US 20050186029 A1
This invention is an apparatus designed to secure members of one frame work to members of another framework most commonly found when trying to secure a boat canopy to a boat tower. The clamping apparatus is fully adjustable to allow for the many different configurations of towers and canopies.
1. A main clamping apparatus comprising:
a first semi-circular bracket;
a plurality of fastening holes on said first semi-circular bracket to allow for fastening a second semi-circular bracket;
a plurality of fastening holes on said second semi-circular bracket to allow for fastening to said first semi-circular bracket; and
a mounting base on said second semi circular bracket.
2. The main clamping apparatus of
3. The main clamping apparatus of
4. A frame clamping apparatus comprising:
a semi-circular lever having a plurality of holes for fastening to a semi-circular bracket having a flat base and a plurality of fastening holes.
5. The frame clamping apparatus of
a flat surface
a multiple of mounting slots
6. A clamping apparatus comprising a main clamp apparatus according to
7. A pivot mount bracket comprising a flat bracket with a fastening hole and a plurality of slots.
8. A clamping apparatus comprising a main clamp apparatus according to claimI in conjunction with a pivot mount bracket according to
9. A clamping assembly comprising a first clamping apparatus according to
Provisional patent application for FTT Clamp 60/546001 dated Feb. 22, 2004
This invention relates to securing various types of frame components to one another, most commonly found when securing a framework of a boat canopy, to a boat tower.
In order to create a shelter on a boat, most consumers purchase a bimini top and mounted it to the gunwales of the boat. U.S. Pat. No. 5,520,139 to King 1996 shows a typical bimini top used for ski boats. A bimini top is a form of a sun shade with 2 to 4 inverted U-shaped bows held together with hinges to create a collapsible frame work that supports material for shelter.
In the past most ski ropes have been attached to the transom of the boat or to a ski pylon located in the center of the boat. The rope has been generally located about one to two feet above the water surface. With the popularity of wake boarding and the desire to enhance water sports performance, boat manufactures now mount a metal framework called a tower to the gunwales of the boat that extends upwards to create a mounting point for the rope relatively centered over the boat about six to eight feet above the water surface, thus enhancing an upward pull for the performer. U.S. patent Des. 409,972 to Todd 1999 shows a typical tower used for towing water sports activities. The framework of a typical tower consequently interferes with the framework of a traditional bimini top thus rendering it useless.
In accordance with the present inventions, a boat canopy consists of a collapsible or non collapsible framework mounted by means of fastening with screws, bolts or pins to a boat or a boat tower.
Accordingly, the advantages of the Folding Trampoline Top (FTT) Clamp are, the FTT Clamps provide an overall stronger union between members of the framework. It provides for ease and speed of set up and take down of the FTT (boat canopy) on or off the water. The structural integrity of the tower and FTT frame is not compromised by need for drilling holes for fasteners through the framework. It makes the installation of the FTT easier. It makes the FTT possible for the professionals and consumer to install. It allows for fme tuning and minor adjustments during and after instillation. The heavy duty clamps designed for the application do not wear out with boat vibration. Front lever with quick pin eliminates the need to align pins through holes. Heavy duty adjustable clamps provide adequate strength when filling the gap between members of the framework. Clamps allow for removal of the top with out permanent structural damage to the tower. The clamps are easy to operate when deploying/collapsing the FTT. Overall structural appearance of the top is improved. Further objects and advantages are to provide a top that is inexpensive, streamline, quiet, and is easily removed for maintenance or repairs.
As discussed, the framework of a typical boat tower interferes with the framework of a traditional bimini top thus rendering the two incompatible. The present invention solves this problem by creating a FTT (Folding Trampoline Top) as described in provisional patent 60/269634 Feb. 20, 2001. This top is specifically designed to fit within the boat tower. One way to fasten the FTT to the tower is drilling holes through the frame of the tower and the top and then using bolts and removable pins to hold the top in place. This approach has several disadvantages. The structural integrity of the tower and FTT frame is severely compromised by drilling holes through the framework. It is also difficult for consumers and professionals to install. It is difficult to drill and align holes so the top finctions properly. There is no adjustment once the holes have been drilled. The thin wall tubing allows the holes wear down from the vibration of the boat and pins can eventually fall out. Misalignment of locking pin holes with any flexing of the rear bolts. It does not have the ability to provide proper structural strength with the spacing on the rear or front legs of the tower. It is impossible to remove the FTT from the tower with out permanent holes/damage to the tower. The pins are awkward to use and align when deploying the FTT. The overall appearance of the craftsmanship looks substandard.