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Publication numberUS3853085 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1974
Filing dateJul 26, 1973
Priority dateJul 26, 1973
Also published asCA1011167A1
Publication numberUS 3853085 A, US 3853085A, US-A-3853085, US3853085 A, US3853085A
InventorsHalboth R
Original AssigneeHalboth R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Snowmobile powered watercraft
US 3853085 A
Abstract
A marine vehicle or watercraft is powered by a snowmobile. The snowmobile with its endless track mechanism and skis removed is mounted on the hull of the watercraft. Shaft means including a power take-off means replace the sprocket shaft which normally drives the endless track mechanism. A shaft extending longitudinally of the hull mounts a propeller at the rearward end thereof and is drivingly connected to the power take-off means. Rudder means for steering the watercraft are connected to the steerable mounting means which normally carry the skis of the snowmobile.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Halboth Dec. 10, 1974 SNOWMOBILE POWERED WATERCRAFT Robert V. Halboth, 2177 S. 35th St., Milwaukee, Wis. 53215 [22] Filed: July 26, 1973 [21] Appl. No: 382,725

[76] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl 115/1 R, 114/61, 115/0.5 A [51] Int. Cl B60f 3/00 [58] Field of Search 115/O.5 A, 1 R, 39, 22,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1931 Lewis et a1 ll5/O.5 A 9/1966 Kiefer 114/61 3,460,502 8/1969 Carmichael '114/61 3,626,891 12/1971 Sessions 1l5/0.5 A 3.646904 3/1972 Lanning... 115/0.5 A

3.709.185 H1973 l-lcnnel 115/0.5 A 3.742.895 7/1973 Heriuchi 114/61 Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Charles E. Frankfort Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Andrus, Sceales, Starke & Sawall [57] ABSTRACT A marine vehicle or watercraft is powered by a snowmobile. The snowmobile with its endless track mechanism and skis removed is mounted on the hull of the watercraft. Shaft means including a power take-off means replace the sprocket shaft which normally drives the endless track mechanism. A shaft extending longitudinally of the hull mounts a propeller at the rearward end thereof and is drivingly connected to the power take-off means. Rudder means for steering the watercraft are connected to the steerable mounting means which normally carry the skis of the snowmobile.

17 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED DEC 1 (H974 SHEET 1 0F 3 PATENTEB 55$ 1 W74 SHEET 2 0F 3 PAIENIEQ DEC 1 man suzaraor THE i I I I SNOWMOBILE POWERED WATERCRAFT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION a This invention relates to a marine vehicle adapted to be propelled by a snowmobile.

In recent years a great many people have derived pleasure from owning and operating snowmobiles. The season for snowmobiling is relatively short so that these machines normally are placed'in storage and remain idle during most of the year. Since a snowmobile represents a substantial investment, these machines would appear even more attractive if their usefullness could be extended beyond the season of winter snows. It is generally an object of this invention to provide a marine vehicle which is adapted to be propelled by a snowmobile so that such machines can be rendered useful virtually year around.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Rudder means for steering the watercraft are connected to controls by the steerable mounting means of the snowmobile.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES The drawings provided herewith generally illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for the invention and are described hereinafter.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation with parts broken away and sectioned of the marine vehicle of this invention wherein a snowmobile forms a part thereof and provides the motive power for propelling the vehicle;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken generally on line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally on line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally on line 4--4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally on line 55 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally on line 66 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT to laterally spaced skis, not shown. The snowmobile 2 is normally powered by the engine 7 disposed under the hood 8 through a pulley drive connection 9 to the endless track mechanism. As a part of the watercraft 1, the snowmobile 2 is utilized with the skis and endless track mechanism removed.

The marine vehicle or watercraft 1 comprises a pair of transversely spaced pontoons 10 to provide for a watercraft of the catamaran type. The pontoons 10 may be fabricated of sheet metal and welded to provide air tight enclosures. Pontoons 10 may be devoid of internal bulkheads and other reinforcement and made to rely on air pressure to maintain their form and resist drag imposing flexing on their outwardly bowed lower planing surface 11. Air, as required, may be administered through the pontoon valves 12 as shown in FIG. 2.

Intermediate their length, the pontoons 10 are connected by a transversely extending lift plate 13 which spans the space therebetween. The forward end portion of the lift plate 13 is spaced rearwardly from the front of the pontoons l0 and is bowed upwardly to place the forward edge thereof generally in line with the deck surface 14 of the spaced pontoons. The lift plate 13 extends rearwardly and downwardly relative to the pontoons 10 and terminates in spaced relation from the rear of the pontoons. The lift plate 13 is spaced above the lower surface 11 of the pontoons l0 and at least the aft portion thereof rides the water surface when the watercraft 1 is on plane.

A wake plate 15 is disposed above and overlaps with the rear end portion of the lift plate 13 and extends rearwardly therefrom generally to the end of the pontoons 10. Wake plate 15 extends transversely between the pontoons l0 and is arcuate upwardly in the transverse direction to thus form a tunnel 16 relative to the overlapped portion of the lift plate 13. The wake generated by the lift plate 13 in service is generally controlled by the wake plate 15 which precludes water washing over the rear end portions of the pontoons 10 and keeps the watercraft l on a desired plane.

Because snowmobiles 2 vary considerably in size, shape, weight and the distribution of that weight, the means for mounting the snowmobile onto the watercraft 1 provides for universality in a generally horizontal plane. With reference particularly to FIGS. 2 and 5, the snowmobile chassis 3 or suitable brackets projecting therefrom are secured to a pair of longitudinally spaced, transversely extending cross beams 17. The cross beams 17 extend over the full width of the watercraft 1 and comprise generally a box-shaped section having a longitudinally extending slot 18 therein opening upwardly. Transversely spaced bolts 19 extend through the corresponding sides of the snowmobile chassis 3 or the bracket projections therefrom and through the slot 18 and into the interior of the beams 17 where a nut 20 is engaged to anchor the chassis 3 and hence the snowmobile 2. When the nuts 20 are loosened in relation to the cross beams 17, the snowmobile 2 is movable laterally relative to the watercraft with the bolts 19 moving correspondingly in the slots 18.

The longitudinally spaced cross beams 17 carrying the snowmobile 2 are in turn movable longitudinally of the watercraft l as provided for by the plurality of relatively short lengths of beams 21. A pair of transversely spaced beams 21 are secured to the deck surface 14 of each pontoon 10 so that four beams 21 accommodate each of the beams 17. The several beams 21 have a cross-section similar to that of beams 17 and provide for anchorage of the latter beams and hence the snowmobile 2 relative to the watercraft 1 by means of bolt and nut combinations 19 and 20 as best shown in FIG. 5.

The shaft normally utilized to drive the endless track mechanism, not shown, of the snowmobile 2 is replaced by the shaft assembly 22 forming a part of the drive connection 9. The shaft assembly 22 includes a T-gear box 23 coupled generally centrally of the assembly in the tunnel 4 of the snowmobile chassis 3. The propeller shaft 24 is coupled to the center power take-off connection 25 of the gear box 23 and extends rearwardly and downwardly therefrom above the lift plate 13. The propeller shaft 24 extends rearwardly through the tunnel 16 and under the wake plate 15. An extension 26 of lesser diameter to reduce drag in service is coupled to the shaft 24 at 27 beneath the wake plate 15 and carries a propeller 28 on the end thereof rearwardly of the watercraft 1.

The propeller shaft 24 and its extension 26 are supported by a bearing bracket assembly 29 which is vertically movable so as to adjust the operating depth of the propeller 28. The bracket assembly 29 includes a vertically projecting support 30 which carries a pair of longitudinally spaced and axially aligned bearings 31 and 32 at the lower end thereof through which the shaft extension 26 passes. The bearing support 30 projects downwardly from the lateral cross member 33 and is braced by the angularly disposed struts 34 between members 30 and 33. The cross member 33 is in turn carried by a pair of transversely spaced, vertically extending arms 35. The arms 35 are provided with a plurality of vertically spaced holes 36 disposed arcuately on a radius from the axis of the shaft assembly 22. Holes 36 are selectively alignable with one or more holes of the opposed vertically disposed side plates 37 within which the arms 35 of bracket assembly 29 are movably disposed. The side plates 37 are fixed to the inside of the respective pontoons 10 generally at the rear extremity thereof. Suitable pin means 38 pass through the selectively aligned holes 36 of arms 35 and side plates 37 to support the bracket assembly 29 and to provide for the desired operating depth for the propeller 28.

The vertically adjustable bearing bracket assembly 29 also carries the steering rudder assembly 39. The rudder assembly 39 includes a pair of rudders 40 which are spaced transversely on opposite sides of the propeller 28. The spacing between the rudders 40 places the respective rudders in the relatively smooth water in the wake of the corresponding pontoons l and away from the turbulence generated between the pontoons and by the propeller 28. The spaced rudders 40 are rigidly connected through the cross-member 41 to operate as a unit.

The rudder assembly 39 is carried by the bearing bracket assembly 29 and is vertically adjustable therewith. Rudder assembly 39 is supported by the U-shaped bracket assembly 42 which extends rearwardly from and is rigidly connected to the cross brace 33. Pivotal steering movement of the rudders 40 in a generally horizontal plane is provided for on the generally vertical axis of the pin means 43 pivotally connecting cross member 41 to the intermediate leg 44 of the U-shaped bracket 42. The pin means 43'are disposed generally centrally of the member 41 and leg 44 respectively.

Steering movement of the rudder assembly 39 is effected by manipulation of the snowmobile handle-bars 6, which rotate the transversely spaced ski mounting brackets 45 in the usual manner. In place of the skis, however, the respective brackets 45 carry an outwardly projecting pin 46 as best shown in FlG. 6. The forward end of a pair of steering cables 47 are attached to the corresponding pins 46 and the cables extend rearwardly therefrom beneath the snowmobile 2. The cables 47 cross over beneath the snowmoible 2 and attach to the transversely spaced eye bolt mounts 48 provided on the rudder assembly cross member 41 on opposite sides of the pin means 43. With crossed over cables 47, the rudder assembly 39 will turn oppositely from the handle bars 6 to thus provide for steering action of the watercraft 1 underway corresponding with handle bar manipulation.

The engine 7 of the snowmobile 2 is controlled in the usual manner from the operators station on seat 5. The water adaptation for the snowmobile 2, however, lends itself to disposal of engine exhaust products underwater. A coupling 49 connects the flexible exhaust tube 50 to the exhaust manifold of the engine 7. The exhaust tube 50 extends downwardly from beneath the hood 8 and extends rearwardly above the lift plate 13 and passes through the tunnel 16 and beneath the wake plate 15 so that the products of combustion are disposed of in the water beneath the wake plate.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

1 claim:

1. In a watercraft having a hull, a snowmobile to power said watercraft, said snowmobile including a chassis normally supported upon an endless track mechanism driven from a sprocket shaft and forward skis carried by steerable mounting means, said snowmobile sans endless track mechanism and skis being mounted onsaid hull, said hull comprising a pair of transversely spaced pontoons having facing surfaces connected by a rearwardly and downwardly extending lift plate which terminates in spaced relation from the rear of the pontoons, shaft means including power take-off means to replace the sprocket shaft of the snowmobile, a shaft connected to the power take-off means and extending rearwardly and downwardly above the lift plate and mounting a propeller on the rearward end thereof, and rudder means for steering the watercraft and connected to the steerable mounting means of the snowmobile.

2. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein a wake plate connects the facing surfaces of the pontoons and extends rearwardly of the lift plate, said wake plate being disposed above the lift plate and overlapping with a rearward portion of the lift plate to form a tunnel between said plates through which the propeller shaft extends.

3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein the engine of the snowmobile is provided with an exhaust pipe which extends rearwardly above the lift plate and through the tunnel between the lift and wake plates.

4. The invention as set forth in 'claim 1 wherein the transversely spaced pontoons connected by the lift plate from a catamaran type hull providing laterally spaced planing surfaces and said rudder means comprise a pair of rigidly connected rudder members disposed aft of the hull, said rudder members being transversely spaced to place the respective members behind the corresponding planing surfaces.

5. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein the shaft mounting the propeller extends rearwardly beyond the hull to place the propeller aft of the hull, bearing support means for said shaft, said bearing support means with the propeller shaft being movable in a generally vertical plane relative to the hull to adjust the depth of the propeller.

6. The invention as set forth in claim 5 wherein the rudder means for steering the watercraft is carried by the bearing support means and is vertically adjustable with the propeller.

7. In a watercraft, a pair of transversely spaced pontoons forming a catamaran type hull having a deck and providing laterally spaced planing surfaces, a rearwardly and downwardly extending lift plate connecting the spaced pontoons and terminating in spaced relation from the rear of the pontoons, a wake plate connecting the pontoons and extending rearwardly of the lift plate, said wake plate being disposed above the lift plate and overlapping the rearward portion of the lift plate to form a tunnel between the plates, a snowmobile to power the watercraft, said snowmobile having a chassis mounting an engine and normally supported upon an endless track mechanism driven from a sprocket shaft and a pair of forward skis attached to laterally spaced steerable mounting means, said snowmobile sans endless track mechanism and skis being mounted on said deck and being universally adjustable relative thereto in a generally horizontal plane, shaft means including power take-off means to replace the sprocket shaft of the snowmobile, a shaft extending longitudinally of the hull and through said tunnel and drivingly connected to the power take-off means, a propeller rotatably mounted on said shaft aft of the bull to drive the watercraft, bearing support means for the shaft and mounted on the hull, and rudder means for steering the watercraft and connected to the steerable mounting means of the snowmobile.

8. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the mounting for the snowmobile includes a series of first beams extending in a given direction and secured to the deck of the hull, and a series of second beams extending generally normal to the first beams and being adjustably secured relative thereto, said snowmobile being carried by the series of second beams and being adjustable relative thereto, said mounting for the snowmobile providing for universal adjustability relative to the hull in a generally horizontal plane.

9. The invention as set forth in claim 8 wherein the series of first beams secured to the deck extend longitudinally relative to the hull and the series of second beams carrying the snowmobile extend laterally rela tive to the hull.

10. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the exhaust pipe for the engine extends rearwardly above the lift plate and through the tunnel formed between the lift and wake plates for discharge under water heneath the wake plate.

11. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the rudder means comprise a pair of rigidly connected rudder members, said rudder members being transversely spaced to place the respective members behind the corresponding planing surfaces.

12. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the steerable mounting means of the snowmobile are actuated by handle bars, and crossed over cables connect the respective steerable mounting means to the rudder means to provide for turning of the rudder means in a direction opposite from the handle bars and thus provide for steering action of the watercraft underway corresponding with handle bar manipulations.

13. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the pontoons are generally air-tight sheet metal weldments the form of which is maintained by air under pressure.

14. The invention as set forth in claim 7 wherein the bearing support means along with the propeller shaft are movable in a generally vertical plane relative to the hull to provide for propeller depth adjustment.

15. The invention as set forth in claim 14 wherein the rudder means for steering the watercraft is carried by the bearing support means and is vertically adjustable with the propeller.

16. In a watercraft, a pair of transversely spaced pontoons forming a catamaran type hull and providing transversely spaced planing surfaces, a rearwardly and downwardly extending lift plate disposed between and connected to the spaced pontoons and terminating in spaced relation from the rear of the pontoons, a wake plate disposed between and connecting the pontoons and extending rearwardly of the lift plate, said wake plate being disposed above and overlapping a rearward portion of the lift plate to form a tunnel between the plates, a snowmobile to power the watercraft, said snowmobile having a chassis mounting an engine and normally being supported upon an endless track mechanism driven from a sprocket shaft drivingly connected to the engine and a pair of skis attached to laterally spaced steerable mounting means, means on said hull for mounting said snowmobile sans endless track mechanism and skis, said snowmobile mounting means providing for universal adjustment of the snowmobile relative to the hull in a horizontal plane, an exhaust tube connected to the engine and extending rearwardly above the lift plate and through said tunnel to provide for engine exhaust discharge beneath the wake plate, shaft means including power take-oi? means to replace the sprocket shaft of the snowmobile, a shaft connected at one end thereof to the power take-off means and extending rearwardly and downwardly above the lift plate and through said tunnel and mounting a propeller on the other end thereof aft of the pontoons, bearing support means for the propeller shaft and mounted on the hull, a pair of transversely spaced and connected rudder members carried by the hull aft of the correspond ing planing surfaces, said rudder members being actuatable by cables connected to the steerable mounting means of the snowmobile to provide for steering control of the watercraft.

17. The invention as set forth in claim 16 wherein the rudder members are carried by the propeller shaft bearing support means, and said bearing support means is vertically adjustable relative to the hull to provide for simultaneous propeller and rudder depth adjustment.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1804262 *Jun 20, 1930May 5, 1931Lewis Walter CAutomobile boat
US3273528 *Jul 20, 1964Sep 20, 1966Kiefer Michael CWindsurfer
US3460502 *Nov 27, 1967Aug 12, 1969Carmichael DanaCatamaran
US3626891 *Jul 9, 1969Dec 14, 1971Forward Ideas LtdAmphibian trailer
US3646904 *Oct 31, 1969Mar 7, 1972Lanning Charles TRemovable flotation means and water drive assembly for snowmobiles
US3709185 *Aug 19, 1971Jan 9, 1973Hennel AAmphibious motor bike
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4141309 *Jul 21, 1977Feb 27, 1979Halboth Robert VInboard powered watercraft
US4387661 *Oct 19, 1981Jun 14, 1983Duff Kenneth RAmphibious motor-driven cycle
US4712636 *May 29, 1986Dec 15, 1987Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaCarriage for watercraft
US5599218 *Mar 29, 1996Feb 4, 1997Brunswick CorporationConfiguration for a marine engine exhaust system
US6062156 *Jun 9, 1998May 16, 2000Radke; GlenSnowmobile powered watercraft
US6595812Feb 15, 2002Jul 22, 2003Harry HaneyAmphibious vehicle
US20120216735 *Feb 27, 2012Aug 30, 2012Bailey Roger WBoat and combination boat and snowmobile
Classifications
U.S. Classification440/11, 114/283
International ClassificationB60F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60F3/0076
European ClassificationB60F3/00D3