Patent application title: Decorative Noodle
Bruce Abraham (Frisco, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AB63B3573FI
Class name: Buoys, rafts, and aquatic devices body supporting buoyant device
Publication date: 2013-02-28
Patent application number: 20130052896
A flotation device for supporting a user may include a flotation body, a
connecting sleeve to detachably connect to the flotation body and a
decorative member including a base portion to detachably connect to the
1. A flotation device for supporting a user, comprising: a flotation
body; a connecting sleeve to detachably connect to the flotation body; a
decorative member including a base portion to detachably connect to the
2. A flotation device for supporting a user as in claim 1, wherein the flotation body is a noodle.
3. A flotation device for supporting a user as in claim 1, wherein the decorative member includes a Mickey Mouse head.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to flotation devices used by swimmers and bathers in pools, lakes and oceans. More particularly, the present invention relates to devices which are formed as integral bodies from a suitable low-density synthetic resin material so that the bodies will float.
 There are several types of flotation devices for the pool and other various types of bodies of water. These devices typically include floating chairs, inflatable rafts, inner-tubes and large rigid foam pieces.
 These flotation devices are cumbersome, rigid and limit one's movement in the water. For instance, devices requiring inflation necessitate the need for either an external air pump or a person to manually inflate the device with air from their lungs. This proves to be cumbersome and in the latter case, exhausting. Once the device is inflated, pin hole leaks can develop which allow air to escape causing them to deflate and gradually become less effective in their continued use, at which point the flotation device must either be re-inflated or the hole must be patched. Other drawbacks to existing flotation devices are that they hold the majority of one's body above the surface of the water which reduces the effect of the water on the body. This would allow one's body to become very hot while also greatly reducing the movement of the body for propulsion and/or exercise purposes.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,520,561, issued to Langenohl on May 28, 1996, discloses making a pool float from a generally rectangular sheet of netting which is deformed to form sleeve segments in which a foam tube can be inserted. The shape of the flotation device that is obtained is limited.
 Swim Ways Corp. of Virginia Beach, Va. markets a chair-like flotation device known as the FANNY FLOATER. In this design, permanently U-shaped foam block having a rectangular-shaped cross-section is fitted with three indentations which serve to hold in position three sleeves that are positioned around the foam block. A seat is provided by having a section of material extend from the left arm to the right arm and one section from the rear of the U-shaped block extending forward, thus forming a T-shaped seat. This design is limited to this particular shape. Further, the foam block is permanently shaped so that the device cannot be stored easily.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,571,036, issued to Hannigan on Nov. 5, 1996, discloses a flexible tube floating sling. In this design, a very long single foam tube is folded about itself in a U-shape and inserted in a pair of sleeves that support a sling-like structure. Again, this method of manufacture limits the shape that can be obtained.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,307,527, issued to Schober on May 3, 1994, discloses a pool chair adapted to be partially submerged in a swimming pool. The chair is designed to rest along the perimeter of the pool so that it is held in an upright, stationary position in order to allow a user to sit on the seat with the user's lower torso and legs submerged in the water while the user's head is above the water. Not withstanding the fact that the pool chair overcomes the limitation of holding the majority of one's body above the surface of the water, nonetheless, it is accomplished with a cumbersome and rigid construction which limits one's mobility throughout the pool due to the chair's dependency on the edge of the pool.
 With respect to inner-tube type recreational devices, U.S. Pat. No. 5,295,885, issued to Karl on Mar. 22, 1994, discloses an attachable/detachable hammock-like seat designed to engage the central opening of the inner-tube to support users as they sit across the inner-tube's central opening. A user's head, arms and shoulders are over one end of the tube, with the feet over the other end. Unlike the Schober patent, this invention holds the majority of one's body above the surface of the water. In addition, the inflatable inner-tube device is subject to pin hole leaks which would allow air to escape, thus presenting a problem to the user; either re-inflate the inner-tube or patch the hole for continued use.
 It would be an improvement on the current art to create a flotation device that is not cumbersome, rigid or limits one's movement in the water while holding the majority of one's body below the surface of the water. A benefit of holding one's body below the surface of the water would be to increase the effect of the water on the body such as preventing one's body from becoming very hot and to also increase the movement of the body for propulsion and/or exercise purposes. Furthermore, a device is desired that may provide entertainment when using the device. A device that overcomes the shortcomings as just described for a flotation device is not disclosed in the prior art.
 A flotation device for supporting a user may include a flotation body,
 a connecting sleeve to detachably connect to the flotation body and
 a decorative member including a base portion to detachably connect to the connecting sleeve.
 The flotation body may include a noodle.
 The decorative member may include a Mickey Mouse head.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The invention may be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which, like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:
 FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view the flotation device of the present invention being used by a user;
 FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the flotation device of the present invention;
 FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a portion of the flotation device of the present invention;
 FIG. 4 illustrates a sectional view of the flotation device of the present invention;
 FIG. 5 illustrates an end view of the connecting sleeve of the present invention;
 FIG. 6 illustrates an end view of the flotation body of the present invention.
 FIG. 1 illustrates the flotation device 100 of the present invention, and the flotation device 100 may include a flotation body 105 which may have any cross-sectional geometric shape, such as, circular, square, rectangle, or scalloped or other shape and which may have a first butt end 111 and a second butt end 113.
 The flotation body 105 may be configured to support the user or swimmer 107 at least partially above the water line as shown straddling the floatation body 105. The flotation body 105 may be referred to as a noodle because of the thin and elongated shape. The flotation body 105 may be preferably fabricated from a suitable synthetic resin material, such as extruded cellular polyethylene, having a density such that the flotation body will float in water. The material from which the flotation body 105 is fabricated may be preferably both yieldable and shape-retaining. The flotation body 105 may be substantially straight or gently arcuate as shown in FIG. 2, or may be yielded to have a more pronounced arcuate shape as shown in FIG. 1.
 In addition, the floatation body 105 might also include air bladders or other means to further enhance its buoyancy.
 The flotation device 100 may include a connection sleeve 103 to connect to the flotation body 105, and the connection sleeve 103 may connect to a decorative member 109 which may be a head or other object representing a horse, a unicorn, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or other such interesting object. The connecting sleeve 103 may be adapted to form a friction fit with the flotation body 105 and may form a detachable connection with the flotation body 105. Furthermore, the connecting sleeve 103 may include a connecting aperture 115 and the decorative member 109 may include a base portion 117 which may include a base aperture 119 which may cooperate with the connecting aperture 115 to form a detachable connection when a fastening device 121 which may be a pin, screw, nail, bolt or other appropriate device extends through the base aperture 119 and the connecting aperture 115.
 FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the decorative member 109 which may include the base portion 117 which may be connected to the connecting sleeve 103 and illustrates the connecting aperture 115 and the base aperture 119. FIG. 2 additionally illustrates the flotation body 105 and the first butt end 111.
 FIG. 3 illustrates the decorative member 109 mounted on the flotation body 105 and illustrates the connecting sleeve 103, the connecting aperture 115, the base portion 117, the base aperture 119 and the fastening device 121.
 FIG. 4 illustrates the connecting sleeve 103, the connecting aperture 115, the base portion 117, the base aperture 119 and the fastening device 121.
 FIG. 5 illustrates an end view of the connecting sleeve 103.
 FIG. 6 illustrates an end view of the flotation body 105.
 While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed.
Patent applications in class BODY SUPPORTING BUOYANT DEVICE
Patent applications in all subclasses BODY SUPPORTING BUOYANT DEVICE