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Publication numberUS3795219 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1974
Filing dateAug 25, 1971
Priority dateAug 25, 1971
Publication numberUS 3795219 A, US 3795219A, US-A-3795219, US3795219 A, US3795219A
InventorsE Peterson
Original AssigneeE Peterson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marine propulsion and steering apparatus
US 3795219 A
Abstract
Propulsion and steering apparatus for a marine vessel providing for 360 DEG rotation of the propulsion unit about its vertical axis. The propulsion drive shaft is coupled to a parallel, double pinion gear by a chain drive, the double pinion and propulsion shaft being in fixed relation with respect to each other. The double pinion gear is engaged by a receiving circular rack gear rotatable about the vertical axis of the chain drive, the receiving rack gear being driven by a power source. The propulsion shaft, chain drive and double gear shaft are disposed within a vertical housing, the total vertical housing being rotatable through 360 DEG of arc.
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United States Patent 11 1 Peterson Mar. 5, 1974 1 MARINE PROPULSION AND STEERING 237x511) (1 1945 Slack o1 =11 115/37 x APPARATUS FOREIGN PA'IEN'IS ()R APPLICATIONS I76] Inventor: Earl A. Peterson, 4i l l Chestnut 437,078 7/1948 Ital 1. l l5/35 Avc., Long Beach, Calif. H748 t. Primary lakaminer(icorgc A. Halvosa 22 P l*dv 9 Y I I I L l 7] Assistant Iixaminer-Edward R. Kazcnske I21] Appl. No.:1l74,9l6 I Related u.s. Application Data '5 ABSTRACT I63] Continuation-impart of Scr. No. 30 763 April 22 Propulsion and Steermg apparatus for a marme -l970 aband0ncd I providing for 360 rotation of the propulsion unit I 1 about its vertical axis. The propulsion drive shaft is 52 us. C1. 115/35, 115/34 R coupled to a p r llel, double pinion gear by a chain 3 51 Int. Cl B63h 25/42 drive the double Piioln and Propulsion Shaft being 3 [58] Field of Search [15/35 34 37 38 41 fixed relation with respect to each other. The double Y i i 1 pinion gear is engaged by a receiving circular rack gear rotatable about the vertical axis of the chain I 56] References Cited drive, the receiving rack gear being driven by a power source. The propulsion shaft, chain drive and double UNITED TA PATENTS gear'shaft are disposed within a vertical housing, the vfi Jr total vertical housing being rotatable through 360 of 1 son v t g I 650,224 5/1900. Beyer 1 .v 115/35 3,013,519 12/1961 Wiggcrmann 1 15/35 8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEW 5 3, 795.2 1 9 INVENTOR. 64e A. pe'rexeao/v 1 MARINE PROPULSION ANI) STEERING I APPARATUS' This is a conti'nuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 30,763 filed Apr. 22, 19 70 abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention marine propulsion and steering apparatus is generally related to marine propulsion systems and, more particularly, to combined steeringpropulsion systems.

2. Prior Art The proliferation in the number of commercial and private marine vessels has made it increasingly evident that improved propulsion and steering apparatus are E needed. The prior art discloses many different catagot ries of mechanisms for a propelling and steering a marine vessel. One of the most common devices disclosed by the prior art incorporates a propeller shaft disposed through the hull of the vessel, the shaft beingrotated by an inboard power source. Other devices disclosed by the prior art comprises a variety of inboard-outboard drives. A typical inboard-outboard drive utilizes a pair of horizontal, vertically spaced shafts linked by a pullyhousing of the propulsion apparatus, and define a plane surface between the two shafts. A circular rack gear having inner. and outer gear surfaces is freely rotatable I about the housing of the chain drive, the inner rack when referring to the needto provide both forward and reverse motive force to the vessel. This problem has beenovercome in the prior art only by providing means for reversing the torque transmitted by the power rudders are generally usedtoprovide sufficient manuvcrability to the vessel, v 7

Other propulsion devices disclosed by the prior art transmit the troque of the power source to a combination of bevel gears, one gear being attached to thepropeller shaft, the second mating bevel gear typically being secured to a vertically disposed rotating shaft coupling the power source and the propeller shaft. One of the problems inherent in this design is the failure of the bevel gear assembly due to water contamination. Since this portion of the device disclosed'by the prior art is typically submerged-in water at all times, any leak or other water contamination will cause deterioration and eventual failure of the gear units.

' The present invention marine propulsion and steering appratus solves the problems left unresolved by the prior art by utilizing'a chain drive system which permits 360 rotation of the entire power drive. By permitting the power'unit to rotate a full-360 of arc, the present invention eliminates. the need for reversing gears or other means for reversing the torque of the power source. In addition, the use of chain drive precludes the.

failure problems inherent in those devices disclosed by the prior art.

or more chain drivecouplings. The propeller shaft is disposed horizontally, a double'pinion or bevel gear gear mating with the pinion gears of the double pinion gear shaft. The power source is coupled to the outer rack gear by a pinion gear which will transmit the torque of the power source to the pinion gear shaft through rotation of the circular rackgear. The housing for'the chain drive and the propeller shaft is rotated to control the direction in which the vessel will be moved.

Since the rack gear is fully rotatable with respect to the housing of the chain drive and propellershaft, the full torque of the power source will be transmitted to the double pinion gear shaft irrespective of the position of the pinion gearshaft and the propeller shaft in relation to the hull of the vessel.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved propulsion and steering appara- It is another object of the present invention to provide a propulsion and steering apparatus rotatable through a full 360 of are. I

It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide a marine propulsion and steering apparatus which isolates the driving members to the propeller shaft from the remaining driving members to preclude water contamination.

- It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a marine propulsion and steering apparatuscapable of supplying full power through a full 360 of arc. It .is still yet another objectof they present invention to provide a marine propulsion and steering apparatus which is substantially simplified and economical to fabricate. I v

- The novel features which are believed to becharac teristic of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objectives and-advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawing is for the purpose of illustration and description only'and is not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevation, cross-sectional view of a marine propulsion and steering apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view, in a partial cross-section, ofa marine propulsion steering apparatus in accordance with the present invention taken through line 22 ofFlG. l. I

FIG. 3 is a schematic, perspective view of the-cooperating elements of the present invention illustrating the steering and propulsion members thereof.

DESCRIPTION or THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An understanding of the structure of the present invention can be best gained by reference to FIG. 1

wherein a side elevation, cross-sectional view of a propulsion and steering apparatus in accordance with the present invention is shown; Power source drive shaft 1 is rotatably mounted through a side wall of gear housing 2. Power source drive shaft 1 is connected to a conventional power source used for marine propulsion mechanisms, the power source typically being an internal combustion engine, gas turbine or other similar energy source. Power source drive shaft 1 transmits the output torque Of the power source, the power source being conventional and not shown. Pinion gear 3 depends from power source drive shaft 1 and converts the direction of the rotation force by 90 of are. Pinion gear 3 is coupled to receiving outer rack gear 4. Outer rack gear 4 and inner rack gear 5 are circular gears integral with each other and rotatably journeled upon suitable bearings 6 about chain assembly housing 7. Integral rack gears 4 and 5 are journeled upon bearings 6 with respect to the hull of the marinevessel upon which the present invention is mounted.

Chain assembly housing 7 is a substantially cylindrical-like member coupled to the vessel hull and journeled about the vertical axis of housing 7 in suitable bearings 8 and 9. Double pinion gear shaft 10 is disposed through and mounted perpendicular to the vertical axis of chain assembly housing 7, double pinion gear shaft 10 being rotatably mounted along its horizontal axis in suitable bearings. Double pinion gear shaft 10 is rotatable about its horizontal axis while being stationary with respect to the vertical 'axis of chain assembly housing 7. Depending from the axial gear 5. It can therefore be seen that rotation of outer rack gear 4 will result in the simultaneous rotation of inner rack gear 5. Inner rack gear 5 is meshed with pinion gears 11 and 12. Sprockets 13 are disposed about and secured to shaft 10, sprockets 13 being rotatable with shaft 10. Sprockets 13 are disposed within chain assembly housing 7, chain drive 15 being coupled to sprockets 13 within chain assembly housing 7. It can therefore be seen that the rotation of power source drive shaft 1 will transmit rotational movement to rack gear 4 and 5 about the vertical axis of chain assembly housing 7. The rotation of rack gears 4 and 5 will cause pinion gears 11 and 12 to rotate about their horizontal axis thereby rotating sprockets '13 and transmitting the torque 'to chain drive 15. Where the respective gear ratios are equal, the torque transmitted to chain drive 15 will be substantially equal to that present at power source drive shaft 1.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the'manner in which the present invention combines the steering and propulsion fucntions can be best seen. As stated, chain assembly housing 7 is rotatably journeled in bearings 8 and 9, housing 7 being rotatably coupled with respect to the hull of the vessel. Steering gear 18 is concentrically disposed about and secured to chain assembly housing 7 within gearhousing 2. Gear 18 is meshed with pinion ends of double pinion shaft 10 are pinion or bevel gears I1 and I2. Pinion gears '11 and 12'are meshed with inner rack gear 5 at diametrically opposed locations along the circumference of rack gear 5. Double pinion gears 11 and 12 stabilize and balance pinion gear shaft 10 and thereby relieve the mechanical stress imposed on the bearings within which shaft 10 is journeled.

Sprockets 13 are disposed about and secured to double pinion gear shaft 10 within chain assembly housing 7. Propeller shaft 14 is disposed through the wall of chain housing 7 and journeled in suitable bearings therein. Propeller shaft 14 is in parallel spaced relation with double pinion gear shaft 10, shafts 10 and 15 forming a planar surface therebetween. Propeller shaft 14 is rotatably journeled about its horizontal axis while being stationary with respect to vertical axis,of chain assembly housing 7. Sprockets 16 are disposed about and secured to propeller shaft 14 in aligned registration with sprockets 13 mounted upon shaft 10. Although the preferred embodiment of the present ivnention utilizes chain drive 15 to coupled sprockets l3 and 16, it is within the scope of the present invention to utilize a belt and pully assembly in place of sprockets l3 and 16 and chain drive 15. Propeller 17 is mounted at the exposed end of propeller shaft 14 and upon the rotation thereof will provide the motive force to the vessel upon which the present invention is-installed.

An understanding of the cooperative relationship between propulsion elements of the present invention can be best seen by reference to FIG. 2. FIG. 2 illustrates a top plan view of the propulsion elements of the present invention. As can be seen, power source drive shaft 1 is disposed through the outer wall of gear housing 2, power source drive shaft 1 being terminated at pinion or bevel gear 3. Pinion gear 3 is meshed with circular, outer rack gear 4 which is integral .with the inner rack gear 19, the rotation of gear 19 transmitting the steering rotational movement to steering gear 18 and chain assembly housing 7. Steering shaft 20 depends from steering pinion l9, steering shaft 20 being rotatably mounted through the wall of gear housing 2, steering shaft 20 being journeled in suitable bearings mounted upon gear housing 2. Coneentrically disposed about and mounted upon shaft 20 is gear 21 adapted to mesh with external gear 22. The rotation of gear 21 is provided external to gear housing 2, the rotation of gear 21 being transmitted through steering shaft 20 and steering pinion 19. Since chain assembly housing 7 is fully rotatable upon bearings 8 and 9, rotation of steering pinion gear 19 will effect a full 360 rotation of the power output of propeller 17 thereby providing for full manuverability without requiring reversing gears or other means for reversing the power source coupled to power source drive shaft 1. Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention is adapted for full 360 rotation, it is, of course, obvious that a reversable power source could housed for the rotation of power source drive shaft 1.

As stated, an object of the present invention is to isolate the chain drive assembly 15 and coupled sprockets l3 and 16 from the lubricating system for the remainder of the present invention marine propulsion and steering apparatus. Since propeller shaft 14 and the bearingsjourneling same will be submerged in Water at all times during normal operation, it is possible that the seal at the journeling bearings could permit the passage of water into the interior of chain assembly housing 7. Since chain drive 15 and the respective sprocket drives 13 and 16 are sealed from the remainder of the gear members and the lubricating systems therefor, the entry of any water into the interior of chain assembly housing 7 will be totally isolated from the remainder of the system. There will be no substantial deleterious effect upon chain drive 15 and coupled sprockets 13 and 16 from water since the nature of the members and the isolation thereof will prevent any material damage. In this manner, the system cannot be contaminated by the passage of the water within the system thereby providing for increased reliability.

Referring nowto FIG. 3, the operation of the present invention marine propulsion and steering apparatus can be best seen. Chain assembly housing 7 is depicted by the dotted line illustrating the isolation of the chain drive assembly from the remainder of the propulsion and steering system. The rotation of power source drive shaft 1 imparts torque to pinion gear 3 which in turn translates the torque 90 imparting the rotation to outer rack gear 4. Outer rack gear 4 is integral with inner rack gear 5 again translating the imposed torque 90 at pinion gear 11. For the purpose ofillustration, only pinion gear 11 is shown. Pinion gear 11 being fixedly attached to shaft 10, rotates shaft and in turn, imposes rotational torque upon sprockets l3. Sprockets 13 provide the motiveforce to chain drive 15 and therefore to mating sprockets 16. The rotation of sprockets l6 imparts rotational force to propeller shaft 14. Since integral rack gears 4 and 5 are freely rotatable about chain assembly housing 7, the steering portion of the present invention allows the full utilization of the output of the power sourceirrespective of the direction in which propeller shaft l4v is disposed. As seen in FIG. 3, propeller shaft 14 has been moved to provide starboard movement of the vessel. Steering gear 18 is fixedly mounted about chain assembly housing 7, steering gear 18 being rotated through rotation of meshed steering pinion 19. From FlG.3 can be seen that propeller shaft 14 can be rotated'through a'full 360 of arcand continue to transmit the full rotational power imposed upon'power source drive shaft 1. In addition, a rotation force on power source drive shaft 1 could be reversed, theeffect thereof merely reversing the directional arrows illustrated in FIG. 3. g Y I The present invention marine. propulsion and steering apparatus provides a highly simplified system for utilizing the power of an inboard motor and transmitting same. in an efficient manner while simultaneouslyproviding means for increasing thereliability of the system. The use ofa chain drive'ass'embly which is isolated from the remainder of the steering and propulsionsystem eliminates failure of the system due to water contamination. ln addition, the ability to rotate the propulsion force through a full 360 of are substantially simplifies the need for additional equipment to couple the power source to the present invention. The present invention ,marine propulsion and steering apparatus therefore provides a system for propelling and steering amarine vessel which is economical to fabricate and easier to maintain than the devices disclosed by the prior art.

I claim: 1 v a l. Apropulsion and steering apparatus for use on a vessel comprising:

e. means for transmitting torque between said propeller shaft and said gear shaft comprising first and second sprockets disposed about and secured to said propeller shaft and said gear shaft respectively I and an endless drive member coupled about .said

first and second sprockets; f. a first gear coupled to the power source; g. a second gear coupled to and extending from said gear shaft; I

h. coupling means for coupling gear surfaces rotatably disposed about said housing and coupled to said first and second gears; and

i. steering means for positioning said apparatus coupled to said housing.

V 2. A propulsion and steering apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said rotational power source is a unidirectional power source.

3. Apropulsion and steering apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling means comprises a pair of concentric rack'gears integral with one another.

-4. A marine propulsion and steering apparatus for use on a marine vessel comprising:

a. a rotational power source mounted upon the vessel in fixed relation thereto; i i v b. a housing member rotatably'mounted to said vessel for rotation about the vertical axis of said housing;

c. a propeller member including a propeller shaft rotatably mounted through said housing to rotate about a horizontalaxis and being perpendicular to the vertical axis of said housing member;

d. a pinion gear shaft member including a pinion gear shaft in parallel spaced relation to said propeller shaft and being rotatably mounted through said housing member to rotate about-its horizontal axis and being perpendicular to the vertical axis of said housing member and a first pinion gear axially extending from an end of said pinion gear shaft;

e. an endless drive member coupled about said propeller shaft and said piniongear shaft wherebythe rotation of said pinion gear shaft is transmitted -to said propeller shaft; f. power means for coupling the rotational power of the power source including a second pinion gear coplanar with said pinion gear shaft member;

g. inner and outer integral, circular rack gears rotatably disposed about said housing member, said fined in claim 4 wherein said rotational power source is a unidirectional power source.

6. A marine propulsion and steering apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said steering means'includes' a circular gear disposed about and secured to said housing member and means for steering coupled to said circular gear whereby said housing member is rotatable through 360 of arc.

7. A propulsion and steering apparatus for propelling and steering a marine vessel comprising:

a. a rotational power source secured to and in fixed relation to the marine vessel; b. a chain assembly housing being rotatably mounted to the vessel for rotation about the vertical axis of said housing;

c. a propulsion member including a propeller shaft rotatably mounted through said chain assembly said gear shaft having a first beveled gear depending from an axial end thereof;

e. first and second sprockets disposed about and secured to said gear shaft andsaid propeller shaft respectively, and being within said chain assembly housing;

f. a chain drive member coupled between said first and second sprockets;

g, power means for coupling the rotational power of the power source including a second beveled gear coplanar with said gear shaft and first beveled gear;

h. a circular rack gear member having inner and outer concentric rack gears rotatably disposed about said chain assembly housing, said inner rack gear coupled to said first beveled gear and said outer rack gear coupled to said second beveled gear; and

. steering means for rotating said chain assembly housing throug 360 of are including a circular gear disposed about and secured to said chain assembly housing.

8. A propulsion and steering apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said rotational power source is a unidirectional power source.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US650224 *Mar 3, 1900May 22, 1900Christian BeyerPropelling attachment for boats.
US1774956 *Dec 7, 1929Sep 2, 1930William WilsonPropelling and steering unit for boats
US2378589 *May 4, 1942Jun 19, 1945Chrysler CorpPower driving unit
US3013519 *Feb 13, 1956Dec 19, 1961Reiners WalterShip propulsion and steering systems
US3094967 *Dec 12, 1961Jun 25, 1963Gen ElectricSteerable torque-balanced marine propulsion drive
IT437978A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4869692 *Sep 15, 1988Sep 26, 1989Brunswick CorporationOutboard marine propulsion system including a chain drive mechanism
US4887983 *Sep 9, 1988Dec 19, 1989Brunswick CorporationChain drive marine propulsion system with dual counterrotating propellers
US4925413 *Sep 15, 1988May 15, 1990Brunswick CorporationStern drive marine propulsion system including a chain drive mechanism
US4932907 *Oct 4, 1988Jun 12, 1990Brunswick CorporationChain driven marine propulsion system with steerable gearcase and dual counterrotating propellers
US5961358 *Mar 16, 1998Oct 5, 1999Volvo Penta Of The Americas, Inc.Reversible stern drive marine propulsion system
US6213821Sep 30, 1998Apr 10, 2001Johnson Outdoors IncTrolling motor assembly
US6254441Jun 13, 2000Jul 3, 2001Johnson Outdoors Inc.Trolling motor propulsion unit support shaft
US6325685Jun 12, 2000Dec 4, 2001Johnson Outdoors Inc.Trolling motor system
US6369542Jun 12, 2000Apr 9, 2002Johnson Outdoors Inc.Trolling motor foot control with fine speed adjustment
US6394859Jun 13, 2000May 28, 2002Johnson Outdoors Inc.Trolling motor bow mount impact protection system
US6431923Jun 13, 2000Aug 13, 2002Johnson Outdoors Inc.Trolling motor bow mount
US6712654 *Jan 18, 2000Mar 30, 2004Abb OyTurning of a propulsion unit
DE4127940A1 *Aug 25, 1991Mar 11, 1993Schottel WerftAntriebsbaugruppe fuer kleinere wasserfahrzeuge
Classifications
U.S. Classification440/58, 440/75
International ClassificationB63H25/42
Cooperative ClassificationB63H25/42, B63H2023/025, B63H2005/1254
European ClassificationB63H25/42