US 3878803 A
A pontoon structure consisting of a number of individual hollow open ended cylindrical plastic tubes each equipped with threaded sections on their opposite ends for receiving sealing caps thereon to make the interior tube portions watertight, each tube having inserted thereinto a plurality of aligned empty beer and beverage cans to provide buoyant rigidity thereto, the tubes fixed side by side extending between retaining discs and having a pointed dome shaped cap forming the front end of the pontoon. A steel rod extends the length of the pontoon and interconnects the discs to the dome shaped nose cone to provide rigidity to the pontoon structure.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Leverton [451 Apr. 22, 1975 CAN FLOAT PONTOON  Filed: Aug. 29, 1974  Appl. N0.: 501,708
Primary Eraminer-Duane A. Reger Assistant E.\'aminerGregory W. OConnor ABSTRACT A pontoon structure consisting of a number of individual hollow open ended cylindrical plastic tubes each equipped with threaded sections on their opposite ends for receiving sealing caps thereon to make the interior tube portions watertight, each tube having inserted thereinto a plurality of aligned empty beer and beverage cans to provide buoyant rigidity thereto, the tubes fixed side by side extending between retaining discs and having a pointed dome shaped cap forming the front end of the pontoon. A steel rod extends the length of the pontoon and interconnects the discs to the dome shaped nose cone to provide rigidity to the pontoon structure.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures CAN FLOAT PONTOON BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to float-able structures and more particularly to a novel and improved pontoon structure having improved rigidity and buoyant elements from those presently available.
2. Description of the Prior Art It has been known in the prior art to provide floatable structures of an inflatable or rigid nature. the inflatable structures suffering from their fragility and lack of rigidity while the rigid structures suffer from their great amount of weight and difficulty in the transportation and storage thereof.
In addition. such prior art structures are expensive to manufacture and maintain and must be supplied in predetermined configurations and lengths without later in the field adaptation normally being possible.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel pontoon structure which utilizes a plurality of identical plastic hollow tubes into which the individual user inserts a multitude of empty beer cans and beverage cans to provide rigidity to the tubes, the ends of the tubes being sealed by caps threaded thereinto, and with an individual then assembling the pontoon by inserting the tubes between provided discs and nose cones in a fixed sideby-side manner to extend the length of the pontoon and with a rigid rod extending the length thereof to retain the discs and nose cone in assembled relationship. Further. it is possible to add additional segments to the length of the pontoon as desired by the individual in a rapid and economical manner such that a pontoon structure of a desired length may be rapidly and easily assembled at a minimum expense.
It is a feature of the present invention to provide a novel can float pontoon structure.
A further feature of the present invention provides a pontoon structure which is relatively simple in its construction and which is readily manufactured at a relatively low cost and by simple manufacturing methods of readily available materials such that it may be retailed at a sufficiently low price to encourage widespread use thereof.
Still a further feature of the present invention provides a pontoon structure which is possessed of few parts and which therefore is unlikely to get out of order, and wherein maintenance and repair is a rapid and easy manner attended to by the individual without requiring any special skills or expertise.
Yet still a further feature of the present invention provides a pontoon structure wherein should a segment thereof develop a leak during usage it will not adversely affect the overall flotation and buoyancy of the pontoon structure with repair of the faulty segment being readily attended to at a later date when convenient.
Still yet a further feature of the present invention provides a pontoon structure which is easy to use and reliable and efficient in operation.
Other features and advantages of this invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. and in which like reference characters are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pontoon structure constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the assembled pontoon structure:
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the structure without the tubes:
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view ofa typical tube with the beer and beverage cans inserted thereinto:
FIGv 5 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of a typical tube;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 2: and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along Line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring nowto the drawings in detail there is illustrated a preferred form of a pontoon structure constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and which is designated generally in its entirety by the reference numeral 10 and which is comprised ofa nose cone ll, a nose cone retaining disc 12, one or more retaining discs 13,, one or more rigid metal interconnecting rods 14, and a plurality of plastic tubes 15.
The nose cone 11 is preferably manufactured of a plastic material and is ofa hollow dome shaped configuration having domed surface 21 terminating at peripheral edge 22 provided with a screw thread extending circumferally about the interior surface thereof adjacent the peripheral edge.
The nose cone retaining disc 12 may be manufactured out of any suitable satisfactory material and is provided with a flat circular shaped head portion 3] of a diameter substantially identical to the diameter of nose cone peripheral edge 22, and with an annular sleeve like collar 32 disposed concentric therewith and extending outwardly of the back surface 33 thereof and having screw threads 34 disposed thereabout to threadedly engage with the screw threads of the nose cone to have the nose cone threaded thereonto such that nose cone terminal edge 22 rests on the annular shoulder defining portion 34 of back surface 33. A threaded aperture 35 extends through the central axis of the disc 12 for use with the rod 14 as will be later described. The front surface 36 of the disc 12 is provided with a plurality of circular recesses disposed about the periphery thereof and circumferally spaced from each other, each of the recesses extending into the front surface similar to the recesses as seen on discs 13 and for cooperation with associated ends of the tubes 15 as will be later described.
The discs 13 are each of an identical structure and are of a circular flat disc shaped configuration having an exterior diameter substantially indentical to the diameter of disc 12, each disc having a front surface 41 and a back surface 42 with the front surface provided with a plurality of circular recesses 43 extending about the periphery thereof and spaced circumferally apart from each other. and with the back surface 42 provided with a like number of circular recesses 44 with each recess 44 being of the same size and configuration of the recesses 43 and each being axially aligned with one of the recesses 43. A threaded opening 44 extends through the central axis of each disc 13 for use with rod 14 as will be later described.
lt is to be understood that the disc 13 forming the rearmost end of the pontoon structure 10 may have the recess 44 eliminated from the back surface 42 thereof if so desired.
Each of the rods 14 is of an elongated solid configuration manufactured of metal preferably having a /8 inch diameter with each end being threaded such that the rod is to be threaded intermediate adjacent discs 12 and 13 as well as adjacentmost discs 13 to rigidly retain the discs together to provide desired rigidity for the overall pontoon structure.
Each of the tubes 15 are of an identical construction and are identical to each other, each tube being manufactured of an elongated hollow open ended cylindrical plastic body 51 having its ends 52 and 53 provided with screw threads extending circumferally about the interior surfaces thereof and adapted to receive therein identical caps 54 each having an enlarged head portion 55 of a circular configuration with an exterior diameter equal to the exterior diameter of the body 51, and each having formed concentric therewith and extending outwardly therefrom a shank 56 having a screw threads about its exterior circumference such that the caps may be threadedly received into the ends of the body to seal the interior compartment 57 of the body in a watertight manner. The interior diameter of compartment 57 is such as to receive therein in axial aligned relationship a plurality of empty beer and beverage cans 60 to maintain the buoyancy of the tube 15 while providing desired rigidity and strength to the body 51.
The exterior diameter of the head portions 55 of each cap 54 are slightly less than the diameter of the disc reccsses 43 and 44 such that the caps may be snugly received therein when the pontoon is assembled.
In the assembly of the pontoon. an individual places one end cap 54 in each end of tube 15, and then fills each of the tubes with the empty beer and beverage cans 60, after which the open end of each tube is then sealed by threading thereinto the other cap 54 to retain compartment 57 in a watertight manner. The tubes 15 are then fixed in side-by-side relationship to extend the entire length between associated pairs of discs 13 or between disc 13 and disc 12, the caps 54 being received in associated recesses 43 and 44 and with the rod 14 being threaded between the discs to compress the discs inwardly toward each other to retain the tubes 15 captured therebetween in the associated recesses. The nose cone 21 is then threaded onto the disc 12 to complete the assembly of the pontoon structure 10.
It is to be appreciated that the overall length of the pontoon structure may be easily lengthened by merely adding additional tubes 15 with a further disc 13 and rod 14 such that a pontoon structure of any desired length may be assembled by an individual without requiring any special tools or expertise and in an inexpensive manner as the individual provides their own empty beer and beverage cans which, if not used in the pontoon structure, would otherwise merely be discarded.
The individuals use of their own beer and beverage cans, which would otherwise be discarded, results in a pontoon structure ofa lower cost to the individual than one in which the manufacturer would have to provide rigid tubes 15 with associated reinforcing structures and the like.
It is to be understood that the form of this invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that this invention is not to be limited to the exact arrangement of parts shown in the accompanying drawings or described in this specification as various changes in the details of construction as to shape, size, and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of the novel concepts thereof, or the scope of the sub-joined claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed l. A pontoon structure intended to use empty beer and beverage cans in the structure thereof. the pontoon structure comprising:
a hollow dome shaped nose cone;
a nose cone retaining disc having a front surface and a back surface, the back surface having a plurality of radially disposed circumferally spaced apart circular recesses formed therein;
a first retaining disc being ofa flat configuration having a front surface and a back surface, the front surface having a plurality of radially disposed circular recesses disposed therein with each recess associated with a recess of the nose cone retaining disc and being disposed on the front surface in a position corresponding thereto;
an elongated rigid rod extending axially between the centers of the nose cone retaining disc and the first retaining disc to retain the discs interconnected a spaced distance apart from each other and in parallel concentric overlying relationship with each other;
a plurality of hollow elongated plastic tubes, each tube being identical to each other tube, the tubes being of a length to extend between the retaining discs with the ends thereof received in associated ones of the disc recesses with the tubes thus being fixed in side-by-side relationship; and
a compartment extending axially completely through I each tube. the compartment being of a size and configuration adapted to receive therein a plurality of axially aligned empty beer and beverage cans in end-to-end relationship for the rigidifying of the tube structure while maintaining the buoyancy of the tube.
2. The pontoon structure as set forth in claim 1 wherein each tube comprises:
an axially elongated hollow open ended cylindrical body member having opposed identical ends;
screw threads formed integrally with each end of the body member about the interior of the side wall surfaces thereof;
a pair of identical cap members, each cap member consisting of a flat circular head portion and an exteriorly threaded shank portion formed concentric therewith and extending outwardly therefrom to define a shoulder portion on the head portion; and
each cap having its shank portion threadedly received in an associated end of the body member with the ends of the body member engaging the shoulder portions of the cap to retain the interior compartment of the body member in a watertight manner.
3. The pontoon structure as set forth in claim 2 wherein each of the retaining discs is provided with a threaded opening extending through the central axis thereof; and wherein the rod is provided with threaded ends thereon. each end of the rod threadedly received in a threaded opening of the discs to interconnect the discs together.
4. The pontoon structure as set forth in claim 3 wherein the nose cone retaining disc further comprises a sleeve like collar member disposed concentric with the front surface of the disc and extends outwardly therefrom: screw threads disposed about the circumference of the sleeve member: and wherein the dome shaped nose cone is provided with screw threads extending circumferally about the interior surface thereof adjacent the peripheral edge thereof. the nose cone threadedly received on the sleeve member with the nose cone peripheral edge engaging an annular collar portion of the back surface of the disc defined between the exterior of the sleeve member and the periphery of the disc.
5. The pontoon structure as. set forth in claim 4 further characterized by a second. retaining disc of a circular configuration substantially identical to the other retaining discs and having a flat front surface and a flat back surface. the front and back surfaces each provided with a plurality of radially disposed circumferally extending circular recesses of a like number to the other retaining discs. the circular recesses on the front and back surfaces being in axial alignment with each other. a threaded opening extending through the central axis of the disc to affix the disc to the central rod: the disc interposed intermediate the nose cone retaining disc and the first mentioned retaining disc to provide for a lengthening of the overall structure of the