US20040159275A1 - Floating playground - Google Patents

Floating playground Download PDF

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Publication number
US20040159275A1
US20040159275A1 US10/776,942 US77694204A US2004159275A1 US 20040159275 A1 US20040159275 A1 US 20040159275A1 US 77694204 A US77694204 A US 77694204A US 2004159275 A1 US2004159275 A1 US 2004159275A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
floating
means
float
playground
modules
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/776,942
Inventor
Dennis Broderick
LaVon Broderick
Original Assignee
Broderick Dennis L.
Broderick Lavon F.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US09/879,852 priority Critical patent/US20020185049A1/en
Priority to US10/265,821 priority patent/US20030029369A1/en
Priority to US10/452,397 priority patent/US20030196580A1/en
Application filed by Broderick Dennis L., Broderick Lavon F. filed Critical Broderick Dennis L.
Priority to US10/776,942 priority patent/US20040159275A1/en
Publication of US20040159275A1 publication Critical patent/US20040159275A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B9/00Climbing poles, frames, or stages
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B5/00Apparatus for jumping
    • A63B5/11Trampolines
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H23/00Toy boats; Floating toys; Other aquatic toy devices
    • A63H23/10Other water toys, floating toys, or like buoyant toys
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING
    • B63B35/00Vessels or like floating structures adapted for special purposes
    • B63B35/73Other vessels or like floating structures for pleasure or sport
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B9/00Climbing poles, frames, or stages
    • A63B2009/002Flat climbing nets
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B9/00Climbing poles, frames, or stages
    • A63B2009/006Playground structures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2208/00Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player
    • A63B2208/12Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player specially adapted for children
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/60Apparatus used in water
    • A63B2225/605Floating
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING
    • B63B35/00Vessels or like floating structures adapted for special purposes
    • B63B35/34Pontoons
    • B63B35/38Rigidly-interconnected pontoons
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63CLAUNCHING, HAULING-OUT, OR DRY-DOCKING OF VESSELS; LIFE-SAVING IN WATER; EQUIPMENT FOR DWELLING OR WORKING UNDER WATER; MEANS FOR SALVAGING OR SEARCHING FOR UNDERWATER OBJECTS
    • B63C11/00Equipment for dwelling or working underwater; Means for searching for underwater objects
    • B63C11/48Means for searching for underwater objects
    • B63C11/49Floating structures with underwater viewing devices, e.g. with windows ; Arrangements on floating structures of underwater viewing devices, e.g. on boats

Abstract

A floating playground includes floating modules which provide buoyancy to a variety of recreational implements. Rigid flotation vessels filled with foam provide buoyancy to the modules. The modules have a frame and plurality of posts which can support a variety of recreational implements. The modules float individually or can be connected together to from a floating playground with a variety of recreational implements. The modules are also mobile so they can be moved from location to location and interchanged with other modules to form a dynamic playground.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of patent application Ser. No. 10/452,397, filed Jun. 2, 2003, which is a continuation of patent application Ser. No. 10/265,821, filed Oct. 7, 2002, abandoned, which is a continuation of patent application Ser. No. 09/879,852, filed Jun. 11, 2001, abandoned, which are hereby incorporated by reference.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. The Field of the Invention [0002]
  • The present invention relates generally to floating recreational devices, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to a movable, floating modular playground configured to accommodate various playground equipment for kids of all ages. [0003]
  • 2. The Relevant Technology [0004]
  • The prior art discloses a number of water trampolines. Water trampolines provide a leisure time activity for kids of all ages in a body of water. The combination of a trampoline and an inflatable vessel allows users to enjoy the bouncing and acrobatic activities performed on a trampoline with the benefits of playing in the water. However, the disclosed trampolines are limited to only one recreational device, the trampoline. [0005]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,223,673 granted to Mears et al. discloses a floatable park that includes a trampoline and a first inflatable object attached to the trampoline. Mears discloses attaching another recreational device to the trampoline, such as a giant inflatable pillow, an inflatable log or a slide. However, the park needs to be inflated with air and is only held together with straps. [0006]
  • The prior art also discloses a number of floating docks and decks. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,572 granted to Gruhn et al. discloses a floating dock. Gruhn discloses individual modular floating sections that can be connected together to form a floating structure. However, the prior art docks and decks are limited to a floating deck structure without additional attachments. [0007]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,132 granted to Donovan discloses a floating deck structure. Donovan discloses a structural deck that floats on a rigid, buoyant material filled watertight float. The deck can be configured to accommodate a variety of accessories and furnishings for various recreational activities. However, the invention is not modular in design and limited to a deck structure. [0008]
  • The prior art fails to disclose a rigid floating playground module which can be interconnected to other playgrounds. The disclosed playgrounds achieve their buoyancy with an inflatable member, which can be punctured and require patching or replacement. [0009]
  • The prior art is thus characterized by several disadvantages that are addressed by the present invention. The present invention minimizes, and in some aspects eliminates, the above-mentioned failures, and other problems, by utilizing the methods and structural features described herein. [0010]
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a floating playground which can accommodate an almost endless variety of recreational implements or toys. [0011]
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide such a floating playground capable of being moved from one location to another on the water. [0012]
  • It is a further object of the present invention, in accordance with one aspect thereof, to provide a floating playground which is sturdy and does not need to be inflated. [0013]
  • It is an additional object of the invention, in accordance with one aspect thereof, to provide a floating playground with a modular design, wherein the modular units can be securely connected with other units. [0014]
  • The above objects and others not specifically recited are realized in a specific illustrative embodiment of a floating playground. The floating playground includes two modules attached together. The modules are each supported by a floating vessel. The floating vessels are rectangular shaped, rotationally molded pontoons filled with foam. Preferably vertical posts attach to the frame that encircles the pontoons and are able to support the recreational implement. One of the modules comprises a lower deck beneath an upper deck. The upper deck has a railing which supports a slide, climbing net, a basket ball hoop and a ladder. The other module is a trampoline. The modules can also support a wide variety of other recreational implements including, but not limited to: a trampoline, a climbing net, a slide, a ladder, a basketball hoop, a deck, a swing, a bathroom, a kitchen, a canopy covering the top or sides of the deck, a tent, an infant swing, an inflatable plastic log, a toy captains wheel, a toy periscope, a glass section, a set of monkey bars, a jungle gym, a climbing tube or any other recreational implement. [0015]
  • Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the invention without undue experimentation. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. [0016]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the subsequent detailed description presented in connection with the accompanying drawings in which: [0017]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the base of two modules, or flotation vessels, of the floating playground; [0018]
  • FIG. 1A is a breakaway, perspective view of one of the vessels as shown in FIG. 1; [0019]
  • FIG. 1B is a partial, cross-sectional view of one of the vessels shown in FIG. 1; [0020]
  • FIG. 1C is a bottom view of one of the vessels shown in FIG. 1; [0021]
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the two flotation vessels shown in FIG. 1; [0022]
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the floating playground showing two modules with various recreational implements; [0023]
  • FIG. 3A is a break away side view of the attachment means that connects the two modules shown in FIG. 3; [0024]
  • FIG. 3B is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground shown as a circular trampoline; [0025]
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the preferred embodiment of the floating playground shown in FIG. 3; [0026]
  • FIG. 4A is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground showing a slide in a storage or moving position; [0027]
  • FIG. 4B is a side view of the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 4A, showing the slide in a playing position; [0028]
  • FIG. 5A is a top view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground; [0029]
  • FIG. 5B is a side view of the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 5A; [0030]
  • FIG. 6 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground; [0031]
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground; [0032]
  • FIG. 8 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground; [0033]
  • FIG. 9A is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the floating playground with a glass bottom section; and [0034]
  • FIG. 9B is a top view of the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 9A. [0035]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles in accordance with the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention claimed. [0036]
  • Before the present device of a floating playground is disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular configurations, process steps, and materials disclosed herein as such configurations, process steps, and materials may vary somewhat. It is also to be understood that the terminology employed herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting since the scope of the present invention will be limited only by the appended claims and equivalents thereof. [0037]
  • The publications and other reference materials referred to herein to describe the background of the invention and to provide additional detail regarding its practice are hereby incorporated by reference herein. The references discussed herein are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing herein is to be construed as a suggestion or admission that the inventors are not entitled to antedate such disclosure by virtue of prior invention. [0038]
  • It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. [0039]
  • In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below. [0040]
  • As used herein, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps. [0041]
  • As used herein, the phrase “consisting of” and grammatical equivalents thereof exclude any element, step, or ingredient not specified in the claim. [0042]
  • As used herein, the phrase “consisting essentially of” and grammatical equivalents thereof limit the scope of a claim to the specified materials or steps and those that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristic or characteristics of the claimed invention. [0043]
  • As used herein, the phrase “recreational implement” and grammatical equivalents thereof shall refer to an implement that is used primarily for a recreational activity requiring bodily movement by the user, including but not limited to bouncing, jumping, climbing and hanging, turning a toy steering wheel, sliding, swinging, and shooting baskets. [0044]
  • As used herein, the phrase “trampoline” and grammatical equivalents thereof shall refer to any type of surface with elastic memory that allows a user to be propelled in an upward direction thereupon. [0045]
  • Applicant has discovered that floating playgrounds are more versatile and provide more recreation if the playground is movable and modular. The modular design allows different modules with different recreational implements to be connected together, and later disconnected and interchanged for other modules. Applicant has thus conceived of a floating playground that supports a variety of recreational implements, is movable and floats. A preferred design concept of the floating playground comprises two modules attached together. Each module rests on a floating vessel and has a frame encircling the perimeter of the vessel. Preferably vertical posts are attached to the frame and support various recreational implements. [0046]
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of two modules [0047] 11 attached together to form the floating playground generally at 10. A module 11 can be any size, but preferably is no more than eight and one half feet wide, such that the module 11 can fit on a trailer and be transported without a permit. Preferably, the module 11 is supported by a floating vessel 12 that provides buoyancy to the module 11. The vessels 12 are preferably rectangular in shape, made from rotationally molded plastic and filled with foam, or expanded polystyrene, for buoyancy. The expanded polystyrene preferably has a density of 1 lb/ft3. The foam prevents the vessels 12 from filling with water in the event that the plastic shell of the vessel 12 is breached. Referring now to FIG. 1A, there is shown a breakaway, perspective view of one of the vessels 12 shown in FIG. 1. A ledge 14 is molded into the vessel 12 and preferably circumscribes the entire upper perimeter of the vessel 12. The ledge 14 defines an upper portion 16 and a lower portion 18 of the vessel 12. Four pockets 20, or slots, are molded in the upper portion 16 of the vessel 12. The pockets 20 are preferably located just above the ledge 14 with two pockets 20 residing on each longitudinal edge of the vessel 12 near the ends.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, the ledge [0048] 14 receives a frame 22 that is preferably made of metal. The frame could also be made of any suitable material to those skilled in the art. The frame 22 is preferably a hollow member, with a rectangular cross-section. The frame 22 circumscribes one vessel 12. Referring now to FIG. 1B, there is shown a partial, cross-sectional view of one of the modules 11 shown in FIG. 1. After the frame 22 is placed on the ledge 14, an attachment means 24, preferably an angle iron made of metal, with a first portion 24 a and a second portion 24 b is slid into each of the four pockets 20. The attachment means 24 could be any other suitable device, made of a suitable material to those skilled in the art, depending on the type of material used to make the frame 22. The attachment means 24 is positioned such that the first portion 24 a slides into the pocket 20 and the second portion 24 b rests flush against the frame 22. The second portion 24 b of the attachment means 24 is then attached to the frame 22, preferably by welding. The attachment of the frame 22 to the four attachment means 24 securely attaches the frame 22 to the vessel 12. Referring again to FIG. 1, a preferably vertical post 28 attaches to the frame 22, preferably by welding. The posts 28 are preferably made of metal, but can be made of any other suitable material used to make the frame 22. The posts 28 can be placed anywhere on the frame 22 in a manner to support any type of recreational implement (not shown).
  • Referring now to FIG. 1C, there is shown a bottom view of one of the vessels [0049] 12 as shown in FIG. 1. The vessels 12 preferably have three ridges 26, or rudder-like projections, that run the majority of the longitudinal length of the bottom of the vessel 12. The ridges 26 act as rudders when the vessel 12 is moved through the water.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a top view of two frames [0050] 22 and two flotation vessels 12 of the two modules 11 shown in FIG. 1. A frame 22 circumscribes each vessel 12. The frame 22 is attached to the vessels 12 with the attachment means 24 (shown with dotted lines), which reside in the pockets 20 (shown generally with brackets).
  • Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the floating playground [0051] 10. The embodiment shows two modules 11 a and 11 b with various recreational implements attached. Module 11 a is attached to module 11 b with an attachment means 44. Referring to FIG. 3A, there is shown a partial, break away view of the attachment means 44 shown in FIG. 3. The attachment means 44 is preferably a hinge pin assembly 45. The assembly 45 comprises a pair of barrel hinges 45 a and 45 b, and a hinge pin 45 c. The barrel hinges 45 a and 45 b are preferably made of metal, and are attached to the frame 22 of the two modules 11 a and 11 b, preferably by a weld 47. Barrel hinge 45 a is a center hinge 45 a, attached to the frame 22 of module 11 a while hinge 45 b are top and bottom barrel hinges 45 b attached to the frame 22 of module 11 b. The modules 11 a and 11 b are together by bringing the two modules 11 a and 11 b together, then positioning module 11 a such that the center barrel hinge 45 a resides between the top and bottom barrel hinges 45 b. Once the center barrel hinge 45 a resides between the top and bottom barrel hinges 45 b, the hinge pin 45 c is slidably inserted through the top hinge 45 b, through the center hinge 45 a and then through bottom hinge 45 b. The process is repeated for the other attachment means 44 on the modules 11 a and 11 b, and then said modules 11 a and 11 b are connected together to form a floating playground 10. The attachment means 44 is preferably a hinge pin assembly 45, but can also be a latch, a clamp, a U-joint which allows two degrees of movement, but not torsional movement, a spherical end joint which allows three degrees of movement, or any other suitable means to those skilled in the art.
  • Referring again to FIG. 3, a floating vessel [0052] 12 is shown supporting each module 11 as a buoyancy base. The frames 22 are shown circumscribing the vessels 12. Preferably vertical posts 28 are shown supporting an upper deck 30 on one module 11 a while preferably vertical posts 28 support a trampoline 38 on the second module 11 b. In an alternative embodiment, the space 25 residing between the trampoline 38 and the frames 22 can be surrounded with a safety net (not shown), preferably around all sides of the trampoline 38, to prevent any injury to a user of the trampoline 38. The upper deck 30 comprises a platform 30 a, which rests on a plurality of cross-members 30 b. The cross-members 30 b are preferably made of the same material as the frame 22 and posts 28, and are attached by welding. The cross-members 30 b are supported by the preferably vertical posts 28. A lower decks 32 is shown covering the vessel 12 of module 11 a. The lower decks 32 is a protective covering, known to those skilled in the art, that functions to cover and protect the top of the vessel 12. The upper deck 30 of module 11 a also has a railing 36 attached to the cross members 30 b of the upper deck 30. Alternatively, the railing 36 can be attached to the preferably vertical posts 28. A slide 34 is attached to the railing 36 on the upper deck 30 and runs into the water. The slide 34 is supported by a slide attachment bracket 50 which attaches the slide 34 to the frame 22. A climbing net 46 is attached to the railing 36 and extends into the water. A basket ball hoop 48 is also attached to the railing 36. The trampoline 38 is supported by preferably vertical posts 28. Two ladders 40 a and 40 b are shown on the two modules 11 a and 11 b, respectively. Ladder 40 b extends from the trampoline 38 to the frame 22 and the other ladder 40 a extends from the back side of the upper deck 30 to the lower deck 32 beneath the upper deck 30. The end 42 of the flotation vessel 12 of module 11 b beveled. The beveled end 42 allows the floating playground 10 to glide across the water when the modules 11 a and 11 b are moved across the water. Ridges 26 act as rudders and help to prevent side to side movement of the modules 11 when the modules 11 are being moved. Movement is accomplished by attaching a rope (not shown) to the modules 11 and towing the modules 11 with a boat (not shown), or other suitable water craft. Alternatively, an outboard motor (not shown) can be attached to the module 11 a on the end opposite the beveled end 42 to make the modules 11 self-propelling.
  • It will be appreciated that the recreational implements shown in FIG. 3 are illustrative of a few of the recreational implements that can be attached to the modules [0053] 11. In addition to the implements shown in FIG. 3, other implements that cab be attached to the playground include, but are not limited to: a swing, a bathroom, a kitchen, curtains enclosing the deck, a canopy covering the deck, a tent covering the trampoline, an infant swing, an inflatable plastic log, a toy captains wheel, a toy periscope, a glass bottom section, a variety of floating toys for children, a set of monkey bars, a jungle gym, a climbing tube, a walk way or any other recreational implement.
  • Referring to FIG. 3B, there is shown an alternative embodiment of one module [0054] 11 of the floating playground 10. This embodiment shows a circular flotation vessel 12 a supporting a circular trampoline 38 a. The circular flotation vessel 12 a is preferably rotationally molded plastic filled with foam with an opening 17 in the center to form a doughnut shape. In the circular embodiment, a frame 22 a is used to attach preferably vertical posts 28 a to the trampoline 38 a. A ladder 41 is attached to the frame 22 a and trampoline 38 a to provide access to the trampoline 38 a.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a top view of the preferred embodiment of the floating playground shown in FIG. 3. The two modules [0055] 11 a and 11 b are connected together with the attachment means 44. Module 11 b is a trampoline 38. Module 11 a is an upper deck 30 with a slide 34, climbing net 46, ladder 40 and a basketball hoop 48.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 4A and 4B, there is shown a side view of the module [0056] 11 a shown in FIG. 4, with the upper deck 30 and the lower deck 32. The slide 34 is attached as a recreational implement. FIG. 4A shows the slide 34 in a storage or moving position while FIG. 4B shows the slide 34 in a playing position. The slide 34 attaches to the frame 22 with a slide attachment bracket 50 and a pivot hinge 52. The slide attachment bracket 50 is attached to the slide 34 in a manner to those skilled in the art that allows the slide attachment bracket 50 to pivot on the slide 34. The slide 34 can move from a playing position as shown in FIG. 4B to a storage position as shown in FIG. 4A. The top of the slide 34 is detachably attached to the railing 36 a on the upper deck 30 as shown in FIG. 4B. After the slide 34 is detached from the railing 36 a, the slide 34 is moved in an upward direction as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 4B and the slide attachment bracket 50 pivots on the pivot hinge 52. The slide 34 is then attached to the upper railing 36 b in a manner to those skilled in the art to prevent the slide 34 from moving in a downward direction when the module 11 a is stored or moved.
  • As indicated above, the floating playground [0057] 10 is modular in design. The modular design allows different modules 11 with various recreational implements to be interconnected and form an almost endless array of combinations. Referring now to FIG. 5A, there is shown a top view of a floating playground 10. The floating playground 10, comprises eight modules 11 c-j configured in two rows. The first row consists of modules 11 c-f and the second row consists of modules 11 g-j. The various modules 11 are held together through the use of the attachment means 44. A horizontal ladder 54 is connected to floating modules 11 d and 11 h. A swing support 56 a is connected to floating modules 11 c and 11 g and another swing support 56 b is connected to floating modules 11 f and 11 j. A swinging bridge 58 connects floating modules 11 e and 11 i. Floating modules 11 c, 11 f, 11 g and 11 j have trampolines 38 while floating modules 11 d, 11 e, 11 h and 11 i have upper decks 30 and lower decks 32.
  • Referring now to FIG. 5B, there is shown a side view of the eight floating modules [0058] 11 c-j as shown in FIG. 5A. The flotation vessels 12 are shown. The frame 22 attached to the flotation vessels 12 is also shown. Preferably vertical posts 28 are shown supporting the trampolines 38, the upper decks 30 and the lower decks 32. Railings 36 are also on the upper decks 30. The swing supports 56 are supported on either end by the floating modules 11 c and 11 g, and 11 f and 11 j, respectively. The swing supports 56 support swings 60. The climbing nets 46 are also shown and supported at the bottom by net supports 62. The slides 34 are shown in the playing position and supported by the slide attachment brackets 50. This arrangement of floating modules 11 and the various recreational implements attached is an example of the number of different embodiments that the floating modules 11 can create. It will be appreciated to those skilled in the art that the modules 11 can be connected to other modules 11 in any configuration or arrangement.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, there is shown another alternative embodiment of two floating modules [0059] 11 h and 11 i. Module 11 h is shown with a trampoline 38, while module 11 i is shown with an upper deck 30 with various attachments. Attached to the upper deck 30 is a railing 36. A slide 34 is attached to the railing 36, as well as a climbing net 38, a basket ball hoop 48, a climbing wall 62, an accessory bracket 64 and a swing 60 suspended from the accessory bracket 64. The two modules 11 h and 11 i are attached together by attachment means 44. The accessory bracket 64 can be used to suspend or attach any suitable recreational implement to those skilled in the art.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, there is shown a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of an arrangement of the modules [0060] 11. Module 11 j is shown with a trampoline 38 while module 11 k is shown with an upper deck 30, a lower deck 32 and various recreational implements. The railing 36 of module 11 k supports a basket ball hoop 48, ladders 40, a slide 34 and a climbing wall 62. The climbing wall 62 comprises an upwardly-extending and preferably vertical wall 66 with numerous hand holds 68. The climbing wall 62 can also be tilted away from the module 11 k in to make climbing more challenging. The hand holds 68 can be either rock-like projections or recesses where a user can grasp on to the climbing wall 66. The two modules 11 j and 11 k are connected together with a jungle gym 76. The jungle gym 76 attaches to the modules 11 j and 11 k using the attachment means 44. The attachment means 44 can be a hinge pin, a U-joint, or a spherical end joint. A preferred embodiment of the ladder 54 is to attach it such that the attachment means 44 at one of the opposing ends of the ladder 54 is a U-joint, and the attachment means 44 at the other opposing end of said ladder is a spherical end joint, to prevent the end supported by a U-joint from engaging in torsional movement, and thereby prevent the ladder 54 from spinning about its longitudinal axis. Cross tension members 78 are attached diagonally to the corners of the jungle jim 76 to prevent the modules 11 j and 11 k from racking in opposite directions in an accordion-like fashion. The jungle gym 76 has a horizontal ladder 54 attached to the front side, from which a climbing rope 70 and a swinging disk 72 are suspended. A swing 60 and a trapeze bar 74 are suspended from the back side of the jungle gym 76. There are also two walking ramps 80 that connect module 11 j to module 11 k.
  • Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown a top view of another alternative embodiment of an arrangement of the floating modules [0061] 11 to form another floating playground 10. In this embodiment, modules 11 l, 11 m, 11 o and 11 p are trampolines 38. Module 11 n is an upper deck 30. The five modules 11 l-11 o are all interconnected with the attachment means 44.
  • Referring now to FIG. 9A, there is shown a side, cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the floating module [0062] 11. The cross sectional view shows the ledge 14 and one of the ridges 26 attached to the bottom of the vessel 12. In this embodiment, a glass box 82 filled with argon, to prevent condensation, is attached to the vessel 12. A protruding ledge 83 is molded into the top surface of the vessel 12 and surrounds the upper perimeter of a void 84 where the glass box 82 resides. The glass box 82 rests against the lower surface of the protruding ledge 83. The glass box 82 is supported on the lower surface by brackets 85, which are attached to the bottom of the vessel 12 with bolts 87. The bolts 87 threadably engage with bolt mounts 89, wherein said bolt mounts 89 are embedded in the lower surface of the vessel 12. The glass box 82 allows users of the module 10 to view the underwater world. The glass box 82 could also be any other transparent element known to those skilled in the art. Referring now to FIG. 9B, there is shown a top view of the alternative embodiment of the module 11 q as shown in FIG. 9A. In an alternative embodiment, a trap door 86 could attached to the vessel 12 directly above the transparent element 82 and can be opened or closed to either allow or deny access to the transparent element 82. The trap door 86 can also be transparent so users can peer through both the trap door 86 and transparent element 82 if desired. The trap door 86 is shown in an open position and can swing back to a closed position with the use of a trap door hinge 88. The open trap door 86 provides access to the transparent element 82, so that users can see through the element 82 and into the water where the fish 90 are located.
  • It will be appreciated that the structure and apparatus disclosed herein is merely one example of a means for floating playground, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for a floating playground which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for a floating playground, including those structures, apparatus or systems for a floating playground which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Anything which functions the same as, or equivalently to, a means for a floating playground falls within the scope of this element. [0063]
  • In accordance with the features and combinations described above, a preferred design of the floating playground [0064] 10 includes:
  • (a) two modules [0065] 11 a and 11 b, each supported by a floating vessel 12, wherein module 11 a supports an upper deck 30 and module 11 b supports a trampoline 38; and
  • (b) wherein a railing [0066] 36 is attached to the upper deck 30 of module 11 a, such that said railing 36 supports a slide 34, a climbing net 38, a basketball hoop and a ladder 40 a.
  • Applicant has discovered that many recreational activities can be done in the water. Applicant has thus invented a floating, modular playground [0067] 10 that can accommodate a variety of recreational equipment. Applicant's floating playground 10 comprises a floating vessel 12 that is designed to support any one of an endless array of recreational implement. In addition, applicant's floating playground 10 is modular so that many modules 11 can be connected together to form a floating playground 10.
  • Applicant's floating playground [0068] 10 can include, but is not limited to, a trampoline 38, deck 30, slide 34, climbing wall 62, swing 60, jungle gym 76, ladders 40, climbing net 38, basketball hoop 48, transparent element 82, and climbing tube to name a few. Applicant's floating playground is supported by a durable, foam filled, plastic vessels 12 that do not require inflating. The foam also ensures that if the vessel were to be damaged, the vessel 12 will not fill with water and retain its buoyancy.
  • Also, because applicant's floating playground [0069] 10 is modular, an unlimited number of recreational toys can be attached together to form a floating playground 10. Applicant's floating playground 10 is also movable. Therefore, a user of the playground 10 can connect and disconnect modules 11 as desired and move the modules 11 to a different location. In essence, the applicant has conceived of a way to build a playground 10 on the water and interchange the toys on the playground in as many combinations as desired.
  • The phrase “uppermost portion of the floatation means” as used herein shall refer broadly to the concept of some portion of the vessel that is providing buoyancy, and not to any attachments residing on or connected to said vessel that do not aid in buoyancy or floatation. [0070]
  • A propelling means for propelling the floating playground [0071] 10 from one location to another upon a body of water is within the scope of the present invention. Such a propelling means may include any suitable motor, engine, towing device, or other suitable device now known or later discovered, that is capable of propelling the floating playground 10 from one location to another upon a body of water.
  • It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment(s) of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein. [0072]

Claims (18)

What is claimed is:
1. A floating playground for use on a body of water, comprising:
a float having a top surface extending to a perimeter edge, a ledge being recessed on the top surface along at least a portion of the perimeter edge;
a frame mounted on the ledge of the float; and
a recreational implement mounted on the frame.
2. The floating playground of claim 1, wherein the recreational implement comprises a trampoline.
3. The floating playground of claim 1, wherein the float has a central opening extending therethrough.
4. The floating playground of claim 1, further comprising a safety net mounted on the frame so as to encircles the trampoline.
5. A floating playground for use upon a body of water, comprising:
a first rigid float;
a first means disposed on the first float for supporting a recreational implement;
a second rigid float;
a second means disposed on the second float for supporting an object;
an attachment means for (i) attaching the first float to the second float, or (ii) intercoupling the first float and the second float with a second recreational implement such that the first and second float are spaced apart by the second recreational implement, the second recreational implement spanning a separation space residing between said first and second float.
6. The floating playground of claim 5, wherein the first float has a ledge molded thereon that encircles an outer perimeter of the first float.
7. The floating playground of claim 5, wherein the first means for supporting comprises a frame residing on the ledge
8. The floating playground of claim 7, wherein the frame comprising a hollow tube with a rectangular cross-section.
9. A floating marine structure for use upon a body of water, comprising:
a recreational implement;
a rigid framework for holding the recreational implement; and
means for supporting the rigid framework and the recreational implement above the body of water, wherein said floatation means provides buoyancy when said floatation means is floating upon said body of water, a ledge being molded into the means for supporting that at least partially circumscribes an upper perimeter of the means for supporting.
10. The floating marine structure of claim 9, wherein the ledge defines an upper portion and a lower portion of the means for supporting.
11. The floating marine structure of claim 10, wherein at least one pocket is molded into the upper portion of the means for supporting, such that the pocket forms a slot.
12. The floating marine structure of claim 9, wherein the rigid framework resides in said ledge.
13. A floating climbing wall for use upon a body of water, comprising:
a float;
a surface with at least one means for grasping;
means for attaching the float to the surface; and
means for adjusting the surface such that the surface can be configured at various angles.
14. The floating climbing wall of claim 13, wherein the surface is an upwardly-extending wall.
15. The floating climbing wall of claim 13, wherein the means for grasping comprises elements that protrude from the wall.
16. The floating climbing wall of claim 13, wherein the means for grasping comprises recesses in the wall.
17. The floating climbing wall of claim 16, wherein the means for attaching comprises a frame, wherein the frame resides on the float and supports the surface.
18. A floating, retractable slide for use upon a body of water, comprising:
a slide;
a float;
means for attaching the slide to the float; and
means for retracting the slide, the means retracting comprising an upper attachment bracket and a lower attachment bracket, the upper attachment bracket attaches to an upper portion of the slide and detachably attaches to the means for attaching, and wherein the lower attachment bracket pivotally attaches a lower portion of the slide to the means for attaching.
US10/776,942 2001-06-11 2004-02-11 Floating playground Abandoned US20040159275A1 (en)

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US09/879,852 US20020185049A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2001-06-11 Floating playground
US10/265,821 US20030029369A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2002-10-07 Floating playground
US10/452,397 US20030196580A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2003-06-02 Floating playground
US10/776,942 US20040159275A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2004-02-11 Floating playground

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US10/452,397 Abandoned US20030196580A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2003-06-02 Floating playground
US10/776,942 Abandoned US20040159275A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2004-02-11 Floating playground

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US10/265,821 Abandoned US20030029369A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2002-10-07 Floating playground
US10/452,397 Abandoned US20030196580A1 (en) 2001-06-11 2003-06-02 Floating playground

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US20030196580A1 (en) 2003-10-23
US20030029369A1 (en) 2003-02-13

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