Title:
Method and apparatus for absorbing, dampening and/or reducing sounds and vibrations created by the use of an electric trolling motor; which at the same time protects the trolling motor against damage by dampening force and/or sounds from external trauma
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A covering created to be attached to an electric trolling motor propulsion unit and/or shaft in order to absorb the sounds and vibrations created during the use of the trolling motor. The Invention is created from a material, such as rubber or synthetic rubber or of another material with sound dampening qualities, which dampens and/or absorbs sound, force and/or vibrations. The preferred embodiment of the Invention is a customized rubber or synthetic rubber covering that is applied flush to a portion of a trolling motor propulsion unit and/or shaft thereby reducing the vibrations distributed into the water into which the trolling motor is submerged and thus minimizing aquatic disturbance. Additional purposes of this method and apparatus is to both protect the trolling motor from damage caused by external trauma or blows and to dampen sounds and vibrations created from such external trauma.



Inventors:
Lloyd, Jerrod Robert (Vineland, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/011415
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/26/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H21/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AVILA, STEPHEN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jerrod R. Lloyd (314 Irving Ave., Millville, NJ, 08332, US)
Claims:
1. A method and/or apparatus for absorbing, dampening and/or reducing the distribution of sounds, force and/or vibrations produced by an electric trolling motor, which also absorbs sound and vibrations from, and also protects the electric trolling motor from potential damage resulting from impact force created should the trolling motor experience contact with a submerged object or experience some other form of trauma; comprised of the application of a customized rubber or synthetic rubber, such as an elastomer, covering or a covering of another material with sound and force dampening qualities, to a portion of an electric trolling motor unit.

2. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a notch, which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus.

3. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

4. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus; and modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

5. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and which allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit.

6. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and which allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit; and modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus.

7. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and which allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit; and modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

8. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and which allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit; modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus; and modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

9. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof.

10. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; and modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus.

11. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; and modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

12. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; and modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit.

13. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof, modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus; and modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor.

14. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus; modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor; and modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit.

15. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; modified to have a notch which allows the keel of a trolling motor to fit flush against the apparatus; and modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit.

16. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be attached to the electric trolling motor unit by an adhesive, hose clamps, wire-ties or some combination thereof; modified to have groove(s) running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft in order to hold and secure wires necessary for the use of electric equipment used in conjunction with the use of a trolling motor; and modified to have a split or space running the length of the portion of the apparatus which covers the electric trolling motor unit shaft and allows the apparatus to be slipped and/or snapped onto the trolling motor unit.

17. The method and/or apparatus of claim 1, modified to be constructed of layers of rubber, synthetic rubber, such as an elastomer and/or a material with sound dampening qualities.

18. A method and/or apparatus for absorbing, dampening and/or reducing the distribution of sounds, force and/or vibrations produced by an electric trolling motor; comprised of the application of a customized rubber or synthetic rubber such as an elastomer, covering or a covering of another material with sound dampening qualities, to a portion of an electric trolling motor unit.

19. A method and/or apparatus which protects an electric trolling motor from potential damage and absorbs, dampens and/or reduces the distribution of sounds and vibrations resulting from impact force created should the trolling motor experience contact with a submerged object or experience some other form of trauma, comprising the application of a customized rubber or synthetic rubber, such as an elastomer, covering or a covering of another material with sound dampening qualities, to a portion of an electric trolling motor unit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of propulsion systems for watercraft, such as pleasure boats, fishing boats, etc. More particularly, the invention relates to a method and apparatus for absorbing, dampening and/or reducing the distribution of the sounds and vibrations produced during the use of an electric trolling motor while at the same time, serving to protect the trolling motor against damage from external trauma or blows by absorbing force created from such trauma.

A trolling motor is an electric driven motor that is energized to turn at various adjustable speeds to drive a propeller. The electric motor and propeller are part of the propulsion unit, which is submerged into water when the motor is deployed. The trolling motor shaft is connected to the motor propulsion unit and secured by a mount to the watercraft. Although a trolling motor offers reduced noise and vibration levels when compared to an internal combustion motor, it still produces levels of noise and vibrations that can disturb aquatic life. This is particularly problematic when a trolling motor is used for fishing, especially tournament fishing or if used for a biological study, as the disturbance of aquatic life reduces the chances for success while fishing or performing any other activities in which minimal aquatic disturbance is sought. Another problem experienced with the use of trolling motors is their susceptibility to damage during their use, such as when a trolling motor mistakenly hits a submerged object. Such a collision also produces sounds and vibrations that may disturb aquatic life.

There is, at present, a need in the art for a method and/or apparatus to reduce the distribution of and/or dampen sounds and vibrations produced by the use of an electric trolling motor and thereby reduce the level of disturbance to aquatic life. There is also at present, a need in the art for a device that protects the trolling motor from damage by absorbing force created from any potential impact of the trolling motor with a submerged object.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a method and/or apparatus for absorbing, dampening and/or reducing the sounds and vibrations produced during the use of electric trolling motor (the “Invention”). This Invention addresses a problem that occurs during fishing and boating in general. The problem occurs when sounds and vibrations created from the use of an electric trolling motor are distributed throughout the water. Such sounds and vibrations often disturb aquatic life. The Invention is a customized rubber or synthetic rubber covering or a covering made of a material with sound dampening qualities, that is applied to the trolling motor and acts as a dampener by absorbing force and reducing the sounds and vibrations that may disturb aquatic life. Another object of this invention is that it reduces and/or prevents potential damage to the trolling motor should the trolling motor experience trauma through contact with a submerged object by the absorption and dampening force.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL DRAWINGS

In these drawings, the Invention is shown as covering a portion of the trolling motor propulsion unit and/or of the trolling motor shaft. These drawings depict only some configurations of the Invention. The Invention is subject to modification by those skilled in the art and the dimensions of the Invention and portion of the trolling motor to which the Invention is applied is subject to such modification. Those skilled in the art will be able to determine the exact dimensions for the Invention as designed for each make and model of trolling motor.

FIG. 1 is a side view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor.

FIG. 7 is a front sectional view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor shaft, as shown by a cross section of the trolling motor shaft.

FIG. 8 is a top side sectional view of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as applied to a trolling motor shaft, as shown by a cross section of the trolling motor shaft.

With regard to the foregoing drawings, it is to be understood that changes may be made in detail, especially with respect to the shape and arrangement of the Invention and any of its parts. It is intended that the specification and depicted aspects be considered illustrative only and not limiting with respect to the broad underlying concepts of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of the Invention is shown in FIGS. 1-8. The preferred embodiment of the Invention is a rubber or synthetic rubber covering, or a covering made of a material with characteristics similar to rubber for the purposes sought, that is molded to and applied to the motor propulsion unit and/or shaft of an electric trolling motor as a method for dampening, absorbing and/or reducing the sounds and vibrations produced during the use of a trolling motor. FIGS. 1 and 2 show side views of the proposed embodiment of the Invention as covering the trolling motor propulsion unit and shaft. The Invention itself can essentially be described as a sheathing that covers a portion of the trolling motor propulsion unit and/or shaft and slips and snaps onto the trolling motor propulsion unit and/or shaft. The Invention will be custom designed for each make and model of trolling motor so as to conform to the varying designs of each make and model of trolling motor. Persons skilled in the art who are made familiar with this Invention will have the option of creating the Invention through various processes as determined by those skilled in the art. One proposed method of manufacturing the Invention is to create a mold of the trolling motor and to use such mold to form the Invention.

The proposed embodiment of the Invention will be made so that it may be snapped onto and/or slipped onto the trolling motor. One proposed embodiment of the Invention may have either a slit or a space running lengthwise across a portion of the Invention which covers the trolling motor shaft which will allow it to be snapped onto and slipped onto the propulsion unit. FIGS. 2 and 4 show this option as 2b and 4b, respectively.

Other proposed embodiments within the scope of the Invention would involve the securing of the Invention to the trolling motor by either an adhesive, hose clamp(s), wire-tie(s) or some combination thereof. Persons skilled in the art who are made familiar with this Invention will have the option of varying the design of the Invention in order to secure the Invention onto each various make and model of trolling motor. As discussed herein, the Invention will be manufactured in various embodiments to conform to the dimensions and shape of each make and model of trolling motor and will lay flush upon the trolling motor. The thickness of the Invention may vary as decided by those who are skilled in the art. Possible modifications and embodiments envisioned for the embodiment of this Invention include the potential to form the Invention from layers of rubber, rather than as a solid piece of rubber. Persons skilled in the art who are made familiar with this Invention will have the option of varying the construction of the Invention in order to optimize the Invention's effectiveness.

The proposed embodiment of the Invention described herein should also fit tightly against the trolling motor keel. The keel is attached to the bottom of the propulsion unit and acts a directional tool for the trolling motor. FIGS. 3, 5 and 6 show a proposed embodiment of the Invention wherein the Invention is shown as conforming around the keel. This aspect of the Invention can be seen in FIG. 3 as 3a, in FIG. 5 as 5a and in FIG. 6 as 6a.

Another proposed embodiment of the Invention has channel(s) or groove(s) on the outside surface of the Invention. The channel(s) would run lengthwise down a portion of the Invention and would hold and secure any wires required for the operation of electronic equipment used in conjunction with the trolling motor. Such equipment may include transducers, GPS equipment, underwater speakers, etc. This embodiment in shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. 7c and 8c show embodiments of said grooves. 7d and 8d show a cross-section of the trolling motor shaft to which the Invention is applied.

Once applied to the trolling motor, the Invention will act as a sound and vibration absorber, reducing the release of force into the water. The rubber, synthetic rubber, or other material used in the construction of the Invention will act as a dampener. This reduction in sounds and vibrations will result in less disturbance to the water and to the aquatic life therein. At the same time, the Invention will also serve to protect the motor from damage caused by external trauma by absorbing shock and deadening sound from any collision the trolling motor may have with a submerged object.

As should be clear from this description, the embodiment of the Invention claimed is not limited to a particular shape or form. The shape and form will by necessity vary in accordance with each trolling motor make and model to which it is applied. It should be appreciated that the method for constructing the Invention will vary upon further refinement of the Invention and upon the advancement of technology used in the manufacture of the Invention. The materials used in the manufacture of the Invention are also subject to refinement. Persons skilled in the art who are made familiar with this Invention have the option to select the appropriate material of the Invention along with its thickness and construction. Those skilled in the art will also have the option to decide as to which portions of the trolling motor the Invention will be applied.

While the Invention has been shown or described in only some of its forms, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible to various changes without departing from the scope of the Invention. The Invention is intended to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the Invention as defined by the claim(s).