Title:
SPRING STAND
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spring stand to minimize impact shock to the back and lower body extremities of a person standing on a surface exposed to vibration and/or intermittent impact forces. The stand includes a spaced-apart upper platform and lower stand support platform with two vertical stabilizer members near each side edge and an array of spaced-apart springs distributed between the upper and lower platforms. The lower platform has three or more spaced-apart footers to rest on the deck of the boat as well as drain holes to drain water that might splash inside the stand between the platform members. The lower platform has vertically upright sides around the perimeter of the lower platform that are partially overlapped by vertical sides depending from the perimeter of the upper platform. The top surface of the upper platform has a non-slip cushioning surface made from a foam and/or rubberized material.



Inventors:
Boggs, Dennis (New Port Richey, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/062568
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/04/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENNIS G. LAPOINTE (DUNEDIN, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A spring stand for minimizing impact shock to the back and lower body extremities of a person standing on a surface exposed to vibration and/or intermittent impact forces, the spring stand comprising: an upper platform and a spaced-apart lower stand support platform in an underlying relationship to said upper platform; stabilizer means for minimizing any forward, sideway and backward motion of said spring stand, said stabilizer means being in mechanical communication with said upper platform and said lower stand support platform; an array of spaced-apart springs distributed between said upper and lower stand support platforms, corresponding opposing ends of each spring being attached to said upper and lower stand support platforms; and means for cushioning a weight of a person standing on said spring stand, said cushioning means being located on an upper surface of said upper platform.

2. The spring stand according to claim 1, further comprising means for minimizing a sliding and slippage of said spring stand on a surface on which said spring stand is to be used.

3. The spring stand according to claim 1, wherein said stabilizer means for minimizing any forward, sideway and backward motion of said spring stand comprises two vertical stabilizer members, each in mechanical communication with said upper platform and said lower stand support platform and each located near respective side edges of said upper and stand support platforms.

4. The spring stand according to claim 1, wherein said means for cushioning a weight of a person standing on said spring stand comprises a non-slip cushion surface in an overlying attached relationship to said upper platform.

5. The spring stand according to claim 4, wherein said non-slip cushioned surface is made from a foam base material, a rubber base material or combinations thereof.

6. The spring stand according to claim 2, wherein said means for minimizing said sliding and slippage of said spring stand on said surface on which said spring stand is to be used comprises three or more spaced-apart footers underlying said lower stand platform, each footer configured to rest on said surface on which said spring stand is to be used and each footer being made of a non-sliding/non-slip material.

7. The spring stand according to claim 6, wherein said footer non-sliding/non-slip material is made from a foam base material, a rubber base material, a silicone/elastomer base material or any combinations thereof.

8. The spring stand according to claim 1, wherein said lower stand support platform further comprises vertically upright sides around a perimeter of said lower stand support and said upper platform further comprises vertically depending sides around a perimeter of said upper platform, said vertically depending sides being in a partially overlapping relationship with said vertically upright sides.

9. The spring stand according to claim 8, wherein said lower stand support platform further comprises one or more drain holes for facilitating a drainage of water that might splash between said upper and lower stand support platforms.

10. The spring stand according to claim 9, wherein said spring stand has an overall area size of about 12 to 18 inches by 18 to 30 inches.

11. The spring stand according to claim 1, wherein said upper and lower stand support platforms are made from a wood material, a metal material, a plastic base material, a polymeric composite material, a fiberglass composite material or any combination thereof.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a spring stand to stand on to absorb impacts from waves when driving or standing in a boat and to ease foot, knee and back pain.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As alluded to above, standing behind the steering wheel of a boat subjects the feet, knees and back to shock from the absorption of the impact of the boat hull with the waves. An object of the present invention is to ease resultant pain to feet, knees and back by providing a shock absorber system on which the boat operator can stand.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a spring stand to stand on to absorb impacts from waves when driving or standing in a boat and to ease foot, knee and back pain resulting from such repetitive impacts. The spring stand may also be used in any other application to minimize impact shock to the back and lower body extremities of a person standing on a surface exposed to vibration and/or intermittent impact forces.

It is configured with a spaced-apart upper platform and lower stand support platform with two vertical stabilizer members near each side edge to minimize any forward, sideway and backward motion of the stand. A standard size platform may be about 24 inches×18 inches, but other sizes plus or minus 6 inches in either direction is anticipated. Of course, other foot print shapes anticipated such as square, round, rectangular, curved shapes, etc. There is an array of spaced-apart springs distributed between the upper and lower platforms serve as an example of a method of providing a shock absorber characteristic to the device. The lower platform has four or more spaced-apart footers to rest on the deck of the boat as well as drain holes to drain water that might splash inside the stand between the platform members. The lower platform will have vertically upright sides around the perimeter of the lower platform that are partially overlapped by vertical sides depending from the perimeter of the upper platform. The top surface of the upper platform has a non-slip surface applied to its surface. A preferable non-slip material is an overlying cushioned surface made from a foam base material or rubber base material or similar types of material that provides cushioning and at the same time helps prevent the person standing on the stand from slipping off the stand surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention in use on a boat deck;

FIG. 2 is a perspective representational view of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section view of the invention depicted in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of one example of components that can be assembled to produce the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-4 conceptually disclose an example of one embodiment of the present invention, which is a spring stand for minimizing impact shock to the back and lower body extremities of a person standing on a surface exposed to vibration and/or intermittent impact forces, and is depicted generally as 10.

The spring stand 10 comprises an upper platform 12 and a spaced-apart lower stand support platform 14, which is in an underlying relationship to the upper platform 12. The spring stand 10 also includes stabilizer means 16 for minimizing any forward, sideway and backward motion of the spring stand 10. The stabilizer means 16 is in mechanical communication with the upper platform 12 and the lower stand support platform 14. One example of such stabilizer means 16 for minimizing any forward, sideway and backward motion of the spring stand 10 comprises two vertical stabilizer members 16a, 16b as discussed below, each in mechanical communication with the upper platform 12 and the lower stand support platform 14 and each located near respective side edges of the upper and stand support platforms 12,14.

In the aforementioned example of such means 16, a larger hollow member or pipe/tube 16a depending from the upper platform 12 and a smaller member or pipe/tube 16b upwardly extending from tile bottom stand support platform 16 is provided, where the smaller member 16b is configured to telescope within the hollow portion of the larger member or pipe/tube 16a. For example, a ¾ inch tube or pipe may be used for the lower half of the stabilizer 16 and a 1 inch pipe/tube may be used for the upper half of the stabilizer. As the upper platform compresses toward the lower stand platform and vice-versa, the smaller half 16b of the stabilizer telescopes within the upper half 16a. The rigidity of the stabilizers 16 because of materials typical of such components (metal or polymeric composite materials or similar materials) minimizes any forward, sideway and backward motion of the spring stand 10. The height of each stabilizer 16 is preferably about ¼ inch longer than half the anticipated movement. The stabilizer bars 16a, 16b can be adapted so as to keep the upper and lower platforms 12,14 from separating from the specified height. The bars 16a, 16b can be detachable for adding or subtracting springs 18. There are many other ways known in the art to provide the stabilizer function described above. The above described example is only intended to describe one simple stabilizer means 16.

The spring stand 10 further comprises an array of spaced-apart springs 18 distributed between the upper and lower stand support platforms 12,14. Corresponding opposing ends of each spring 18 is attached to the upper and lower stand support platforms 12,14. For example, five to nine springs 18 may be located in a predetermined array designed to distribute a weight load of the person standing on the stand 10 and to absorb an anticipated impact shock environment. The sizes of the springs 18 are determined by the above criteria. For example, one inch or 1.25 inch size coiled springs 18 may be suitable. Combinations of such size springs 18 may be suitable such as 1.25 springs near the corners of the stand 10 with the smaller spring sizes distributed in a more centered pattern. Typical springs 18 have about 2.5 coils per inch. One example of attaching springs 18 is shown in FIG. 4 where a washer/nut combination at each end of the springs is used to bolt the spring 18 to the respective platforms 12,14.

As further depicted in FIG. 4, one method of providing the upper and lower platforms 12,14 is to provide for respective structural support members 12a,14a, over which a more decorative overlayer 12b,14b covers each respective structural support members 12a,14a. Members 12a,14a could be made from a variety of suitable materials such as heavy duty composite polymer materials or pressure treated wood or any other material suitable for the anticipated shock impacts and the environment. The overlayers 12b,14b could be made from materials such as fiberglass reinforced material to blend in with the boat hull and deck.

The spring stand 10 further includes means 20 for cushioning a weight of a person standing on the spring stand 10. Such cushioning means 20 is located on an upper surface of the upper platform 12. A non-slip cushion surface 20a is provided in an overlying attached relationship to the upper platform 12. This non-slip cushion surface 20a is preferably made from an anti-skid/anti-slip material, such as a foam base material, a rubber base material or combinations thereof. The cushioned surface material 20a can be applied directly to a molded and/or integrated top surface of the upper platform 12. If the top platform 12 is manufactured such that the upper surface of overlayer member 12b is a composite molded or formed shell, a part of the upper surface of member 12b can be formed or configured with an indented area or area surrounded by a perimeter ridge (not shown) to accept a foam or other anti-skid/anti-slip pad 20a.

In a preferred embodiment, the invention includes means 22 for minimizing a sliding and slippage of the spring stand 10 on a surface or deck 26 on which the spring stand is to be used. One preferred method is to provide three or more (five shown in FIG. 4) spaced-apart footers 22a underlying the lower stand platform 14 with each footer 22a configured to rest on the surface, such as the deck surface of a boat, on which the spring stand 10 is to be used. Each footer 22a is preferably made of a non-sliding/non-slip material such as a foam base material, a rubber base material or a silicone/elastomer base material, or any combinations of these materials.

In a preferred embodiment, the lower stand support platform 14 further comprises vertically upright sides 14c around a perimeter of the lower stand support 14 and the upper platform 12 further comprises vertically depending sides 12c around a perimeter of the upper platform 12. The vertically depending sides 12c are in a partially overlapping relationship with the vertically upright sides 14c. When used on a deck 26 of a boat, making the shells of the upper platform 12 and the bottom platform 14 from a fiberglass composite material will enable the spring stand 10 to aesthetically blend in with the boat deck. Sides 12c,14c can be made from a bendable plastic or fiberglass composite material or other similar materials described below. The height of the sides is preferably about ¼ inch longer than half the anticipated up and down movement of the spring stand 10.

There is a possibility that water splashing onto the boat deck may in turn splash in between the two platforms 12,14 of the spring stand 10 with its vertical sides 12c,14c. Accordingly, it is preferred that the bottom platform 14 have one or more drain holes 24 for facilitating the drainage of water away from tile spring stand 10 back onto the deck of the boat. For example, the footers 22a can be three to four 1 inch anti-skid rubber strips that have a sufficient height to allow water to escape from under the platform 14. The strips or footers 22a can be attached using silicone, hook and loop type of fasteners or configured to use toggle bolts or similar threaded fasteners. Of course, the bottom of the spring stand 10 could also be integrally formed with the deck portion of the boat or other application.

Typical footprint size of the spring stand 10 can vary depending on the environment and the available footprint on the deck of the boat. However, it is anticipated that such area footprints can range from an overall area size of about 12 to 18 inches by 18 to 30 inches.

As alluded above, the tipper and lower stand support platforms 12,14, along with their respective vertical sides 12c,14c can be made from a variety of materials known in the art, including wood material, a metal material, a plastic base material, a polymeric composite material, a fiberglass composite material or any combination thereof.

It should be understood that the preceding is merely a detailed description of one or more embodiments of this invention and that numerous changes to the disclosed embodiments can be made in accordance with the disclosure herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The preceding description, therefore, is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be determined only by the appended claims and their equivalents.