US 3570029 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 16, 1971 "r. JpHUNSAKER ,5 I COMBINATION BOAT SEAT AND GANGPLANK' Filed Sept. 22, 1969 INVENTOR. TEDDY J- HUNSAKER United States Patent Otfice 3,570,029 COMBINATION BOAT SEAT AND GANGPLANK Teddy J. Hunsaker, 8235 State Rte. 14, Streetsboro, Ohio 44240 Filed Sept. 22, 1969, Ser. No. 859,758
Int. Cl. B63b 29/04 U.S. C]. 9-7 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A combination boat seat and gangplank that features a series of telescoping sections that may be moved between open and closed position within a boat or other like object and further featuring a pivotal mounting that permits the entire unit to be swung around a pivot point and extended for use as a gangplank.
BACKGROUND OF 'IiHE INVENTION (A) Field of the invention The general field of the invention is boats and boating accessories and the particular field is an improvement in means to facilitate ingress and egress with respect to such boats.
(B) Description of the prior art Applicant is aware of certain boat seats that are used in boats and that move between a back-to-back upright seated condition and a folded down horizontal condition wherein the four sections become a bed for sleeping. An example of such a seat may be seen in OLink U.S. Pat. 3,394,417. Aside from this structure, applicant is unaware of any pertinent prior art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION While boarding and disembarking from a boat may be accomplished relatively easily when the boat in question is tied up at an appropriate clock, the same operation becomes quite a diflicult feat to accomplish when there is no such dock to which the boat can be tied.
In the instance of trying to bring someone aboard from a shoreline, for example, the boat operator has the delicate job of trying to bring the boat close enough to shore to embark the passenger without actually hitting bottom and damaging the hull and propellor.
Also, in the instance where no shore or dock is available as in the case of water skiing, for example, it is quite difficult for the skier to remove himself from the water and onto the boat. At the present time, the only known method for doing this is the use of some ladder arrangement that can have a curved portion hooked over the gunwhale so that the person can use this ladder to assist him in entering the boat.
While ski ladders of this type are usable for the purpose of permitting the person in question to board the boat, the same are obviously a single use type of item and further are rather bulky and awkward so as to clutter up the interior of the boat during periods of nonuse.
It has been discovered that if a telescoping unit is properly hinged with respect to the gunwhale of the boat, that the same not only serves the function of making boarding and unboarding relatively easy to accomplish, but further provides usable space interiorly of the boat during periods of non-use, either as a seat in a retracted position or as a temporary sleeping quarters when the same is in its extended position.
Further, it has been found that if a buoyant material is added to at least one or more of the telescoping sections, that the unit will be able to float in the water so that the user may merely walk up the same and board the boat with a relatively small degree of difiiculty.
It has been further discovered that if the telescoping components are made out of extruded plastic material that an extremely rugged and durable unit can be produced at a minimum cost.
Production of a combined boat seat and gangplank having the above advantages accordingly becomes the principal object of this invention, with other objects of the invention becoming more apparent upon a reading of the following brief specification, considered and interpreted in view of the accompanying drawings.
Of the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view partly broken away in section and illustrating the improved combination of boat seat and gangplank, with the unit being in the retracted position interiorly of the boat.
FIG. 2 is a similar sectional view through the boat hull, but illustrating the unit in its outboard and extended position, whereby the same may be used as a gangplank.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the unit in extended position within the boat, whereby the same may be used as a bed.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a detailed view in section showing the stop arrangement employed to limit the extent of telescoping.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1 thereof, the improved combination boat seat and gangplank, generally designated by the numeral 10, is shown including a main seat unit 20 within which are telescoped auxiliary units 21, 22, 23 and 24, with the unit 20 having a pair of opposed side arms 25, 25 that are pivoted to the opposed pivot points 26, 26 of the U- shaped support bracket 27 that is, in turn, secured to the boat 60 as by screws 28, 28, with this arrangement being such that the unit 10 may be extended and then moved between either the position of FIG. 2 or the position of FIG. 3 depending upon the use required.
In addition to the aforementioned component parts, the seat unit 20 has a pair of opposed legs 20a, 2011 secured thereto in rigid fashion with these legs depending when the unit is in the positions of FIGS. 1 and 3 to serve as support elements while the same project upwardly when the unit is in the position of FIG. 2 for the purpose of acting as a support for a rope member 30.
In this regard, additional pairs of legs 21a, 21a, 22a, 22a, 23a, 23a and 24a, 24a are provided on the auxiliary units 21, 22, 23 and 24, with each of these legs including an eyelet 31 that receives the rope 30 as is clearly shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The rope 30 serves to limit the degree of extension and further serves as a temporary handrail when the unit is in the extended position of FIG. 2.
The legs 21a through 24a are generally identical except, of course, for the fact that they progressively decrease in size. Furthermore, the last pair of legs have a rounded top as shown at 240. Unit 24 also has a rounded edge 24d. This prevents the edges from digging into the shore or dock when the unit is in the position of FIG. 2.
Preferably and as indicated above, each of the units 20 through 24 has a rectangular cross section that is created by extrusion in the event plastic is used, with these units telescoping within each other as is clearly apparent from FIG. -1.
For the purposes of limiting the extent of extension, each unit includes, as shown in FIG. 5, an outer stop 20b through 24b as the case may be and an inner stop 200 through 240, as the case may be. In FIG. 5, stop 200 is shown on seat 20 while seat 21 passes through this stop 200 until stop 21b strikes it. This arrangement permits free sliding and telescoping, but yet limits the extent of telescopic extension that can be achieved.
Finally, for the purpose of imparting additional flotation characterstics to the unit, a Styrofoam block 40 is preferably inserted within the outermost unit 24 as shown in FIG. 4, with it being apparent that while five sections are shown in the preferred form of the invention herein illustrated, that more or less units could be provided as the case requires.
In use or operation of the improved device, the unit will normally be positioned in the collapsed inboard position as shown in FIG. 1. If it is desired to bring a person aboard, however, the unit may be merely pivoted in the direction of arrow 50 of FIG. 2 and then extended until it either engages the shoreline or the water as the case may be.
In the event the shoreline is engaged, the person boarding the vessel may merely walk up the gangplank in the position shown in FIG. 2.
In the event there is no shoreline, the buoyancy provided by block 40 interiorly of the unit 24 will support the weight of the person boarding, although some sinking of the extreme end of the unit under the water may occur. However, in most instances, it will be relatively simple for the person boarding to simply walk up the ramp, and in this regard, the invention contemplates the use of non-skid material on the underface of each of the units through 24, as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3, so that when the unit is pivoted 180 degrees, this material will be available to the user to generally make the boarding surface safer.
When the person is boarded, it is merely necessary that the rope 30 be pulled, at which time the individual units 21, 22, 23 and 24 will slide into each other and the entire unit can be returned to a stored position Within the boat.
It should also be noted that at least one rung 29 is mounted between arms 25, to serve as a step when the unit is in the position of FIG. 2. A box 51 can also be provided in the bottom of the boat 60 to further facilitate stepping up to or down from the gangplank.
In the event it is desired to use the unit as an overnight sleeping quarters, the same may be pulled out into the position shown in FIG. 3 in the interior of the boat.
While a full and complete description of the invention has been set forth in accordance with the dictates of the patent statutes, it is to be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific and precise form herein shown.
Accordingly, while the preferred embodiment envisions the use of high-impact and high-strength plastic material of extruded form because of the desirability of such material as a marine component, it is to be understood that the units could be made in any other fashion provided that the requisite characteristics of telescoping extension were able between a collapsed position and an extended position;
(B) means for limiting the amount of telescopic extension; and
(C) mounting means carried by one of said body components and being pivotally mounted with respect to a face portion on said boat whereby said combined seat and gangplank may be moved between inboard and outboard positions with respect to said boat.
2. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of support means carried by opposed sides of each of said telescoping components and projecting beyond one planar face thereof, whereby the same may support said components against the force of gravity when positioned inboard of said boat and additionally function as upwardly extending support rails when said unit is positioned outboard with respect to said boat.
3. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of flotation means carried by at least one said structural component.
4. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the fact that said mounting means include (A) a mounting bracket adapted to be secured to said boat; and
(B) a pair of opposed vertical arms (1) secured to said body component, and (2) adapted to be pivotally secured to said bracket.
5. The device of claim 4 further characterized by the presence of at least one transverse rung secured to said arms.
6. The device of claim 2 further characterized by the presence of flexible connecting means interconnecting said support means.
7. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the fact that the last of said series of telescoping structural components has an arcuate upper edge.
8. The device of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of means carried by each of said structural components and adapted to limit the amount of telescopic extension thereof.
9. A boat seat of the character described, comprising;
(A) a main seat;
(B) a series of telescoping auxiliary seat components movable between collapsed and extended positions;
(C) mounting means for securing said main seat component to said boat; and
(D) means for supporting said main seat and said auxiliary seat on the deck of said boat.
10. The device of claim 9 further characterized by the presence of stop means carried by said main and auxiliary seats and adapted to limit the amount of telescopic extension thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,803,841 8/1957 Wellens l471 GEORGE E. A. HALVOSA, Primary Examiner C. A. RUTLEDGE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.