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United States Patent m
[ii] Patent Number:  Date of Patent:
 COWLING ASSEMBLY FOR A MARINE PROPULSION ENGINE
 Inventor: Hiroshi Oishi, Hamamatsu, Japan
 Assignee: Sanshin Industries, Co., Ltd.
 Appl. No.: 949,132
 Filed: Sep. 23,1992
 Foreign Application Priority Data
Sep. 27, 1991 [JP] Japan 3-276514
 Int. CI.' B63H 21/36
 U.S. CI 440/77
 Field of Search 440/77, 900, 76, 78
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,224,900 12/1940 Conover 440/77
3,955,526 5/1976 Kusch 440/77
4,571,193 2/1986 Takada et al 440/77
4,869,693 9/1989 Curtis et al. .
5,052,961 10/1991 Uchida et al 440/77
5,064.393 11/1991 Inoue 440/77
A unitary cowling assembly for covering a fore-to-aft extending marine propulsion engine comprising a front cowling section adapted to extend around a front portion of the marine propulsion engine and a rear cowling section adapted to be fixedly connected to the front cowling section and to extend around a rear portion of the marine propulsion engine is disclosed. By extending the front and rear cowling sections fore and aft of the engine and interconnecting the cowling sections along a stiffened joint that extends laterally across the engine, the top surface and the side surfaces of the cowling, which are subjected to the highest vibrational loads from operation of the marine engine, can be structurally reinforced so as to inhibit such vibrations and the associated noise, while still providing an easily moldable cowling assembly.
7 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
U.S. Patent Apr. 12,1994 Sheet 2 of 2 5,302,147
COWLING ASSEMBLY FOR A MARINE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 5
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains to a cowling assembly for a marine propulsion engine and, more specifically, to a cowling assembly formed from two or more foreto-aft extending sections which are fixedly connected to ^ form a unitary cowling member.
2. Description of the Prior Art
It is widely known in the marine art to cover a propulsion engine with a cowling. Since such cowlings often need to be manually removed to gain access to the 15 engines, it is desirable to minimize the weight of the cowling. To achieve this minimal weighing, it has been proposed to mold such cowlings from plastic or other lightweight materials. In order for the cowling to have sufficient strength and in order to avoid noise problems 20 associated with vibrations developed during running of the marine engine, prior art cowlings have been made relatively thick which undesirably increases the weight of the cowling.
As exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 4,869,693, it has 25 heretobefore been proposed to form an upper cowling member from two parts which are divided in the lengthwise direction so as to form right and left halves which are permanently joined together. Constructing the cowling from two halves takes advantage of known 30 mold manufacturing processes resulting in reduced costs. Unfortunately, although such a cowling formed from left and right halves which are joined together increases the strength of the top of the cowling, the left and right sides remain low in strength. 35
Due to the inherent vibrations developed during operation of a marine engine, the left and right sides of the cowling, as well as the top, are subject to the greatest vibrational fatigue stress and strains. Therefore, although the prior art teaches providing a cowling 40 formed from two parts which are secured together in the lengthwise direction so as to increase the strength of the top of the cowling, such prior art does not provide for increasing the strength of the left and right sides of the cowling and therefore there is a need in the art for 45 a cowling assembly which can inhibit vibrations on not only the top of the cowling but also the left and right sides as well.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 50
It is the object of the present invention to provide a cowling assembly for covering a fore and aft extending marine propulsion engine which provides for increased strength of the cowling top as well as both the left and right sides so as to inhibit vibrations of the cowling 55 during operation of the engine.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a structurally sound, yet lightweight cowling assembly for covering a marine propulsion engine which can be readily manufactured by known molding pro- 60 cesses.
These and other objects of the present invention are accomplished by providing a unitary cowling assembly for covering a fore and aft extending marine propulsion engine wherein the cowling assembly comprises a front 65 cowling section adapted to extend around a front portion of a marine propulsion engine and a rear cowling section adapted to extend around a rear portion of the
marine propulsion engine. The front and rear sections of a cowling assembly constructed in this manner are joined from a left surface portion, across a top portion and along a right surface portion such that the strength of the top, left and right sides of the cowling is increased, thereby inhibiting vibrations on these surfaces and reducing noise that would result from their vibration.
Additional objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to corresponding parts in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 depicts a side view of an outboard marine engine equipped with the cowling assembly of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top, partial cross-sectional view of the cowling assembly of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an exploded cross-sectional side view of a portion of the cowling assembly shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional side view of an attachment area between upper and lower cowling units.
FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view depicting the connection between the front and rear cowling sections of the present invention according to a second embodiment thereof.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
With initial reference to FIG. 1, an outboard marine engine is generally indicated at 10 and includes a propulsion unit 12 which is pivotally mounted about a tilt pin 13 to a stern plate or transom 14 of a watercraft. Propulsion unit 12 can also be steered by means of a steering bracket 15. Tilt pin 13 is formed as part of a clamp bracket 16 and steering bracket 15 is formed part of a swivel bracket 18 which functions to pivotally and steerably attach propulsion unit 12 to transom 14 in a manner known in the art. As also known in the art, propulsion unit 12 is driven by an engine 20 secured thereabove. Engine 20 is adapted to be covered by a cowling assembly as will be described in detail below with initial reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.
As depicted, the cowling assembly includes an upper cowling member 24 which is comprised of a front cowling section 24A and a rear cowling section 24B. Front cowling section 24A extends around a front portion of marine propulsion engine 20 and rear cowling section 24B extends around a rear portion of marine propulsion engine 20. Front and rear cowling sections 24A, 24B are adapted to be fixedly secured together to form a unitary upper cowling member 24. According to the preferred embodiment, front and rear cowling sections 24A, 24B are joined by bifurcating the rear end (not labeled) of front cowling section 24A so as to form a groove 30. The front end (not labeled) of rear cowling section 24B is provided with a tongue 32 which is adapted to project into groove 30 and to be adhesively bonded therein as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2. By using an adhesive, front cowling section 24A and rear cowling section 24B can be fixedly secured together about a joint line indicated at 25.