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Publication numberUS3139062 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 30, 1964
Filing dateAug 14, 1961
Priority dateAug 14, 1961
Publication numberUS 3139062 A, US 3139062A, US-A-3139062, US3139062 A, US3139062A
InventorsKeefe Vernon W
Original AssigneeWilliams James W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary hydraulic propulsion unit
US 3139062 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 30, 1964 v. w. KEEFE 3,139,062


[WW m) ATT'Y June 30, 1964 v. w. KEEFE 3,139,062



United States Patent C) 3,139,662 RUTARY HYDRAUHKI PRGFULQQN Ullflf Vernon W. Keefe, 116 Mist Ave, Vancouver, Wash, assignor of one=haif to James W. Williams, Vancouver, Wash.

Filed Aug. 14, 1961, Ser. No. 131,495 1 Claim. (Cl. 115-35) This invention relates to a hydraulic drive embodying a fluid circulating system including a power actuated pump which drives an identical fluid pressure impelled motor or driving unit and adapted, though not restrictively, for use in watercraft.

One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a hydraulic drive transmission of the character described using but a single engine or prime mover for supplying hydraulic fiuid pressure to the motor and including manually operable control means not only for determining the direction of operation of the motor but for controlling the volume and pressure of fluid supply to the motor regardless of the direction of operation of the latter. This same means also enables complete stoppage of pressure flow to the motor without stopping the engine or the pump.

A further object resides in the provision of means for adjusting and locking the motor in any selected angular position relative to the transom of the boat.

Another object is to provide an outdrive for watercraft wherein no gearing is utilized and the motor is at all times submerged below the surface of the water and therefore insured of cool and noiseless operation. The hydraulic fluid is thus maintained at a constant temperature which adds to the efficiency of the motor and eliminates the need of an oil or fluid cooler.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a boat hull equipped with a hydraulic drive made in accordance with my invention.

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the motor on an enlarged scale with fragments broken away and parts in section for convenience of illustration.

FIGURE 3 is a sectional end elevational view taken approximately along the lines 3-3 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 3A is a somewhat similar view on an enlarged scale and with fragment broken away to illustrate the manner in which fluid pressure is directed to the inner-ends of the rotor blades.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary detail view of mounting means for the drive unit.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary top plan view of FIGURE 1 taken approximately along the line 55 thereof and with the fluid conduits removed.

FIGURES 6, 7, and 8 are flow diagrams of the pressure circulating system, the control valve incorporated therein, and the position of the valve from a neutral position as shown in FIGURE 6 to a forward position in FIGURE 7 and a reverse position in FIGURE 8.

FIGURES 9 and 10 are side and front elevational views, respectively, of a modified form of motor-mounting means, on a reduced scale.

With continuing reference to the drawings wherein like references of character designate like parts, and particularly FIGURE 1 thereof, reference numeral 1 indicates generally a conventional boat hull having a transom 2 and a deck 3 but which forms no part of the invention.

The pump P of this invention may be mounted in any suitable manner to the deck 3 or in any other desired location and is provided with a power-input shaft 5 connected by a suitable coupling 6 to the power out-put shaft 7 of an internal combustion engine 8, which may be of the marine type or of any other type of suitable horsepower and speed of r.p.m., also mounted to the deck 3 in any suitable manner.

The pump is provided with an inlet 10 and an outlet 11. The outlet 11 is connected by a conduit 12 to an inlet 13 of a three-way valve V having three out-let ports 15, f6, and 17. The inlet 19 of the pump P is connected by a conduit 20 to one side of a reservoir R whose opposite side is connected by conduit 21 to the port 15 of the valve V.

The motor M is carried by the bottom end of a hollow streamlined vertically disposed housing 25 provided with a cavitation plate 26 and two vertically spaced apart mounting brackets 27 and 2,8 pivotally mounted by means of a pivot bolt 2? to flanges 30 and 31 of a supporting plate 33. This plate is swingably attached at its top end to a mounting plate 37 by a hinge pin 34 extending through flanges 36 of the mounting plate 37 which is secured by fastening screws (not shown) or in any other suitable manner to the transom 2 of the hull 1. The bottom portion of the plate 33 (see FIG. 4) is provided with a vertical bore 40 in open communication with a transverse bore 41. Both bores are provided with suitable bushings 4-2 and 43 respectively.

A cylinder 45, secured to the plate 33 by suitable brackets 46, has a piston rod 47, adapted, in reverse operation of the motor M, to extend downwardly into the bore 40, through aligned openings in the bushing 43 and an aligned opening 49 in a pin 5t) disposed within the bushing 43 and extending outwardly therefrom, as shown. This outer end of the pin is provided with a socket 52 for a swivel connection to a ball 51 on the rearward end of a threaded shaft 54 which threadedly extends through the plate 37, through a threaded bushing 55 in the transom 2, and is lockable relative to the plate 37 by means of a lock nut 56. By this arrangement, the motor may be adjusted in any angular position relative to the transom of the hull and when so positioned the forward thrust will be transmitted through the pin 56 and threaded shaft 54 to the mounting plate 37. The piston 57 in the cylinder 45 (see FIG. 7) is at all times urged upwardly by a spring 58, and the piston rod 47 is engageable with the opening 49 in the pin 56 only during reverse operation of the motor M as will be more fully hereinafter described.

Since the motor and the pump are identical, a description of one will suffice for both.

As best illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3, a cylindrical housing indicated generally at 60 is made of two matching semi-cylindrical sections 61 and 62 joined together in any suitable manner through fin portions 63 and 64 integrated respectively with the housing sections 61 and 62. The top edge of each housing section is recessed as at 66 for clamping engagement with the bottom end of the housing 25 in the motor adaptation of the invention. A head indicated generally at 70 is secured in any suitable manner within the bottom end of the housing 25 and provided with two manifolds indicated generally at 71 and 72. The manifolds are sometimes for convenience, hereinafter, referred to respectively as the forward manifold and the reverse manifold. The forward manifold 71 is in open communication through a proper fitting 73 with one end of a tube 74 whose top end is similarly connected to one end of a conduit 76 whose opposite end is connected to the port 17 of the control valve V. The reverse manifold 72 is similarly connected to the bottom end of a second tube 77 whose top end is similarly connected to one end of a conduit 7 8 whose 3 opposite end is connected to the outlet 15 of the valve V. Fluid pressure from the conduit 78 is supplied to the cylinder 45 by a branch conduit 80.

The interior of the housing 60, as shown in FIGURE 2, is provided with a rotor assembly made up of individual rotor housings 81, 82, 83, and 84 for identical rotors 81A-84A of which rotor 83A has been removed for convenience of illustration. The rotor housings are in open communication on both of their sides with the manifolds 72 and 71, respectively, through arcuate ducts 86 and 87 and ports 90 and 89. The ducts 86 and 87 are formed through the walls of the rotor housings 81-84 which are separated by annular spacers 94. All of the rotor hubs 95 are splined as at 96 to a shaft 97 journalled in a radialthrust bearing 101 at the forward end of the motor and in two similar bearings 102 and 103 mounted in bearing blocks 104 and 105 rearwardly of a casing 105A for a seal 105B made of Neoprene or other suitable material. The radial-thrust bearing 101 is mounted in a bearing block 101A.

The shaft 97 is provided with spacer bushings 105 which serve as the inner race for needle bearings 107, whose outer race is provided by the concentric bore 108 through the spacers 94.

A lubricant for the bearings 101, 107, and for all of the rotors is provided by a duct 110 in open communication at its top end with the manifold 72 to partake of fluid pressure therefrom.

This fluid pressure flows through the radial-thrust hearing 101, through the needle bearings 107, between the inner and outer races 106 and 108 thereof, and out through a duct 111 leading into the forward manifold 71. Each rotor is provided with radial vanes 112 slidably mounted in radial slots 113 in open communication at their inner ends, as at 114, with annular grooves 115 on opposite sides of the rotor and such flow of pressure will at all times not only lubricate the vanes but will also maintain them in proper working contact with the cylindrical wall 116 of their respective rotor housings 81, 82, 83, and 84. As best shown in FIGURE 3, the rotor shaft and rotors secured thereto rotate about a fixed axis of eccentricity relative to the cylinder wall 116 which wall is concentric with the cylindrical housing 60.

The housing 60 is closed at its rearward end by an end plate 134 and at its forward end by a streamlined or pointed nose portion 137. The end plate 134, bearing blocks 105 and 104, seal casing 105A, spacers 94, rotor housings 81-84 and bearing block 101A are secured together within the housing 60 by means of bolts 135 extending through these internal parts and into the pointed end portion 137.

As previously stated, the structure of the pump P is the same as that of the motor M, including manifolds 71 and 72. Accordingly, when the shaft of the pump, which is the equivalent of shaft 97 of the motor, is driven by the engine 8 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 3, the vanes 112 of the rotors 81A-84A will circulate the fluid from the outlet 11 of the pump, which is the equivalent of tube 74 of the motor, through the manifold 71, around through the rotor casings out through the manifold 72 and through tube 77, which is the equivalent of conduit 20, through reservoir R, through conduit 21, valve V, and back to the pump through conduit 12 or to conduits 76 or 78 according to the setting of the valve V.

The control valve V, as best illustrated in FIGURES 6-8, comprises a housing 120 having the inlet 13 and outlets 15-17 therein as aforesaid and is provided on its interior with a valve body 121 having a straight duct 122 therethrough and two arcuate ducts 123 and 124. The valve body is provided with a suitable actuating handle 125.

The operation of the invention is as follows: With the valve body 121 in the neutral (N) position shown in FIGURE 6 and with the pump P being driven by the engine 8, fluid pressure will flow from the pump through 4!, conduit 12, through the straight duct 122 of the valve body, outlet 16, and conduit 21, to one side of the reservoir R and from the other side thereof through conduit 20 back into the pump through its inlet 10.

To put the motor M into operation for driving the shaft 97 and hence the propeller 130 secured thereto, in counter-clockwise rotation as viewed from the left of FIGURE 1 to put the boat in forward motion, the valve handle is moved to the forward (F) position shown in FIGURE 7. Such rotation of the valve body 121 connects the conduit 12 with conduit 76 through arcuate duct 124 to thus deliver fluid pressure to the forward manifold 71 and to the corresponding side of the rotors HA-84A.

Conversely, when the valve actuating handle 125 is moved to the reverse (R) position shown in FIGURE 8, fluid pressure will be directed from conduit 12 through arcuate duct 123, conduit 78 and tube 77 to the reverse manifold 72 and to the opposite side of the rotors.

It will be noted in FIGURE 8 that when the control valve V is set for reverse operation, fluid pressure will also flow from conduit 78 through conduit 80 to the interior of the cylinder 45 to force the piston pin 47 downwardly into the opening 49 in the pin 50 to thus lock the supporting plate 33 and hence the motor M, housing 25 and its related parts in the position shown in FIGURE 4 to thereby prevent the propeller from screwing the assembly rearwardly up out of the water. Movement of the valve control lever away from the reverse position will, of course, stop pressure flow to the cylinder 45 whereupon the spring 58 will force the piston 57 upwardly and the piston pin 47 upwardly and out of engagement with the pin 50, thus leaving the entire outdrive, mounting brackets 2728 and supporting plate 33 free to swing rearwardly and upwardly upon impact of the housing 25 or motor housing M with an underwater obstruction when the hull is in forward motion, or when for some reason or other it is intentionally desired to so swing the assembly.

In the modified form of mounting shown in FIGURES 9 and 10, the motor M and housing 25A are substantially the same as those shown in FIGURE 1, but the top end of the housing 25 is provided with a mounting plate by means of which the assembly may be secured to the underside 141 of the hull 1A. In addition thereto, diagonal struts 142 are secured in any approved manner at their bottom ends to the motor housing and provided at their top ends with mounting plates 143 by means of which they may be also secured to the underside 141 of the hull. The struts 142 are streamlined as is the housing 25A to offer minimal resistance to passage through the water. The pressure tubes 74A and 77A extend upwardly through the housing 25A, through the plate 14-0 and are connected in any suitable manner with conduits 76A and 78A connected through the control valve V in the same manner as in the first form of the invention.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that I have provided an outdrive which is quiet in operation because of the absence of any gearing, one which may be instantly reversed, and one which will provide far-ranging power for high speed operation or smooth trolling at low speeds.

While I have shown particular forms of embodiment of my invention, I am aware that many minor changes therein will readily suggest themselves to others skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letter Patent is:

An outdrive and means mounting the same to the transom of a boat hull,

said outdrive comprising a normally upright housing,

a motor-driven propeller carried by the bottom end of the housing,

said mounting means comprising a mounting plate secured to the outboard side of said transom,

pl a,

a supporting plate hingedly attached to the upper end of said mounting plate,

mounting brackets secured to said housing and pivotally attached to said supporting plate,

a thrust-absorbing shaft attached at one of its ends to said mounting plate and terminating at its opposite end in a pin slidably mounted in said supporting plate near the bottom end thereof,

said pin having a transverse opening therein,

a hydraulic pressure cylinder carried by said supporting plate and having a piston-actuated rod extending downwardly therefrom in alignment with the opening in said pin,

a fluid pressure conduit in communication with said cylinder,

i3 valve means for selectively directing fluid pressure through said conduit into said cylinder for forcing said piston rod into engagement with the opening in said pin to thereby lock said housing in an upright position relative to said transom.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,775,856 Hauser Sept. 16, 1930 2,076,603 Svendsen Apr. 13, 1937 2,766,715 Waterval Oct. 16, 1956 2,938,469 Lauck May 13, 1960 2,982,219 Rosaen May 2, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1775856 *May 24, 1929Sep 16, 1930Hauser Albert BFour-way valve
US2076603 *Dec 18, 1933Apr 13, 1937David G ChandlerBoat propelling mechanism
US2766715 *Jul 31, 1952Oct 16, 1956William WateryalTurbine driven steerable, reversible, outboard motor
US2938469 *Mar 30, 1956May 31, 1960Borg WarnerPump
US2982219 *Jun 10, 1957May 2, 1961Rosaen Oscar EVane type pumps
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3256852 *Apr 13, 1964Jun 21, 1966Hydro Drive CorpHydro drive
US3366183 *Sep 8, 1966Jan 30, 1968Baron C. WolfeHydraulic ship propeller
US3596626 *May 22, 1969Aug 3, 1971Buddrus CurtSteering and tilting systems for marine vessels
US3599595 *Jul 17, 1969Aug 17, 1971William P JamesOutdrive for boats
US3602184 *Mar 18, 1969Aug 31, 1971Premier Precision LtdDriving units
US3841257 *Feb 6, 1973Oct 15, 1974Outboard Marine CorpHigh performance stern drive
US3901177 *Aug 20, 1973Aug 26, 1975Scott Claude WorthingtonMarine propulsion apparatus
US3915111 *Oct 4, 1974Oct 28, 1975Buddrus CurtHydraulic marine propulsion and guidance system
US4033530 *Feb 18, 1975Jul 5, 1977Harris Garrett HProtective mounting for outboard motors
US4290760 *Jul 27, 1979Sep 22, 1981Lindblad Karl ErickManeuvering device for sailing boats
US4355986 *Jun 16, 1980Oct 26, 1982Outboard Marine CorporationOutboard motor with elevated horizontal pivot axis
US4432527 *Mar 5, 1982Feb 21, 1984Sample Frank CTrolling motor bracket
US4878864 *Mar 9, 1988Nov 7, 1989Bentem Fransiscus C A VanOutboard thruster with direct drive hydraulic motor
US5180034 *Dec 6, 1990Jan 19, 1993General Electric Co.Adaptive lubrication oil system
US7572158 *May 11, 2006Aug 11, 2009Douglas Marine CorporationMarine outdrive
US7654875Dec 6, 2007Feb 2, 2010Williams John TSelf-contained hydraulic thruster for vessel
US7883384Mar 10, 2009Feb 8, 2011Williams John TSelf-contained hydraulic thruster for vessel
US8317554May 6, 2010Nov 27, 2012Williams John TModular hydraulic thruster system for vessel
US8353734Sep 24, 2010Jan 15, 2013Williams John TSelf-contained hydraulic thruster for vessel
US8382538Aug 9, 2010Feb 26, 2013John T. WilliamsHydraulic thruster for vessel
WO2000003915A1Jul 17, 1998Jan 27, 2000Theodore MarkMarine propulsion system
U.S. Classification440/5, 248/642, 440/55
International ClassificationB63H23/26, B63H23/00, B63H20/08, B63H20/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63H20/08, B63H23/26
European ClassificationB63H20/08, B63H23/26