Title:
Protective tarp with plural removable anchor tanks and with size adjustment connectors
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective tarp, with connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern, for covering a mass, comprising: a) flexible sheet material having top, bottom, predetermined surface area and peripheral edge; b) a plurality of unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets permanently attached to sheet material and separate and apart from one another, and being arranged in a predetermined pattern, each of the plurality of unconnected anchor receiving pockets adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, the independent, removable anchor tank having at least one fill orifice and closure means, and being adapted to be inserted and removed from the anchor tank receiving pocket; and c) a plurality of male/female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on the top and the bottom such that when the tarp is folded, at least one the male connectors and at least one of the female connectors are connected, the surface area of the tarp is decreased.



Inventors:
Glynos, Peter N. (Warren, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/653026
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
12/08/2009
Assignee:
Hydro Tarp, LLC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
150/154
International Classes:
E04B1/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KWIECINSKI, RYAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Deirdra M. Meagher (Flemington, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A protective tarp, with connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern, for covering a mass, which comprises: a) a flat, flexible sheet material having a top, a bottom, and having a predetermined surface area and a peripheral edge; b) a plurality of unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets permanently attached to said flat, flexible sheet material and being separate and apart from one another, and being arranged in a predetermined pattern, each of said plurality of unconnected anchor receiving pockets adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, said independent, removable anchor tank having at least one fill orifice, closure means for said at least one fill orifice, and being adapted to be inserted into said anchor tank receiving pocket and removed therefrom; and c) a plurality of male connectors and female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of said top and said bottom of said flat, flexible sheet material such that when said tarp is folded, at least one said male connectors and at least one of said female connectors are connected, said surface area of said tarp is decreased.

2. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said at least one male connector and said at least one female connector are selected from the group consisting of snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, and toggles.

3. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said connectors are snaps wherein said snaps are a material selected for the group consisting of metals, plastics, and combinations thereof and are attached to said tarp through attachment means.

4. The protective tarp of claim 3 wherein said attachment means is selected form the group consisting of heat welded, glued and stitched.

5. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein a portion of said connectors are located adjacent said peripheral edge and a portion of said connectors are located in a pattern traversing said flat, flexible sheet material away from said flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge.

6. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said receiving pockets and said connectors are located on same side of said flat, flexible sheet material.

7. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said receiving pockets are located on a said top of said tarp and said connectors are located on said bottom of said flat, flexible sheet material.

8. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said sheet material is rectangular from a front view and has four edges, said edges being two sets of two opposite edges wherein there are at least two edges opposite one another that contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets.

9. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said insertable removable anchor tank is a material selected from the group consisting of flexible and not flexible.

10. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said independent insertable removable anchor tank is selected from the group consisting of a sealed pouch, a tube, a bottle, a container, and a recycled water bottle.

11. A protective tarp, with connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern, for covering a mass, which comprises: a) a flat, flexible waterproof sheet material having a top and a bottom and having a plurality of non-adjacent edges along each of the at least two of said plurality of nonadjacent edges and a predetermined surface area; b) a plurality of unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets permanently attached to a said flat, flexible sheet material and being separate and apart from one another and said peripheral edge, and being arranged in a predetermined pattern, each of said plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, said independent, removable anchor tank having at least one fill orifice, closure means for said at least one fill orifice, and being adapted to be inserted into said anchor tank receiving pocket and removed therefrom; and c) a plurality of male connectors and female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of said top and said bottom of said flat, flexible sheet material such that when said tarp is folded, at least one said male connectors and at least one of said female connectors are connected, said surface area of said tarp is decreased.

12. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said at least one male connector and said at least one female connector are selected from the group consisting of snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, and toggles.

13. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said connectors are snaps wherein said snaps are a material selected for the group consisting of metals, plastics, and combinations thereof and are attached to said tarp through attachment means.

14. The protective tarp of claim 13 wherein said attachment means is selected form the group consisting of heat welded, glued and stitched.

15. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein a portion of said connectors are located adjacent said peripheral edge and a portion of said connectors are located in a pattern traversing said flat, flexible sheet material away from said flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge.

16. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said receiving pockets and said connectors are located on same side of said flat, flexible sheet material.

17. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said receiving pockets are located on a said top of said tarp and said connectors are located on said bottom of said flat, flexible sheet material.

18. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said sheet material is rectangular from a front view and has four edges, said edges being two sets of two opposite edges wherein there are at least two edges opposite one another that contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets.

19. The protective tarp of claim 11 wherein said insertable removable anchor tank is a material selected from the group consisting of flexible and not flexible.

20. The protective tarp of claim 1 wherein said independent insertable removable anchor tank is selected from the group consisting of a sealed pouch, a tube, a bottle, a container, and a recycled water bottle.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 12/290,152 filed on Oct. 28, 2008, entitled “Protective Tarp With Plural Removable Anchor Tanks” by the same inventor herein, which is a continuation-in-part of copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/523,125 filed on Sep. 19, 2006, entitled “Protective Tarp With Separate Anchors Having Baffles” by the same inventor herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

a. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to protective tarps for covering a mass, especially masses located outdoors. More specifically, it relates to protective tarps with anchor tank receiving pockets for receiving anchor tanks. The present invention anchor tanks are independent and removable. Once filled with fluent material, an anchor tank is inserted into a pocket. The tarp may be folded through connection of male/female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the tarp. When the tarp is folded, and the connectors are connected, surface area of the tarp is decreased. The anchor tanks are inserted into the pockets after the connectors are connected.

b. Description of Related Art

The following patents are exemplary of the prior art relating to protective tarps:

U.S. Pat. No. 3,862,876 describes a protective cover cloth having continuous flexible weights secured along at least two opposed edges for securing the cover against wind blowing, etc. The cover cloth may be made from insulating aterials and heated for curing concrete. Sand, shot or other particulate material, possibly in individual bags, is inserted in a wide hem or tubes attached along the edges of the cover.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,122,637 describes a perforate member that is laid over a windrow of cut plants to confine it against the action of the wind. The member is open over a major portion of its area to sunlight and the passage of air. The member is held against the ground preferably by the weight of water in flexible tubes extending along opposite sides of the windrow.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,455,790 describes a tarpaulin anchoring system for retaining a tarpaulin on a pile of stored grain or other granular material that comprises of a plurality of anchors embedded in the pile. Each anchor has an attachment element protruding upwardly from the pile, with the attachment element being connected to a fastener affixed to the underside of the tarpaulin. The anchors are placed in the grain pile, throughout the area covered by the tarpaulin, as required to retain it in place. The anchors themselves may be of a screw or auger type which can be driven into an existing grain pile and attached to a tarpaulin as it is spread over the pile. In the case where a tarp is suspended above a grain storage area prior to formation of the grain pile, the anchors may be discs or plates attached to the underside of the tarpaulin by ropes; the anchors are buried in the pile when formed.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,176,421 describes a cover system for an automobile which includes a flexible cover, preferably of nylon, having leading, tailing and side edge portions and of a suitable dimension to fit over the entire car body from rear bumper to the front bumper and sides thereof The flexible cover includes an elastic leader segment attached at a first end to the cover and spaced from the trailing edge thereof A second end of the leader segment is attached to a rotatable spool housed in a containment tube. The spool is rotated for storing in the cover by a motor, by a spring-biased shaft arrangement or by a manually turnable crank or combinations thereof The containment tube may be pivotally swung outwardly from the trunk to an operable position at the rear of the trunk lid. After the cover is applied to the automobile, the containment tube is SWW1g back to the trunk compartment for safe storage.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,579,794 describes a method for shielding, anchoring and containing an object such as a trailer or motor home in gale-force winds. A wind-permeable perforate sheet extends downwardly and outwardly from the top of the object or the roof of a home at an acute angle so as to surround a substantial portion of each of the sides with an inclined wind-permeable planar surface. The sheet is anchored to helical ground anchors via mechanical attachments which may also be used to tighten the sheet over the object or home. Apparatus for shielding, anchoring and containing an object such as a trailer of motor home in gale-force winds are also disclosed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,661 B1 describes a cover for protecting a mound of particulate material in outside storage from the effects of weather elements that includes a flexible double-ply canvas having a top layer affixed to a bottom layer. The cover includes a plurality of individual bladders disposed between the top and bottom layers of the canvas, the bladders being spaced apart from and parallel to each other. Each bladder is connected to a next adjacent bladder with a flexible conduit. The cover further includes a plurality of inlet conduits coupled to respective bladders for filling selected bladders with water. Pressure actuated check valves disposed in each flexible conduit between bladders allows water to flow from an upstream bladder into respective downstream bladders. Each bladder includes a discharge conduit for selectively draining each bladder. A plurality of straps and knobs are fixedly attached to the canvas such that the canvas may be folded and secured in a desired configuration when respective bladders do not contain water.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,739,095 B2 is directed to an outdoor tent, which includes of a flat, flexible sheet material for its main body. Along the peripheral edge (i.e. near the bottom edge) or along each of at least two of the plurality of edges, there is at least one, and preferably, a plurality of tank compartment anchors, each having at least one fill orifice and closure means for the fill orifice. The plurality of tank compartment anchors are hollow, flexible tank compartment anchors, and, in preferred embodiments of the present invention, the tank compartment anchors and sheet material are formed of the same material. In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the tank compartment anchors also have drain plugs.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,966,152 describes and illustrates a protective tarp for covering a mass which includes a flat, flexible sheet material having a top and a bottom and having a peripheral edge, e.g. a plurality of edges. Along the peripheral edge or along each of at least two of the plurality of edges, there is a plurality of tank compartment anchors, arranged in a predetermined pattern, that have at least one fill orifice and closure means for the fill orifice. The plurality of tank compartment anchors and sheet material are formed of the same material. In some embodiments” the sheet material is rectangular from a front view and has four edges, the four edge being two set of two opposite edge. There are at least two edges opposite one another which contain a plurality of tank compartment anchors.

U.K. Patent No. GB 2,206,024 A describes a sheet, e.g. a large plastics sheet covering a silage pit, which is anchored by means of water filled tubes. Thus, lay-flat tubing from a reel is laid around and across the sheet. All one end of each length is sealed. Water is passed in through the other end, which is then sealed, thus converting each length of tube to a heavy weight serving to anchor the sheet.

Notwithstanding the prior art, the present invention is neither taught nor rendered obvious thereby.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The invention solves the problems and overcomes the drawbacks and deficiencies of prior art protective tarps by providing the following:

A present invention protective tarp, with connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern, for covering a mass, comprises: a) a flat, flexible sheet material having a top, a bottom, and having a predetermined surface area and peripheral edge; b) a plurality of unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets permanently attached to the flat, flexible sheet material and being separate and apart from one another, and being arranged in a predetermined pattern, each of the plurality of unconnected anchor receiving pockets adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, the independent, removable anchor tank having at least one fill orifice, closure means for the at least one fill orifice, and being adapted to be inserted into the anchor tank receiving pocket and removed therefrom.; and c) a plurality of male connectors and female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded, at least one the male connectors and at least one of the female connectors are connected, the surface area of the tarp is decreased.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the at least one male connector and the at least one female connector are selected from the group consisting of snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, and toggles.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the connectors are snaps wherein the snaps are a material selected for the group consisting of metals, plastics, and combinations thereof and are attached to the tarp through attachment means.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the attachment means is selected form the group consisting of heat welded, glued and stitched.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, a portion of the connectors are located adjacent the peripheral edge and a portion of the connectors are located in a pattern traversing the flat, flexible sheet material away from the flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the receiving pockets and the connectors are located on same side of the flat, flexible sheet material.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the receiving pockets are located on a the top of the tarp and the connectors are located on the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the sheet material is rectangular from a front view and has four edges, the edges being two sets of two opposite edges wherein there are at least two edges opposite one another that contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the insertable removable anchor tank is a material selected from the group consisting of flexible and not flexible.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention, the independent insertable removable anchor tank is selected from the group consisting of a sealed pouch, a tube, a bottle, a container, and a recycled water bottle.

Another embodiment of the present invention protective tarp, with connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern, for covering a mass, comprises: a) a flat, flexible waterproof sheet material having a top and a bottom and having a plurality of non-adjacent edges; along each of the at least two of said plurality of nonadjacent edges; b) a plurality of unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets permanently attached to a said flat, flexible sheet material and being separate and apart from one another and said peripheral edge, and being arranged in a predetermined pattern, each of said plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, said independent, removable anchor tank having at least one fill orifice, closure means for said at least one fill orifice, and being adapted to be inserted into said anchor tank receiving pocket and removed therefrom; and c) a plurality of male connectors and female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of said top and said bottom of said flat, flexible sheet material such that when said tarp is folded, at least one said male connectors and at least one of said female connectors are connected, said surface area of said tarp is decreased.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the at least one male connector and the at least one female connector are selected from the group consisting of snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, and toggles.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the connectors are snaps wherein the snaps are a material selected for the group consisting of metals, plastics, and combinations thereof and are attached to the tarp through attachment means.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the attachment means is selected form the group consisting of heat welded, glued and stitched.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], a portion of the connectors are located adjacent the peripheral edge and a portion of the connectors are located in a pattern traversing the flat, flexible sheet material away from the flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the receiving pockets and the connectors are located on same side of the flat, flexible sheet material.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the receiving pockets are located on a the top of the tarp and the connectors are located on the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the sheet material is rectangular from a front view and has four edges, the edges being two sets of two opposite edges wherein there are at least two edges opposite one another that contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the insertable removable anchor tank is a material selected from the group consisting of flexible and not flexible.

In some preferred embodiments of the present invention of paragraph [00025], the independent insertable removable anchor tank is selected from the group consisting of a sealed pouch, a tube, a bottle, a container, and a recycled water bottle.

Additional features, advantages, and embodiments of the invention may be set forth or apparent from consideration of the following detailed description, drawings, and claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that both the foregoing summary of the invention and the following detailed description are exemplary and intended to provide further explanation without limiting the scope of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate preferred embodiments of the present invention of the invention and together with the detail description serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides with each side having all pocket openings facing in the same orientation, and the pockets and connectors being located on the top of the flat, flexible sheet material wherein length may be shortened;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 1, but having connectors connected;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and the pockets and connectors being located on the top of the flat, flexible sheet material, wherein width may be narrowed;

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and the pockets and connectors being located on the top of the flat, flexible sheet material wherein width may be narrowed from the inner portion;

FIG. 5 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 4, but having connectors connected;

FIG. 6 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides and across its central position with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and pockets are on the top and connectors are on the bottom;

FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 6, but having connectors connected;

FIG. 8 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flap pocket with attachment means;

FIG. 9 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a force fit pocket;

FIG. 10 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flap pocket with no attachment means;

FIG. 11 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flapless pocket with attachment means;

FIG. 12 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a sealed pouch;

FIG. 13 shows a side view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a sealed pouch;

FIG. 14 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a recycled bottle;

FIG. 15 shows a perspective of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a tube;

FIG. 16 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a container; and

FIG. 17 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on peripheral edges of circular tarp having connectors being buttons and toggles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

In the present invention tarp, each of the plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets is adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank which includes a fill orifice. The fill orifices are located on the sides or tops of the anchor tanks, situated in a location so that they there is adequate airspace to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction during freeze and thaw cycles. The anchoring fill material may be any fluent material in liquid or solid form, such as water, sand, propylene glycol or a sand/propylene glycol mixture.

The present invention protective tarp may be used as a cover for any item or material e.g. to cover a log pile or for covering any other mass, such as a motorcycle, lawn furniture, sand piles, swing sets, or outdoor construction projects in progress. The anchor tank receiving pockets may run the entire length of the edges, but this is not required; in many embodiments, there will be a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets along a single edge or none at all.

The tarp may be folded through connection of male/female connectors arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the tarp. When the tarp is folded, and the connectors are connected, surface area of the tarp is decreased. The anchor tanks are inserted into the pockets after the connectors are connected. The surface area may be decreased in length, in width, or in an approximate diagonal. In addition, the surface may be decreased on at least two sides of the length, width or approximate diagonal.

FIG. 1 shows a present invention protective tarp 1 which has a flat flexible sheet material 21 forming its central portion and made of flat flexible material and has edges 23, 25, 27, and 29. In this embodiment, there are anchor tank receiving pockets along all four edges so that the tarp may be more close ended. Edge 23 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 31, 33, 35, and 37 while opposite edge 25 includes anchor tank receiving pockets, 41, 43, 45, and 47. Ends 27 and 29 include anchor tank receiving pockets 51 and 53, respectively.

The anchor tank receiving pockets 31, 33, 35, 37, 41, 43, 45, 47, 51 and 53 are any conventional pocket and secure the anchor tank within the pocket. The anchor tank receiving pockets may be a pocket having attachment means, a force fit pocket, a flapped pocket having attachment means, or a flapped pocket with no attachment means. As shown in FIG. 1, the anchor tank receiving pockets 31, 33, 35, 37,41,43, 45,47,51 and 53 are pockets having attachment means.

Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 31, 33, 35, 37,41,43, 45,47,51 and 53 includes an opening. Similarly, each of the anchor receiving pockets 41, 43, 45 and 47 includes an opening in which the opening has a same direction orientation for each of the plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets on that side.

Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 31, 33, 35, 37,41,43, 45,47,51 and 53 are adapted to receive an independent, removable anchor tank, which are described hereinafter by FIGS. 8 through 11. Each anchor tank has at least one fill orifice and closure means for closing at least one fill orifice. Each anchor tank is insertable into the anchor tank receiving pockets and removable therefrom. Furthermore, the present invention has an advantage of the prior art in that when an anchor tank breaks, just the tank needs to be replaced and not the entire tarp. The anchor tanks may be made from a material that is flexible or not flexible. Flexible anchor tanks include a sealed pouch and a tube. Not flexible anchor tanks include a bottle, a container and a recycled water bottle.

The independent insertable removable anchor tank may be different from another insertable removable anchor tank for at least two of the anchor tank receiving pockets when the independent insertable removable anchor tanks are inserted. In other embodiments of the present invention protective tarp, the independent insertable removable anchor tanks are the same for all of the anchor tank receiving pockets.

There is a plurality of male connectors 503, 507, 511, 515 and 519 and female connectors 501, 505, 509, 513 and 517 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when at least one male connectors 503, 507, 511, 515 and 519 and at least one female connectors 501, 505, 509, 513 and 517 are connected, the tarp is folded and surface area of the tarp is decreased. In this embodiment, male connectors 503, 507, 511, 515 and 519 and female connectors 501, 505, 509, 513 and 517 are hook and loop fasteners which are attached to the tarp 1 through attachment means. The attachment means may include heat welding, gluing and stitching. The connectors may be selected from the group consisting of snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, and toggles.

While present invention protective tarp of FIG. 1 has a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets rather than a single anchor tank receiving pocket along each side, for shorter versions single anchor tank receiving pockets along an edge could be used. However, separate small anchor tank receiving pockets are preferred for a number of reasons. Among these reasons:

the ability to empty one or more compartments to satisfy anchoring requirements for specific applications;

the need to prevent massive fluid weight shifts when the tarp is being moved;

the ability to flatten out, fold, or shorten the functional length of the tarp;

containment and minimization of leaks.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 1, but having connectors connected. In this embodiment, the tarp is folded and male connectors 511, 519 are connected to female connectors 505, 513. Thus, the tarp 1 is shortened as shown. The connectors are located adjacent the peripheral edge. After the connectors are connected, each pocket 31, 37, 41, 47, 51 and 53 is filled with an anchor tank.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and the pockets and connectors being located on the top of the flat, flexible sheet material, wherein width may be narrowed.

There is shown a generally rectangular present invention tarp 61. It includes side edges 81, 83, 85, and 87. All of these edges contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets. Thus, edge 81 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 91 and 93; edge 83 contains anchor tank receiving pockets 97, 99 and 101; edge 85 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 103 and 105; edge 87 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 111, 113, and 115.

Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets is adapted to include an independent removable anchor tank which are described in more detail hereinafter in FIGS. 8 through 11. Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 91, 93, 97,99, 101, 103,105,111,113,115, includes an opening. Each of the anchor receiving pockets on the other edges includes an opening in which the opening has a different direction orientation for at least two of the plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets on that side.

There is a plurality of male connectors 601, 613, 617, 621, 625, 629 and 633 and female connectors 603, 615, 619, 623, 631 and 635 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded and at least one male connectors 601, 613, 617, 621, 625, 629 and 633 and at least one female connectors 603, 615, 619, 623, 631 and 635 are connected, and surface area of the tarp is decreased. Connectors 629, 631, 633 and 635 are located in a pattern traversing the flat, flexible sheet material away from the flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge. The remaining connectors are located adjacent the peripheral edge.

In this embodiment, male connectors 601, 613, 617, 621, 625, 629 and 633 and female connectors 603, 615, 619, 623, 631 and 635 are snaps which may be made of metal or plastic and are attached to the tarp 61 through attachment means. The attachment means may include heat welding, gluing and stitching. When the select connectors are connected, the tarp may be made narrower.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides central position with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and the pockets and connectors being located on the top of the flat, flexible sheet material wherein width may be narrowed from the inner portion.

There is shown a generally rectangular present invention tarp 461. It includes side edges 481,483, 485, and 487. All of these edges contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets. Thus, edge 481 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 491 and 493; edge 483 contains anchor tank receiving pockets 497, 499 and 401; edge 485 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 403 and 405; edge 487 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 411, 413, and 415.

Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets is adapted to include an independent removable anchor tank which is described in more detail hereinafter in FIGS. 8 through 11. Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 491, 493, 497, 499, 401, 403, 405, 411, 413, 415, includes an opening. Each of the anchor receiving pockets on the other edges includes an opening in which the opening has a different direction orientation for at least two of the plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets on that side.

There is a plurality of male connectors 453, 455, and 463 and female connectors 451, 457, 465 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded and at least one male connectors 453, 455, and 463 and at least one female connectors 451, 457, 465 are connected, and surface area of the tarp is decreased. In this embodiment, male connectors 453, 455, and 463 and female connectors 451, 457, 465 are snaps which may be made of metal or plastic and are attached to the tarp 461 through attachment means. The attachment means may include heat welding, gluing and stitching. When the select connectors are connected, the tarp is made narrower.

Connectors 451, 453, 455 and 457 are located in a pattern traversing the flat, flexible sheet material away from the flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge. The connectors 463 and 465 are located adjacent the peripheral edge.

FIG. 5 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 4, but having the connectors connected. In this embodiment, the tarp is folded and male connector 453 of FIG. 4 is connected to female connectors 457 of FIG. 4 as well as all the other connectors in same row as male connector 453 and female connector 457. Thus, the tarp 461 is made narrower, as shown. After the connectors are connected, each pocket 415, 411, 405, 485, 403, 401, 497, 493, 481 and 491 is filled with an anchor tank.

FIG. 6 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on all four sides and across its central position with each side having at least two pocket openings facing in a different orientation, and pockets are on the top and connectors are on the bottom.

There is shown a generally rectangular present invention tarp 761. It includes side edges 781,783, 785, and 787. All of these edges contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets. Thus, edge 781 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 791 and 793; edge 483 contains anchor tank receiving pockets 797, 799 and 701; edge 785 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 703 and 705; edge 787 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 711, 713, and 715. A center 95 includes anchor tank receiving pockets 717 and 719. The pockets are located on the top of the trap 761.

Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets is adapted to include an independent removable anchor tank which is described in more detail hereinafter in FIGS. 8 through 11. Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 791, 793, 797, 799, 701, 703, 705, 711, 713, 715, 177 and 719 includes an opening. Each of the anchor receiving pockets on the other edges includes an opening in which the opening has a different direction orientation for at least two of the plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets on that side.

There is a plurality of male connectors 729, 719, 725, and 709 and female connectors 731, 723, 727 and 733 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded and at least one male connectors 729, 719, 725, and 709 and at least one female connectors 731, 723, 727 and 733 are connected, and surface area of the tarp is decreased. In this case, the connectors are located on the bottom of the tarp 761. In this embodiment, male connectors 729, 719, 725, and 709 and female connectors 731, 723, 727 and 733 are hook and loop fasteners which may be made of metal or plastic and are attached to the tarp 761 through attachment means. The attachment means may include heat welding, gluing and stitching. When the select connectors are connected, the tarp is made narrower.

FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of the protective tarp illustrated in FIG. 6, but having connectors connected. In this embodiment, the tarp is folded toward the bottom and male connectors 709, 725 are connected to female connectors 723, 731. Thus, the tarp 761 is shortened as shown. The connectors are a geometric pattern on the bottom of the tarp 761. After the connectors are connected, each pocket 711, 713, 715, 791, 717, 719, and 705 is filled with an anchor tank.

FIG. 8 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flap pocket with attachment means 211. The flap pocket with attachment means 211 includes a pocket member 201 and a flap member 203. The flap member 203 is shown with the flap member 203 in a raised position The pocket member 201 includes a hook and loop fastener 205 while the flap member 203 includes the mating hook and loop fastener. There is an opening 209 at the top of the pocket member 201 for placing the anchor tank receiving pocket. When attached to a tarp, the pocket member 201 is attached to the tarp on the sides and bottom while the flap member 203 is attached to the tarp on the sides and top.

FIG. 9 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a force fit pocket 221. The force fit pocket 221 includes an opening 223 for placing the anchor tank receiving pocket. When attached to a tarp, the pocket 221 is attached to the tarp on the sides and bottom. The force fit pocket 221 may be made from a springy material so that the anchor tank receiving pocket is held in place.

FIG. 10 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flap pocket with no attachment means 241 other than the sides where there is heat molding or stitching. The flap pocket with no attachment means 241 includes a pocket member 243 and a flap member 245. The pocket member 243 includes an opening 249. When attached to a tarp, the pocket member 243 is attached to the tarp on the sides and bottom while the flap member is attached to the tarp on the sides.

FIG. 11 shows a front view of a present invention anchor tank receiving pocket illustrating a flapless pocket with attachment means 261. The flapless pocket with attachment means 261 includes a pocket member 263 and attachment means 265, in this case a button or snap. The pocket member 263 includes an opening 265. When attached to a tarp, the pocket member 263 is attached to the tarp on the sides and the bottom.

FIG. 12 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a sealed pouch 301 while FIG. 13 shows a side view thereof. The sealed pouch 301 includes a pouch member 303, a seal connection 305 and a fill orifice 307. By pressing down the connection 305, the pouch 301 is filled with a fluent material through the fill orifice 307. The seal connection 305 is then released to seal and the sealed pouch 301 is inserted within an anchor tank receiving pocket.

FIG. 14 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a recycled bottle 321. The recycled bottle 321 includes a bottle member 323, a fill orifice (not shown), and a bottle cap 329. The bottle member 323 is filled with a fluent material through the fill orifice with the cap 329 removed. The cap 329 is then replaced and the recycled bottle 321 is inserted within an anchor tank receiving pocket.

FIG. 15 shows a perspective of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a tube 341. The tube 341 includes a tubular member 343, and a cap 345 surrounding a fill orifice (not shown). The tube 341 is filled with a fluent material through the fill orifice with the cap 345 removed. The cap 345 is then replaced and the tube 341 is inserted within an anchor tank receiving pocket.

FIG. 16 shows a front view of a present invention removable anchor tank illustrating a container 361. The container 361 includes a rectangular member 363, and a cap 365 surrounding a fill orifice (not shown). The rectangular member 363 is filled with a fluent material through the fill orifice with the cap 365 removed. The cap 365 is then replaced and the container 361 is inserted within an anchor tank receiving pocket.

FIG. 17 illustrates a front view of a preferred embodiment of a present invention protective tarp with unconnected, anchor tank receiving pockets on peripheral edges of circular tarp having connectors being buttons and toggles.

There is shown a generally circular present invention tarp 861. It includes peripheral edges 803 which includes contain a plurality of anchor tank receiving pockets 805, 807, 809, 811, 813 and 815. Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets is adapted to include an independent removable anchor tank which are described in more detail hereinafter in FIGS. 8 through 11. Each of the anchor tank receiving pockets 805, 807, 809, 811, 813 and 815., includes an opening.

There is a plurality of male connector barrels 825 and 829 and female connector loops 827 and 831 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded and at least one male connectors 817 and 821 and at least one female connectors 819 and 823 are connected, and surface area of the tarp is decreased.

There is a plurality of male connector buttons 817 and 821 and female connector button holes 819 and 823 arranged in a geometrical pattern on at least one of the top and the bottom of the flat, flexible sheet material such that when the tarp is folded and at least one male connectors 817 and 821 and at least one female connectors 819 and 823 are connected, and surface area of the tarp is decreased.

Connectors 821, 823, 825, 827, 829 and 831 are located in a pattern traversing the flat, flexible sheet material away from the flat, flexible sheet material peripheral edge. The remaining connectors are located adjacent the peripheral edge. When the select connectors are connected, the surface area may be decreased.

The present invention protective tarp may have its flat, sheet material aspects formed of any known sheet material, including synthetic and natural material, as well as combinations thereof It may be in the form of mesh or woven material, film material or combinations thereof It may be very wide meshed, or net-like, or very tightly woven, and it may be water permeable or water proof, but is preferably water proof The anchor tank receiving pockets may be formed separately from the flat sheet material and may be made of the same or different materials. Typically, however, the unconnected anchor tank receiving pockets are made of the same materials as the flat sheet materials (with perhaps, the exception of the caps or closures), and may be integrally formed therewith. This could be accomplished in a continuous process of layered materials positioned in predetermined locations and heat-sealed to a main sheet material. The layered materials would be precut and/or preformed with a threaded or fixed cap-receiving orifice, and heat sealed to the flat sheet material to create a tank compartment anchor.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those particular embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.