US 2988037 A
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June 13, 1961 E. F. SPENCER STEERING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 14, 1959 EQI//A/ SPENCER 1 NVE N TO R A TTORN EY 2,988,037 STEERING APPARATUS Ervin F. Spencer, 4309 Carlin Ave., Lynwood, Calif. Filed Dec. 14, 1959, Ser. No. 859,263 3 Claims. (Cl. 114-153) The present apparatus relates generally to the field of steering apparatus, and more particularly to a device that may be removably mounted on a bo-at provided with an outboard motor, to permit the boat to be steered by the foot of the user from any `desired 1ocation in said boat.
The conventional outboard motor is normally attached to the stern of the boat by a pivotal support, and the boat is steered by movement of a handle that projects Iforwardly therefrom. The operator usually sits on the rearmost seat of the boat with one hand resting on the steering handle. Although such an arrangement is quite satisfactory when the boat is being used yfor pleasure or transportation, this positionV is highly uncomfortable and inconvenient when the operator is a fisherman and attempting to cast. In the past various steering devices have been evolved by means of which an operator is able to sit at predetermined positions in a boat while steering the same that is remote `from the outboard motor. These prior devices have, in the main, been unsatisfactory, for they require the use of both feet, or at least one hand, while the operator is sitting at such a low position in the boat as to make it extremely diflicult to cast or perform other lishing operations.
A major object of the present invention is to permit the operator of a boat of the type described to sit at an elevation well above the gunwales thereof at any desired location therein, and while so positioned have the free use of both hands for casting and other Afishing operations, yet by the use of one of his Ifeet, permit him to concurrently guide the boat on any desired course or to change the direction of the course at will.
Another object of the invention is to provide a steering apparatus that is easily attached to or detached from a boat equipped with an outboard motor by means of which the boat may be steered by either the operators foot from said desired location, or if inconvenient in certain fishing or boating operations, the operator can cease using the invention and steer the boat from the rear thereof in the conventional manner.
Yet another object of the present invention is to pro-y vide a steering apparatus for use on outboard motor boats that is of relatively simple mechanicalstructure, can be fabricated from standard, commercially available materials, is inexpensive to produce, requires no elaborate plant Ifacilities for the `fabrication thereof, and can be sold atV a suiicient'ly low price as to encourage its Widespread use.
A still further object of the invention is to provide /Y/'a device that requires a minimum of maintenance attention, and one which by a very simple change in one of the components thereof will have the sensitivity of the steering mechanism varied in response to the same degree of rotation of the actuating drive wheel.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred and alternate form thereof, and from the accompanying drawing illustrating the same in which:
FIGURE 1 is a lfragmentary perspective view of the rear portion of a boat having an outboard motor pivotally supported thereon, showing the steering apparatus of the present invention affixed to the bottom of States Patent O Patented June 13, 1961 the boat that is adapted to be actuated by the operators rfoot when he is seated on a stool;
FIGURE 2 is a transverse cross-sectional view of a boat and a portion of the steering mechanism therefor taken on line 2 2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal cross sectional view of the present invention; and
FIGURE 4 is a front elevational view of the invention shown in FIGURE 3 taken on line 4-4 thereof.
Referring now to the drawings `for the general arrangement of the invention, it will be seen to include an elongate base A that has two identical spaced uprights B supported thereon. Uprights B rotatably support a horizontally disposed shaft C on which a drive Wheel D is mounted that may be adjusted to a desired longitudinal position thereon. Shaft C also has a cable drum E mounted thereon, which is likewise longitudinally adjustable to a desired position on the shaft.
A cable F is provided, at least one loop of which extends around the drum, and first and second portions of this cable extend from the drum to pullleys G aflixed to the port and starboard portions of the boat L, with the cable extending from the pulleys to a forwardly projecting portion H of the pivotally supported outboard motor I. Motor I is pivotally supported from the transom K of the boat L in the conventional manner. A'stool M is provided that is removably located at a desired location in the boat adjacent to the steering apparatus of the present invention, so that an operator (not shown) may sit thereon at an elevation above the gunwales of the boat. This seated position is convenient for casting, and also convenient Ifor the operator in guiding the boat by simply using one of his lfeet to rotate the drive wheel D to change the cou-rse of direction of the boat or in maintaining the boat on a desired course by holding the drive wheel in a stationary position.
The base A and supports B are preferably integrally, formed from an elongate rectangular sheet of rigid material such as steel or the like. Two transversely spaced openings are formed in both ends of base A through which bolts 10 extend downwardly through complementary openings formed in two inverted U-shaped brackets 12 from the ends of which tabs 14 project.v
Nuts 16 threadedly engage the lower ends of bolts 10, as best seen in FIGURE 4. Tabs 14 also have openings yformed therein through which screws or otherv fastening means 18 extend downwarly to engage either t-he bottom 20' of the boat or an elongate plank or board 22 allixed thereto (FIGURE 2). The two uprights B have longitudinally aligned openings (not shown) formed therein through which the shaft C extends, with the end portions of the shaft being rotatable supported in bronge bushings 24 forming part of bearings 26 of conventional design that are aixed to the upper portion of supports B by rivets 28 or other yfastening means. The extremities of the shaft C have transversely positioned bores (not shown) formed therein through which cotter pins 30 extend to prevent displacement of the shaft from bushings 214.
Drive Wheel D, as best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4, includes a cylindrical hub 32 having a tapped bore 34 formed therein which is threadedly engaged by a screw 36. A number of spokes 33 extend outwardly from hub 19 shaft C, which is not only dependent on the location of the stool M, but the length of the operators leg as well.
Drum E, as may best be seen in FIGURE 3, includes an elongate cylindrical hub 44 that is mounted on shaft C. A transversely disposed tapped bore 46 is formed in hub 44 that is threadedly engaged by a screw 48. A number of spokes 50 extend outwardly from hub 44 to a cylindrical rim 52 of appreciable Width. lf it is desired to increase the coefficient of friction between thefcable F andthe drum E, the drum may be coated with a layer 54 of rubber, a length of leather belting, or similar material.
The pulleys G (FIGURES l andA 2) are connected on their outer ends to tensioned helical springs 56 that have hooks 5S formed in the outer ends thereof. Hooks 58 are inserted in openings formed in L-shaped brackets 60 which are screwed or otherwise affixed to the interior upper surfaces of the sides of boat L. After being looped over the drum E, cable F is divided into two portions F--lv and F-2 that extend through pulleys G to the forwardly projecting portion of motor'J. The free ends of the cable portions F-l and F-Z can be attached to handle H by conventional means such as bolts Q, a clamp, or the like.
The tensioned springs 56 at all times urge the pulleys G away from one another and maintain tension on the cable portions F-l and F-Z. The looped portion of the cable in contact with drum E is also under tension due to the springs 56, whereby when wheel D is rotated by the operator the cable portions F-l and F-Z on opposite sides of the drum are altered relative to one another with concurrent pivotal movement of the motor J, which results in the guiding of boat L in the desired direction.
For convenience in fishing and ease in casting or the like, the stool M is provided with the invention located adjacent thereto. Stool M comprises a base 61 which by bolts 62, or other fastening means, is aiiixed to the planking 22 as shown in FIGURE l. A tubular upright'64 is aiixed to base 6l that for rigidity preferably extends upwardly to an opening 66 formed in a transverselypositioned seat 68. The upper end of support 66 pivotally supports a circular seat 70 that has a short back 72 extending upwardly therefrom to prevent the operator from being inadvertently displaced from the seat. Location of the seat M is, of course, purely optional as to whether upright 64 will extend through opening 66.
Positioning of the invention as shown in FIGURE l is optional, Vfor it will operate in the same manner if disposed forwardly in the boat. For instance, if it is desired to position the steering apparatus forwardly in the bow of the boat, it may be so Yaflixed tothe planking 22 that the drum E occupies thev position E' shown in FIGURE l. Additional pulleys G' are provided, disposed on opposite sides of the drum and supported by tensioned springs 56' having hooks 5S supported from brackets 60 mounted on opposite interior side portions `of the boat L. This form of the invention would operate in exactly thev same manner as the previously described form, other than the cable portions F-l and F-Z would also engage both pulleys G'.
Operation of the invention isextremely simple. The steering apparatus is removably mounted on a boat L, ready for use. The operator (not shown) takes a position on seat M, after actuation of motor J, and by resting one foot on the drive wheel D, can rotate it together with shaft C and drnrn E to pivot the motor I in a direction to guide the boat on a desired course.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may he made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore the invention is not limited by that which Yis shown in the drawing and described in the speciication, but only as defined inthe appended claims.
l. A steering apparatus for boats of the type equipped with a pivotally supported outboard motor affixed to the stern thereof having guide means extending forwardly from said Vmotor toward said boat, which apparatus is actuatable by the operators foot from any desired location in said boat, comprising: a base; two spaced uprights rigidly supported on said base; a horizontally disposed shaft rotatably supported on said uprights; a foot actuatable drive wheel adjustably mounted on and aftixed to said shaft for rotating the same, which wheel includes a rim of substantial width that can be frictionally engaged by a users foot to guide said boat and hold said boat on a desired course; means for holding said wheel at a de- Y sired position on said shaft; two first pulleys supported from the port and starboard portions of said boat and substantially transversely aligned with a portion of said guide means; a drum mounted on said shaft; a cable, at least one turn of which encircles said drum in frictional contact therewith and from which rst and second portions of said cable extend to said pulleys and then transversely to said guide means; first fastening means for connecting the free end portions of said cable to said guide means; and
second fastening means for removably a'ixing said base to the bottom of said boat at a position adjacent said desired location to permit rotation of said drive wheel to vary the lengths of said rst and second cable portions on each side of vsaid drum with concurrent pivotal movement of said motor to guide said boat on a desired course.
2. A steering apparatus as defined in claim l wherein a plurality of second pulleys are provided that are affixed to said port and starboard portions and through which said first and second cable portions extend.
3. A steering apparatus as dened in claim 2 wherein two helical springs are provided that are connected on their outer ends to said port and starboard portions and on their inner ends to said pulleys, said springs being sufticiently long to at all times be under tension and maintain said cable in a taut condition.
References Cited-inthe le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 213,629` Cottingham Mar. 25, 1879V 2,514,467 Black July 11, 1950 2,838,021 West I une 10, 1958