Title:
Beverage and food raft
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The beverage and food raft incorporates a pontoon structure that supports a substantially flat upper surface member. A plurality of recessed openings are spaced around the perimeter of the upper surface to accommodate drink receptacles (cans, bottles, cups, etc.). A central recess functions as an ice receptacle for chilling bottled and canned drinks. Other recesses are strategically positioned and sized to retain bowls or plates containing various snack items. A plurality of eyelets are provided for towing or mooring lines. Interlocking handles are provided for securing multiple rafts together, if desired.



Inventors:
Tess, Kevin R. (Burlington, WI, US)
Tess, Thomas J. (Burlington, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/232873
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
09/25/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAMRE, SCHUMANN, MUELLER & LARSON, P.C. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A beverage and food raft, comprising: a contoured hull having a bottom surface and an open top; a substantially planar top surface member at least coextensive with the hull, the top surface member being positioned on the hull to close the open top; an array of recessed openings disposed in the planar member; and a plurality of pontoon structures disposed on the bottom surface of the contoured hull.

2. The beverage and food raft according to claim 1, wherein said pontoon structures are evenly spaced apart on the bottom surface of said hull.

3. The beverage and food raft according to claim 1, wherein the top surface overhangs an end of the hull, the raft further including at least one towing eyelet extending through the overhanging portion of said planar top surface.

4. The beverage and food raft according to claim 1, further including interlocking mechanisms attached to said planar top surface for attaching two beverage and food rafts together.

5. The beverage and food raft according to claim 1, wherein said hull and planar top surface are fabricated from molded plastic material.

6. A beverage and food raft, comprising: a contoured hull having a bottom surface and an open top; a substantially planar top surface member at least coextensive with the hull, the top surface member having a front end, a rear end and two sides, said planar top surface being positioned on the hull to close the open top; an array of recessed openings disposed in the planar top surface member; and a plurality of evenly spaced pontoon structures disposed on the bottom surface of the contoured hull.

7. The beverage and food raft according to claim 6, further including towing eyelets disposed through said planar top surface, said towing eyelets positioned on said front end and said rear end of said planar top surface.

8. The beverage and food raft according to claim 6, further including interlocking mechanisms attached to said planar top surface, said interlocking mechanisms being positioned on said two sides of said planar top surface.

9. The beverage and food raft according to claim 6, wherein said hull and planar top surface are fabricated from molded plastic material.

10. A beverage and food raft, comprising: a contoured hull having a bottom surface and an open top; a substantially planar top surface member at least coextensive with the hull, the top surface member having a front end, a rear end and two sides, the planar top surface being positioned on the hull to close the open top; a plurality of towing eyelets disposed through said planar top surface, the towing eyelets being positioned on the front end and the rear end of the planar top surface; interlocking mechanisms attached to the planar top surface, the interlocking mechanisms positioned on the two sides of the planar top surface; an array of recessed openings disposed in the planar member; and a plurality of evenly spaced pontoon structures disposed on the bottom surface of the contoured hull.

11. The beverage and food raft according to claim 10, wherein said hull and planar top surface are fabricated from molded plastic material.

12. The beverage and food raft according to claim 10, wherein the recessed openings include a plurality of receptacles dimensioned and configured for receiving beverage containers.

13. The beverage and food raft according to claim 10, wherein the recessed openings include at least one recess defining a bowl for receiving snack foods.

14. The beverage and food raft according to claim 10, wherein the recessed openings include at least one recess defining a well for receiving ice.

15. The beverage and food raft according to claim 10, wherein the recessed openings include: openings defining a plurality of receptacles dimensioned and configured for receiving beverage containers; at least one recess defining a bowl for receiving snack foods; and at least one recess defining a well for receiving ice.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/960,866, filed Oct. 17, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to recreational accessories. More specifically, the present invention is drawn to a beverage and food raft that provides a floating tray adapted to support refreshments thereon.

2. Description of the Related Art

Water enthusiasts enjoy the camaraderie of friends and/or family at a gathering at a lake or family pool. Aside from the swimming and water sports, good food and drink enhance the festive atmosphere. Unfortunately, it is difficult enjoy the food and drink while in the water because there is no place to set a glass, bottle or a plate of delicious appetizers. Consequently one must leave the water to enjoy a favorite beverage or snack. A floating tray or platform where one may place an unfinished beverage or snack, or, alternatively, retrieve a beverage or snack, would certainly add convenience to a water-theme outing. Thus, a beverage and food raft solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The beverage and food raft incorporates a pontoon structure that supports a substantially flat upper surface. Recessed openings are spaced around the perimeter of the upper surface to accommodate drink receptacles. A central recess functions as an ice receptacle for chilling bottled and/or canned drinks. Also the openings can be utilized as a receptacle for an accessory cooler. Other recesses are strategically positioned and sized to retain bowls or plates containing various snack items. A plurality of openings are provided for towing or mooring lines. Interlocking handles are provided for securing multiple rafts together, if desired.

Accordingly, the invention presents a floatation apparatus that functions as a repository for food and drinks during aquatic, recreational activities. The apparatus is relatively lightweight and can be easily stored when not in use.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a beverage and food raft according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a beverage and food raft according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an end view of a beverage and food raft according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a beverage and food raft according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Attention is first directed to FIG. 1, wherein an exemplary embodiment of the food and beverage raft is generally indicated at 10. Raft 10 is afloat on a body of water W and has its top surface 12 adapted to be loaded with snacks and liquid refreshment.

As best seen in FIGS. 2-4, raft 10 comprises a contoured hull 14 formed as an open-topped shell. Pontoon structures 16 are disposed on the bottom surface of contoured hull 14. Top surface 12 is coextensive with the dimensions of the open top of hull 14 and is disposed on hull 14 to close the open top. Top surface 12 may overhang the hull at opposite ends. Top surface 12 presents a substantially planar upper surface having an array of recessed openings 18 spaced around its perimeter. Openings 18 are dimensioned to retain beverage receptacles (cups, bottles, cans, etc.) therein. A relatively large, recessed opening 20 is positioned in a central area of top surface 12. Recessed opening 20 is adapted to contain ice and functions as a cooler. Additional recessed openings 22 are utilized to retain snack-laden receptacles therein. Towing and/or mooring eyelets or handles 24 are provided adjacent the front and back ends of the raft, preferably in the portion of the top surface 12 that overhangs or extends beyond opposite ends of the hull 14. Interlocking mechanisms 26 are employed to secure a plurality rafts together, if desired. As contemplated, the raft 10 will be fabricated from molded plastic material, such as high molecular weight polyethylene. It should be noted however, that other suitable materials or combinations thereof could be employed if desired.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.