Title:
Fish shaped boat fender cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A boat fender cover is provided in the shape of a fish. The cover includes a casing having a fusiform body in the shape of a fish's body. Furthermore, the casing includes a cavity for positioning a boat fender. Furthermore, the casing includes an open end for introducing the boat fender into the cavity and a closed end. Preferably, the open end is in the shape of a fish's head while the cavity's closed end has the appearance of a fish towards a fish's tail. The boat fender cover further includes a plurality of appendages which project from the casing's fusiform body having the form of fish fins. These “fin” appendages include a caudal fin, dorsal fins, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, anal fins, and combinations thereof. Advantageously, the boat fender cover provides protection for both the boat and fender against abrasion, dirt and weather. Furthermore, by providing the boat fender cover in the shape and preferably coloring of a fish, the boat fender is completely camouflaged so that it appears that a protected boat is not utilizing boat fenders at all.



Inventors:
Tyler, James Calvin (Fountain Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/378851
Publication Date:
08/27/2009
Filing Date:
02/20/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B59/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUSSO & DUCKWORTH, LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A boat fender cover in the shape of a fish comprising: a flexible casing for encapsulating and protecting a boat fender, said casing having a fusiform shaped body, a central cavity, an open end for receiving or discharging a boat fender into or out from said central cavity, and a closed end; said casing including a plurality of appendages extending from the fusiform body shape, said appendages being in the shape of fish fins including at least one caudal fin and one dorsal fin.

2. The boat fender cover of claim 1 wherein said plurality of appendages further include a pair of appendages in the shape of pectoral fins.

3. The boat fender cover of claim 1 wherein said plurality of appendages further include one or more appendages in the shape selected from the group consisting of pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins, and combinations thereof.

4. The boat fender cover of claim 1 wherein said casing is in the shape of a fish selected from the group consisting of salmon, catfish, bass, tuna, shark, trout, and billfish.

5. The boat fender cover of claim 1 wherein said casing includes exterior coloring resembling the coloring of a fish.

6. A boat fender cover in the shape of a fish comprising: a flexible casing for encapsulating and protecting a boat fender, said casing having a fusiform shaped body, a central cavity, an open end for receiving or discharging a boat fender into or out from said central cavity, and a closed end; said casing including a plurality of appendages extending from the fusiform body shape, said appendages being in the shape of fish fins including a caudal fin and at least one fin having a shape selected from the group consisting of dorsal fins, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins, and combinations thereof.

7. The boat fender cover of claim 6 wherein said plurality of appendages include a dorsal fin.

8. The boat fender cover of claim 7 wherein said plurality of appendages include a pair of appendages in the shape of pectoral fins.

9. The boat fender cover of claim 6 wherein said plurality of appendages further include one or more appendages in the shape selected from the group consisting of pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins, and combinations thereof.

10. The boat fender cover of claim 6 wherein said casing is in the shape of a fish selected from the group consisting of salmon, catfish, bass, tuna, shark, trout, and billfish.

11. The boat fender cover of claim 1 wherein said casing includes exterior coloring resembling the coloring of a fish.

12. A boat fender and boat fender cover in the shape of a fish combination comprising: a substantially liquid tight boat fender in the form of an elongate hollow tube having closed ends; a flexible casing for encapsulating and protecting said boat fender, said casing having a fusiform shaped body and a central cavity receiving said boat fender; said casing including a plurality of appendages extending from the fusiform body shape, said appendages being in the shape of fish fins including a caudal fin and at least one fin having a shape selected from the group consisting of dorsal fins, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins, and combinations thereof; and a rope affixed to said boat fender or said casing for affixing the boat fender and boat fender cover combination to the side of a boat.

13. The boat fender cover of claim 12 wherein said plurality of appendages include a dorsal fin.

14. The boat fender cover of claim 13 wherein said plurality of appendages include a pair of appendages in the shape of pectoral fins.

15. The boat fender cover of claim 12 wherein said plurality of appendages further include one or more appendages in the shape selected from the group consisting of pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and anal fins, and combinations thereof.

16. The boat fender cover of claim 12 wherein said casing is in the shape of a fish selected from the group consisting of salmon, catfish, bass, tuna, shark, trout, and billfish.

17. The boat fender cover of claim 12 wherein said casing includes exterior coloring resembling the coloring of a fish.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of pending U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/066,653 filed on Feb. 23, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to boat fenders. More particularly, the present invention relates to covers for boat fenders, and even more particularly the present invention relates to boat fender covers which provide additional protection for both a boat and adjacent fender while simultaneously camouflaging the boat fender from view.

Boat fenders are in common use to prevent damage to a boat upon docking or while docked. Usually, a fender is attached to the side rail or cleat of a boat and hangs down along the side of the boat to provide adequate space between the boat and adjacent dock. Fenders may also be used between boats to provide protection against inadvertent engagement. The most popular fenders are cylindrical in shape and are filled with air or foam. Most fenders are made of plastic, typically vinyl.

Unfortunately, boat fenders suffer from several drawbacks. A first problem associated with fenders is that they themselves can cause damage to the finish of a boat by rubbing against it. This becomes amplified due to increased abrasion and chemical reactions when a fender becomes soiled. Another disadvantage of boat fenders is that they are hideously unattractive. Whereas harbors filled with boats provide a picturesque setting, the setting is often detracted by grimy plastic boat fenders which have become dirty and abraded through wear and tear between boats and docks. The ugly boat fenders are particularly troublesome to recreational boat owners since recreational boat owners typically take great pride in the appearance of both their boat and adjacent areas.

Fender covers have been proposed for providing protection to boat fenders and adjacent boats. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,863,010 describes a boat fender cover which is intended to provide good durability, simple removal for washing, and remain in position around a fender. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,843,994 describes a boat fender cover which is constructed to prolong the life of the fender by protecting it against abrasion, dirt and weathering by providing a strap to secure it to a boat more securely.

Unfortunately, the various boat fender covers do not provide any aesthetic appeal to the boat fender or otherwise camouflage the boat fender when positioned aside a boat.

Therefore, there is a significant need for an improved boat fender cover which provides protection from both a boat and boat fender to provide protection against abrasion, dirt and weathering. Moreover, there is a need for a boat fender cover that is aesthetically pleasing to boat owners and preferably camouflages the fender from view.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, in accordance with the invention, I provide an improved cover for a boat fender. Of importance, the boat fender cover is shaped, and preferably colored, to provide the appearance of a fish. To this end, the boat fender cover includes a flexible casing for encapsulating and protecting a boat fender. The casing has the shape of a fish's body which is fusiform in shape. The term “fusiform” refers to a shape which is somewhat torpedo shaped including compressed sides and tapers at the head and tail. The casing includes a central cavity for positioning the boat fender. The casing also has a closed end and an open end for receiving a boat fender into the central cavity.

To provide the appearance of a fish, the casing further includes a plurality of appendages in the shape of fins. A fin is a fish's membrane supported by spines that function in swimming or orientating the fish in water. Fish typically include one or more dorsal fins which are located along the center of a fish's back. Meanwhile, a fish's tail is its caudal fin which is the primary fin for generating thrust to move a fish through water. Typically, a fish has two pair of lateral fins. The forward lateral fins are referred to as pectoral fins while the rearward lateral fins are referred to as pelvic fins which are found on a fish's belly. Finally, most fish have one or more anal fins which are located on the ventral surface toward the rear of a fish. The pectoral and pelvic fins are always paired. The pectoral fins maintain depth and enable flying fish the capability of flight while the pelvic fins assist fish to go up or down or turn sharply. Less common fish fins include the adipose fin and caudal keel fin which are also considered dorsal fins. However, for every fish fin named above, there are a number of fish species in which the particular fin has been lost during evolution.

The fender cover of the present invention may be constructed to resemble any fish. However, it is a primary purpose of the present invention to provide fender covers in the shape of common sport fish found in both fresh water and salt water. These fish include but are not limited to salmon, catfish, bass, trout, tuna, shark, and billfish. Each of these fish have a pronounced caudal fin. Thus, preferred embodiments of the fender cover of the present invention have a casing formed with an appendage in the shape of a caudal fin. Preferably, the caudal fin appendage defines the closed end of the casing while the fish's head defines the open end of the casing. Though not preferred, this arrangement can be reversed so that the fish's head defines the closed end of the casing and the fish's caudal fin defines the open end of the casing.

Where the boat fender cover of the present invention is provided in the shape of a ray or skate, fish typically having less pronounced dorsal fins, the fender cover of the present invention may not include an appendage having the appearance of a dorsal fin. However, it is anticipated that most embodiments of the present invention in the form of various fish will be constructed so that the fender cover of the present invention includes an appendage in the shape of a dorsal fin. Like the appendage in the shape of a caudal fin, the fender cover's appendage providing the shape of a dorsal fin may be constructed in various shapes to imitate the innumerable shapes of dorsal fins on fish. In preferred embodiments, the fender cover the present invention may include still additional appendages in the shape of the various fish fins including pectoral, pelvic and anal fins.

The boat fender cover is made of a flexible fabric, with the term “fabric” meant to be interpreted broadly to encompass virtually any thin walled flexible material that could be readily used to cover a boat fender. Preferred fabrics are waterproof or highly water resistant and may include neoprene, spandex, and polyester. Less desirable materials include cotton which is hydrophilic and thus would be prone to absorbing water.

The boat fender casing may be constructed in various configurations. For example, the casing's fusiform body may form a sealed central cavity. For this embodiment, the various fins may be constructed of pieces of fabric which project from the fusiform body to provide the appearance of fins. In an alternative embodiment, the central cavity includes hollow appendages. For this embodiment, a preferred construction includes manufacturing the fender cover from two pieces of fabric wherein each piece of fabric provides the fish's profile. The two pieces of fabric are then affixed together at their peripheries, including the peripheries of the fins, to form a fish shape. Preferably, the two pieces of material are not affixed at the fish's head to provide the fender cover with an open end for receipt of the boat fender. Preferably, the open end is closeable by a fastener, such as velcro or zippers, to prevent the introduction of unwanted dirt or water into the interior of the fender cover.

To provide a truer appearance of a fish, it is preferred that the exterior of the fender cover be colored to provide the appearance of a fish. Preferably, digital sublimation utilizing multi-colored inks, dyes or paint is employed to implant an image of a fish into the fender cover's exterior.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cover for boat fenders which provide protection for both the boat and fender against abrasion, dirt and weather.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a boat fender cover which eliminates the unsightliness of a boat fender.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a boat fender cover in the shape of a fish thereby providing the appearance that a boat is simply displaying caught sport fish along the sides of the boat hull.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a side view of the boat fender cover of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded side view illustrating the introduction of a boat fender into the interior of the fender cover of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating a boat with the boat fender and cover combination affixed to the side of a boat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, as shown in the drawings, hereinafter will be described the presently preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and the present disclosure is not intended to limit the invention to specific embodiments illustrated.

With reference to FIGS. 1-3, the boat fender cover 1 of the present invention includes a casing 3 which has a fusiform shaped body 4 in the shape of a fish's body. The casing 3 is hollow forming a central cavity 5 sized for receipt of an elongate boat fender 31. The casing further includes an open end 7 which preferably defines and is provided in the shape of a fish's head 8. Furthermore, the casing 3 includes a closed end 9 preferably defining a fish's tail 10. Preferably the open end 7 is openable and closeable utilizing various fasteners such as velcro, snaps, buttons, etc. However, as shown in FIG. 2, preferably the open end 7 is openable and closeable by a pair of zippers 11. The boat fender cover 1 further includes a plurality of appendages 13 which project from the casing's fusiform body 4. The appendages 13 are constructed in various shapes to appear as fish fins such as a caudal fin 15, dorsal fin 17, pectoral fin 19, pelvic fin 21 and anal fin 23.

Preferably, the boat fender casing 3 is made of a weather synthetic resistant rubber such as Neoprene™ which is 1 mm to 15 mm thick, depending on the size and shape of the boat fender 31 intended to be encapsulated. The casing can be manufactured by various methods known to those skilled in the art. For example, the casing body may be constructed to form a fusiform shape having a fusiform central cavity 5. Thereafter, additional fabric may be attached to the fusiform body 4 to provide thin appendages 13. In an alternative embodiment, the appendages 13 are hollow so that the casing's cavity projects into the various appendages. This construction can be manufactured by various methods. However, in a preferred embodiment, the boat cover is fabricated from two pieces of Neoprene™ fabric in which each piece of fabric has the appearance of a fish's profile. Thereafter, the periphery of each piece of fabric is joined together using various methods known to those skilled in the art such as using adhesives or heat sealing methods. Only the open end 7 of the casing 3 is left open to provide introduction and extraction of a boat fender 31. Preferably, the open end 7 includes a pair of zippers 11 or the like to prevent closure of the casing's open end 7.

In addition to the fish appendages 13, the exterior of the casing 3 is colored to resemble a fish utilizing multi-colored inks, dyes or paint. Preferably, digital sublimation is employed to provide nearly perfect reproduction of fish coloring upon the exterior of the casing 3 so that the boat fender cover 1 almost perfectly resembles the appearance of a fish.

The boat fender cover 1 of the present invention may be constructed to resemble the appearance of any fish, including even fanciful fish not found in nature. However, preferred fish for recreation into a boat fender cover 1 include salmon, catfish, bass, tuna, shark, trout and billfish.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, in operation, the boat fender cover 1 encapsulates and protects the boat fender by introducing the boat fender 31 through the cover's open end 7 into the cover's central cavity 5. Thereafter, the boat fender's rope is routed to extend from the interior cavity 5 of the fender cover to exterior of the cover. The open end is then closed by utilizing the pair of zippers 11 until each zipper engages the sides of the rope 33.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the boat fender and fender cover combination is affixed to the side of a boat 37 by tying the fender line 33 to a boat railing or cleat so as to position the boat fender cover and boat fender adjacent to the boat to provide protection against engagement with another boat or dock. Also advantageously, and as illustrated in FIG. 3, the boat fender is completely camouflaged so that instead of having the appearance of a fender adjacent to the boat, a boat has the appearance of having a recently caught fish left out to dry adjacent to the boat.

While several particular forms of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is not intended that the invention be limited except by the following claims. Having described my invention in such terms so as to enable persons skilled in the art to understand the invention, recreate the invention and practice it, and having identified the presently preferred embodiments thereof,