US20070221114A1 - Pontoon boat top - Google Patents

Pontoon boat top Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070221114A1
US20070221114A1 US11724869 US72486907A US2007221114A1 US 20070221114 A1 US20070221114 A1 US 20070221114A1 US 11724869 US11724869 US 11724869 US 72486907 A US72486907 A US 72486907A US 2007221114 A1 US2007221114 A1 US 2007221114A1
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Prior art keywords
boat
top
pontoon boat
panels
kit
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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
US11724869
Inventor
Roger D. Schaaf
Original Assignee
Schaaf Roger D
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING
    • B63B17/00Vessels parts, details, or accessories, not otherwise provided for
    • B63B17/02Awnings, including rigid weather protection structures, e.g. sunroofs; Tarpaulins; Accessories for awnings or tarpaulins

Abstract

A pontoon boat top has a support structure with a shell attached thereto. The shell may comprise a plurality of panels. The support structure may include a plurality of support members. The pontoon boat cover is attachable to a pontoon boat and may be mounted to the pontoon boat and towed behind a vehicle with the pontoon boat at highway towing speeds.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/784,421 filed Mar. 21, 2006.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Pontoon boats are popular water recreational boats that typically include a large, flat deck or floor surface. Tops associated with pontoon boats are generally canopy tops that comprise a flat fabric canopy that covers a portion of the deck. Other types of pontoon boat tops include foldable, removable canvas tops that can be placed over a structure that is mounted to the pontoon boat. While canvas tops and canopies provide some cover, they do not provide a full enclosure, and must be removed to make the pontoon boat towable.
  • SUMMARY
  • A pontoon boat top comprises a rigid, preferably lightweight support structure affixed to a pontoon boat. An outer shell, which may comprise panels attached to the support structure defines the enclosure. The boat top is sufficiently rigid to be attached to the boat, and to be towable with the boat behind a vehicle at highway towing speeds. The boat top may be removably connected to the pontoon boat, for example, to the rail system of the pontoon boat. The pontoon boat top defines an enclosure for boat passengers, and may have windows and/or doors movable between open and closed positions.
  • Any number of the panels attached to the support structure may be full or partial windows movable between open and closed positions, and one or more doors may be included. Mechanical and/or hydraulic devices may be used to assist in opening and closing windows and doors. The boat may be insulated to reduce the effects of the weather and to provide additional structural stability to the enclosure.
  • The boat top is able to withstand wind and weather while affixed to the pontoon boat. The boat top can be removably attached at an installation site and towed at normal, legal highway speeds to another location, for example, the body of water on which the boat is to be used, and will withstand wind and weather during towing and during use.
  • The joints of the support structure may be welded or attached with a combination of brackets, screws, bolts and nuts as well as any other connective devices known to those skilled in the art. The boat top may be constructed from a kit, and customized to fit different sizes and types of pontoon boats. The kits include, for example, structural members to erect the support structure, and panels to be affixed thereto to form the outer shell.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic of a pontoon boat top positioned above a pontoon boat.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pontoon boat with a pontoon boat top attached thereto.
  • FIG. 3 depicts an additional embodiment of a pontoon boat top attached to a pontoon boat.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the rear of a pontoon boat similar to that shown in FIG. 3.
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 are line drawings showing the layout of the structural members that may be utilized to construct pontoon boat tops.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the front end of a structural support for a pontoon boat top.
  • FIG. 8 shows a rear view of the structural support of a straight top embodiment of a pontoon boat top.
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 8.
  • FIG. 10 shows a perspective of the rear of the pontoon boat top of FIG. 8 with a plurality of panels attached thereto.
  • FIG. 11 is a side view from the outside showing a removable window.
  • FIG. 12 is a view of the removable window from the inside.
  • FIG. 13 shows a connection of structural members.
  • FIG. 14 is a rear view of the structural support for a hatch back embodiment of a pontoon boat top.
  • FIG. 15 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 14.
  • FIG. 16 shows a connection between a pontoon boat top and the rail system of a pontoon boat.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIG. 1 schematically depicts a pontoon boat 10 with a pontoon boat top 20 positioned thereabove. FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 are representative of an embodiment referred to as a straight top. FIGS. 3, 4 and 6 are hatch back embodiments. Referring again to FIG. 1, pontoon boat top 20 is positioned above a rail system 22 on pontoon boat 10 and is adapted to be removably connected thereto. Pontoon boat 10 has a deck 24 mounted to pontoons or hull 26. Pontoon boat top 20 has front 28, right or starboard side 30, left or port side 32 and rear 34. Pontoon boat top 20 comprises an outer shell 36 mounted to a structural support 38. Outer shell 36 may comprise a plurality of panels 40 attached to structural support 38. Panels 40 may be aluminum, polycarbonate or other material as described hereinbelow. Pontoon boat top 20, when attached to pontoon boat 10, defines an enclosure 41 for boat passengers.
  • Structural support 38 is comprised of a plurality of structural members 42 which are shown as lines in the line drawings in FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 5 is a straight top embodiment, while FIG. 6 is a hatch back embodiment. As shown in FIG. 5, structural members 42 may include a plurality of longitudinal stringers 44 and ribs 46. Longitudinal stringers 44 may include first, or bottom stringers 48, one each at the right and left sides so that there are two bottom stringers 48. The structural support has two side stringers 50, two intermediate stringers 52 and a top center stringer 54. Stringers and ribs on the right side may be referred to with the subscript a, and those on the left with subscript b for the purpose of identification. Stringers 48, 50, 52 and 54 extend from a first or forward rib 56 to rear rib 58. As shown in FIG. 5, structural support 38 has forward ribs 56 a and 56 b and rear ribs 58 a and 58 b which are connected at top center stringer 54. Structural support 38 likewise includes forward intermediate ribs 60 a and 60 b, center ribs 62 a and 62 b and rear intermediate ribs 64 a and 64 b, all of which are connected at top center stringer 54.
  • FIG. 7 is a representation of the forward end of boat top 20. As seen therein, ribs 56 a and 56 b along with the remainder of the ribs are curved ribs that may be bent to conform to the desired shape. Ribs 60, 62 and 64 are similarly shaped, as are rear ribs 58. Rear ribs 58 may have a slightly different shape, since, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, rear ribs 58 angle slightly forward. Ribs 56, 58, 60, 62 and 64 are attached at one end to bottom stringers 48 and at the second end to top center stringer 54. Spacers and shims may be utilized as necessary at the connections. For example, as shown in FIG. 13, a strap, or bracket 63 may be connected to ribs 56 a and 56 b, and to top center stringer 54, and wedges or shims 65 may be used to provide a secure connection. Similar arrangements may be used at the other locations where ribs attach to the top stringer 54. Connections also may be made with brackets and fasteners or by welding, or by other means known in the art. All of the stringers, other than bottom and top stringers 48 and 54, are preferably constructed of multiple sections to provide a flush surface at the joints. As provided above, connections at joints may be with brackets, welds or other means known in the art. Ribs and stringers and other structural members are preferably made from one inch square aluminum tubing, but may be made from other structural materials.
  • Referring again to FIG. 7, a pair of forward longitudinal supports 66 a and 66 b are connected to ribs 56 a and 56 b at an upper end and are connected to bottom forward supports 68 a and 68 b at the lower ends thereof. Supports 68 a and 68 b have rounded corners. Bottom forward supports 68 are butted up to bottom stringers 48. A cylindrical tube may be inserted into the forward end of each bottom stringer 48 so that it extends into forward longitudinal support 68. A bracket, for example, bracket 67 may be used to connect bottom stringers 48 to bottom supports 68. Bottom forward supports 68 a and 68 b have spaced free ends 69 a and 69 b which, as will be explained, provide for entry and exit into the enclosure defined by pontoon boat top 20.
  • A hinge support 70 extends between forward longitudinal supports 66 a and 66 b. Forward transverse ribs 71 a and 71 b extend between and are connected to forward ribs 56 a and 56 b and forward supports 66 a and 66 b. Hinge support 70 may be utilized to attach a hinge thereto so that an openable and closable door or window may be attached thereto to cover the opening between forward door supports 66 a and 66 b. An openable door 72 is shown in FIG. 2 and mechanical opening units such as for example gas props 74 may be utilized in connection with door 72 and other doors or windows. The rail systems on pontoon boats may generally have an opening, or door, for example door 76, so that when door 72 is open passengers can make entry or exit from the enclosure defined by pontoon boot top 20. Panels 77 for door 72 may be aluminum, but preferably are see-through polycarbonate or other see-through material capable of withstanding normal use conditions and towing conditions.
  • Referring again to FIG. 5, bottom stringers 48 a and 48 b and top stringer 54 extend from forward rib 56 to rear rib 58 and may be continuous stringers. Side stringers 50 and intermediate stringers 52 may be made from sections that extend between ribs and are connected with brackets and fasteners so that the outer surface of the stringers is flush with the outer surface of the ribs at the connection points thereof. Stringer 50 therefore may have first, second, third and fourth stringer sections 80, 82, 84 and 86. Stringer 52 has sections 88, 90, 92 and 94, respectively. A bracket, for example bracket 96 as shown in FIG. 10, may be placed at the location of the connections where sections of stringers 50 and 52 are connected to the ribs.
  • A rear view of the straight top embodiment of the pontoon boat top 20 is shown in FIG. 8. A pair of rear door supports, which are vertical door supports 98 extend from rib 58 and are connected at one end to rib 58 and at a second end to rear bottom support 100. Likewise, rear diagonal supports 102 extend from bottom longitudinal support 100 at or near a corner of rib 58 and the bottom support 100 to at or near the corner of vertical supports 98 and ribs 58. A center beam 104 may be connected at one end to bottom support 100 and at a second end to cross beam 106 which extends between vertical supports 98 a and 98 b. As shown in FIG. 9, rear ribs 58 are angled forward slightly from 90 degrees and attached with brackets 107, or other means known in the art.
  • Side rear panels 108 and top rear panel 110 are attached at the rear 34 of pontoon boat top 20, which leaves a space for one or more doors. Beam 104 in FIG. 10 is shown offset from center, to allow for a covering panel on one side, and a hinged door on the opposite side. Such a configuration is shown in FIG. 2 with a hinged door 112. Also as shown in FIG. 2, rail system 22 will include door 114 to allow entry and exit to the enclosure defined by the pontoon boat top.
  • The plurality of panels 40 which comprise outer shell 36 may be of shapes and sizes as desired and may be of aluminum and/or see-through polycarbonate or other similar materials to create the desired outer shell. As shown in FIG. 10, the panels may be riveted or otherwise attached to structural members such as stringers 44 and ribs 46.
  • Referring back to FIGS. 1-4, it is apparent that any number of designs is possible for the outer shell and that different shapes, sizes and number of windows may be included. FIG. 2 shows a number of windows 116 with a variety of shapes and openable forward door 72. Side doors may be included as well. FIG. 4 shows a hatch back embodiment with windows 117 while FIG. 3 shows hinged windows 118 along with a port 119. The embodiments are shown for exemplary purposes to make it clear that the outer shell may be customized to the desired configuration.
  • Pontoon boat top 20 when removably attached will form an enclosure to protect its passengers. When pontoon boat top 20 is manufactured as a kit or when it is prepared and stored separately from pontoon boat 10, attachment is simple and efficient. Pontoon boat top 20 may simply be picked up and placed upon the pontoon boat rail system with a weather strip therebetween. Brackets and/or straps which span from the rail system 22 to the bottom stringers 48 may be connected to the rail system and to the bottom stringer with brackets 121 and screws or other fasteners (FIG. 15) and may be placed and spaced about the pontoon boat top as necessary to provide a structural connection capable of withstanding wind and other forces created at towing speeds.
  • The forward end of hatch back configurations, like those shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, is generally identical to the straight roof configuration and includes similar features. Hatch back embodiments are constructed similar to the straight top embodiment and have ribs and stringers as shown in the line drawing in FIG. 6. The structural support for the hatch back will be referred to as structural support 120, which may have an outer shell such as outer shells 122 and 124 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 or other desired configurations for the outer shell. As described herein, the outer shell may be comprised of a plurality of panels of aluminum and/or polycarbonate and may have openable and closable windows and doors.
  • Structural support 120 is identical to structural support 38 from forward rib 56 forward and so the same designations are utilized. Structural support 120 comprises a bottom stringer 126 extending from the forward rib 56 to a rear rib 129. Structural support 120 has side stringers 128 which comprise sections 130, 132, 134 and 136. A pair of intermediate stringers 138 include sections 140, 142, 144 and 146. Structural support 120 has forward intermediate ribs 148, center ribs 150 and rear intermediate ribs 152. A top stringer 154 extends from forward rib 56 to center ribs 150. Rib 152 is shorter than ribs 150, 148 and 56 and as shown in FIG. 15 slopes rearwardly from bottom stringer 126. Rear rib 129 slopes forward from bottom stringer 126.
  • Diagonal supports 156 extend from a bottom longitudinal support 158 upwardly to attach at an upper end to ribs 129. A pair of vertical supports 160 extend from bottom longitudinal support 158 to ribs 129. A horizontal support 161 extends between vertical supports 160 to define a sill 162. An openable hatch 166 may be hingedly attached at or near ribs 150. To do so, the hinge may be either attached to ribs 150 or a horizontal support may be connected between stringers 138 a and 138 b to provide a hinge mount for the openable hatch which has mechanical assisting devices 168, such as gas props 168. A rear window 170 may be hingedly attached to rear end 172 of hatch 166 and may rotate under hatch 166 when the hatch is in the open position shown in FIG. 4.
  • If desired, removable windows may also be utilized at the sides of the pontoon boat top. FIGS. 11 and 12 show one type of removable window configuration, which will be explained with reference to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 5. Window braces 171, which may be for example T-shaped cross sections, are attached to bottom stringer 48 and side stringer 50. A rail 173 may be connected to ribs, for example, ribs 60 and 62. A window 174 with handles 176 on the inside thereof can be removably attached with Velcro on the window 174 and on the vertical window braces 171 and cross rail 173. The space between window braces 171 at the ribs 60 and 62 may be spanned with aluminum or polycarbonate to comprise part of outer shell 36.
  • Thus, the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those inherent therein. While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated for the purpose of the present disclosure, changes in the arrangement and construction of parts and the performance of steps can be made by those skilled in the art, which changes are encompassed within the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (23)

  1. 1. A pontoon boat top comprising:
    a rigid support structure removably connectable to a pontoon boat; and
    a plurality of panels affixed to said support structure to define a completely enclosed space wherein the pontoon boat top may be connected to a pontoon boat and towed by a vehicle at highway towing speeds.
  2. 2. The boat top of claim 1, wherein said boat top comprises a door movable between open and closed positions to allow ingress and egress from the completely enclosed space.
  3. 3. The boat top of claim 1, wherein at least one panel comprises a window movable between open and closed positions.
  4. 4. The boat top of claim 3, wherein a plurality of the panels comprise windows movable between open and closed positions.
  5. 5. The boat top of claim 1, wherein a plurality of the panels are see-through panels.
  6. 6. The boat top of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the panels is aluminum.
  7. 7. The boat top of claim 1, wherein the support structure comprises a plurality of frame members connected to one another.
  8. 8. The boat top of claim 1, wherein the support structure is attachable to a rail system of the pontoon boat.
  9. 9. A kit for assembling a pontoon boat top removably attached to a pontoon boat comprising:
    a plurality of rigid frame members connectable to one another to form a support structure;
    a plurality of panels connectable to the rigid frame members; and
    connectors for removably connecting the support structure to the pontoon boat, wherein the assembled kit defines a complete enclosure when attached to the pontoon boat.
  10. 10. The kit of claim 9 wherein the assembled kit is towable with the pontoon boat at highway towing speeds.
  11. 11. The kit of claim 9, wherein each of the frame members has identifying indicia thereon.
  12. 12. The kit of claim 1 1, wherein each panel has identification indicia thereon.
  13. 13. The kit of claim 12 further comprising an instruction manual providing step-by-step instructions for assembling the kit.
  14. 14. The kit of claim 9, wherein at least a portion of the panels is aluminum.
  15. 15. The kit of claim 9, wherein a portion of the panels is pivotally connected to the frame members, the pivotally connected panels being movable between open and closed positions.
  16. 16. The kit of claim 9, wherein the assembled kit includes a door movable between open and closed positions to allow entry and exit from the completely enclosed space.
  17. 17. A pontoon boat comprising:
    a pait of pontoons;
    a deck mounted to the pontoons;
    a railing extending upwardly from the deck; and
    a rigid top removably attached to the railing system and towable with the pontoon boat.
  18. 18. The pontoon boat of claim 17 wherein the top defines a completely enclosed space for boat passengers.
  19. 19. The pontoon boat of claim 17 wherein the top has a door movable between open and closed positions for allowing entry and exit from the completely enclosed space.
  20. 20. The pontoon boat of claim 17, wherein the boat top has at least one window movable between open and closed positions.
  21. 21. The pontoon boat of claim 17 wherein the rigid top comprises a support structure mounted to the rail system, and a plurality of panels attached to the support structure.
  22. 22. The pontoon boat of claim 21, wherein at least a portion of the panels is see-through.
  23. 23. The boat of claim 21, wherein a portion of the panels is aluminum.
US11724869 2006-03-21 2007-03-16 Pontoon boat top Abandoned US20070221114A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US78442106 true 2006-03-21 2006-03-21
US11724869 US20070221114A1 (en) 2006-03-21 2007-03-16 Pontoon boat top

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US11724869 US20070221114A1 (en) 2006-03-21 2007-03-16 Pontoon boat top

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US20070221114A1 true true US20070221114A1 (en) 2007-09-27

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US11724869 Abandoned US20070221114A1 (en) 2006-03-21 2007-03-16 Pontoon boat top

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9279268B2 (en) * 2014-08-06 2016-03-08 Cheh-Kang Liu Easy fold layout hunting blind framework structure
US9303424B1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2016-04-05 Hard Core Brands International Llc Hunting blind
USD793328S1 (en) * 2016-02-09 2017-08-01 Bigbig, Inc. Air boat cover

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3434166A (en) * 1967-09-22 1969-03-25 Roger B Clymer Houseboat
US3800726A (en) * 1972-10-05 1974-04-02 R Murphy Pontoon house boat
US4070722A (en) * 1976-08-02 1978-01-31 Sutherland Johnny L Hunting blind boat cover
US4077517A (en) * 1977-03-14 1978-03-07 Charles Hilemn Furniture kit
US5452678A (en) * 1993-10-13 1995-09-26 Harris-Kayot, Inc. Top for a pontoon boat
US6158377A (en) * 1999-08-06 2000-12-12 Szukhent, Jr.; Steve Knock-down canopy
US6209477B1 (en) * 1999-08-06 2001-04-03 Harris Kayot, Inc. Power retractable top for a boat
US6260505B1 (en) * 1999-12-03 2001-07-17 Midwest Pontoon Covers, Inc. Pontoon boat cover system
US6443088B1 (en) * 2000-10-10 2002-09-03 Harris Kayot, Inc. Gate stop for a pontoon boat
US6820569B2 (en) * 2002-07-12 2004-11-23 Bennington Marine Llc Foldable frame for a boat cover

Patent Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3434166A (en) * 1967-09-22 1969-03-25 Roger B Clymer Houseboat
US3800726A (en) * 1972-10-05 1974-04-02 R Murphy Pontoon house boat
US4070722A (en) * 1976-08-02 1978-01-31 Sutherland Johnny L Hunting blind boat cover
US4077517A (en) * 1977-03-14 1978-03-07 Charles Hilemn Furniture kit
US5452678A (en) * 1993-10-13 1995-09-26 Harris-Kayot, Inc. Top for a pontoon boat
US6158377A (en) * 1999-08-06 2000-12-12 Szukhent, Jr.; Steve Knock-down canopy
US6209477B1 (en) * 1999-08-06 2001-04-03 Harris Kayot, Inc. Power retractable top for a boat
US6260505B1 (en) * 1999-12-03 2001-07-17 Midwest Pontoon Covers, Inc. Pontoon boat cover system
US6443088B1 (en) * 2000-10-10 2002-09-03 Harris Kayot, Inc. Gate stop for a pontoon boat
US6820569B2 (en) * 2002-07-12 2004-11-23 Bennington Marine Llc Foldable frame for a boat cover

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9303424B1 (en) * 2013-03-13 2016-04-05 Hard Core Brands International Llc Hunting blind
US9279268B2 (en) * 2014-08-06 2016-03-08 Cheh-Kang Liu Easy fold layout hunting blind framework structure
USD793328S1 (en) * 2016-02-09 2017-08-01 Bigbig, Inc. Air boat cover

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