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Publication numberUS3599595 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1971
Filing dateJul 17, 1969
Priority dateJul 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3599595 A, US 3599595A, US-A-3599595, US3599595 A, US3599595A
InventorsWilliam P James
Original AssigneeWilliam P James
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Outdrive for boats
US 3599595 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] lnventor William P. James 1730 21st St., Ogden, Utah 84401 [21] Appl. No. 842,486 [22] Filed July 17, 1969 [45] Patented Aug. 17, 1971 [54] OUTDRIVE FOR BOATS 17 Claims, 20 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl. 115/34 [51] Int. Cl. B63h 5/06 [50] Field oiSearch 115/34,41; 416/171, 1

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,486,049 10/1949 Miller... 115/34 2,511,156 6/1950 Glass 115/34 3,136,286 6/1964 Kiekhaefer et al 115/41 3,139,062 6/1964 Keefe 115/34 FOREIGN PATENTS 4/1962 Great Britain 1 15/34 Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Assistant ExaminerCarl A. Rutledge Attorney-Lynn G. Foster ABSTRACT: An outdrive for a boat having a hydraulic pump including an eccentric ring which is rotatable to change the path of fluid flow under pressure so that the direction of drive of the motor can be easily reversed. Hydraulic fluid may be subjected to pressure with structure prior to communication thereof to the hydraulic pump. A transom bracket and stem drive housing support are connected so as to provide pivotal movement of the stern drive housing along two mutually perpendicular axes so that the stern drive housing will remain in the water even when the boat negotiates a sharp turn, the transom bracket being provided with couplings to accommodate fluid flow therethrough and a fluid-restraining recess to allow recirculation of cooling water through a driving engine carried by the boat. The stem drive housing is of onepiece molded construction. Hydraulic motor structure in the foot of the stern drive housing drives a propeller shaft in either direction depending on the direction of the fluid flow from the hydraulic pump. The hydraulic motor has telescoped drive shafts and a central bearing flange which counteracts the force of propeller thrust in one direction with hydraulic fluid pressure in the opposite direction.

PATENTED AUG] 7 ISYI sum 1 or 8 FIG. 7

564 see see " see INVENTOR, WILLIAM P. JAMES 554 BY f ATT RNEY PATENTEUAHGI Han 3,599,595

sum 2 0F 8 WILLIAM P. JAMES I62 I66 BY g FIG. 3 I36 ATTORNEY PATENTEUAUBIYIBYI 3,599,595

SHEET 3 or 8 FIG. 5

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ATTORNEY 4 PATENTEI] AUG I 7 |97| SHEET 5 UF 8 R O T N E V m WILLIAM R JAMES BY ATTORNEY PATENTED AUG] 71971 SHEET 6 [IF 8 0km hQ GOD mt mhm Own mww mum INVENTOR. WILLIAM P. JAM 8 ATTOR EY PAIENTED AUG! 7 l9?! SHEET 7 BF 8 INVENTOR. WILLIAM pfys ATTORNEY FIG. l8

PATEN T-EU Mr; n W971 SHEET 8 BF 8 FIG. l6

INVENTOR. ILLIAM R ageds ORNEY OUTDRIVE FOR BOATS BACKGROUND 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to boat-propelling methods and apparatus and more particularly to a novel outdrive having improved mounting structure and improved power structure which avoids use of mechanical drive train between the prime mover and the steering and propelling outdrive.

2. The Prior Art Conventionally, most well-known boat outdrives comprise a reciprocal engine carried within the boat so that the-output shaft projects through the boat transom. A complicated gear train including a drive shaft is carried within the stern drive housing and connects the output shaft to a screw propeller. This arrangement has proved disadvantageous in that vibrations in the engine are transferred throughout the boat because the output shaft is engaged with the boat transom and because of the use of universal joints. Moreover, repairs to the complicated gear train are difficult, time consuming and expensive.

Also, when the output shaft projects through the transom, the transom bracket and stem drive housing must be connected in some conventional outdrives so that the stern drive housing will move arcuately in a single plane. Thus, when the boat is turned sharply, the propeller at the foot of the stern drive housing will lift out of the water as the boat tips around its longitudinal axis in the normal manner in response to the turn;

It has been found that lubricating fluid which is normally disposed within the stern drive housing of conventional outdrive boats is frequently contaminated, such as with salt water. This contamination is a result of weakening of seals and bearings due to the thrust of the propeller against the stern drive housing. Contamination of the lubricating fluid results in premature breakdown and failure of the outdrive.

Numerous other problems, such as outdrive corrosion, are frequently encountered with prior art outdrive mechanisms.

BRIEFSUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to overcome or alleviate problems of the mentioned type.

Briefly, the present invention comprises an improved outdrive structure which avoids the tremendously complicated drive train used in conventional outdrives. The present invention comprises a propeller shaft which is driven by an improved hydraulic motor located in the foot of the stern drive housing. A conventional engine located within the boat is connected to a novel reversible hydraulic pump also located within the boat. Hydraulic lines communicate hydraulic fluid under pressure from the pump to the hydraulic motor so that the only drive structure existing between the stern drive housing and the hydraulic pump is the hydraulic lines. In one presently preferred embodiment alternative inlet sites are located at the hydraulic motor to accommodate optional selective drive of the motor in either the forward or reverse direction.

The present invention also comprises a unique stern drive housing, which is of molded construction formed of substantially noncorrosive material.

The stem drive housing is connected to an improved transom bracket and is adapted to arcuately move around two mutually perpendicular axes so that the stern drive housing remains in the, water even when the boat is placed in a sharp turn. One presently preferred transom bracket has a recess normally in open communication with water and structure for depositing heated water from the engine and collecting at least some of the heated water for recirculation through the engine so that the engine is more rapidlybrought to operating temperature. The hydraulic motor in the foot of the stern drive housing has improved structure for counteracting the force of the propeller thrust with the force of fluid pressure from the hydraulic motor. Thus, lubricating material and bearings are preserved from contamination with salt water, debris and other matter.

It is therefore, another primary object of the present invention to provide a novel outdrive system for a boat, including apparatus and method.

Another important object of the present invention is the unique provision for stem drive housing made of essentially one-piece molded material.

It is another significant object of the present invention to provide improved transom bracket and stem drive housing support structure.

Another and no less important object of the present invention is a provision for novel hydraulic pump structure and method. 7

It is another notable object of the present invention to provide novel hydraulic motor apparatus and method.

One still further significant object of the present invention includes improved hydraulic motor structure having a novel shaft coupling and bearing arrangement.

A further object of the present invention is to provide novel structure for delivering fluid to the hydraulic pump under pressure.

Another valuable object of the invention is to provide improved steering linkage.

It is also an important object of the present invention to provide improved structure for displacing the stern drive housing from an operable position to an inoperable position.

These and other objects and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view shown partially in cross section of the presently preferred outdrive embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective illustration of the hydraulic fluid pump utilized with the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross section taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a transverse cross section taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are fragmentary cross sections similar to the cross section of FIG. 4 with the pump structure in alternate operative positions;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional elevation of the presently preferred embodiment of a secondary pump for use with the pump of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a perspective illustration of a presently preferred transom bracket embodiment of the invention as viewed from the backside thereof with the elevating structure removed;

FIG. 9 is a cross section taken along lines 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional elevation of the stern drive elevating structure used with the transom bracket of FIGS. 8 and 9;

FIG. 12 is an exploded perspective of the stern drive housing and housing support structure;

FIG. 13 is a transverse cross section taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary elevational view of the lower portion of the stern drive housing with portions broken away to reveal the hydraulic motor therein;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a skeg housing comprising part of the hydraulic motor embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 16 is a perspective elevation of the spanner nut utilized with the skeg housing embodiment of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the hydraulic motor housmg;

FIG. 18 illustrates in perspective the end cap adapted for use with the housing embodiment of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary perspective view of the port and bearing housing, portions of the view being broken away to reveal the path transversed by the ports; and

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of spacers normally disposed adjacent the port housing of FIG. 19.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The System, FIG. 1

the bottom 34 such as with neoprene engine mounts (not shown). The engine 36 may be a gasoline or other suitable engine as is conventional'and comprises an output spline drive 38 which'is nonrotatably connected to a mating drive shaft 136 of a fluid pump generally designated 40. Fluid pump 40 is connected by high-pressure hoses 42 and 44 to a hydraulic motor generally designated 46 carried in the foot 48 of a stern drive housing generally designated 50. A propeller 47 is driven by motor 46 to propel the boat when the hydraulic motor is actuated. The high-pressure hoses 42 and 44 selectively alternatively serve as inlet and outlet hoses to drive the propeller in either direction.

The stern drive housing 50 is pivotally carried upon a quadrangle support generally designated 52 which is, in turn, suspended pivotally by a transom bracket 54. Transom bracket 54 is secured to the boat stern 32 over an aperture (not shown) such as with bolts 56 and, preferably, a seal (not shown) is interposed between the transom bracket 54 and the boat stem to prevent water from leaking into the boat around the aperture (not shown). Steering linkage generally designated 58 is disposed between the transom bracket 54 and the stern drive housing 50 and is actuated by cables 60 which traverse a substantial portion of the length of the boat and are attached to the sides 31 thereof with brackets 62, which brackets accommodate axial movement of the cables 60. If desired, the cables may be connected to a conventional boatsteering wheel (not shown) as is conventional to facilitate steering ofthe boat.

Having briefly described the several components which together comprise the preferred embodiment of my invention, I will now more fully describe each of the various components thereof. a

The Fluid Pump, FIGS. 2-7

The fluid pump generally designated 40 comprises a pump housing 64 comprising opposed ports 66 and 68 which are in open communication with internal fluid passageways 70 and 72 respectively. Blind bores 74 and 76 are disposed in the planar face 78 and 80 on the housing 64 a spaced distance from the ports 66 and 68 respectively. Bolt bores 74 and 76 are threaded so as to accommodate coupling between the pump and a rear engine hanger. High-pressure hoses 42 and 44 are normally thread fit into ports 66 and 68 and sealed by an -'ring.

The interior of the pump housing 64 is provided with a cylindrical hollow 84 (FIG. 4) into which an eccentric ring 86 is snugly though rotatably disposed. Ring 86 is provided with spaced teeth around the periphery thereof, preferably somewhat in excess of l 80.

The teeth 88 are selectively engaged by mating teeth 90 comprising part of gear 92 disposed within an opening 94 in an enlarged, outwardly projecting portion 96 of the housing 64. The gear 92 is rotatable upon a shaft 98 which is either manually or mechanically'rotated from a source (not shown). Significantly, the gear 92 forces the ring 86 so thatthe smooth portion 100 thereof is contiguouswith the hollow 84 of the housing 64. Thus, it can be appreciated, that rotation of gcar 92 will similarly cause rotation of the ring 86-within the limits defined by the teeth 88 and a pin stop (not shown) and by an internally projecting notch 102.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, the housing 64 is provided with an annular boss 65. A bore 67 is disposed central of the boss to communicate the hollow interior 84 of the housing with the exterior thereof. A threaded grease fitting 69 is threadedly engaged with the bore 67, the grease fitting 69 having a central channel (not shown) through which lubricant may be injected.

A spherical ball 71 in the bore 67 is spring biased by spring 73 away from the fitting 69'toward the eccentric ring 86. The spherical ball moves into the notch 102 (F IG.4) when the ring has been advanced by the gear 92 sufficiently to place the notch 102 juxtapose the bore 67. In this position, the pump 40 is in a nonpumping neutral position and further movement of the ring 86 is met with slight resistance. Thus, an operator may know when he has rotated gear 42 sufficiently to place the pump 40 in neutral position. v

A cylindrical sleeve 104 is disposed snugly though rotatably within the ring 86 so as to be peripherally juxtaposed thereto. The internal surface 106 of the sleeve 104 is provided with a series of interdental spaced 108 which are separated by arcuately contoured teeth 110.

The interdental spaces 108 and contoured teeth are adapted to mate with a complementarily configuratedvgear rotor l 12, the gear rotor 1 l2 and the sleeve 86 together forming a gear rotor set. It can be appreciated from FIG. 4 that there exists one more interdental space 108 in the sleeve 109 than teeth 1 13 on the gear motor 112. Also, the gear rotor 112 is adapted to engage and mesh with contoured teeth 110 only adjacent one peripheral location so that several adjacent spaces 108 are not filled with teeth 1 13.

Gear rotor 112 is nonrotatably secured to drive shaft 114 such as with a key 116. As best shown in FIG. 3, the shaft 114 is supported at the distal end 118 in a blind bore 120 in an end cap 122 which is rigidly secured to the housing 64 such as with bolts (not shown) or the like. End cap 122 is provided with passageways 124 and 126 which are respectively in open communication with the passageways 70 and 72 and also in selective open communication with the interior 106 of the cylindrical sleeve 104. If desired, a bearing (not shown) may be interposed between the shaft 114 and the end cap 122. An annular plate 128 is carried by the eccentric ring 86 and disposed around the shaft 1 14 and is provided with elongated apertures 129 and 131 which define the portion of the gear rotor set exposed to the passageways 124 and 126.

Spaced annular seals and 132 are disposed between the end cap- 122 and the housing 64 on either side of the passageway 124 and 126 in order to avoid leakage of fluid between the end cap and the housing.

The proximal end 134 of shaft 114 (FIG. 3) is of reduced diametrical dimension and comprises a splined mating end 136 which is adapted to be nonrotatably coupled with the spline drive output of the engine 36 (FIG. 1). The proximal end 134 is carried within an annular forward end cap 138 having an outwardly tapering periphery 139 and which is held in place by an essentially annular retainer ring 142. The retainer ring 142 has a central annular bore 143, a substantial portion of which is tapered so as to mate with the end cap 138 at the tapered surface 139 so as to retain the end cap 138 in place. The retainer ring 142 is rigidly secured to the housing 64 such as with setscrews (FIG. 2).

End cap 138 has passageways 125 and 127 which are in open communication with passageways 70 and 72 and also with apertures and 147 in annular plate 144. The annular plate 144 is disposed at the interface of the gear rotor 112 and the end cap 138 around the shaft 114 and the apertures 145 and 147, similar to apertures 129 and 131 in plate 128, define that portion of the gear rotor set which is exposed to the passageways 125 and 127. Also, annular seals 146 and 148 are disposed at the interface of the housing 64 and the end cap 138 on either side of the passageways I25 and 127 to accommodate fluid seal relationship between the end cap 138 and the housing 64. 1

End cap 138 is provided with an outwardly projecting boss 150 which is provided with an annular bore 152 which is coaxial with bore 154 which carries the shaft 114. The bore 152 is diametrally enlarged and adapted to carry an annular bearing race 156 upon which are carried ball bearings 158 and an opposed bearing race 160. Bearing race 160 is contiguous with the reduced diametral portion 134 of the shaft 114 and allows shaft 114 to rotate easily. The entire bearing assembly absorbs radial loads created by the rotating forces of the shaft 114. Bearings 158 and races 156 and 160 are held in place by bearing retainer 162 which is secured to the end cap 138 such as with screws 164. Lubricating material is maintained in the bearings 158 with an annular oil seal 166 disposed in the retainer 162 around the reduced diametral portion 134 of the shaft 114.

The method of operation of the pump 40 is best understood by a reference to FIGS. 4-6. Referring now to FIG. 4, fluid enters port 66 and is disposed through apertures 129 and 145 (FIG. 3.) to the interior of the sleeve 104 between the interior surface 106 and the gear rotor 112 (FIG. 4). As the gear rotor 112 and the'sleeve 104 jointly rotate the hydraulic fluid will be trapped in the interdental spaces 108. Continued rotation of the gear rotor 112 and the sleeve 104 will cause the fluid trapped therein to be subjected to substantial pressure as the interdental spaces'108 are progressively filled with the gear rotor teeth 113. The fluid thus placed under pressure is allowed to escape from between the gear rotor teeth 113 and the sleeve 104 through the apertures 131 and 147 and through passageways 126 and 127 to port 68 under substantial pressure for use in powering the hydraulic motor 46 as will be hereinafter more fully described.

As can be appreciated by reference to FIG. 5, rotation of the gear 92 will cause the ring 86 to likewise rotate within the housing 64. When the ring 86 has rotated to the position illustrated in FIG. 5, it can be observed that the sleeve 104 is eccentrically displaced relative to the axially stationary gear rotor 112 so that the gear rotor 112 and the sleeve 104 mate at a location radially displaced from the location illustrated in FIG; 4. When the ring 86 is in the neutral position illustrated in FIG. 5 the inlet port is adjacent the already filled interdental space 108 and the outlet port is adjacent the space not yet compressed by the gear rotor. Thus, no fluid is compressed by the gear rotor and fluid is not pumped by the motor 40. Also, the spherical, spring-biased ball 71 is disposed in the notch 102 so that the ring 86 is somewhat restrained in position. Any further displacement of ring 86 is met with slight resistance so that an operator can easily detect that the motor 40 is in neutral position.

When the ring 86 is displaced by gear 92 to the position illustrated in FIG. 6, the position of the inlet port and outlet port relative to the engaged portion of the gear rotor 112 are reversed essentially 180 from that illustrated in FIG. 4. In the FIG. 6 position, fluid is drawn into the sleeve 104 through the port 68 and forced out through port 66 under pressure so that the direction of fluid flow under pressure is exactly opposite that illustrated in FIG. 4.

The Embodiment of FIG. 7

Frequently, some of the hydraulic fluid, normally pumped by pump 40, described above, is lost to the system through oil seals and otherwise by reason of normal usage of the pump. In order to ensure that a constant volume of hydraulic fluid is available to the pump and to prevent air pockets or voids from developing in the pump 40, the end cap 122 (FIG. 3) may be replaced with the improved hydraulic pressure generator generally designated 552 and best illustrated in FIG. 7. The pressure generator 552 preferably comprises an intermediate housing 554 having a rotor-housing-engaging face 554 which is substantially identical in configuration to the face of end cap 122 (FIG. 3). Also, intermediate housing 554 has passageways 124 and 126 which are essentially identical to passageways 124 and 126 in end cap 122 (FIG. 3). The housing 554 is bolted or otherwise suitably secured to the rotor housing 64 in a manner similar to the attachment of end cap 122 in FIG. 3.

Housing 554 has an outwardly projecting annular extension 556 having a centrally disposed annular recess 558. An axial bore 562 in the housing 554 has a reduced diameter portion 564 which opens into the recess 558. A rotor drive shaft 560 has a terminal reduced diametral portion 566 which, in the assembled condition, is rotatably disposed in the reduceddiameter bore 564 so as to extend through the recess 558.

A gear rotor set, generally designated 568 is disposed in the recess 558, the gear rotor set having a gear rotor 570 which is nonrotatably attached to the reduced diametral portion 566 of shaft 560 such as with a key-keyway combination. A mating cylindrical sleeve 572 is eccentrically disposed around the gear rotor 570 in a manner substantially similar to the relationship between gear rotor 112 and sleeve 104 illustrated in FIG. 4. Also, an eccentric ring 574 circumscribes the cylindrical sleeve 572. Eccentric ring 574 is similar to and performs the same'function as ring 86 (FIG. 4) except that ring 574 has no peripheral gear teeth and is not easily rotated within the recess 558.

An end cap 576 has a face 578 which is normally disposed in the recess 558 juxtaposed the gear rotor set 568. A peripheral flange 580 engages the outside face 582 of the intermediate housing 544 and is joined thereto such as with bolts 584. The end cap 576 is also provided with an axially aligned blind bore 577 into which the terminal reduced diametral portion 566 of the shaft 560 is rotatably disposed.

End cap 576 has opposed passageways 586 and 588 which are in open communication with spaces between the gear rotor 520 and cylindrical sleeve 572. An influent tube 590 is threadedly secured in a bore 589 in the end cap 576 so that passageway 588 is in open communication with a fluid reservoir (not shown) and an effluent tube 592 is threadedly secured in a bore 594 in the end cap 576. Effluent tube 592 is branched at 596 into tubes 598 and 600.

Tube 598 is in open communication with the fluid reservoir (not shown) and tube 600 is joined at 602 by tube 604. Tubes 600 and 604 are preferably respectively connected to the rotor housing 64 at ports 66 and 68 (see FIGS. 24).

The method of operation of the hydraulic pressure generator 552 is as follows:

Hydraulic fluid is brought from the fluid reservoir (not shown) through tube 590 into passageway 588. The hydraulic fluid is then collected between the gear rotor 570 and the sleeve 574 and forced thereby out through passageway 586 and tube 592 under pressure.

Normally, the fluid under pressure will flow through tubes 600 and 604 to the ports 66 and 68 in the housing 64 (FIGS. 14) to operate the pump 40 as above described. Communication of hydraulic fluid to the pump 40 under pressure has the important advantage of completely filling all of the space between gear rotor 112 and sleeve 104 (FIG. 4). with hydraulic fluid to give a supercharging effect. Thus, the efficiency of the pump output is noticeably improved.

However, when the pressure in the fluid to the motor 40 reaches a predetermined level, fluid pumped by the gear rotor set 568 will flow through tube 598 to the fluid reservoir (not shown). Since fluid in tube 592 can either flow to the reservoir (not shown) or to the ports 66 and 68, the fluid will be communicated to-the ports 66 and 68 when voids or air pockets in the motor 40 cause reduced pressure between the gear rotor' 112 and the sleeve 104.

The Transom Bracket, FIGS. 8-11 FIGS. 8-l1 illustrate the improved transom bracket 54 comprising part of the present invention. The transom bracket 54 comprises an essentially planar back member having a plurality of apertures 172 spaced adjacent the periphery thereof. The back member is normally disposed over an opening (not shown) in the boat stern 32 (FIG. 1). Apertures 172 receive bolts 56 (F IG. 1') which secure the transom bracket 54 in watertight relation to the stern 32 of boat 30. If desired, a seal (not shown) may be interposed between the bracket 54 and the boat stern 32 to prevent leakage of water therebetween.

A pair of essentially identical outwardly projecting essentially conical projections 174 and 176 are rigidly mounted upon the back member 170. Each projection 174 and 176 comprises a through bore 178 and 180 respectively which communicate with transverse apertures (not shown) in the back member 170. Projections 174 and 176 project into boat 30 (FIG. 1) when the transom bracket is properly mounted thereon. The through bores 178 and 180 in projections 174 and 176 provide access ways for high-pressure hoses 42 and 44 (FIG. 1) from the stern drive housing 50 exterior of the boat to the fluid pump 40 inside the boat.

Each projection 174 and 176 is provided with an annular collar 182 and 184 respectively which fit snugly around highpressure hoses 42 and 44 respectively and each is provided with a seal so that water exterior of the boat will not leak into the boat around the high'pressure hoses 42 and 44.

The forward face of the back member 170 is provided with a contoured skirt 200 which is scalloped at top 202 so that the sides 204 project forwardly a greater distance than the top 202. The bottom 206 of the skirt 200 comprises a part of a transverse brace 208 and is downwardly sloped so that water will freely flow out of the skirt 200.

Importantly, as best shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the transverse bore 208 terminates in a rearwardly and upwardly sloped surface 205 having an annular recess 207 therein. The recess 207, as can be appreciated from reference to FIG. 9, has a greater axial dimension adjacent the brace 208 than that adjacent the opposite edge 209. Normally, when the transom bracket 170 is properly mounted upon a floating boat 30,.the recess 207 is filled with water.

Two side-by-side apertures 211 and 213 communicate the recess 207 with the exterior of the transom bracket 54. It is presently preferred that each of the apertures 211 and 213 be connected by tubes (not shown) to the cooling system (not shown) of the engine 36 (FIG. 1). Cooling water will be withdrawn through the aperture 211 and circulated through engine 36 for cooling purposes. Thereafter, the water, heated by the engine will be returned to the recess 207 through aperture 203.

It has been found, according to the present method and apparatus ofthe invention, that the described construction ofthe recess 207 prevents rapid exchange of the water therein with surrounding water. Thus, the water withdrawn from the recess 207 through the aperture 211 will, largely, be the heated water deposited therein from the engine 36 through aperture 213.

When the engine 36 is cold, a conventional thermostat mechanism will cause a large part of the cooling water to be circulated through recess 207 so that the engine will more rapidly reach adequate operating temperature.

Referring again to FIG. 10, surface 205 is continuous with upwardly tapering adjacent surfaces 215 and 217, each of which have an annular bore 219 and 221 disposed therein. As best shown in FIG. 8, opposed port housings 223 and 225 are integral with the back member 170 respectively opposite the surfaces 217 and 215. Bores 219 and 221 traverse entirely through the back member 170 and port housings 225 and 223 respectively and open to the interior of boat 30. The bores 219 and 221 are exhaust ports for exhaust gasses from the exhaust manifold (not shown) of engine 36 (FIG. 1) and also carry overboard waterfrom the cooling system of the engine 36.

A protuberance 186, as illustrated inFIG. 9, is integral with the back member 170 and is disposedbetween the port housings 223 and 225. The protuberance 186 is provided with a through bore 188. A rod 190 is reciprocally disposed in the bore 188 and a bearing sleeve 187 is disposed in the bore 188 so that rod 190 can be easily displaced therein. It is preferred that an O ring or other suitable seal be disposed around the rod 190 to prevent leakage of water therearound.

Rod comprises an annular enlargement 189 at the leading end thereof having vertically disposed tab (not shown) integral therewith. A rod extension 191 is provided with an annular enlargement 194 which is bifurcated so as to mate with the tab (not shown) on enlargement 189. A transverse pin 196 which passes through apertures (not shown) in the enlargements 189 and 194 is maintained with a cotter pin 198 so that a pivot or knee joint 193 exists between rod 190 and extension 191.

Rod extension 191 has an integral crossbar 192 thereby forming a T-configuration. The crossbar 192 engages the support housing 52 (FIG. 1) in a manner hereinafter more fully described in order to determine the vertical orientation of the stern drive housing 50. The rod 190 may be provided with conventional structure accommodating axial displacement thereof either manually or mechanically as desired. Although any suitable displacing structure can be used the worm-worm gear structure illustrated in FIG. 1 1 is presently preferred.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the protuberance 186 on the back member '1 70 is engaged in mating relation by a comple mentarily contoured recess 610 in a gear housing 612. The gear housing 612 is secured to the transom bracket 54 such as with bolts 614.

Gear housing 612 has a removable distal end portion 616. End portion 616 is partible from housing 612 at interface 618 for ease in assembly and repair. An elongated axial extension 620 is integral with the distal end portion 616 and an interior axial blind bore 622 which receives the threaded distal end 624 of rod 190. Bore 622 is axially aligned with bore 188 in the protuberance 188 and extends from the blind end 626 through the housing 612 into communication with bore 188 in protuberance 186 so that rod 190 can be axially displaced therethrough. Sleeve bearing 613 makes axial movement of rod 190 within bore 622 more smooth.

The housing 612 has an enlarged portion 628 having a transverse blind bore 630 disposed therein. A worm 632 driven by a conventional reversible electric motor 634 is located in the bore 630 and engages worm gear 636.

Worm gear 636 is threadedly mounted upon the end 624 of rod 190 so that as the worm gear 636 is revolved by the worm 632, the rod 190 will advance or retract in the bore 622. The worm gear 636 has a diametrally reduced outward projection 638 so that'the worm gear is generally T-shaped in cross section. Projection 638 is, in the assembled condition, disposed in an annular counterbore 640 in the distal end 616 of the housing 612. The projection 638 is supported in the counterbore 640 upon needle roller bearings 642 which have a length essentially equal to the axial length of projection 638. Thus, worm gear 636 can easily revolve within housing 612 when acted upon by worm 632.

An annular thrust washer 644 is disposed within opposed annular recesses 646 and 648 in the housing 612 and worm gear 636, respectively. Also, another annular thrust washer 650 is normally located in counterbore 640 adjacent projection 638. Thrust washer 634 has sufficient diametral dimension to cover the end ofthe needle bearings 642 and retain the bearings in place.

In the method of operating the stern drive housing lift, the electric motor 634 is energized to turn worm 632 and, in turn, revolve worm gear 636. Revolution of worm gear 636 will cause shaft 190, threadedly engaged thereto, to advance out of bore 622. Crossbar 192 (FIG. 9) forces the stern drive housing 50 outward and upward relative to the transom bracket, rod 191 bending upwardly at the knee joint 193 to accommodate the upward displacement of the stern drive housing 50.

As best shown in FIG. 9, each of the sides 204 of the transom bracket'skirt 200 are provided with aligned apertures 212 which accommodate pivotal connection of the housing support 52 so that the stern drive housing 50 can be lifted to a generally horizontal position by the rod 190 and rod extension 191.

Each of the-sides 204 is provided with a transversely enlarged segment 210 located adjacent the top 202 of the skirt 200. The aperture 212 is disposed through the enlarged segment 210, the enlarged segment 210 giving structural integrity to the transom bracket 54 when forces are exerted thereon through the aperture 212.

The top 202 of the skirt 200 and the back 170 define a blind, elongated slot 214 which opens forwardly in the direction of the opening of skirt 200. The top of slot 214 comprises the bottom portion 218 of cup 220 which is rectangular in configuration and which opens rearwardly at 222 to define an elongated slot 216 therein. Transverse apertures 224 and 226 through the cup 200 receive a pin 228 the lower end of which is disposed in blind bore 230 in the skirt top 202. Pin 228 is made rotatable by bearings 232 and 234 in the cup 220 and bearing 236 in the bore 230.

A steering bar 238 is disposed in the elongated slot 216 and is nonrotatably attached to the pin 228. The trailing end of steering rod 238 is connected to steering cables 60 (FIG. 1) with conventional attachment structure (not shown).

The steering linkage generally designated 58 comprises a collar 240 (FIG. 8) which is nonrotatably secured to the pin 228 in slot 214. Collar 240 is connected by pivot joint 242 to the arm 244 so that collar 240 will be arcuately displaceable in a plane normal to the axis of the pin 228 and arm 244 is displaceable in a plane parallel to the axis of pin 228 at the joint 242. Arm 224 is united with a cylindrical collar 246 (FIG. 8) which is rotatably mounted upon a cylindrical bearing 249. The bearing 249 is rigidly joined to the bottom 247 of inverted U-shaped bracket 248 with a bolt 251. Importantly, a spacer 253 maintains the bearing 249 a fixed distance above the bracket 248.

Each of the arms 250 and 252 of the bracket 248'are provided with a transverse aperture 254 and 256 respectively which receive a pivot pin 258 (FIG. 1). As best illustrated in FIG. 1, the bracket 248 is normally disposed over the apex 260 of the stern drive housing 50 and is pivotally secured thereto so that the stern drive housing 50 may be rotated from the position illustrated in FIG. 1 to a-position where the stern drive housing is completely horizontal. Thus, the bracket 248 and the spherical ball 246 together function as a universal joint between the stern drive housing 50 and the steering linkage 58. Thus, when the steering bar238 is laterally displaced by the steering cables 60 (FIG. 1) the pin 228 will be rotated thereby and will thus cause arm 244 to be pivotally rotated. Arm-244 will turn the collar 246 relative to the bracket 248 and will exert a force upon the apex 260 of the stern drive housing 50 and the stern drive housing 50 will arcuately rotate in response to the force of arm 244 to turn the boat.

The Stern Drive Housing, FIGS. 12 and 13 located essentially central thereof slightly spaced above the end 274 of edge 270 and having an axis generally normal to the longitudinal axis of the foot 266. Casing 276 is interiorly hollow at 278 (FIG. 14) and normally encases the hydraulic motor 46 therein as will be hereinafter more fully described.

The foot 266 is provided with annular channels 282 and 284 which are in parallel offset relation in the foot 266 and communicate the upper surface 286 of the foot 266 with the interior 278 of the casing 276 as best illustrated in FIG. 14.,A relatively flat outwardly projecting flange 288 is integralwith and tapers outwardly from the foot 266 at a location 290 spaced slightly rearward from the leading edge 270 on both sides of the foot 266. The flange 288 terminates in a squared-off end 292 and, as can be appreciated particularly from FIG. 1, is integral with the tapered tail 294 of mounting head 296.

Mounting head 296, which is integral with the foot 266 and flange 288 at the bottom end 298 thereof has an apex 260. A transverse bore 300 exists in the mounting 296 adjacent the apex 260, the bore being adapted to receive pin 258 for attachment to bracket 248 (FIG. 1) as aforementioned.

The mounting head 296 has three forwardly projecting fingers 302, 304 and 306 and each of the fingers has smoothly rounded ends. It should be observed that the mounting head 296 is angularly related relative to the vertical so that the fingers project slightly downwardly when the foot 266 is directly vertical as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 12. Each of the fingers 302, 304 and 306 is provided with aligned axial bores 308, 310

and 312 respectively. The spaces 314 and 316 between the fingers 302, 304 and 306 allow the fingers 302 and 304 to be disposed in openings 318 and 320 respectively in the housing support generally designated 52.

The quadrangle support 52 is preferably formed of the same material as the stern drive housing 50 and may likewise be of one-piece molded construction. Housing support 52 has essentially flat top and bottom surfaces 322 and 324 and essentially flat side edges 326 and 328. Side edges 326 and 328 are joined to the top 322 by ramp surfaces 330 and 332. Similarly, side edges 328 and 326 are connected to bottom 325 by ramp surfaces 334 and 336.

As aforementioned, the housing support 52 has openings 318 and 320 which are vertically spaced therein and separated by a central beam 338. Top 322, beam 338 and bottom 334 are respectively provided with bores 340, 342 and 344 which, when the housing support 52 is properly positioned between the fingers 302, 304 and 306, are aligned with apertures 308, 310 and 312. The top 322 and beam 338 are enlarged in transverse dimension around the apertures 340 and 342 to structurally strengthen the housing support at those locations. The aligned apertures are then adapted to receive a kingpin disposed through all of the fingers and through the housing support 52. The stem drive housing is rotatable upon the kingpin so that the stern drive housing may be oriented in any one of a plurality of arcuate positions relative to the housing support 52.

As best shown in FIG. 13, each of the openings 318 and 320 is diametrally larger at the rearward face 346 than at the forward face 348. The interconnecting surfaces between the faces 348 and 346 are rounded as at 350 so as to provide a greater area of arcuate movement of the mounting head 296.

The bottom 324 of the housing support 52 comprises a platform 352 having a concave front edge 354 and flat side edges 356 and 358 (see FIG. 12). Side 358 is provided with threaded bore 360. A hook 362 is connected with a bolt 364 to the side 358, bolt 364 being threadedly engaged in the bore 360. Hook 362 is adapted to pivot around the shank 356 of bolt 364 and is biased in the upward position illustrated in FIG. 12 with spring 368. Spring 368 has one curved end 370 disposed in an aperture 372 in the hook 362 and the other curved end 374 in an aperture 376 defined by outwardly projecting tab 378.

A bracket 380 preferably formed of metal or the like has rearwardly directed arms 382 and 384 having rounded ends 386 and 388. Arms 382 and 384 are spaced soas to be disposed adjacent the sides 326 and 328 respectively of the housing support 52. The rounded ends 386 and 388 are respectively provided with apertures 390 and 392 adapted to be aligned with blind bores 394 and 396 in the side edges 326 and 328 respectively. Connecting pins 398 and 400 join the arms 382 and 384 to the housing support 52 so that bracket 380 is pivotal therewith along the horizontal axis defined by the pins 398 and 400. Pins 398 and 400 are also disposed in apertures 212 in the transom bracket 54 so that'the housing support 52 is pivotally joined to the transom bracket '54 and rotates relative thereto around the axis of pins 398 and 400.

Bracket 380 is also provided with downward body member 402 which is slightly wider at the terminal end 404 thereof than the platform 352. Spaced rings 406 and 408 are integral with the bracket 380 and disposed in planes parallel to the arms 382 and 384. Rings 406 and 408 are spaced sufiiciently so as to be disposed closely adjacent each side 356 and 358 of the platform 352. The rings 406 and 408 are normally disposed around the crossbar 192 (FIG. 9) on rod 190. Moreover, the crossbar 192 is normally disposed adjacent the concave surface 354 of the platform 352. Thus, when the rod 190 (FIG. 9) is axially outwardly displaced by the lift structure (FIG. 11), the bracket 380 and the housing support 52 will be rotated about the horizontal axis defined by pins 398 and 400 until the stern drive housing 50 is generally horizontally disposed.

The Hydraulic Motor, FIGS. l4--20 In FIG. 14 the hydraulic motor 46 located in the foot 48 of the stern drive housing 50 as illustrated in cross section. The hydraulic motor 46 comprises a rotor bearing housing 410, best shown in FIG. 17. The bearing housing 410 has a generally cylindrical configuration and outwardly presents a recess 412 which is eccentric with respect to the outer periphery of the housing 410 so that the recess is flush with one peripheral surface portion (not shown) and gradually tapers to a deeper recess at the diametrically opposite portion.

The outer face 414 of the housing 410 is provided with a peripheral notch 416 which receives a sealing ring 418 (FIG. 14 such as an O-ring. The housing 410 is internally provided with an outer chamber 420 (FIG. 14) which receives annular bearing assemblies 422 and 424. A

A propeller shaft 426 has a stepped, annularly enlarged base 428 which is mounted upon the bearing assemblies 422 and 424 and rotates easily thereon. The base 426 has an outwardly projecting diametrically reduced boss 430 disposed between the base 428 and the central portion 432 of the shaft 426. Central portion 432 of the shaft 426 is provided with longitudinal splines 434 upon which propeller 436 (FIG. 1) is nonrotatably mounted. The remote tip 438 of the shaft 426 is threaded to receive a locking nut (notshown) which maintains thepropeller 436 in position upon the shaft 426.

As is apparent from FIG. 14, shaft 426 is disposed eccentrically with respect to the rotor bearing housing 410 but is concentric relative to the recess 41'2.

The propeller shaft 426 and bearing assemblies 422 and 42 are maintained in place within the outer chamber 420 by a skeg cap 440, best shown in FIG. 18. As can be appreciated from FIG. 18, the inside surface 442 of the skeg cap 440 is provided with concentric recesses 444, 446 and 448. The recess 444 receives the outer edge 414 of the bearing housing 410 between the notch 416 and the bearing assembly 422. Bearing assembly 422 is disposed adjacent the recess 446 and recess 448 which is substantially deeper than either recess 444 or 446 receives an oil seal 450 (FIG. 14) which fits tightly around'the boss 430 of the propeller shaft 426 in the assembled position illustratcd in FIG. 14.

Aperture 452 allows the boss 430 and shaft 432 to pass from the chamber 420 through the skeg cap 440 to the exterior. It should be'observed,that aperture 452 and concentric recesses 444, 446, and 448 are eccentric with respect to the outer periphery of the skeg cap 440 so that in the assembled position of FIG. 14, the distance between the top of the bearing housing 410 and the shaft 426 is smaller than the distance between the shaft 426 and the bottom of the bearing housing 410 as illustrated in the figure.

Opposed blind keyways 441 in the recess 444 are adapted to mate with keys (not shown) on the edge 414 of the housing 410. When the keys and keyways are in mating relation, the cap 440 .will be correctly aligned so that propeller shaft 426 will be coaxial with eccentric aperture 452 in cap 440. The

skeg cap 426,is held in place tightly against the edge 414 of the bearing housing 410 with an annular spanner nut 454, best shown in FIG. 16. The spanner nut 454 has exterior threads 456 and is interiorly hollow at 458. A plurality of radially inwardly projecting fingers 460 project radially toward the geometric center of the spanner nut 454. The spanner nut 454 is provided with an annular inward tapered surface 462 so that the spanner nut 454 engages the skeg cap 440 only at the planar inside surface 455 thereof as illustrated in FIG. 14.

The spanner nut 454 threadedly engages the annular collar 464 comprising part of the skeg housing 466, best shown in FIG. 15.

Skeg housing 466 comprises longitudinal braces 468 each of which is integral with the collar 464 and which merges into an end plate 470 at the leading ends thereof. The skeg housing 466, as can be appreciated from reference to FIG. 14, fits within radially disposed, longitudinal mating recesses in the casing 276 in the foot 266 of the stern drive housing 50. The bearing housing 410 is telescopically disposed within the skeg housing 466 in the assembled position of FIG. 14.

Skeg housing 466 is provided with a fluid chamber 472 normally disposed above the rotor bearing housing in a location so as to be in communication with the eccentric recess 412. Conduit 474 communicates the interior of the fluid chamber 472 to the exterior of the stern drive housing 50 at the port 476 (FIG. 12). The chamber 472 and conduit 474 provide for pressure relief for accumulations of hydraulic fluid and air which leak from the rotor bearing housing 410 and connecting structure and accumulate in recess 412 in housing 410. When pressure builds up in the casing 276, fluid and air are conducted through bleeder port 473 and channel 475 to recess 412. Fluid and air then pass from recess 412 and, thereafter, through conduit 474 (FIGS. 1 and 14) to port 476 (FIG. 1). Port 476 is connected by a tube (not shown) to the fluid reservoir (not shown).

The longitudinal braces 468 of skeg housing 466 which are normally upwardmost in the casing 276 are outwardly contoured at 478 and 480 so that inlet and outlet tubes 282 and 284 can pass downwardly through the skeg housing 466 (see FIG. 14).

Referring again to FIG. 17, the inner face 508 of the bearing housing 410 is rigidly secured such as with bolts 510 (FIG. 14) to the port and bearing housing generally designated 512 and best shown in FIGS. 14 and 19. Port housing 512 has a trailing planar face 514 (FIG. 14) having a blind bore 516 therein. Blind bore 516 receives the forward end of a drive shaft 488, subsequently more fully described, and an annular bearing 518 is interposed between the blind bore 516 and the drive shaft 488 to function as antifriction structure to allow drive shaft 488 to rotate.

Port housing 512 further comprises a tapered central body 520 which tapers generally forwardly and terminates in a blunt end 522. In the assembled position of FIG. 14, blunt end 522 rests juxtaposed the end plate 470 of the skeg housing 466. The body 520 has two side-by-side bores 524 and 526 which are threaded at the tops 528 and 530 thereof so as to threadedly engage and tightly receive the threaded ends 532 and 534 oftubes 42 and 44 respectively (FIG. 14).

The bore 524 is communicated to .one radial location within the rotor housing 410 through a passageway 536 (FIG. 19) and bore 526 is communicated to a second radial location within the rotor housing 410 through a passageway 538. When fluid under pressure enters through the tube 42 the bore 524 and passageway 536 to the hydraulic motor 46 the drive shaft 488 will rotate. Fluid effluent from the motor 46 is communicated to the passageway 538 and bore 526 out through tube 44 (FIG. 14) to the fluid pump 40 (FIG. I) where it is again forced under pressure through the tube 42 (FIGS. 1 and 14).

The body 520 of the port housing 512 is integral with an annular flange 540. Flange 540 is provided with a plurality of bores 542 which are recessed to receive the heads of screws 510 when screws 510 rigidly mount the port housing 512 (FIG. 19) upon the bearing housing 410 (FIG. 17). An annular shoulder 544 forms a part of the body 520 and is disposed adjacent the frontal face 546 of the flange 540. The shoulder 544 carries a thrust ring 548 illustrated best in FIG. 20. Thrust ring 548 is shown in two separable parts for ease of placement thereof in the casing 276 of the stern drive housing 50. Each thrust ring half is provided with spaced exterior notches 550 which allow the thrust ring 548 to be inserted into the casing material 276 around the longitudinal braces 468 of the skeg housing 466 (FIG. 15). Also, opposed interior notches 551 are provided to key the thrust ring 548 relative to the housing 512. When the thrust ring 548 is in the assembled position illustrated in FIG. 14, force exerted through the bearing housing 410 by the propeller 436 (FIG. 1) will be distributed throughout the stern drive housing 50 instead being directly exerted upon the end plate 470 of the skeg housing 466.

The inner chamber 482 of the bearing housing 410 receives a cylindrical sleeve 484 having a cross-sectional configuration substantially similar to the cylindrical sleeve 104 illustrated in FIGS. 46. Sleeve 484 is interiorly provided with a mating gear rotor 486 which is substantially similar to gear rotor 112 illustrated in FIGS 4-6. Gear rotor 486 is nonrotatably joined to a drive shaft 488, such as with a key 490 disposed between slots 492 and 494 in the shaft 488 and the gear rotor 486 respectively.

Drive shaft 484 is mounted for rotation upon bearings 496 which are carried within the bore 498 in the central bearing flange 500. Bearing flange 500 has an annular recess 501 which functions as a reservoir for lubricant for bearing assemblies 422 and 424. The leading tip 502 of the drive shaft 488 has a diametrally reduced dimension and is provided with longitudinal splines 504. The tip 502 of the drive shaft 488 is adapted to be telescopically inserted into blind bore 506 in the enlarged base 428 of the propeller shaft 526. The splines 504 will mate with complementarily shaped splines-(not shown) in the bore 506 so that drive shaft 488 is nonrotatable-relative to the propeller shaft 426.

The novel and advantageous telescopic connection of the drive shaft 488 and the propeller shaft 426 accommodate rapid facile removal of the propeller shaft 426 and bearing assemblies 422 and 424 in the event that there is structural damage either to the propeller shaft 426 or to the bearing assemblies 422 and 424. Removal of the shaft 424 is accommodated without simultaneous more difiicult and tedious removal of the drive shaft 488.

From the foregoing, it can be appreciated that a novel and unobvious outdrive structure for boats has been provided which improves the output of the boat drive and better absorbs thrust energy from the propeller shaft so that damage of structural components is avoided. Also, the only drive train linking the engine 36 with hydraulic motor 46 is flexible hydraulic tubes so that repair of the outdrive and replacement of component parts is comparatively easy and complex gearing structure in the stern drive housing is avoided. Moreover, the direction and flow pressure put out by the fluid pump 40 may be easily and accurately controlled. The improved transom bracket and mounting structure for the stern drive housing advantageously maintains the propeller 436 within the water even when the boat 30 negotiates a sharp turn.

'Ihe invention may be embodied in other forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the

present embodiments being illustrative and not restrictive.

What I claim and desire to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

1. An outdrive for boats comprising a prime mover carried within a boat;

a fluid pump located within the boat and operably connected to the prime mover;

a transom bracket mounted upon the exterior of the boat so as to be at least partially below the waterline, the transom bracket comprising means for collecting and depositing cooling water for the prime mover in a partially enclosed recess in open communication with water supporting the boat;

a support pivotally mounted upon the transom bracket so that the support pivots along a single predetermined axis;

a stern drive housing comprising a mounting head pivotally connected to the support so that the stern drive housing pivots relative to the housing support along an axis which is oriented generally normal to the predetermined pivotal axis of the housing support, and a foot comprising a hollow motor casing;

a fluid motor disposed in the hollow motor casing, the fluid motor comprising a housing including a radially inwardly projecting bearing flange separating rotor means from propeller shaft bearing means so that propeller thrust is at least in part opposed by fluid pressure in the rotor at the bearing flange;

conduit means connecting the fluid motor with the fluid pump; and

steering means connected to the stern drive housing and selectively controlled from a position within the boat for accommodating arcuate displacement of the stern drive housing relative to the boat for controlling the travel of the boat.

2. An outdrive as defined in claim 1 further comprising stern-drive-displacing means carried by the transom bracket and acting upon the stern drive housing so that when the displacing means is energized, a rod will be axially advanced through coaxial apertures in the boat hull and transom bracket to engage the stern drive housing and arcuately displace the stern drive housing from the vertical toward the horizontal.

3. An outdrive for a boat comprising:

a transom bracket mounted on the rear of boat hull in fixed relation thereto a support rotatably carried by the transom brackets external of the boat hull so as to be pivotal therewith along a first generally horizontally extending axis which axis is generally transverse of the longitudinal axis of the hull; and

a stern drive housing comprising means rotatably joining the stern drive housing external of the boat hull to the support along a generally vertically extending second axis so that pivotal movement of the stern drive housing relative to the support is accommodated along a second axis for steering purposes, the support and the stern drive housing being jointly rotatable about the first axis and along a path parallel to the longitudinal axis ofthe hull.

4. An outdrive as defined in claim 3 wherein the transom bracket comprises a peripherally contoured skirt which limits the movement of the stern drive housing about the second axis when the boat negotiates a turn thereby maintaining the lower portion of the stern drive housing in water throughout the turn.

5. An outdrive as defined in claim 3 wherein each of the transom bracket, housing support and stem drive housing are made of high-strength synthetic resin.

6. An outdrive as defined in claim 3 wherein said stern drive housing is one-piece molded construction of high-strength plastic.

7. An outdrive as defined in claim 3 further comprising steering means imparting selective arcuate displacement of a steering arm when the steering means is displaced; and

universal joint means connecting the stern drive housing to the steering arm so that the stern drive housing may be disposed in any one of a variety of orientations with respect to the transom bracket.

8. In an outdrive for a boat, an engine carried by the boat for propelling same, the improvement comprising a transom bracket comprising a forward support wall and a rearwardly projecting skirt which opens rearwardly;

downwardly opening means defining a recess carried behind the support wall and below the skirt so that the recess is in open communication with and filled with water when the transom bracket is properly mounted upon a floating boat;

means communicating the recess with the cooling system of the engine-so that water heated by the engine will be deposited in the recess and thereafter at least some of the heated water will be recommunicated to the engine.

9. In an outdrive as defined in claim 8 further comprising means for communicating exhaust gases from the engine through the transom bracket to below the surface of water upon which the boat is floating.

10. In an outdrive for a boat as defined in claim 8 further comprising means partially disposed in the transom bracket for displacing a stern drive housing mounted thereupon from the normal vertical position toward the horizontal.

1 1. In an outdrive for boats,

a stern drive housing comprising a foot portion adapted to contain a drive motor and a mounting head comprising generally forwardly projecting coupling means defining an essentially vertical steering axis;

a housing support carried by a transom bracket upon a boat hull so as to be pivotally connected to the transom bracket along an essentially horizontal axis essentially transverse of the hull to accommodate lifting of the stern drive housing from the water along an arcuate path extending rearward from the hull and upward from the water comprising recess means for receiving the coupling means in mating relation for pivotal steering motion along the vertical axis.

12. An outdrive assembly comprising an hydraulic motor in the foot of a stern drive housing, the improvement comprising:

a hollow rotor housing comprising fluid ingress means and fluid egress means, an annular diametrally enlarged intermediate rotor recess, a bearing recess opening to the exterior of one end of the housing and an annular central bearing flange separating the rotor recess from the bearing recess so that the central bearing flange will resist both the force of fluid pressure in the rotor recess and the opposed propeller thrust in the bearing recess;

a rotor shaft rotatable relative to the central bearing flange and disposed coaxially through a substantial length of the rotor housing; and

rotor means associated with the rotor shaft, the rotor means being disposed rotatably within the intermediate rotor recess and being in communication with the ingress so that the rotor shaft is driven when hydraulic fluid under pressure is serially displaced through the ingress means,

rotor means and egress means.

13. An outdrive assembly as defined in claim 12 wherein said rotor shaft terminates within the bearing recess and further comprising a propeller shaft, the trailing end of which comprises an axially disposed blind bore adapted to receive the leading end of the rotor shaft in telescopic, nonrotatable relation.

14. An outdrive assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein the trailing end of the propeller shaft is diametrally enlarged and carried within the bearing recess upon antifriction roller bearings which transfer at least part of the propeller thrust to the central bearing flange.

15. An outdrive assembly as defined in claim 12 wherein the rotor means comprises a gear rotor set comprising a gear rotor nonrotatably joined to the rotor shaft and a gear ring eccentrically circumscribing the gear rotor in the intermediate rotor recess.

16. An outdrive assembly as defined in claim 12 further comprising a pressure relief channel communicating the rotor housing with a remote fluid reservoir, the channel being disposed in the stern drive housing so that excess fluid and air appearing around the rotor housing can be conveyed to the fluid reservoirwithout developing abnormal pressures in the foot of the stern drive housing.

17. In a method of driving a propeller shaft disposed in the foot of an outdrive housing of a boat with hydraulic fluid being separated from surrounding water with lubricating fluid seals, the steps of:

communicating fluid under pressure to a rotor disposed in the foot of the outdrive housing, the rotor being joined to the propeller shaft and separated from propeller shaft bearings with a bearing flange; and

exerting through the fluid a rotating force upon the rotor and the propeller shaft and simultaneously circulatin fluid from the rotor to the bearings and exerting a flui pressure on the bearing flange which separates the rotor from the propeller shaft bearings to counteract the thrust force created by rotation-of the propeller to minimize failure of lubricating seals thereby improving the life of the rotor.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3915111 *Oct 4, 1974Oct 28, 1975Buddrus CurtHydraulic marine propulsion and guidance system
US3951097 *May 1, 1975Apr 20, 1976Wallace ClarkHydraulic motor or pump
US4358280 *Nov 19, 1979Nov 9, 1982ValeoDevice for rotationally driving and steering a screw-rudder of a floating vehicle
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US8911272Feb 17, 2012Dec 16, 2014Arlon J. GilkLong shaft propeller controller and bearing seal protector
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Classifications
U.S. Classification440/5, 440/59, 440/63, 440/78
International ClassificationB63H20/02, B63H20/10, B63H20/12, B63H23/26, B63H23/00, B63H20/00, B63H20/20, B63H20/32
Cooperative ClassificationB63H20/02, B63H20/002, B63H20/32, B63H20/20, B63H23/26, B63H20/10, B63H20/12
European ClassificationB63H20/02, B63H23/26, B63H20/32, B63H20/12