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Publication numberUS3606858 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 21, 1971
Filing dateJan 19, 1970
Priority dateJan 19, 1970
Publication numberUS 3606858 A, US 3606858A, US-A-3606858, US3606858 A, US3606858A
InventorsEdwards Neal B, Lucas Stanley B Sr, Semon Chester C Jr
Original AssigneeSemon Chester C Jr, Edwards Neal B, Lucas Stanley B Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remotely steerable electric outboard motor
US 3606858 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

BEMOTELY STEERABLE ELECTRIC OUTBOARD MOTOR Filed Jan. 19, 1970 2 v l/l/ l- 'Q 32 I FIG. I

FIG. 2

lj\l6 INVENTORSI 4 NEAL B. EDWARDS 1a }m STANLEY B. LUCAS, SR. CHESTER c. SEMON, JR. fi-Mm ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,606,858 REMOTELY STEERABLE ELECTRIC OUTBOARD MOTOR Neal B. Edwards, 130 /2 Rowland Place, Tyler, Tex. 75701, and Stanley B. Lucas, Sr., 115 Lucia Lane, and Chester C. Semon, Jr., 315 Pecan Drive, both of Shreveport, La. 71106 Filed Jan. 19, 1970, Ser. No. 3,772 Int. Cl. B63h 21/26 US. Cl. 115-18 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A propulsion unit for a boat is disclosed which includes a submersible electric propulsion unit connected to a vertically disposed tubular shaft which is rotatably journaled in a support that is attachable to a boat. A first chain sprocket is connected to the end of the shaft and a second chain sporcket is journaled on the support. A push-pull cable is attached to one reach of an endless chain that is coupled around the sprockets. The cable is reciprocated by a remotely located actuating unit.

This invention relates generally to outboard propulsion units for boats, and more particularly relates to an electric fishing motor which can be steered remotely.

When trawling, or casting, it is desirable to move relatively slowly through the water while creating a minimum disturbance. Probably the best propulsion unit available for this purpose is a submersible electric motor which drives a propeller mounted directly on the shaft of the motor. The motor is suspended from a tubular shaft. An electric cord extends from a battery in the boat down to the motor.

' This type of propulsion is typically mounted at the bow of the boat. The entire motor is rotated by the tubular shaft to provide steering. The shaft is typically rotatable through a full 360 in order to provide maximum maneuverability. Because of the location of the motor at the front of the boat, it is necessary to be able to steer the propulsion unit from a position substantially to the rear of the motor. Various types of actuating devices such as joy sticks, foot pedals and steering wheels, have been coupled to push rods, flexible push-pull cables and endless cable and pulley arrangements to provide remote steering. However, because of the desirability of having full 360 of rotation in a light weight, compact, portable unit, none of these systems have proven very successful.

This invention is concerned with an improved, remotely steerable outboard electric propulsion unit that is very compact, easy to operate, economical to construct, and which has a long service life. The unit includes a system for converting linear motion to rotary motion which comprises a sprocket, a sheave or similar device attached to a steering shaft, an endless chain or other flexible member passing around the sprocket, and a second idler sprocket, or other suitable means for tensioning the chain, is provided to form a linear reach. A remotely operable linear actuator, such as a foot pedal operated flexible push-pull cable, is attached to the linear reach to effect rotation of the steering shaft. In a preferred embodiment, the electrical wire extends downwardly through the sprocket and steering shaft to a submersible motor.

The novel features believed characteristic of this invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, as well as other objects and ad vantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrative em- 3,606,858 Ice Patented Sept. 21, 1971 bodiments, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a simplified side view of a propulsion unit in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the upper end of the propulsion unit of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a top view of the propulsion unit of FIG. 1 with the cover plate removed.

Referring now to the drawings, a propulsion unit in accordance with the present invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 10 in FIG. 1. The propulsion unit 10 comprises a submersible electric motor 12. A propeller 14 is mounted on the shaft of the motor 12 which is supported at the lower end of a tubular steering shaft 16. A multiple wire electric cable 18 extends from a source of electrical power, such as a battery (not illustrated), downwardly through the tubular shaft 16 to the motor 12.

A support 20 may be connected to a boat by any suitable bracket represented at 22. As will be noted in FIGS. 2 and 3, the tubular shaft 16 is rotatably journaled in the support 20 by upper and lower bearings 30 and 32, respectively. A housing 34 is fixed to the upper end of the support 20 and is, therefore, held stationary with respect to the boat.

A first chain sprocket 36 (see FIG. 3) is connected to the shaft 16 by a tubular adapter 38. A second idler chain sprocket 40 is journaled on a stub axle 42 mounted on the housing 34. An endless roller chain 44 of the type typically used on bicycles, passes around the sprockets 3'6 and 40 to provide linear reaches 44a and 44b.

A remotely located actuator 24 is coupled by a flexible push-pull cable 28 to a linear-to-rotary motion converter 26. The end of the push-pull cable 28 is attached to a midpoint of linear reach 44a of the chain 44 by a clip- 46. The sheath 48 around the cable 28 is anchored to the housing 34 at 48a, and is anchored at the other end to the support bracket 50 of the actuator 24. A foot pedal 52 is pivotally supported on axle 54 so that as the pedal is rocked, the arm 56 reciprocates the cable 28 relative to the sheath 48 and thus relative to the housing 34. This moves the chain 44 so as to rotate the steering shaft 16, and thus orient the motor 12 to pull or push the boat in the desired direction.

A pointer is mounted on a shaft 60 which is attached to the idler sprocket 40 to continually indicate the posi tion of the motor 12. A cover plate 62 closes the housing 34. Water seals 64 and 66 may be provided around the electrical cable 18 and the shaft 60, if desired.

Thus, it will be noted that the propulsion unit 10 is relatively compact, light weight, simple and economical to construct. Further, the unit has a very low resistance to movement and is readily adaptable to be operated by several types of remote actuating mechanisms.

Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described in detail, it is to be understood that various chages, substitutions and alterations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. The steerable propulsion unit for a boat comprising:

support means for attachment to the boat,

a propulsion unit having a rotatable steering shaft,

first sprocket means connected to the steering shaft,

second sprocket means journaled on the support means,

an endless flexible member coupled around the first and second sprocket means to provide at least one linear reach, and

means coupled to the linear reachfor reciprocating the endless flexible member along the linear reach to thereby rotate the sprocket means and the steering shaft.

2. The propulsion unit of claim 1 wherein the propulsion unit is an electric motor disposed in a water tight case mounted on the lower end of the steering shaft.

3. The propulsion unit of claim 2 wherein the steering shaft is tubular and further characterized by electrical conductor means extending from the motor upwardly through the shaft and first sprocket means.

4. The propulsion unit of claim 3 further characterized by indicator means attached to the second sprocket means for indicating the position of the steering shaft.

5. The propulsion unit of claim 1 further characterized by I a flexible thrust member slidably disposed within a flexible sheath, the thrust member being coupled to the linear reach and the sheath being coupled to the support means, and

actuator means connected to the other end of the sheath and to the cable for reciprocating the cable relative to the sheath.

6. The propulsion unit of claim 5 wherein the actuator means comprises a second support means attached to the boat and to the sheath, and

a foot plate pivotally connected to the second support means and connected to the cable.

7. The steering unit for an outboard motor having a steering shaft which comprises support means for connection to the boat,

first sprocket means for connection to the steering shaft,

second sprocket means journaled on the support means,

an endless flexible member coupled around the first and second sprocket means to provide at least one linear reach, and

means for coupling a linear actuator to the linear reach of the endless flexible member for reciprocating the linear reach and rotating the steering shaft through the first sprocket means.

8. The steering unit of claim "7 further characterized a flexible thrust member slidably disposed within a tflexible sheath, the thrust member being coupled to the linear reach and the sheath being coupled to the support means, and actuator means connected to the other end of the sheath and to the cable for reciprocating the cable relative to the sheath. Y 9. The steering unitof claim 8 wherein the actuator means comprises a second support means attachable to the boat and to the sheath, and r a foot plate pivotally connected to the second support means and connected to the cable.

'10. The steerable propulsion unit for a boat comprising: support means for attachment to the boat,

a propulsion unit having a rotatable steering shaft, sprocket means connected to the steering shaft, an endless flexible member coupled to the sprocket means and held by the support means to provide a linear reach, and means coupled to the linear reach for reciprocating the endless flexible member along the linear reach t; thereby rotate the sprocket means and the steering s aft.

References Cited UNITED "STATES PATENTS ANDREW H. FARRELL, Primary Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3989000 *Aug 11, 1975Nov 2, 1976Ram-Glas Products, Inc.Outboard motor electric steering control
US4195588 *Jul 17, 1978Apr 1, 1980Hudson Donald ERemote steering control for electric outboard motors
US4569663 *Jan 12, 1984Feb 11, 1986Miller Darrell GSteering control for trolling motor
US4631033 *Apr 23, 1984Dec 23, 1986Johnson Fishing, Inc.Outboard motor foot control with adjustable cables
US4631034 *Apr 23, 1984Dec 23, 1986Johnson Fishing, Inc.Outboard motor foot control
US4820208 *Feb 12, 1988Apr 11, 1989Phillips Sr Walter ADirectional control mechanism for a trolling motor
US4824408 *Jan 15, 1986Apr 25, 1989N. Elton DryRemotely controlled steering apparatus for outboard trolling motors
US5052325 *Oct 16, 1989Oct 1, 1991Michael RhinesSwivel chair stand and trolling motor control
US5465633 *Feb 7, 1994Nov 14, 1995Johnson Fishing, Inc.Foot actuated trolling motor control
US5797339 *Dec 12, 1996Aug 25, 1998Brunswick CorporationOptical remote control for trolling motors and method of control
US5967863 *Apr 15, 1998Oct 19, 1999Marchant; Gary R.Trolling motor
US7967650Sep 20, 2010Jun 28, 2011Perfect Outdoor Products, LlcTension sleeve system for electric trolling motors
US8690619 *Sep 5, 2012Apr 8, 2014Marinetech Products, Inc.Steering apparatus for outboard motor
Classifications
U.S. Classification440/7, 114/153, 440/62
International ClassificationB63H20/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63H20/007
European ClassificationB63H20/00T