Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2654335 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 6, 1953
Filing dateOct 21, 1948
Priority dateOct 21, 1948
Publication numberUS 2654335 A, US 2654335A, US-A-2654335, US2654335 A, US2654335A
InventorsBall Fred S
Original AssigneeBall Fred S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Boat propelling and steering mechanism
US 2654335 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 6, 1953 F. 5. BALL 2,654,335

BOAT PROPELLING AND STEERING MECHANISM Filed Oct. 21, 1948 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 mm 5. am.


Fishermen using rod and reel and who desire to work along shore and usually in shallow water require another person to handle and propel the boat. This is usually done with oars or paddle or by sculling. Devices have been proposed for propelling and steering the boat by the fisherman so as to dispense with a person whose purposes are to provide these operations. One of these proposed devices is a fin attached to the stern of the boat and movable by a laterally swinging arm, which arm oscillates the fin supporting shaft so as to propel as well as to steer the boat. Another solution of the problem is a slow speed outboard motor. In both instances, however, a hand of the fisherman is required to control the propelling and steering operations.

It is desirable to provide a combined propelling and steering mechanism for small boats which would enable the fisherman to have both hands free for his actual fishing activities, and it is the primary object of the present invention to provide means in combination with either of the above mentioned propelling and steering devices for bringing about steering and propelling operations of the boat without requiring the use of either or both hands of the fisherman, leaving the latter entirely free for the actual fishing activities.

A further object of the invention is to provide an attachment or mechanism for association with either or both of the propelling and steering means briefly mentioned which is of extremely simple construction, which may be readily connected with various types of propelling and steering mechanism for perfect operation of the latter, which means is capable of being quickly and easily attached to devices of the character set forth, which has its parts so constructed and assembled as to offer a minimum of opportunity for derangement or breakage of the same, which may be assembled or made operative by simple means and without the aid of special skill or knowledge, and which will prove highly practical and efiicient in operation.

With the foregoing objects in view, together with others which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all as will be described more fully hereinafter, illustrated in the drawings, and particularly pointed out in the claims.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional rowboat or skiff equipped with a foot operated propelling and steering means constructed in accordance with the invention,

Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken through the steering post or tiller and showing the manner of attachment of the steering cables thereto,

Fig. 3 is an enlarged side elevation of one of the stirrups or pedals,

Fig. 4 is a top plan view of the rear end of a conventional form of rowboat and showing as applied thereto an outboard electricallyoperated motor, associated with which is steering and motor control means involving my invention,

Fig. 5 is a detail view, parts in section, showing the means of connecting the steering and control cables with the tiller so as to bring about the steering and circuit control operations,

Fig. 6 is a plan view of a form of circuit control means, and

Fig. '2 is a side elevation, parts in section, of the pedal means and circuit control structure shown in Fig. 6.

Referring now more particularly to the drawing, the boat It] as shown represents a small flat convenient reach of an occupant of the seat or rope 2| is attached. The rope or cable from I2. The lower end of the shaft is bent rearwardly and at right angles as shown and is equipped at its rear end with a fin 18 to propel as well as to steer the boat. The construction and mounting of the fin upon the shaft 15 is such that as the shaft oscillates the fin provides a thrust in the body of the water to move the boat forwardly. It is obvious, also, that oscillations of the shaft bring about a steering operation.

a The attachment of my invention includes a pair of pedals indicated at [9. The pedal members are preferably fiat as shown and are adapted to fit beneath the ball of the foot, each pedal being equipped with a strap and buckle 2!; as shown to engage over the forward part of the foot so that the pedal, in efieet, provides a stirrup for easy attachment to or removal from the foot.

Each of these pedals or stirrups is connected by means of ropes or light cables 2| to the operating arm N5 of the propelling and steering device. To this end, each strap has an eye 22 secured thereto and through which one end of the cable each stirrup passes rearwardly to the stern of the boat and around pulleys 23 secured as at 24 to the sides of the boat, from whence they extend inwardly and laterally of the boat and are secured to the horizontally disposed and forwardly projecting operating arm It. To facilitate the attachment of these cables or rope to the arm, a clamp 25 detachably secured to the arm, which clamp is provided with eyes 25 through which the ends of the cables or ropes are passed and tightly secured. The clamp is shown more in detail in Fig. 2 and discloses a wing nut and bolt 21 for securing the arms of the clamp in tight. engagement with the steering and propelling arm. The construction shown permits the clamp to be easily and quickly attached tothe arm or removed therefrom.

In operation, with the attachment applied in the manner shown in Fig. l, the occupant of the seat i2 applies the stirrups to feet in the obvious manner. The cables or ropes 21 are adjusted as to proper length- By alternately pushing upon the pedals or stirrups the arm 15 is caused to move from side to side creating oscillatory movement in the shaft l and bringing about a propulsion of the boat. The movement of the feet alternately may be brought about by rocking on the heel which rests upon the boat bottom. This propelling action is created without the use of the hands so that the fisherman may employ the latter for his actual fishing activities. In order to bring about a steering action, one foot is pressed further forward than the other in the backward and forward movement and the fin, although being worked from side to side to propel the boat, works oiT-center so as to cause the boat to steer in the direction desired by the operator. It is apparent that the construction disclosed permits of the boat to be propelled It is preferred that the strap be so adjusted L that the stirrup will be held upon the outer part of the foot so as not to slip down beyond the forward part of the ball, whereby the greater are of movement in rocking the foot is made possible. The clamp means here shown for connecting the rear ends of the ropes or cables with the steering arm may be dispensed with if desired and other means he resorted to for bringing about an attachment of these elements to the tiller. If desired, openings may be drilled in the arm to receive the ends of the ropes or cables.

As has been before stated, the invention in- 91116168 QB a uated. mean whereby he s ar in and stopping of an outboard motor may be acplish d a wel as th stee i g a ti ns of the motor. In Fig. 4 of the drawings there is illustrated a plan View of the rear portion of a conventional fishing shifi, to the stern of which is at-. tached an electrieally operated outboard motor represented enerally at 3!), including a tiller.3l to be operated by oscillatory movement for steering. The battery to supply the electric energy for operation of the motor is indicated at 32, one terminal of which is connected by a wire 33 to one side of the motor. The cables 2|, pulled or retracted by operation of the feet, pass over the pulleys 23 in the rear corners of the boat and have quick detachable devices, such as snap hooks 34 connected to their ends. These snap hooks connect to rings 35 secured to slide contact mem-- bers 36 within insulating members 31 secured in the outer end of a yoke 38. The inner end of each of these slide rods or contact members is provided with an eye 39 to which one end of contractile spring 40 is attached, the opposite end of the spring being connected to the screw eye 4| in the opposite end of the yoke. The screw eye 4! has a snap hook 42 attached thereto for engagement with the eye 26 of the clamp member 25 engaging the tiller 3f.

The opposite terminal of the battery 32 is connected to each of the ring members 35 by a wire 43, and each of the yokes 38 is connected to the opposite side of the motor 30 by a wire $4.

The inner end of each of the slide rods 35 is equipped with a contact plate 45 which is normally out of contact with its respective yoke 38 by reason of the action of spring at, but upon outward sliding movement of rods 36 these contact plates engage yokes 38 to close a circuit from one terminal of the battery 32 through the motor 30 by means of wire 33 and back through wire 44, yoke 38, rod 36, ring 35 and wire 13 to the opposite battery terminal.

In the operation of this form of control, movement of a pedal forwardly will draw upon its cable to swing the tiller 3! and at the same time to close the circuit through the motor and battery whereby the motor is energized. Release of pressure upon the stirrup or pedal enables the spring 40 to move the contact plate 45 to broken circuit position, whereupon the motor ceases operation. It is apparent that by providing circuit controlled mechanism for each of the cables 21, accurate steering and propulsion of the motor is accomplished.

In Figs. 6 and 7 of the drawing, there is illustrated a modified form of electric control. In this form of the invention a battery supporting base 53 is employed, which base may be of wood and of approximately the size and shape of the usual storage batteries for motors of the character hereunder consideration. The battery, indicated at 5!, rests upon this plate so as to maintain it in proper position in the bottom of the boat. Hingedly connected to a strip 52 secured to the rear of plate 50 and transversely thereof, are pedals 53 having heel rests 54 near the hinge connections 55 thereof. A control cable 2! is secured near the free end of each pedal.

Each pedal is provided with a leaf spring contact member 56, to one end of which is secured a wire 51 leading to the battery 5|, while the outer or free end thereof is adapted to engage a contact member 58 carried by the pedal and electrically connected by a wire 59 to the motor. The leaf spring 56 is so positioned that under normal conditions the feet may operate the hinged pedals to bring about a steering action in the motor, however, upon slightly rocking the foot of either pedal to depress the spring 56 until it engages contact member 58, a circuit is closed through the motor and battery whereby the former is energized. Release of this rocking pressure immediately permits leaf spring contact 56 to resume its normal position breaking the circuit.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that I have provided means of extremely simple construction and operation for bringing about propulsion of a small boat by operation of the feet and without requiring the use of the hands. By the means described, accurate steering of the boat is, readily accomplished. It is also apparent that by use of either of the circuit controlling means described, actuation of the outboard motor may be accurately governed as may also the steering operations thereof.

While the foregoing is a description of the invention in its preferred embodiment, it is obvious that various changes in the details of construction and assemblage may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims.

I claim:

1. In combination, a motor, a source of energy and. an electric circuit including said motor and source and an oscillatory tiller connected to said motor to move the same; a movable stirrup, a yoke connected at one end to said tiller, a slide pin movable longitudinally within said yoke and projecting beyond the opposite end of said yoke, a contact plate on said pin, means within said yoke tending to hold said plate out of contact with said yoke, a cable connecting the outer end of said pin with said stirrup, and said circuit including said yoke and said contact pin, whereby movement of the stirrup in one direction will cause said contact plate to move into contact with said yoke and to simultaneously move said tiller.

2. In combination, a motor, a source of energy and an electric circuit including said motor and source and an oscillatory tiller connected to said motor to move the same; a pair of movable stirrups, a pair of yokes one arranged upon each side of said tiller and connected at its adjacent end to said tiller, a pin slidable longitudinally within each of said yokes and projecting beyond the outer ends thereof, a contact plate on each of said pins, a spring within each yoke tending to hold said plate out of contact with said yoke when said tiller is in one position, a pair of cables each connected at one end to the outer ends of said pins and at their opposite ends with one each of said stirrups, and said circuit including said yoke and said contact pin, whereby movement of either stirrup in a predetermined direction will move said tiller and will simultaneously cause its contact plate to move into contact with its respective yoke.


References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 227,491 Coulter May 11, 1880 498,254 Fletcher May 30, 1893 881,650 Audet Mar. 10, 1908 1,622,439 Frue Mar. 29, 1927 1,767,584 Hammer June 24, 1930 2,274,870 Richards Mar. 3, 1942 2,309,159 Binger Jan. 26, 1943 2,425,825 Philips Aug. 19, 1947 2,545,086 Harris Mar. 13, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 576,189 France May 8, 1924

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US227491 *Feb 17, 1880May 11, 1880 Sculling-propeller for boats
US498254 *May 30, 1893 Register for packages
US881650 *May 10, 1906Mar 10, 1908Fortunat AudetBoat.
US1622439 *Dec 14, 1925Mar 29, 1927Frue Alexander CDevice for operating switches
US1767584 *Sep 18, 1929Jun 24, 1930Hammer Forrester LControl for outboard motors and the like
US2274870 *Oct 8, 1940Mar 3, 1942Richards Fred FBurglar alarm
US2309159 *Apr 4, 1941Jan 26, 1943Binger Lawrence WFoot steering device for outboard motors
US2425825 *Apr 12, 1945Aug 19, 1947Philips Morton LFloat for fishlines
US2545086 *Apr 11, 1947Mar 13, 1951Harris Garrett HMotor guide
FR576189A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2749872 *Aug 2, 1954Jun 12, 1956Hubert R AmickFoot steering apparatus for outboard motor boats
US2804838 *Nov 16, 1955Sep 3, 1957Moser Harold WTrolling outboard motor control
US2878768 *Dec 14, 1954Mar 24, 1959Warblow Garrett RBoat steering mechanism
US2912877 *Dec 5, 1957Nov 17, 1959Rohrer Karl TFoot steering apparatus for outboard motor boats
US3139061 *Nov 23, 1962Jun 30, 1964Johnston Walter FBoat propelling assembly
US3328548 *Aug 16, 1965Jun 27, 1967Thurman & Younkin IncAutomatic trim system switch means for aircraft
US4850916 *Mar 4, 1987Jul 25, 1989Phillips Laurent MSailboard steering arrangement
US5131875 *Oct 12, 1990Jul 21, 1992Lee Warren DDual motor control and steering system for watercraft
US5367976 *Mar 9, 1994Nov 29, 1994Van Schaik; BobRowing boat and footrest for use therein
US5372527 *Jan 21, 1993Dec 13, 1994Flores Cardona; Hector D.Turbo kick board
US5765499 *Sep 20, 1995Jun 16, 1998Mckenzie; Marvin RayHydro-thrust canoe
US5957071 *Jun 20, 1997Sep 28, 1999Brock; William D.Sailboat
US7452252 *Jun 23, 2006Nov 18, 2008John Frayn EwansRowing- and sculling-boat electric-switch operation
US8668536 *Aug 15, 2012Mar 11, 2014Steve BurnhamPedal powered boat using a fish tail paddle
DE3827689A1 *Aug 16, 1988Feb 22, 1990Ralf TollkienWatercourse device
U.S. Classification114/153, 440/6, 440/24
International ClassificationB63H25/10, B63H25/06
Cooperative ClassificationB63H21/265
European ClassificationB63H21/26B