FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a device for restraining and retaining a kayak for purposes of stowage and anti-theft security.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A kayak is a personal watercraft having relatively long, slender configuration. A kayak may be stored on land and transported on a motor vehicle for example to a body of water. A kayak is not configured conveniently for cooperation with many environmental surfaces other than along the bottom. Therefore, stowing a kayak in any orientation other than lying on a horizontal surface presents problems.
A kayak, although big enough to receive one person when being used in the water, is sufficiently light so that it can be carried by one person. A kayak is therefore somewhat susceptible to being easily stolen if not secured.
There exists a need for an apparatus to assist in stowing kayaks in positions in orientations other than lying on a horizontal surface, and additional need for apparatuses capable of securing kayaks.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention addresses the above stated needs by providing an securement apparatus which is easily fixed to a kayak and to an environmental surface. Once fixed, the kayak may be transported securely, or merely stowed with increased security against casual removal. To this end, the securement apparatus comprises a holder including a telescopic pole and a loop or a functional equivalent fixed to each end of the telescopic pole. The pole has mounting apparatus which enables the securement apparatus to be fixed to an environmental surface. The mounting apparatus may take several forms, for example, enabling horizontal mounting selectively to a motor vehicle and vertical mounting to a floor surface.
In a variation of the basic concept, the securement apparatus may accommodate plural kayaks to be mounted together by increasing the size of the loop to accept insertion of more than one kayak. Also, the telescopic pole may have many loops, thus establishing for example a carousel which accommodates many kayaks arrayed in parallel to one another.
It is an object of the invention to provide a practical, uncomplicated apparatus for securely engaging kayaks.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fundamental unit of a securement apparatus according to at least one aspect of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an environmental side view of the unit of FIG. 1, shown engaging a kayak.
FIG. 1 of the drawings shows a securement apparatus 10 for securely engaging a kayak 2 (see FIG. 2). The securement apparatus 10 is intended to engage kayaks such as the kayak 2 for purposes of stowing the kayak 2 in a desired position and for securing the kayak 2 against casual theft. As employed herein, securement implies that the kayak 2 be retained in a manner which would require more than merely manually maneuvering the kayak 2 free of engagement, and would require for example a cutting tool to sever an element of the securement apparatus. To this end, the securement apparatus 10 comprises a pole 12 including a first section 14 and a second section 16 which are disposed in adjustable relationship along the lengths of the first section 14 and second section 16. Adjustable relationship requires that the first section 14 and second section 16 be mutually movable in a direction indicated by an arrow A. Such motion adjusts the overall length of the pole 12.
For purposes of semantic description, the first section 14 may be said to have a proximal end 18 and an opposed distal end 20. Similarly, the second section 16 has a proximal end 22 (not visible in FIG. 1 as the second section 16 is received telescopically within the first section 14) disposed proximate the proximal end 18 of the first section 14 and an opposed distal end 24. In the example of FIG. 1, the first section 14 and the second section 16 of the pole 12 are each formed from square channel in sizes which enable the first section 14 to be disposed in coaxial and telescoping relationship to the second section 16. It would of course be possible that in other implementations of the invention, the corresponding first section and second section (not shown) not be coaxial and merely be suitably coupled together. Also, it would be possible to use cross sectional configurations other than square. It is presently preferred that the selected cross section be non-circular along the length of the pole 12 or of a corresponding pole, so that the first section of the pole be constrained from rotating about the longitudinal axis of the pole relative to the second section.
A first loop 26 may be fixed to the distal end 20 of the first section 14, and a second loop 28 may be fixed to the distal end 24 of the second section 16. The loops 26, 28 may comprise a strong, flexible filamentary material such as metallic wire, or natural or synthetic fiber rope, for example. As an alternative to filamentary or flexible material, the loops 26, 28 may be rigid and formed monolithically from a material such as metal such as steel or aluminum, or may be fiberglass, plastic, or any other suitable material. Where the loops 26, 28 are formed from a rigid or flexible material which would be able to mar the surface of the kayak 2, the loops 26, 28 may have a suitable covering such as fabric to prevent such damage.
The securement apparatus 10 may include a lock disposed to secure the first section 14 at a selected position along the second section 16. The lock may comprise alignable holes 30, 32 formed respectively in the first section 14 and the second section 16, and a pin 34 which may be inserted through two aligned holes 30, 32 and secured by a padlock (not shown) the shackle of which may be passed through a hole (not shown) formed in the pin 34 or by another secure locking arrangement. Of course, other locking arrangements may be substituted where desired.
FIG. 2 shows a kayak 2 received and retained by the securement apparatus 10. To retain the kayak, the first loop 26 and the second loop 28 are positioned about the kayak 2, and the pole 12 is adjusted such that the first loop 26 and the second loop 28 are drawn towards one another by adjustment of the pole 12 in the direction of the arrow A such that there is little if any free play of the kayak 2 relative to the securement apparatus 10. Once the kayak 2 is satisfactorily secured by adjustment of the pole 12, the lock may be applied and locked.
Kayaks such as the kayak 2 have tapered bodies such that the greatest diameter of the kayak is proximate the center of the kayak, or about halfway between the two opposed ends of the kayak. Therefore, the first loop 26 and the second loop 28 are each of sufficient diameter to accept insertion of one end of the kayak therein, yet of limited or sufficiently small diameter so as to prevent the kayak from passing entirely through the respective first loop 26 or second loop 28 and being pulled free of the securement apparatus 10. As depicted in FIG. 2, the first loop 26 and the second loop 28 would prevent the kayak 2 from being slid to the right or to the left and thus freed for casual removal of the kayak 2 from the securement apparatus 10.
The securement apparatus 10 has been explained with respect to engagement of a kayak 2, but will be understood to also include a mount having engagement elements for engaging an environmental surface. Referring now to FIG. 3, the mount may take the form of two legs 136 (other numbers of legs 136 are possible) which project from the pole 112 of a securement apparatus 110 which apart from details of the mount may be the structural and functional equivalent of the securement apparatus 10. The legs 136 may be spaced apart from one another along the pole 112. Each leg 136 may have an enlarged foot 138 to enable the securement apparatus 110 to be mounted parallel to a flat, horizontal environmental surface such as a floor surface or the ground (neither shown). As employed herein, parallel mounting of the securement apparatus 110 refers to the length of the pole 112, so that kayaks received by the securement apparatus 110 will be parallel to the environmental surface. Also, it may be noted at this point that orientational terms such as left, right, and horizontal refer to the subject drawing as viewed by an observer. The drawing figures depict their subject matter in orientations of normal use, which could obviously change with changes in position of the subject device. Therefore, orientational terms must be understood to provide semantic basis for purposes of description, and do not limit the invention or its component parts in any particular way.
The legs 136 may be so located on the pole 112 such that they are substantially centered along the pole 112 when a kayak is received within the loops 126, 128. This may promote balance of the weight of a kayak engaged by the securement apparatus 110, and may minimize torques imposed on the securement apparatus 110 while driving should the securement apparatus 110 be employed to secure a kayak to a motor vehicle.
FIG. 4 shows a securement apparatus 210 according to a further application wherein the mount comprises a single leg 236 which projects from a pole 212 and is located at the lower end 220 of the pole. Apart from details of the mount, the securement apparatus may be structurally and functionally similar to the securement apparatus 10 of FIG. 1. The leg 236 may project to only one side of the pole 212 as shown, or in other implementations of the invention (not shown), may be arranged otherwise. The leg 236 may bear one or more holes 250 (two such holes 250 are shown, but more holes are possible). The holes 250 may pass in a direction parallel to the pole 212, thereby enabling the securement apparatus 210 to be mounted vertically on a horizontal environmental surface (not shown) by a fastener such as a screw (not shown) which may be passed through a hole 250 formed in the leg 236.
Of course, vertical position refers to orientation of the pole 212 and to longitudinal orientation of a kayak such as the kayak 2, which could be stowed and secured using the securement apparatus 210.
FIG. 5 shows a securement apparatus 310 having a first loop 326 and a second loop 328 which are dimensioned and configured to receive at least two kayaks 2 therein. Apart from dimensions and configuration of the first loop 326 and the second loop 328, the kayaks 2 are parallel and coextensive with respect to one another.
FIG. 6 shows a securement apparatus 410 for securely engaging a plurality of kayaks (not shown) and enabling the kayaks to be secured in an upright position projecting upwardly from a horizontal surface, such as the floor, the ground, the deck of a large mobile vehicle, and the like.
The securement apparatus 410 may comprise a pole 412 and a lock having structural and functional characteristics of the pole 12 and lock of the securement apparatus 10 of FIG. 1. The significant difference between the securement apparatus 410 and the securement apparatus 10 is that the securement apparatus 410 is adapted to engage the plurality of kayaks by having a plurality of loops 426 and openings 428 formed in a table 429 which projects radially from the pole 412. A generally planar base 431 may be fixed to the pole 412 to support the pole 412 in the vertical orientation shown. The generally planar base 431 may be regarded as a mount having engagement elements for engaging an environmental surface. For greater stability, the generally planar base 431 may bear holes 450 for receiving fasteners (not shown) which may be employed to engage a horizontal floor or ground surface. The generally planar base 431 may project radially from the pole 412 and is located at one end of the pole 412.
The openings 428 are dimensioned and configured to function as lower loops which would receive and retain kayaks in the same way as the loops 26 and 28 of the securement apparatus 10. As depicted in FIG. 6, there are six upper or first loops 426 and six openings 428, which could be regarded as functioning as lower or second loops. In that regard, the openings 428 need not literally be loops. Rather, it is merely necessary that the loops 426 and the openings 428 each be of sufficient diameter to accept insertion of one end of a kayak therein and of limited diameter so as to prevent the kayak from passing entirely through the respective first loop 426 or opening 428 into which the kayak was inserted. The first loops 426 and six openings 428 could obviously accommodate six kayaks (not shown). The arrangement employing the six openings 428 may be realized in other ways. For example, the openings 428 could be replaced by loops similar to the loops 426, which loops 426 are hingedly connected to a support frame 427 fixed to the pole 412. In another option, the table 429 could be modified to extend downwardly such that a separate base 431 is not necessary.
While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible