numeral 1. According to the invention, this protection is provided by the attachment thereover of a cover structure 2 consisting of a frame 3 over which a tarpaulin 4 is tightened.

The frame consists of longitudinal beams 5, 6 and 7 attached to both sides of the boat. The beams 5 and 7 are end longitudinal beams and beam 6 is the central longitudinal beam. These longitudinal beams 5-7 are in all cases hingeably attached with respect to one another. Hinging is possible in the horizontal plane, so that the outer circumference of the vessel can be shaped as far as possible. Transverse beam structures 8 and 9 are present at the ends of the respective longitudinal beams. It should be understood that transverse beams of this type obviously can extend also in the centre or at any other location of the longitudinal beam.

Each transverse beam structure consists in the example shown of four transverse beams. Transverse beam structure 9 consists of two upright transverse beams or uprights 10 extending from the longitudinal beams 5 and 6 and obliquely extending transverse beams 11. It will be understood that more than four transverse beams can be present to form a transverse beam structure. Transverse beam structure 8 consists of the upright beams 12 and horizontal beams 13. Among themselves, the transverse beams are in all cases hingeably connected to one another. Transverse beam structure 9 consists in addition of transverse beams 31 extending obliquely from the upright transverse beams.

Ridges 14 and 15 respectively are attached between the transverse beam structures 8 and 9. These ridges 14 and 15 are also hingeably attached.

FIG. 2 shows a cross section along the line II-II. It may be seen from this figure that the uprights 10 rest on a carrier 17. This carrier 17 is made of a metallic material such as a tube structure made up of aluminium or steel pipes which can extend below the vessel, as is indicated by connections 20. Floats 19 are present, fastened to the carrier 17. A specific amount of air can be accommodated therein at all times, thus allowing the structure consisting of the frame 3 and carriers lying therebelow to be brought into the desired position. The carrier 17 can contain heating lines 18 which provide heating. These can be lines through which liquid flows or (electrical) resistance lines. This allows the circumference of the boat to be kept free from ice.

FIG. 3 provides an example of a hinge between two transverse beams, in this case between the transverse beams 10 and 11 and ridge 5. The beams according to the present invention are preferably made of wood while the hinge itself, which is denoted by reference numeral 22, is made of a metallic material such as (stainless or galvanized) steel.

The hinge 22 consists of two accomodations 23 for securely connecting to the beams 10 and 11 respectively. Hinges 25 are present, between which a connecting plate 24 extends. Also connected to this connecting plate is a hinge 26 to which ridge 14 is coupled. A further hinge 26, to which ridge 15 is coupled, is connected to connecting plate 24 in a manner which is not shown.

A connection 27 is fastened to transverse beams 10 and 11 via clamps 28. This connection preferably hinges. Located at the centre of connection 27 is a pressure piece 29 with which it is possible to generate compressive stress between connecting plate 24 and connection 27. As a result, the beams 10 and 11 are driven to form a more acute angle. This introduces a certain prestress into the hinge and, when the structure starts to settle somewhat, this will not immediately result in rattling or flapping.

Corresponding hinges can be attached at other locations. Depending on requirements, a pressure piece may or may not be present and a separate pressure plate 24 may or may not be present or a simple hinge may prove sufficient.

Hinges and beams are preferably fastened by continuous bolts which are attached in holes drilled into the beams. This allows the structure to be regularly taken apart without sturdiness decreasing during assembly. However, disassembly at a number of locations is not necessary because the simple collapsing itself allows a significantly smaller volume to be obtained. The present invention allows a frame to be constructed and dismantled respectively.

On reading the foregoing, a person skilled in the art will immediately think of variations which lie within the scope of the claims and are obvious. It is thus possible to make the frame from different materials. The hinge structure can also be produced differently.