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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SAFETY DEVICE FOR MOTOR BOAT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/047465
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The object of the invention is a safety device for a motorboat, which comprises an echo sounder (2) attached to the boat (1) and aimed in its direction of motion, and a collision preventing system connected to the echo sounder. In a safety device in accordance with the invention, the detector part (2) of the echo sounder is fastened to the front part of the frame duct (4) of the outboard motor (3), and the detector part (2) is connected with the elevating mechanism of the outboard motor (3) for lifting up the outboard motor at least partly after the observation of an obstacle.

Inventors:
TYKKYLAEINEN JUHA (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2000/000068
Publication Date:
August 17, 2000
Filing Date:
February 02, 2000
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TYKKYLAEINEN JUHA (FI)
International Classes:
B63B43/18; B63H5/16; F02B61/04; (IPC1-7): B63H5/16; H04R1/44
Foreign References:
US5525081A1996-06-11
DE3600327A11987-07-09
US4926399A1990-05-15
US4982924A1991-01-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pitkänen, Hannu (Patent Agency Pitkänen Oy P.O. Box 1750 Kuopio, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. Safety device for a motorboat which comprises an echo sounder (2) attached to the boat (1) and aimed in its direction of motion and a collision preventing system connected with the echo sounder, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the detector part (2) of the echo sounder is fastened on the front part of the frame duct (4) of the outboard motor (3), and that the detector part (2) is connected with the elevating mechanism of the outboard motor (3) for lifting up the outboard motor at least partly after the observation of an obstacle.
2. Safety device for a motorboat according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the detector part (2) is connected with the operational system of the outboard motor (3) and arranged to reduce the rotation speed of the outboard motor after the observation of an obstacle.
3. Safety device for a motorboat according to claim 1 or 2, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the detector part (2) is connected by means of a connecting piece (5) between the insertion plugs (6,7) of the outboard motor and its remote control appliance.
4. Safety device for a motorboat according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the detector part (2) is fastened detachably on the frame duct (4) of the outboard motor (3).
Description:
SAFETY DEVICE FOR MOTORBOAT The object of the invention is a safety device for a motorboat, which comprises an echo sounder attached to the boat and aimed in its direction of motion and a collision preventing system connected with the echo sounder.

Cruising by motorboat is a growing hobby. Moving about on ship fairways and corresponding is safe, but when moving outside the marked routes one has to continuously watch and observe for possible underwater obstacles, like shoals. When driving at high speed on a rock shoal, the boat and in particular the outboard motor can get damaged badly. The boats have nautical charts in general use, which the driver of the boat follows and tries to observe in advance the marked shoals. All underwater shoals and rock islets are, however, not marked on these nautical charts.

In most boats an echo sounder is in use, with the help of which the boat driver is able to observe, for instance, obstacles underneath the water surface level.

The detectors of the echo sounders showing in the forward direction are fastened fixedly to the bottom of the boat, whereat a hole must be drilled in the bottom and the detector fixed into it. Such a detector is difficult to install, the framework material of the boat might get damaged at the fixing and in the course of the time, and the detector cannot be detached e. g. at the exchange of the boat. Additionally, such a

detector gets damaged at the bottom contact of the boat.

An ordinary echo sounder is a forward showing horizontal sounder, into which a kind of a collision preventing system is combined. When the detector of the echo sounder observes an obstacle, an alarm device belonging to the device alarms thereof either by sound, light mark or in both ways. When driving the boat at high speed, the speed of rotation of the motor is high and the air resistances are great. Hereat the problem is, whether the driver of the boat can hear or observe the alarm given by the echo sounder and how quickly he is able to react to it. When the boat is travelling at high speed, it might run over the obstacle before the driver of the boat has the time to react to the alarm to a sufficient degree in order to change the speed and/or direction of the boat. Hereat at least the outboard motor is in danger to get damaged.

The aim of the invention is to bring about a safety device for a motorboat, by which disadvantages connected with the present safety devices are removed.

In particular, the aim of the invention is to bring forward a safety device, which is operating reliably and efficiently to prevent the motor from getting damaged and which safety device itself is not easily damaged. Furthermore, the aim of the invention is to bring about a safety device, which does not change the structure of the boat, and which is relatively easy to detach and attach.

The aim of the invention is achieved with a safety device, which is characterized by what is presented in the claims.

In the safety device in accordance with the invention, the detector part of the echo sounder is fastened to the front part of the frame duct of the outboard motor, and the detector part is connected with the elevating mechanism of the outboard motor in order to lift the outboard motor up at least partly after the observation of an obstacle. The detector fastened to the frame duct is underneath the boat and a little lower than the bottom of the boat when the boat is moving, so through it dependable information can be obtained of what lies in front underneath the water surface. The detector fastened on the outboard motor does not easily get damaged, for instance, when driving up on land on the shore, because it is hauled up together with the outboard motor. The echo sounder can easily be fastened to the frame duct of the outboard motor, and when fixing it, the hull or other structure of the boat need not be damaged in any way.

In order to lift the outboard motor upwards, the detector part of the echo sounder is connected with suitable couplings to the regulator relay of the inclination angle in the operational system of the outboard motor, by action of which the tipping takes place. The operational system is programmed in a manner known per se, so that when the alarm signal comes from the detector part, the operational system tips the

outboard motor upwards. Also this operation will take place automatically, whereat the reaction of the driver of the boat is not needed to avoid the obstacle or at least to minimize the damages.

In a favourable application of the invention, the detector part is connected with the operational system of the outboard motor and arranged to reduce the rotation speed of the outboard motor after the observation of an obstacle. In this application the detector part is connected with couplings, which are suitable for this purpose, to the operational system of the outboard motor parallel to the alarm system therein, and the operational system is programmed in a manner known per se, so that when the alarm signal comes from the detector part, the operational system lowers the rotation speed of the outboard motor. This takes place automatically, whereat the reaction of the driver of the boat is not needed to avoid the obstacle or at least to minimize the damages.

In the following application of the invention, the detector part is coupled by means of a connecting piece between the connecting plugs of the outboard motor and its remote control appliance. In such a way the echo sounder is connected parallel with the alarm system of the outboard motor. By means of such a connecting piece to the remote control appliance of the outboard motor, information from the detector part can be forwarded and thus change the operation of the outboard motor in the

way presented, for example, in the previous paragraphs of this text.

In a favourable application of the invention, the detector part is fastened detachably on the frame duct of the outboard motor. Hereat the detector part can be detached when desired, for instance, for maintenance, replacement or corresponding.

In the following, the invention is explained in more detail by referring to the attached drawings, in which Figure 1 shows a motorboat seen from the side, on the outboard motor of which the detector part of the echo sounder has been fastened, Figure 2 presents a partial enlargement A of Figure 1, Figures 3 and 4 show the detector part in accordance with Figure 2 seen from the front and from above, Figure 5 shows the circuit diagram of a safety device, Figure 6 presents the mounting of the connecting piece of a safety device seen from the side, Figure 7 presents an operational device of the safety device seen from above, and Figures 8 and 9 show a safety device in accordance with the invention in use seen from the side.

According to Figure 1, on the frame duct 4 of the outboard motor 3 of the motorboat 1, the detector part 2 of the echo sounder is fastened. The detector part is fastened to the front part of the frame duct and it is aimed at the direction of motion of the boat.

To the detector part 2 according to Figures 2-4 belong in its frontal part located ceramic crystal or corresponding 8, in the detector part placed appliances and electronics (not shown in the figures) needed for the transmitting and receiving of the ultrasound as well as the wiring 24 for transferring of information. The detector part acts as an ultrasonic vibrator, where the transmission and the receipt of the ultrasound takes place. In the back part of the detector part there is a vertical setting groove 9, in the upper and lower parts of which there are supports 10,11. The detector part 2 is fastened to the frame duct of the outboard motor with a glueing agent or corresponding by putting the setting groove against the frontal surface of the frame duct so that the supports are against the frame duct. If necessary, the detector part can be detached from the frame duct, for instance, by using a dissolving agent suitable for the purpose.

The circuit diagram of a safety device presented in Figure 5 comprises the following parts: fusible plug 12, echo sounder 13, as the actual activation indicator acting detector 14, the electronics 15 for processing of the signal as well as the connecting piece 5 such as a jointing clamp for coupling of the safety device, for instance, to the system of the outboard motor. In the circuit diagram the following wirings are marked: B is the earth conductor, G is the electric power conductor, P is the conductor for lowering of the rotation speed of the motor and Sb is the conductor for the tipping of

the motor. In other applications the circuit diagram can be different.

Figure 6 shows the mounting of the connecting piece 5 between the insertion plug 6 of the outboard motor and the insertion plug 7 of the remote control appliance.

By designing and planning the connecting piece in a suitable way it can be made to suit between different kinds of insertion plugs.

In the presentation of Figure 7, an operational device of a safety device comprises signal lights 16,17, whereof the first one 16 lights up when the safety device is coupled on. The second signal light 17 is flashing when the safety device has observed an obstacle. In addition, the operational device comprises a distance indicator 18, which gives the observation distance of the detector in metres, and a distance regulator 19, with which the observation distance of the detector can be regulated. To the device belong also a main switch 20 for coupling the detector on and a shutdown switch 21 for terminating the operation of the safety device. The safety device is also shut down when the ignition current of the motor is cut off.

According to Figures 8 and 9, the safety device is in operation when the boat 1 is moving, and then the transmitter located in the detector part 2 is sending along the surface layer of the water sound impulses in form of a wave front 22 forward in the direction of the motion of the boat. From the distance regulator setting

in the echo sounder the distance to be observed has been set. The detector part is at an unregistered state, when in the front there are no objects causing reflections. In case there is an obstacle 25 in the direction of motion, such as a rock, a shoal, a log or corresponding, a part of the sound waves 23 reflect back from the obstacle and the receptor located in the detector part receives these echoes. The electronics placed in the detector part are processing this information and the signals reflected from the obstacles are registered. The signal processing confirms and directs the signal coming from the registration and transforms it to voltage impulses. The voltage impulses are directed by timer circuits, by which the operations of the outboard motor are directed.

When the safety device registers a signal exceeding a certain level, it sends immediately an impulse to the operational system of the motor through the intermediary of the connecting piece. In the case presented in Figure 9, the buzzer of the remote control appliance alarms the boat driver of the obstacle in the front. The safety device has at the same time directed the operations of the outboard motor automatically in such a way that the rotation speed of the motor has been slowed down immediately and the elevating mechanism of the motor has tipped up the motor into its upper position. The water cooling system has been all the time in operation and the manoeuvrability of the boat under control. Due to sudden lowering of the

rotation speed, the speed of the motorboat is slowed down immediately and the travelling position of the boat changes into horizontal. The boat driver can concentrate on avoiding the obstacle without needing to take care of the outboard motor separately. In such cases, when in the boat there is a manually operated tipping system of the motor, the speed of the boat is reduced immediately and the boat driver has enough time to lift up the motor himself. After the passing of the obstacle the motor can be lowered down and the journey can be continue.

The reducing of the speed of the motorboat has been measured when driving the boat at a speed of about 60 km/h in such a way that the security device has observed the obstacle from a distance of about 50 m. On the ground of the measurings and observations the system of the motor has enough time to reach the planned idle running speed and the tipping cylinder of the motor has enough time to tip the motor into the planned position.

The invention, is not limited to the presented favourable applications, but it can vary within the frames of the inventional concept formed by the claims.