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Publication numberUS3279410 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 18, 1966
Filing dateJun 14, 1965
Priority dateJun 14, 1965
Publication numberUS 3279410 A, US 3279410A, US-A-3279410, US3279410 A, US3279410A
InventorsYoung Robert O
Original AssigneeYoung Robert O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tiller tender accessory for small boats
US 3279410 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 18, 1966 R. o. YOUNG 3,279,410


United States Patent 3,279,410 TILLER TENDER ACCESSORY FOR SMALL BOATS Robert 0. Young, 609 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, Calif. Filed June 14, 1965, Ser. No. 463,661 7 Claims. (Cl. 114-172) This invention relates to small boats and more particularly to a simple accessory readily installable crosswise thereof for use in holding the tiller in a desired position and for readily adjusting it to different positions.

Operators of small sailboats are ofttimes burdened with the task of continuously minding the tiller to keep the boat on a desired course. Under many sailing conditions it is feasible to keep the tiller in a desired position for an extended period of time. Various proposals have been advanced intended to meet this need. However, the devices heretofore provided for this purpose are not easily added to a boat by the novice and most are objectionably complex, bulky and ditficult to use and in general have inadequate provision for locking the tiller in different selected positions as well as for easily and quickly changing the tiller to a different position.

With the foregoing and other disadvantages of the prior art tiller constructions in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a simple, inexpensive tiller tending accessory which can be quickly installed in a wide range of boat sizes and types without need for tools or changes in the boat structure. In addition, the invention accessory is instantly convertible between manual and nonmanual control of the tiller. Furthermore, so long as adjusted for nonmanual control the accessory is easily and quickly adjusted to shift the position of the tiller without need for deactivating the nonmanual control. A further and important feature is the fact that the present accessory is so easily attached to the boat that it can be positioned for use in a matter of seconds and as quickly removed thereby avoiding the possibility of theft. To this end the accessory is equipped with spring-activated pressure clamps for holding it firmly anchored in operating position, as between the interioropposite sides of the boat. The remaining subassembly is readily clamped in place on the tiller and is so small and lacking in utility for other purposes that it can safely be left in place on the tiller when the boat is not in use.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a simple, inexpensive tiller tender accessory adapted to be self-supporting within hte boat and cooperating with means carried by the tiller to render the latter manually or nonmanually controllable at the users option.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a tiller tender accessory including a main subassembly adapted to be frictionally held in place within the boat and a cooperating detent subassembly attachable to the tiller.

These and other more specific objects will appear upon reading the following specification and claims and upon considering in connection therewith the attached drawings.

Referring now to the drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the tiller tender in a typical operating environment and in use to hold the tiller anchored against movement;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view on an enlarged scale showing the tiller in cross-section;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view on an enlarged scale showing parts of the tender in section; and

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 on FIGURE 3.

Referring initially more particularly to FIGURE 1,

3,279,410 Patented Oct. 18, 1966 there is shown a preferred embodiment of the tiller tender accessory designated generally 10 mounted crosswise between the opposite sides of a small sailboat 11. The rudder, not shown, has an operating shaft 12 projecting upwardly through the center of the aft end of the boat. Tiller 13 has a bifurcated end straddling the upper end of shaft 12 and pivoted thereto by pin 14 and permitting the tiller to be raised and lowered as it is used to rotate the tiller shaft either clockwise or counterclockwise as required to keep the boat on a desired course.

When not being manually controlled, the tiller is equipped with a detent designated generally 16 which can be inserted in a desired position along device 10 to hold the tiller against pivotal movement in either direction.

The principal subassembly of the tiller tender will now be described by the aid of FIGURES 2 to 4. The device includes a main body tube 18 having a pair of mounting or clamping tubes 19, 20 loosely supported in its opposite ends and urged outwardly to their respective extended positions by compression springs 21, 21 housed within tube 18. Desirably each of tubes 19 and 20 are retained against dissassembly from tube 18 as by a friction detent spring 23 of generally C-configuration. This keeper spring is mounted near the inner ends of tubes 19, 20 and has a detent 24 projecting outwardly through an opening 25 in the side wall of the tubes. The outer end of detent 24 is preferably slightly rounded and bears under considerable pressure against the interior side wall of tube 18.

The outer ends of tubes 19, 20 are preferably capped, as with a plastic thimble 27, having their outer end surfaces socketed in spherical depression 28 of a cup-shaped member 29. This member is filled with a resilient bearing pad 30. It will be understood that the extension and contraction capacity of the described main subassembly is such that the device is readily accommodated between the opposite sides of small boats of a wide range of sizes and designs. As herein illustrated, the accessory is mounted between the vertical sides 33 of seats customarily extending along either interior side of the boat. However, in other boats the bearing pads 30 would bear against the gunwales or any other appropriate and convenient structure to either side of the tiller.

An important component of the tender is a relatively large diameter, stiff coil spring 35 of the open-wound type. The opposite ends of this spring are shown seated in grooves 36 on the ends of knurled collars 37 suitably fixed to the opposite ends of tube 18. It will be understood that spring 35 is rotatable about its own axis relative to grooves 36. Alternatively, the entire tubular structure may rotate about its own axis within sockets 28 of the friction pads 30 as torquing force is applied to spring 35 or to knurled collars 37.

Detent subassembly 16 is held firmly clamped to the tiller handle at a point overlying accessory 10, as by a band clamp 39. As here shown, this band is of the type having rows of slots extending at an angle crosswise of one end and within which a worm screw 40 operates. This worm screw is rotatably mounted in member 41 suitably secured to the clamping band. Screw 40 has a head 42 formed with a kerf 43 to receive a tool bit to operate the screw. Straddling the adjustable clamping means for the clamp is a stirrup 45 having a long detent blade 46 projecting outwardly from its bight portion in a manner clearly shown in FIGURE .3. Desirably this detent projects from either end of stirrup 45 to the end that the tiller can be rotated through a substantial arc to either side of its center position with one or the other of its ends positioned for insertion between the turns of spring 35.

The mode of installing the described tiller tender and using the same to mind the tiller will be readily understood from the foregoing detailed description of its construction and the relationship of its components to one another. -In preparing to use the device, the operator simply grasps the opposite ends 19 and 20 of the main subassembly and presses the pad of one against an interior support of the boat while retracting the other tube, as 20, until its friction pad can be seated against the other side of the boat thereby firmly anchoring the accessory closely below the tiller in the manner shown in FIGURE 1. The detent subassembly is then clamped to the shaft of the tiller with its detent centered over the central portion of coil spring 35. Once this detent assembly has been secured in place using an ordinary screwdriver to tighten clamp 39, subassembly 16 may be left permanently installed on the tiller.

Once the boat is in open water and stabilized on a selected course, the helmsman may look the tiller in a desired position simply by lowering it until detent 46 nests between adjacent convolutions of spring 35. Desirably the coils of the spring are so positioned when anchoring collars 37 are in place as to frictionally grip the opposite sides of the detent and thereafter cooperate in gripping the detent to safeguard againts its accidental dislodgement from spring 35. It will be understood that the spring is sufficiently long that the tiller can be adjusted to any position through a relatively wide angle of ad-' justment.

The helmsman may lift the tiller from the spring at any time by applying a positive upward force and then continue to steer the boat manually, returning the tiller to nonmanual control quickly and at any time and in any desired position.

It not infrequently happens that the helmsman may Wish to shift the course of the boat while under nonmanual control and this can be done by lifting the detent from the spring and resetting it in a differently adjusted position. Alternatively a small change in course is easily obtained by grasping coil 35 or knurled collars 37 and torquing the spring either clockwise or counterclockwise, as appropriate, to shift detent 46 and the attached tiller in the desired direction.

When mooring the boat at the end of the day, accessory is quickly detached simply by grasping one of the anchor tubes '19 or 20 and pushing it axially toward the other in opposition to spring 21. As this is done the device is lifted from between the sides of the boat and carried to a place of safe storage until again needed.

While the particular tiller tender accessory for small boats herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A tiller tender accessory for use on boats to hold the tiller selectively in different positions, said accessory comprising elongated rigid support means engageable at its ends with the boat structure adjacent the opposite sides of the boat tiller, a stiff open-wound coil spring supported coaxially of said rigid support means between the ends thereof and detent means securable to the tiller and shaped to be inserted radially between the convolutions of said spring and cooperating therewith to hold said tiller in a desired adjusted position so long as said detent means remains captive between a selected pair of spring convolutions.

2. A tiller tender accessory as defined in claim 1 characterized in the provision of means for holding the op posite ends of said coil spring against movement axially of said rigid support means but free for rotation about the axis thereof, whereby rotation of said spring is effective to shift said detent means lengthwise of said spring to adjust 'the tiller to a diiferent position.

3. A tiller tender accessory having an elongated tubular main body provided with means at its ends engageable with boat structure to hold said accessory rigidly supported horizontally crosswise of the boat beneath the boat tiller, a stiif open-wound coil spring encircling the midportion of said main body, detent means adapted to be mounted on the portion of the tiller overlying said coil spring and adapted to have a detent thereon pressed between a selected pair of adjacent spring convolutions and cooperating therewith to hold the tiller in a desired adjusted position to hold the boat on a selected course.

4. A tiller tender accessory as defined in claim 3 characterized in that said tubular main body includes springpressed support pad means projecting from its opposite ends and adapted to support said accessory rigidly between structure on the opposite sides of the boat.

5. A tiller tender as defined in claim 4 characterized in that said coil spring is rotatable about its own axis when grasped by the hand and torqued.

spring means, and effective to hold said accessory supported horizontally crosswise of the rear end of a boat,

an open-wound stiff coil spring encircling said tube, and

detent means cl-ampableto a tiller and having a detent adapted to be inserted between adjacent convolutions of said coil spring and to be shifted axially of said tube as said coil spring is rotated about the axis thereof.

No references cited.

MILTON BUCHLER, Primary Examiner. A. FARRELL, Assistant Examiner,

Non-Patent Citations
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3865067 *May 17, 1973Feb 11, 1975Archer Charles RPropulsion and steering system for boats
US4080918 *Jul 23, 1976Mar 28, 1978Robert Bruce BonhardRudder control device
US4178869 *Apr 27, 1978Dec 18, 1979Turrentine Fred CCombined removable tiller extension holding and controlling device for watercraft
US4188904 *Feb 17, 1978Feb 19, 1980Childress Jon PTiller minder
US4476800 *May 14, 1982Oct 16, 1984Gage John WTiller control device
US4480572 *Sep 17, 1982Nov 6, 1984John LauterbachTiller tender
US4907521 *Oct 17, 1988Mar 13, 1990Kresse John ALine lock
US5052321 *Feb 28, 1991Oct 1, 1991Toniatti Fred GTroll control apparatus
US5129846 *Jan 7, 1991Jul 14, 1992Berge A. DimijianVessel propulsion and turning control system
US5133274 *Feb 13, 1991Jul 28, 1992Grant Kenneth JKinetic integral steering system
US5335616 *May 4, 1993Aug 9, 1994Tiesler Robin FBoat rudder control system
US5794557 *Jun 21, 1996Aug 18, 1998Etap Yachting N.V.Steering device for a vessel
US8069803Aug 25, 2009Dec 6, 2011Peter James CrawfordBoat tiller restraining device
EP2487105A1 *Feb 7, 2012Aug 15, 2012Stig JonssonA groove holder for a spiral groove handle
U.S. Classification114/172, 74/495
International ClassificationB63H25/06, B63H25/10
Cooperative ClassificationB63H25/10
European ClassificationB63H25/10