Patent application title: ANCHOR LINE LOCATOR
William H. Meibauer (Wappingers Falls, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AB63B2216FI
Class name: Buoys, rafts, and aquatic devices buoy marker buoy
Publication date: 2012-01-19
Patent application number: 20120015570
What is disclosed is a floatable device that is attached to a boat anchor
line. The device contains LED's or is otherwise reflective. When the boat
anchor is dropped, the device will float on the surface of the water
where the anchor line enters. The device thus locates the entry point of
the anchor line in the water and will give other boaters an indication of
the scope of the line under water as it proceeds from the boat cleat to
the anchor on the bottom of the river, lake, etc.
1. An anchor line locater comprising: a) a floatable device comprising a
top portion and a bottom portion that are reversibly attachable from each
other; b) a central opening in the floatable device wherein an anchor
line is received by separating the top portion from the bottom portion
and attaching the top port and bottom ports with the anchor line placed
in the opening; and c) Visual means incorporated into the anchor line
2. The anchor line locater of claim 1 wherein the visual means are LED's.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed to the field of boating accessories. Boats are provided with anchors that are attached to a rope on the bow of the boat. The present invention is directed to the field of devices that can be used to locate an anchor line's entry point in the water and therefore judge the scope or angle of the anchor line under the water.
 A boat anchor is placed in the water to keep the boat stationary. The anchor is connected to the boat by means of a rope. Often times, especially in the dark, other boats in the area of an anchored boat may not be able to see where the anchored boat's anchor line enters the water. This can create a potential safety hazard if another boat were to accidentally run over the anchored boat's anchor line. If that happens, the anchor line may become tangled in the moving boat's propeller and the anchor line may be cut and the anchored boat will be cast adrift.
 The primary object of the present invention is to solve the safety issues involved with making a boat anchor line visible to other nearby boats. The present invention is directed to a floatable device that is easily installed on an anchor line. The anchor line locater floats on the surface of the water where the line enters the water, thus, making it more visible to other nearby boats and allowing them to judge the varying depths of the line as it follows the anchor to the bottom.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed to a means of locating the exact spot where the anchor line from a boat enters the water. This floating locater can be illuminated by means of an LED or can be fabricated from a reflective color or both. In this way, approaching vessels can easily be warned of the exact location of the anchor line. The present invention thus helps to avoid the frequent severing or entanglement of the anchor line in the propeller of a passing vessel.
 The device can be a floating circle or square, which would allow an anchor line to pass through its center. It can be made of any solid material that floats or of rubber or plastic that can be inflated. The circumference can vary depending on the line size or boat size.
 The device comprises an opening so that it can easily be removed when it is hauled up on deck. This opening can be opened or closed with a suitable fastener such as a clip. Opposite the clip, there would be a hinge to allow the two halves of the device to swing open for easy removal from the line or it could be an overlap of the material that can be flexed to open and then released when the line is passed through.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side view of a device according to the present invention.
 FIG. 2 is a top view of a device according to the present invention.
 FIG. 3 is side view of a device according to the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention will now be described in terms of the presently preferred embodiment thereof as set forth in the drawings and described with particularity in the appended claims.
 The Anchor Line locator 10 of the present invention is a great improvement over available devices. As shown in FIG. 1, its shape is generally oblong, with a slot 12 adapted to receive the anchor line 14. The Anchor Line locater 10 comprises a top portion 16 and a bottom portion 18. Both the top 16 and the bottom 18 are fabricated of an injection-molded plastic. The inner surface of the slot 12 will be of a width which will not damage the anchor line 14 or allow the locater 10 to get hung up on the anchor line's serrations.
 The top 16 comprises the electronic components i.e. LED lights 18, switch 20, battery 22, or photo sensors 24. The LED lights 18 could be any color or both "red" and "green" lights to indicate the direction of the line in relation to the vessel. The bottom 16, comprises a molded rudder 28 to further allow the locater 10 to be aligned with respect to the direction of tidal and current flow.
 At one end of the Anchor Line locator 10, it will comprise an arrow-like projection 30 which indicates the underwater direction of the anchor line under the surface of the water. The other end of the locator 10, will comprise a split 32 that will flex to open to allow easy application and removal of the locater 10 to the anchor line 14.
 Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that many obvious modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention.
Patent applications in all subclasses Marker buoy