Steering Mechanism Patents (Class 114/144R)
  • Patent number: 6146221
    Abstract: An outboard motor has a steering lock which retains the rotational orientation of the outboard motor relative to a watercraft. The steering lock allows the motor to be pivoted about a substantially horizontal tilt and trim axis while the steering lock is engaged. The steering lock includes a friction plate which is advantageously straight. The friction plate is connected to the steering arm, and movement of either the steering arm or the friction plate requires movement of the other. At least one friction lock engages with the friction plate to secure the motor in a desired orientation. The friction lock is rigidly affixed to the outboard motor. The friction lock includes one or more disc pads. Movement of an operation lever urges the disc pads against the friction plate hold the friction plate and consequently, the steering arm, in a predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Sanshin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noriyuki Natsume
  • Patent number: 6138596
    Abstract: A hydraulic damper is provided for a steering system, such as that of a boat or watercraft. A manually movable steering mechanism, such as a steering wheel, is connected to a piston and cylinder combination in such a way that rotation of the steering wheel causes relative movement between the piston and cylinder. Hydraulic fluid is disposed within the cylinder in such a way that movement between the cylinder and piston requires the hydraulic fluid to move from one portion of the cylinder to another portion of the cylinder. This fluid movement is conducted through a conduit which can be external to the cylinder or internal to the cylinder and extending through the piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Steven J. Gonring, Kerry J. Treinen, Brian L. Fisher
  • Patent number: 6098562
    Abstract: A mounting device for mounting a self-steering system on the stern (40) of a boat at a predefined angle determined from the stern configuration and a desired inclination of the self-steering system, comprises a supporting structure (10) for retaining and connecting the self-steering system with a pair of mounting brackets (20A, 20B) for retaining and connecting the supporting structure (10) with the stern of a boat (40), in which the mounting brackets (20A, 20B) have two first elongated holes (21, 22) extending along at least one approximately circular line for clamping the supporting structure (10) fast with at least four threaded bolts or the like such that its angle can be adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Inventor: Peter Forthmann
  • Patent number: 6065417
    Abstract: The hull (100) of a ship with an elevated steering stand (200) is provided with a device for the leveling compensation of hull motions which, in at least one plane, compensates a hull movement in the pitching direction, in the rolling direction and in the vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Inventor: Milos Vuckovic
  • Patent number: 6062156
    Abstract: A snowmobile powered watercraft which includes a pair of forward pontoons mounted to the front suspension in place of conventional skis and an U-shaped rear pontoon mounted to the aft portion of the snowmobile body. Propulsion is provided by the endless track assembly of the snowmobile which extends in part beneath the rear pontoon. Also disclosed is a structural assembly for converting the snowmobile into a watercraft which includes the forward and rear pontoons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventors: Glen Radke, Oscar Koboski
  • Patent number: 6062154
    Abstract: An improved mounting assembly for a steering shaft on a watercraft, which increases the strength and stability of the steering assembly while significantly reducing the manufacturing complexity of the watercraft. The mounting assembly comprises an elongated body having at least a first and second bearing surface, these bearing surfaces rotatably supporting the steering shaft within the elongated body. The elongated body is further attached to a mounting flange, with the mounting flange being attached to the steering column platform which is secured to the upper or lower hull of the watercraft. The disclosed steering operator mounting assembly further significantly reduces or eliminates the corrosive effects of water and/or salt on the components of the steering assembly most susceptible to such corrosion, such as the bowden-wire cable assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenji Ito
  • Patent number: 6055922
    Abstract: The invention provide an adjustable steering mechanism for a watercraft. The watercraft has a hull including a main body, an upper wall engaging the hull and cooperating therewith to define an engine compartment for housing an engine. The engine has an output shaft arranged to drive a water propulsion device of the watercraft. The upper wall has a top surface and a bottom surface. The bottom surface facing forwardly towards engine compartment. A first steering means extends through the upper wall and is in communication with a steering mechanism of the watercraft. The first steering means also coupled to a steering shaft and handle. The steering shaft and handle are journalled for rotation about a first axis with respect to a rotation member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takaaki Madachi, Tatsuya Yoshida, Masahiro Harada
  • Patent number: 6054831
    Abstract: A trolling motor system comprises a trolling motor having a propeller rotatably driven thereby. The motor is connected to a rotating tube or column mounted to the boat. A control head is mounted at the upper end of the column. A steering motor in the control head controls rotational position of the trolling motor. The control head houses a control circuit for controlling speed of the trolling motor as well as position of the steering motor to steer the boat. A foot pedal is positioned in the boat in proximity to the control head. The foot pedal includes a plurality of user actuable switches for commanding operation of the steering motor and trolling motor. The commands are transmitted via radio frequency to a receiver in the control head. The receiver decodes the commands and transfers the command to the control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Zebco Corporation
    Inventors: Prentice G. Moore, Thomas C. Griffith, Loy Hoskins, William Mitchell, Michael Shives, Nick G. IntVeldt
  • Patent number: 6026759
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for leveling or adjusting a power-boat's average angle of bank or list about its roll axis RA regardless of side wind or off-center loading to improve passenger comfort, increase fuel efficiency, and smooth hull passage through waves with reduced pounding. Improved operating characteristics are accomplished by adjusting steering force angle-of-attack of a small fin-rudder mounted under a forward portion of the boat's keel. The boat's heading is maintained by applying an opposite steering force by altering thrust direction of the driving and steering mechanism. Altering thrust direction occurs either by a pilot steering the helm or automatically by adjusting thrust direction independently of pilot steering. In an optional automatic mode, an electronic gravity inclinometer adjusts a fin-rudder servo. An electronic filter processes the inclinometer signal to control the boat's average attitude around its roll axis RA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Hazelett Strip-Casting Corporation
    Inventors: R. William Hazelett, Jeffrey Paul Lefebvre, Timothy D. Kaiser
  • Patent number: 5915323
    Abstract: Magnetic forces developed from electromagnets, superconductor magnets, or other magnets, serve as the basic elements to move, control, direct and stabilize ships in locks chambers and canals. Basic requirements include, but are not limited to, a power supply, the magnetic devices and a system for operation and control of the magnetic devices. This process of moving ships through canals and locks chambers will eliminate other, more expensive means currently in use. The magnetic system will speed the process of canal transit because of its simplicity of operation. It will require much less hardware and human resources to operate and maintain. The magnets would be installed in the locks chamber floors. In canals and approach lanes, the magnets could be placed on a substructure at the bottom of the channel using different structural elements depending on the channel's shape, size and dredging needs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Inventor: Felipe Antonio Len-Rios
  • Patent number: 5906526
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for effectively steering/controlling a towable inflatable watercraft utilizing a pulley steer steering system. The present invention allows a person/persons the convenience of being able to effectively control the direction of an inflatable watercraft. Any inflatable watercraft which utilizes the pulley steer steering system will be able to travel back and forth across the wake of a towing watercraft in a manner comparable to that of a jet ski. The advantage of this invention being that those who can't afford a jet ski or who are no longer permitted to operate a jet ski (due to recent legal restrictions) can experience the same thrill of travelling/jumping across a wake as a jet ski provides. This effect can not be provided in existing inflatables without damage being inflicted on the craft. This invention incorporates the use of the pulley steer steering system, whereby; a rope is safely housed within a hose which protects the watercraft from damage from the rope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Inventor: Thomas J. Freeman
  • Patent number: 5904111
    Abstract: An improved trimaran is provided. The trimaran includes a main section, multiple floats, a sail assembly and a set of beams that are used to removably position the floats a certain distance from the main section. The center section includes a centerboard or daggerboard assembly, steering assembly, cockpit area, bulkhead areas and mast receiving area. The controls for the centerboard assembly and steering assembly are centrally located in the front portion of the cockpit area and the cockpit area is positioned between the bulkhead areas. The trimaran is designed to have a car-like steering configuration and in one embodiment interchangeable beams to vary the width of the trimaran, depending on whether the user wishes to sail the trimaran or transport it to another location by for example, loading it on a trailer. In another embodiment having removable beams, the beams have adjustable settings so that the height of the floats relative to the center section can be varied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Assignee: North Star Marine, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles Raymond Frigard
  • Patent number: 5859517
    Abstract: The instant invention relates to a controller for a fishing boat trolling motor wherein the controller comprehends a transmitter so configured as to be capable of being releasably affixed to a member such as a finger or fishing pole thereby allowing an angler to simultaneously move about the fishing boat and perform various sundry tasks requiring use of both hands while maintaining continuous control of the boat; thereby allowing for greater concentration to be applied to the task at hand while maintaining such control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventor: Louis DePasqua
  • Patent number: 5809924
    Abstract: A steering device for a motor attached to a boat which device includes an elongated steering arm having electrical means for starting and stopping the motor, the steering arm secured within a clutch mechanism wherein clutch sleeves are tightly rotatably mounted within a circular plate mounted on an internal shaft causing a drag on the steering arm when moved vertically positioning the steering arm at a desired position and where horizontal movement of the steering arm steers the boat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Inventors: Salvatore Ambrico, Mike Flavin, Kathleen Ambrico
  • Patent number: 5794557
    Abstract: The invention relates to a steering device for a vessel comprising at least one rudder arranged to pivot about a substantially vertically extending rudder pivoting axis and comprising at least one operating handle mounted on an operating handle pivot shaft extending in the longitudinal direction of the vessel, which operating handle is arranged to pivot in an imaginary plane extending substantially vertically and transversely to the longitudinal axis of the vessel, the operating handle being connected to the or each rudder via at least one coupling mechanism, so that a pivoting movement of the at least one operating handle causes a pivoting movement of the or each rudder about the rudder pivoting axis, wherein the or each coupling mechanism is formed by a set of cooperating gear segments, of which a first one is mounted on the or each rudder or a rudder pivot shaft connected thereto, and the second one is mounted on the at least one operating handle pivot shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Etap Yachting N.V.
    Inventor: Frans Geukens
  • Patent number: 5791276
    Abstract: Ski rider controls to control throttle and steering of a ski rider. The ski rider controls are flexibly and adjustably secured to the ski rider. The operator may grip the ski rider controls in his two hands, squeezing with one hand to turn the ski rider in one direction and squeezing with the other hand to turn the ski rider in the opposite direction. A thumb-operative thumb throttle is provided on the ski rider controls in order to control acceleration of the ski rider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Inventor: Darrell W. Floyd
  • Patent number: 5724907
    Abstract: An accessory switch assembly is positioned between the steering wheel 12 and the bezel housing 14 surrounding the steering shaft 16. The assembly comprises a bracket including a mounting section 26 and two arms 28 which extend radially from opposite sides of the mounting section 26. The mounting section 26 includes a plurality of pairs 32 and 34 of mounting holes and a first plurality of mounting holes 30 disposed in a hexongonal pattern on a first circle for attachment to anyone of various different bezel housings 14. The mounting section 26 also includes access holes 36 for access therethrough for bolts to mount the bezel housing 14. Each radial arm 28 includes tabs 40 and side flanges 44 extending transversely along the sides of the arm 28 to define a pocket for a switch 38.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Teleflex Incorporated
    Inventor: Larry K. Castellucci
  • Patent number: 5707261
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a hydrocopter. A hydrocopter is a vehicle by which it is possible to move over water, particularly in an archipelago, under difficult conditions, e.g., during the thaw. The waterproof hull of the hydrocopter bears against the underlying surface, such as snow, ice, slush or water, and is driven forward by an air propulsion unit mounted on top of the hull. The problem with the current hydrocopters is that they are very difficult to steer and uncomfortable to ride in. Division of the hydrocopter hull into two portions connected to each other by a hinge joint, in accordance with the invention, makes it possible to use frame steering. This new structure makes the hydrocopter easier to handle. The invention provides a vehicle which has a small turning radius and which is steerable even at very slow speeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Inventor: Glenn Fagerudd
  • Patent number: 5707262
    Abstract: A system for controlling adjustment of the outboard drive unit of a boat by operation of switches mounted on the steering wheel of the boat. The system provides an "up switch, a "down" switch and a transmitter, each of which is adapted for attachment adjacent the gripping portion of the steering wheel. The transmitter provides wireless command signals to a receiver which is adapted for mounting behind the dashboard of the boat. The receiver in response to reception of the signals actuates an relay interface which in turn actuates a selected "up" or "down" trim relay which is a standard component on boats for which the kit is intended. The actuated trim relay provides electrical power to a conventional boat trim drive mechanism which in accordance with the switch command adjusts the position of the drive unit of the boat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1998
    Inventors: Jeffery W. Huntley, William F. Huntley
  • Patent number: 5702088
    Abstract: A method of attaching a handle to a halyard winch on a sail boat in order to increase the mechanical advantage of the handle. The method comprises removing the standard halyard winch handle, removing the standard ship's wheel, and placing the ship's wheel on the halyard winch in place of the halyard winch handle. Also, a device is used to attach the ship's wheel to the halyard winch which has a first end inserted into the halyard winch and a second end for securing the ship's wheel thereto. Turning the ship's wheel will turn the halyard winch, and since the ship's wheel is larger than a normal winch handle, a mechanical advantage will be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Inventor: Paul Roberge
  • Patent number: 5676081
    Abstract: A marine helm pump assembly comprises a helm pump unit and a helm pump mounting cooperating with the helm pump unit. The helm pump unit is connectable with hydraulic conduits to a steering assembly and cooperates with a rotatable helm to be gripped by an operator. The helm pump mounting is securable to a portion of the marine vessel, which can sometimes be restricted to access by an operator. The helm pump unit is mounted for limited rotation with respect to the helm pump mounting about a tilt axis passing transversely through the unit and the mounting to permit the rotatable helm to be tilted or swivelled about the tilt axis through an arc centred on the tilt axis to change orientation of the helm. This tilting can accommodate orientation preferences of the operator, as well as facilitating access to, or exit from, a restricted area adjacent to the helm. Because the helm pump can rotate with respect to the helm pump mounting, problems associated with prior art articulated steering columns are eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Inventor: Jacob Kobelt
  • Patent number: 5660132
    Abstract: A device is described for adjusting the position of a trolling motor relative to a boat. The device has an arm, preferably L-shaped, with one end connected to the steering column of the trolling motor. The other end is higher than the first end and rotatably connected to an end of a handle bar, which is adapted, upon application of force thereto, to cause the arm to rotate with the steering column on the axis of the steering column up to and through at least 180.degree., and preferably through 360.degree.. The device enables the position the trolling motor to be readily adjusted simply by pushing the handle bar away from, or pulling the handle bar toward, the operator. The device is less complicated and more durable than previously known devices, and allows for steering through the full range of steering column rotation while the operator remains fully within the perimeter of the boat. Thus, the device provides both a safe and convenient method of steering the boat while propelled by a trolling motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Inventor: B. Phil Pasley
  • Patent number: 5661259
    Abstract: A control fin assembly for a water vehicle includes a multiplicity of fins onnected together and grouped in an array mounted on the vehicle. A portion of the array is of a shape-memory material responsive to heat to assume selected shapes different from the shape of the array portion otherwise. The array portion is electrically conductive and adapted to increase in temperature upon application of electrical current thereto to effect the assumption of the selected shapes.The invention further relates to a control fin for a water vehicle, at least a portion of the fin being of a shape-memory material responsive to heat to assume selected shapes different from the shape of the fin otherwise, the fin portion being electrically conductive and adapted to increase in temperature upon application of electrical current thereto to effect the assumption of the selected shapes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Jeffrey L. Cipolla
  • Patent number: 5632661
    Abstract: Device which is independent of the main propulsion system of a ship, and which can be used selectively as a passive rudder or as an active maneuvering mechanism, and consists of one or more blades, a wheel body, a transmission and one or more control units.When the wheel body is stationary, in response to commands from the control unit or units, the blades can be oriented separately by means of the transmission and can be coupled or uncoupled to set the required angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the ship. In that case, the device acts as a passive rudder.When the wheel body is rotating, the position of the eccentrically located blade or blades is varied during a rotation of the wheel body so that a resulting thrust is generated on account of the hydrodynamic forces which act on the blade or blades. The direction of the thrust can be set in any desired direction by means of the control unit or control units and the sun wheel or the sun wheels of the transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Blohm +Voss International GmbH
    Inventors: Dirk Jurgens, Christian Thieme
  • Patent number: 5622132
    Abstract: An improved steering assembly for personal watercraft governs the positioning of a steering nozzle through a cable affixed to a steering shaft attached to handlebars gripped by the rider/operator of the watercraft. The steering shaft is mounted to the hull in a retainer member relative to which it is rotatable. The handlebars are shielded from the shocks and bumps occurring while the watercraft travels on rough water by a shock absorber that is mounted between the retainer member and the handlebars. The improved steering assembly significantly increases riding comfort and reduces operator fatigue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1997
    Assignee: Mardikian 1991 Irrevocable Trust
    Inventor: Albert Mardikian
  • Patent number: 5606930
    Abstract: A hand operated remote control station for marine trolling motors. The hand operated remote control station enhances or replaces existing remote foot control stations for trolling motors. The remote control station controls the trolling motor by a transmitted signal. The remote hand control station is a totally adjustable, non-corrosive, telescoping steering shaft on which are placed the electric controls to remotely operate a trolling motor, such as power switches and speed control devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Inventors: Garry R. LeBlanc, Brad J. LeBlanc
  • Patent number: 5551899
    Abstract: An attachment for hand control of a foot operated controller for an electric trolling motor comprised of a tubular upper handle having a grasping handle secured orthogonally thereto. The grasping handle has a control mechanism on an upper portion thereof. The control mechanism has wiring extending downwardly therefrom outwardly of the upper handle. A tubular lower handle telescopically receives the tubular upper handle therein. The tubular lower handle has a securement portion integral with a lower portion thereof. The wire from the control mechanism of the upper tubular handle extends outwardly of the open second end. A U-shaped securement bracket is secured to a foot operated controller for an electric trolling motor. The wire from the control mechanism of the upper tubular handle extends through the bracket for electrical coupling with the foot operated controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Inventor: Jerry J. Hatcher
  • Patent number: 5551363
    Abstract: There is presented an assembly comprising an underwater vehicle and a comation directional control and cable interconnect means therefor. The underwater vehicle remains underwater during travel of the vehicle through water. The directional control and cable interconnect means comprise arms extendible from sides of the underwater vehicle. Each of the arms includes a multiplicity of fins in a compact array for contact with the water through which the vehicle moves, each of the fins having an uncambered, neutral lift cross-section matching hydrodynamic streamline flow thereabout at predetermined vehicle speed below the cavitation threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Cipolla, Ronald E. Waclawik, Charles L. Elste
  • Patent number: 5551364
    Abstract: There is presented an assembly comprising an underwater vehicle and a comation directional control and cable interconnect device therefor. The underwater vehicle remains underwater during travel of the vehicle through water. The directional control and cable interconnect device comprises a single arm extendible from one side of the underwater of vehicle. The arm includes a multiplicity of fins in a compact array for contact with the water through which the vehicle moves, each of the fins having an uncambered, neutral lift cross-section matching the hydrodynamic streamline flow thereabout at predetermined vehicle speed below the cavitation threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Cipolla, Ronald E. Waclawik
  • Patent number: 5551365
    Abstract: There is presented in combination, a water vehicle and a directional cont means therefor. The water vehicle includes at least a portion thereof which is underwater during travel of the vehicle through water. The directional control means comprises a plurality of symmetrically disposed arms extendible from sides of the underwater portion of the vehicle. The arms each include a multiplicity of fins in a compact array for contact with the water through which the vehicle portion moves, each of the fins having an uncambered, neutral lift cross-section matching the hydrodynamic streamline flow thereabout at predetermined vehicle speed below the cavitation threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Cipolla, Ronald E. Waclawik, Charles L. Elste
  • Patent number: 5549065
    Abstract: There is presented in combination, a water vehicle and a directional cont device therefor. The water vehicle includes at least a portion thereof which is underwater during travel of the vehicle through water. The directional control device comprises a single arm extendible from one side of the underwater portion of the vehicle. The arm includes a multiplicity of fins in a compact array for contact with the water through which the vehicle portion moves, each of the fins having an uncambered, neutral lift cross-section matching the hydrodynamic streamline flow thereabout at predetermined vehicle speed below the cavitation threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Cipolla, Ronald E. Waclawik
  • Patent number: 5542862
    Abstract: A number of embodiments of watercraft having generally opened passenger's areas that are closed on their sides by an upstanding wall and which incorporates a pivoted control mast that has a portion carrying one or more watercraft propulsion unit controls for operation of the watercraft by either a standing or seated rider within the rider's area. Various types of seating arrangements are disclosed and in some embodiments, the seats are foldable between a lowered, horizontal position and a position wherein a seatback is provided. Alternate cover arrangements are also provided for covering the control mast when in its lowered position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1996
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noboru Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 5540606
    Abstract: A steering handle is pivotally connected to an outboard boat motor so that the handle may pivot freely with respect to the motor about a motor steering axis. A handle engagement arrangement allows the handle to be fixed at a particular orientation on the motor and released as desired to move to another orientation about the motor. The handle engagement arrangement preferably includes a control device positioned at a distal end of the handle. The adjustable handle arrangement allows the motor to be turned 360 degrees while maintaining the steering handle within reach and in a convenient position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Leslie O. Paull
    Inventor: Eddie J. Strayhorn
  • Patent number: 5507242
    Abstract: A hand operated remote control station for marine trolling motors. The hand operated remote control station enhances or replaces existing remote foot control stations for trolling motors. The remote hand control station is a totally adjustable, noncorrosive, telescoping steering shaft on which are placed the electric controls to remotely operate a trolling motor, such as power switches and speed control devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Inventors: Brad J. LeBlanc, Garry R. LeBlanc
  • Patent number: 5481261
    Abstract: A warning system embodied in a remote control system which includes a warning circuit and which alerts the individual operating the system if the position of a controlled member of the system does not correspond with the position of the remote operator of the system within a preset period of time after the operator is moved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Sanshin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Isao Kanno
  • Patent number: 5462001
    Abstract: A pullable, steerable watercraft is operable to be towed behind a power boat of kite. The watercraft has a steering mechanism within the watercraft body, and has a dome-shaped steering control recessed into the top surface thereof. The steering mechanism includes a movable mechanical shaft or arm which extends through the interior of the watercraft and which pivots about a vertical axis in order to rotate a rudder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Inventor: Jerome H. Lemelson
  • Patent number: 5453030
    Abstract: The present invention is an auxiliary steering handle apparatus adaptable to most boat mounted trolling motors. The apparatus is comprised of two main components, the pivotal telescopic handle or lever and a split gear housing or case. The pivotal handle or lever is both rotatable and telescopically extendable. Bevel and pinion gears are provided, with the bevel gear split into two halves for clamp mounting to the rotatable steering column of an existing electric trolling motor. Manual rotation of the handle facilitates rotation of the pinion gear and bevel gear, thus axial rotation of the motor is achieved in a full 360 continuous or by-directional rotation. Electrical commutation located within the case and lever, provides sliding electrical contact between a battery and the electric trolling motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1995
    Inventor: Kendal G. Broussard
  • Patent number: 5443407
    Abstract: A marine steering system for an outboard motor (M) has generally parallel cable devices (13, 13A) extending between a steering wheel (8) and outboard Motor (M) of a marine craft. The cable devices (13, 13A) include a pair of fixed control cable housings (14, 14A) and a pair of control cables (16) secured to slidable tubes (28) received within the housings (14, 14A) for sliding movement for steering the outboard motor. An inner control cable housing (14) is externally threaded and the outer control cable housing (14A) has a smooth outer peripheral surface. An internally threaded lubricating nut (52) is threaded on the inner control cable housing (14) for lubricating the telescoping tube or tubular member (28) secured to the control cable (16). A second lubricating nut (60) has a smooth inner bore defining a large diameter bore portion (62) to receive the outer control cable housing (14A) and a smooth small diameter bore portion (64) to receive the sliding tube (28) secured to the control cable (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Inventor: Thomas C. Burroughs
  • Patent number: 5423277
    Abstract: In a helm, throttle and directional control system for small craft, a safety device arranged to operate between an actuating member and an actuated member has such members coupled rotatively together by means of mechanical one-way coupling devices wherein a resilient force holds the actuated member constantly biassed to a locked position, and wherein the locking action is released by moving the actuating member against the resilient force, thereby motion can be transferred to the actuated member from the actuating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Assignee: Ultraflex s.r.l.
    Inventor: Giorgio Gai
  • Patent number: 5409076
    Abstract: A power steering system is actuated by a controller which includes a Bowden cable having a core and a sheath. The core is connected directly mechanically to a control mechanism and the sheath is connected hydraulically to the control mechanism by a control valve and an operating cylinder. To balance a reaction of the control mechanism on the core and thus undesired steering movements of the power steering system, a brake unit is disposed between the core and the sheath of the Bowden cable to prevent relative movement between the two by means of friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: Hoerbiger Ventilwerke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Gerhard Huber, Bernhard Hollerbach
  • Patent number: 5408945
    Abstract: Cable steering device, especially for boats, with an operating cable (3, 4) extending between a steering wheel mechanism (1, 2) and a steering mechanism (8, 10). The operating cable consists of a flexible sheath (3) and a flexible operating core (4) displaceable in the sheath. The cable has a pair of 90.degree. curved portions (20, 22) which are fixed in individual load removing elements (24) in the form of a rigid rail with a U-profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: AB Volvo Penta
    Inventor: Stig Bohlin
  • Patent number: 5404961
    Abstract: A power steering system (3) includes a controller (1) and a control mechanism (3), which can be operated by way of a Bowden cable (5) having a core (7) and a sheath (6). The core (7) is connected directly mechanically to the control mechanism (3), and the sheath (6) is connected hydraulically to the control mechanism (3) by way of a control valve (8) and an operating cylinder (9). To prevent oscillations in the closed control circuit of the power steering system, the sheath (6), or the control piston (15) of the control valve (8) connected thereto, is provided with a damping device (18) to dampen the axial movement of the control piston (15). The damping device provides hydraulic damping of the control piston (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: Hoerbiger Ventilwerke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Gerhard Huber
  • Patent number: 5399112
    Abstract: Servo-assisted cable steering arrangement, especially for boats, with an operating cable (4) connected to a steering wheel mechanism (1, 2) and displaceable in a casing (3). The outer end of the operating cable is joined to an operating rod (6) connected to a steering mechanism. The rod is displaceable in a guide tube (20) which is fixed to a valve tube (5), which is limitedly displaceable relative to and forms an operating element for a servo valve (8) of a hydraulic servo-unit in the form of piston cylinder device (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: AB Volvo Penta
    Inventors: Stig Bohlin, Lennart Arvidsson
  • Patent number: 5392871
    Abstract: An amphibious vehicle having a hull and pair of multiple-flighted outriggers which coact to stabilize and propel the vehicle over land and water. The speed and direction of the vehicle is controlled by a joystick allowing an operator to move the craft over land and water with a single hand. The multiple flighting and positioning of the outriggers adds efficiency and stability to the vehicle while the joystick control adds ease of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1995
    Inventor: Douglas McFarland
  • Patent number: 5387142
    Abstract: A power steering device for steering an outboard engine on a small boat has a hydraulic cylinder unit for angularly moving a steering arm of the outboard engine, the hydraulic cylinder unit having a piston rod connected to the steering arm, and a directional control spool valve for supplying a hydraulic pressure to the hydraulic cylinder unit to move the piston rod. A control cable controls the directional control spool valve in response to operation of a steering wheel. The control cable has a core having an end coupled to the piston rod and a sheath covering the core and having an end coupled to the spool of the directional control spool valve. The hydraulic cylinder unit has a cylinder divided by a piston into a first oil chamber through which the piston rod extends and a second oil chamber remote from the piston rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Showa Seisakusho
    Inventors: Hisao Takayanagi, Yasuo Funami
  • Patent number: 5383675
    Abstract: A human powered mechanism for propelling a wheeled land vehicle, a water vehicle (a boat or hydroplane) using either a water screw or a jet of water or an ultra-light aircraft with an air screw. The mechanism can utilize either arm or leg muscles or preferably, both arms and legs extending and retracting in a manner similar to walking or running as performed from a semi-recumbent position. Steering or other critical control is accomplished through another mechanism which is guided by the appropriate movement of the operator's head. The operators feet are placed on pedals which are attached to swinging members which pivot in a bearing at the upper end. The operator's hands grasp leverage arms which are cantilevered, the distal ends of which are attached to the same push-pull connecting rods as the above mentioned swinging members with foot pedals attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 24, 1995
    Inventor: Richard T. Liebert
  • Patent number: 5377609
    Abstract: A pivotable handle pole assembly for jet skis has integral gas spring for exerting a resilient upward bias force on the free end of the handle containing controls for the jet ski, thereby decreasing the apparent weight of the free end of the handle. The handle pole assembly includes a laterally elongated rectangular transverse cross-section beam pivotably mounted at the front end thereof between a pair of laterally spaced apart, longitudinally disposed flange plates forming side walls of a mounting frame having a flat base adapted to be attached to the body of a jet ski. A longitudinally disposed groove in the lower wall of the beam located between a vertical midplane and a side wall of the beam runs rearward from the front portion of the beam. An elongated linear gas spring within the groove has one end thereof pivotably fastened between opposite longitudinal groove walls, near the rear transverse wall of the groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1995
    Inventor: Edward W. Miller
  • Patent number: 5376029
    Abstract: A control valve for a pressurized fluid-operated system, such as a marine power steering system, includes a housing having an inlet and at least one outlet, with one or more work ports located therebetween. Pressurized fluid is supplied to the inlet, and a spool member is mounted within the housing for controlling the supply of pressurized fluid to a work-performing system, such as the extendible and retractable rod of a hydraulic cylinder assembly. The spool member includes structure for blocking the one or more work ports when the spool member is in its neutral position, when it is desired not to operate the system. This prevents the cylinder from being exposed to reservoir fluid when the spool member is in its neutral position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: David C. Entringer, Gary R. Polson
  • Patent number: 5372082
    Abstract: A number of embodiments of small watercraft having a seat that affords at least two different seating positions in generally side by side fashion. A steering control is supported forwardly of the seat and is movable between two different positions, each in front of a respective one of the seating positions while maintaining the steering axis generally perpendicular to the seat and for varying the distance between the steering element and the seat in the respective positions. The support for the steering element is also pivotal about a transversely disposed horizontally extending axis to permit different height positioning for the steering control when it is in its steering position. A variety of seat arrangements and boarding facilitating devices are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toshiyuki Hattori
  • Patent number: 5362269
    Abstract: A jet motor powered water vehicle is disclosed which is designed for single person use. The jet powered boat includes a deck having a flat surface portion enabling a person to lie prone thereon while manually controlling the motor and steering the boat by utilizing of a joystick mounted on the deck. The hull of the boat has a generally wide and shallow V-shaped configuration at a bore, lower portion thereof. The hull also has a flat bottom surface at mid and aft lower portions thereof which blend with the V-shape. The hull also includes a rear portion which is curved and upwardly slanted at a lower portion thereof. The boat also includes a transom which is generally rounded for improved aquadynamics, and a shroud generally enclosing the nozzle for the motor impeller is contoured and shaped to generally conform to the V-point of the hull in order to enhance aquadynamics of the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 8, 1994
    Inventor: Peter M. Leach