Title:
Rotating T-Top for center console boat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention provides a top (commonly called a T-Top) for a center console boat providing protection form the sun and elements for passengers, which a) may be easily attached to existing metal (typically stainless steel) grab rails on the fiberglass console structures on the center of the vessel, b) may be lowered by rotating forward or rearward for storage or clearance under bridges by rotating forward or rearward about fixed pivot points by removing positioning pins or bolts, c) provides open access completely around the perimeter of the boat without straps or other contrivances attached to the gunwales or perimeter of the boat, d) may utilize optional gas spring assistance for raising and lowering and e) may provide mounting for optional removable windshield, fishing rod holders, gear net storage, sound speakers, navigation equipment, interior lights and spot lighting. The top shall be constructed of rigid metal, metal tubing or plastic tubing and covered with a flexible or rigid material for protection from the elements. Typical T-Top designs are “fixed”, and do not allow the top to be lowered. Other “removable” T-Tops either a) must be lifted from the vessel (do not rotate) or require special mounting to the floor or fiberglass structure of the vessel.



Inventors:
Johnson, Ross Arther (Mount Pleasant, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/881549
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
07/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ross Arthur Johnson (Mount Pleasant, SC, US)
Claims:
1. A boat top, intended to provide protection of the occupants of a center console type boat from the elements of sun, wind and rain, comprising a) a frame that is sufficiently rigid and stable to allow the vessel to be operated safely at normal operating, planning speeds; b) mounted to the vessel by affixing pivot points with removable pins or bolts to the vessel's existing center console railing structure; c) which requires no holes be drilled in or through or otherwise modifying the existing vessel's core structure (fiberglass, wood or aluminum) for the purpose of mounting the top; d) which requires no mounting straps or brackets affixed to the perimeter of the vessel; e) which allows the top to be removed or rotated forward or rearward to allow the vessel to return to its original height (prior to installing the top) to provide more vertical clearance for storage in garages, storage buildings, dry stacks or passage beneath low bridges or under trees; f) and provides a mounting point for accessories such as windshields, spray shields, lights, rod holders, and antennas.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Provisional Patent Application No. 60/835,946 issued Aug. 7, 2006, Applicant Ross Arthur Johnson SSN 495-58-9033. patent application Ser. No. 11/881,549 issues Jul. 27, 2007.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Center console boats (boats having a center mounted steering helm structure) provide ease of access to the perimeter of the vessel for fishing and boating activities. Current methods for providing a top for protection from the sun and elements involve a rigid T-shaped “T-top” affixed to the center of the vessel providing a clear perimeter, or a folding “Bimini top” affixed to the gunwales which can be easily lowered but interferes with the clear access to the perimeter of the boat.

The T shaped top, commonly referred to as a T-top, is a rigid tubular structure affixed permanently to the vessel by bolting to the structure, which provides shade and mounting for equipment. It has emerged as a popular solution providing protection from the sun and the elements, without external straps and brackets extending to the vessel's gunwales. The T-Top, however, is rigidly mounted and does not allow for the vessel to fit in garages or under low bridges.

Another popular solution, commonly referred to as a Bimini top, is a frame extending from gunwale to gunwale with a canvas covering on it, held in place by straps or tubes with release pins attached to the gunwales. The Bimini top can be lowered, but lacks rigidity for passengers to hold onto or for mounting gear. The Bimini top interferes with fishing and boating activities, as the frame, straps and other brackets or tubing are attached around the perimeter of the vessel.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a top for a center console boat providing protection from the sun and elements for passengers, clear access to the boats gunwales, ease of installation and ease of lowering by rotating forward (FIG. 1) or rearward (FIG. 2) for storage or clearance for bridges and overpasses.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

The drawing includes two separate solutions:

FIG. 1—Forward Rotating version, pivots forward on two (2) pivot points

FIG. 2—Rearward Rotating version, pivots rearward as a 4-bar mechanism or rotating linkage

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides the convenience of a T-Top for fishing, boating activities and structural rigidity along with the ability to quickly and easily lower the top to provide vertical clearance for the vessel to fit in a garage or under a bridge by removing quick release pins or bolts and rotating forward or rearward about fixed pivot points mounted to existing tubular railing structure on the center console structure of the vessel. In addition, installation requires no drilling or modifications to the existing structure, and can be done quickly by the average boat owner.

This invention provides a top for a center console boat providing protection form the sun and elements for passengers, which:

    • a) shall be attached to existing metal (typically stainless steel) railings on the fixed center console structure of the center of the vessel using clamp-on fittings which may be easily installed by the average vessel owner,
    • b) may be lowered by removing two (2) or more quick release pins or bolts and rotating forward (FIG. 1) or rearward (FIG. 2) about fixed pivot points attached to existing structure with clamp-on fittings for storage or clearance under bridges,
    • c) provides open access completely around the perimeter of the boat without straps or other contrivances attached to the gunwales or perimeter of the boat,
    • d) may utilize optional gas spring assistance for raising and lowering and
    • e) may provide mounting for optional removable windshield, fishing rod holders, gear net storage, sound speakers, navigation equipment, interior lights and spot lighting,
    • f) shall be constructed of rigid metal, metal tubing or plastic tubing and covered with a flexible or rigid material for protection from the elements.





 
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