|Publication number||US3604440 A|
|Publication date||Sep 14, 1971|
|Filing date||Aug 4, 1969|
|Priority date||Aug 4, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3604440 A, US 3604440A, US-A-3604440, US3604440 A, US3604440A|
|Inventors||Wilson Benjiman L|
|Original Assignee||Wilson Benjiman L|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (20), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Inventor Benjiman L. Wilson 1827 Los Robles Boulevard, Sacramento, Calif. 95838 ] Appl. No. 847,066  Filed Aug. 4, 1969  Patented Sept. 14, 1971  BOAT CANOPY 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 135/6, 9/ 1 R  Int. Cl B63b 17/02  Field of Search 9/1 T, 1 R; 135/6,5, 15 CF  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,505,520 4/1950 Bills 9/1 2,864,391 12/1958 Stark 135/6 3,367,349 2/1968 O'Link 9/1 2,817,852 12/1957 Neilson 9/1 X 2,885,696 5/1959 Saurer, Jr. 9/1 3,226,066 12/1965 Folb 9/1 X Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-F. K. Yee Attorney-Lothrop & West ABSTRACT: Mounted along the gunwales of a boat are opposite pairs of socket members each pair being arranged to receive, in clamping relation, the two ends of a flexible rod arched into an inverted U-shape. A plurality of such arches supports a windowed canopy provided with fasteners removably securing the canopy to the gunwales and the arches, thereby affording shelter to the occupants.
PATENTED SEP] 4 I971 SHEET 1 OF 2 PATENTEU SEPI 41911 3,604,440
sum 2 or 2 W WU 26.62 2 INVENTOR BOAT CANOPY The invention relates to improvements in canopies for small boats.
It is an object of the invention to provide a boat canopy which can readily be installed and disassembled with a minimum of effort and experience.
It is another object of the invention to provide a boat canopy which is conveniently and compactly stored when not in use.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a boat canopy which is relatively economical, yet is efficient, longlived and affords good visibility.
It is still a further object of the invention to provide a boat canopy which is taut and which therefore minimizes flapping and other objectionable noises characteristic of previously used canopies.
It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a boat canopy possessing components which can be utilized to hold a fishing pole holder when the canopy is not in use.
It is another object of the invention to provide a generally improved boat canopy.
Other objects, together with the foregoing, are attained in the embodiment described in the following description and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a rear perspective of a small boat showing the arched rods positioned in their respective sockets mounted along the gunwale, preparatory to installing the canopy cover;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view showing the canopy in fully installed position;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, to an enlarged scale, showing a typical .I-clip mounted on the canopy cover and in removable engagement with an arched rod, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view, to an enlarged scale, showing a typical snap fastener mounted along the bottom edge of the canopy and being in mutual engagement with a corresponding snap member permanently mounted on the gunwale, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 4-4 in FIG. 2; and,
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view, to an enlarged scale, of a typical adjustable socket member mounted on the inner edge of the gunwale, the socket being capable of clamping either the end of an arched rod or a fishing pole holder, the view being taken in the direction of the arrows 55 in FIG. 1.
While the boat canopy of the invention is susceptible of numerous physical embodiments, depending upon the environment and requirements of use, substantial numbers of the herein shown and described embodiment have been made, tested and used, and all have performed in an eminently satisfactory manner.
The device of the invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 12, finds especial utility in providing temporary shelter from wind, rain and sun to occupants of a small boat 13 comprising the customary bow l4, stem 15, or transom, hull l6 and gunwale I7. Transverse seats are also ordinarily installed, but are not shown herein in order to disclose certain details of the canopy-mounting structure located on the hull.
Included in this mounting structure is a plurality of opposite pairs of sockets 21, or sleeves, each mounted, as by welding, on a corresponding bracket plate 22 secured by fasteners 23 to the vertical inner edge 24 of the gunwale 17 (see FIGS. 1 and 5).
In the small boat depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, a total of three pairs of sockets is utilized, the socket pairs being spaced approximately equidistantly in a fore-and-aft direction.
The forward two socket pairs 21 are mounted vertically whereas each of the aftermost pair 31 of sockets is tilted so that its axis is inclined rearwardly and upwardly at an angle of approximately 60 (see FIG. 2), for the purpose of maintaining tautness in a fore-and-aft direction, as will subsequently be explained in more detail.
Each of the sockets 2! and 31 is dimensioned so as to receive, with some snugness, the end portion 33 of a rod 34 capable of being resiliently flexed into an arcuate configuration, as appears most clearly in FIG. 1.
When not in use, the flexible rods 34 assume their linear shape and can conveniently be lodged in supporting brackets 5 36 mounted along both sides of the hull 16 (see FIG. I) just below the gunwale. FIG. 2 shows, in broken line, the location of one (or more) of the rods 34 when'they are'stowed away. The rods flex, when stowed, so as to conform to the curvature of the hull.
When the canopy is to be erected, the rods 34 are removed from their brackets 36 and the rod ends 33 are inserted through the corresponding one of the sockets. The rods 34 are secured in place in the sockets by a thumbscrew 41 in threaded engagement with a nut 42 welded on the exposed side of the socket, the hole in the nut 42 being in registry with an opening drilled in the underlying wall of the socket. By rotating the thumbscrew 41 in the proper direction the underlying portion of the rod 34 is clamped.
As the first step in the installation, all three of the rods are mounted so as to appear as in FIG. 1.
At this juncture, the canopy 50, or canopy cover, is unfolded and, after being oriented in a fore-and-aft direction, is lowered onto the three inverted U-shaped arches, or bows, formed by the flexed rods 34.
The forward two arches 51 and 52 are vertical, as shown, whereas the after arch 53 is inclined rearwardly and upwardly at approximately 60 in the vicinity of the gunwale, as determined by the angle of the socket 31. As appears most clearly in FIG. 2, however, the upper one-third to one-half of the after arch 53 tends toward the vertical as a result of the forward tension placed on the canopy in pulling it forwardly in order to effect tautness. It will be clear from the drawings that this action results from the fact that the longitudinal dimensions of the cover is shorter than the normal cover distance between its connection at the forward end of the boat and the upper portion of the rearmost arch when the latter is in its relaxed condition. The after rod 53, in other words, serves as a springbiasing member keeping the canopy taut in its fully erected position.
The lower margin of the canopy is conveniently provided with conventional fasteners 56 arranged to form a snap type of connection. More specifically, as appears most clearly in FIG. 4, a male button 57 is screwed into the gunwale l7 and receives a female connector 58 mounted on a washer 59 encompassed tightly within the recurved fold 61 of the lower margin 62 of the canopy 50.
While attaching has frequently been utilized in the past to affix the female connecting members 58 and 59 to the canopy, it has been found that present-day high strength adhesives are preferably in many installations, owing to cost and other factors. The use of an adhesive in the interfacial areas of the canopy 50 and the members 58 and 59 in FIG. 4, for example, serves very adequately to provide a strong, moisture-resistant mounting.
The outwardly projecting tab portion 64 to cover 50 serves as a convenient finger grip when it is desired to separate the two complementing portions 57 and 58 of the snap fastener 56.
It is to be noted that the male portions of the snap fasteners 56 are located at suitable intervals along the top of the gunwale 17, with at least three being located on the forward end 14 of the gunwale to afford a secure forward anchoring point capable not only of resisting the dislodging efforts of a strong wind, but also the considerable tautening force exerted by the flexed aftermost arch 53, in the manner previously described and illustrated in FIG. 2.
The canopy 50 is provided with a plurality of transparent window panels 71, 72. and 73 to afford good visibility to the occupants; and in addition to being supported by the arched rods 51, 52 and 53, the canopy is also detachably affixed to the rods by a plurality of appropriately located fastenings, conveniently designed as J-clips 76 (see FIG. 3).
As before, the J-clips 76 are adhesively secured to the recurved hem 77 of the canopy cover 50, the hem itself being glued to the cover 50.
The .l-clip 76 is of spring steel material and includes a shank portion 81 to provide adequate surface area for the adhesive bond and a hook portion 82 with an outwardly curved mouth 83 to receive and guide the rod 53 through the throat 84 and into the hook 82.
The .l-clips are aligned in a fore-and-aft direction on the inner face of the canopy and are suitably located and oriented so as to equalize the forces of the arches in supporting and restraining the engaged canopy.
Greatest tautness is achieved by first positioning the arches in their respective sockets so that the canopy is not especially taut when it is first being arranged and is snap-fastened into position along the gunwale. After the canopy s lower margin is secured, the socket pairs are temporarily loosened and the arched rods are lifted upwardly into upwardly abutting and firmly supporting relation with respect to the overlying canopy, concurrently manipulating the canopy and the adjacent .l-clips so that the canopy is firmly interengaged with the subjacent arch. This procedure is followed from for-to-aft until the aftermost arch 53 is tightly engaged and tautly stretched as appears in FIG. 2. Note that the after end 86 of the canopy hem 77 is substantially vertical (see H6. 2) even though the aftermost arch 53 has a tension curve in it.
As will be appreciated, the height, length and window arrangement of the canopy is susceptible of many different treatments. lt is believed, however, that the utilization of flexed arches, or bows, not only affords a desirable tautness of installation in a fore-and-aft direction, but also in radial or transverse planes. Furthermore, the flexible rods can quickly and easily be removed from their sockets and compactly stowed away, even by unskilled and inexperienced persons.
lt can therefore be seen that l have provided a boat canopy which is not only efficient, but which can also be used by persons of substantially all age groups and degrees of mechanical competence.
1. A boat canopy assembly, comprising:
a. a plurality of resilient rods flexed from a normally straight condition to form transverse arches longitudinally spaced from each other and spanning the gunwales of a boat;
b. opposed pairs of socket means mounted on said gunwales for releasably connecting the ends of said rods to said gunwales in vertically adjustable relation thereto;
c. the disposition of said socket means being such as to normally maintain said arches in generally vertical transverse planes except for a rearmost arch normally disposed at a rearward inclination on the order of and d. a flexible cover detachably connected directly to said rods and said gunwales, including at least one connection at one end thereof to the forward end of the said boat and a second connection at the other end thereof a point intermediate the ends of the said rearmost arch, the longitudinal dimension of said cover being shorter than the normal cover distance between said one connection and said point on said rearmost arch, and said rearmost arch being flexed toward a vertical position in order to effect said second connection when in installed condition, whereby the resilience of said rearmost arch causes said canopy to be maintained is a taut condition.
2. A boat canopy assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said socket means are provided with clamping members for releasably gripping the end portions of said rods.
3. A boat canopy assembly as defined in claim 1 including a plurality of connectors disposed along the lower margin of said cover for releasably interconnection with a corresponding set of connectors mounted on said gunwales.
4. A boat canopy assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein a plurality of said connectors are mounted at the forward end of said cover to establish said one connection.
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|U.S. Classification||114/361, 114/364, 135/125, D12/318|
|International Classification||B63B17/02, B63B17/00|