Title:
Trolling motor mount assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An electric trolling motor transom mount that (a.) allows a trolling motor to kick over logs while the boat is traveling forward without damaging the trolling motor shaft or mount, (b.) and yet secures the trolling motor propeller in the water while propelling the boat in reverse, and (c.) also allows the operator to remove moss or debris from the propeller while the operator is comfortably seated in the boat, and (d.) allows the trolling motor to be placed in a stowed position on the floor of the boat.



Inventors:
King, Terry (Swansea, SC, US)
Application Number:
09/843277
Publication Date:
10/24/2002
Filing Date:
04/24/2001
Assignee:
KING TERRY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63H20/00; B63H20/06; (IPC1-7): B63C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Terry King (Swansea, SC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An apparatus for fastening a trolling motor on a boat, said apparatus comprising: a trolling motor mount assembly for mounting a trolling motor to the stern of a boat; and means to hinge a swingable plate thereto; said mount assembly contains a swingable plate, said plate contains a hinge means at a first end and a means to rotationally mount a trolling motor at a second end. When said first end of said swingable plate is connected to said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto and said second end of said swingable plate contains said trolling motor, said swingable plate is operable to carry said trolling motor from a stowed position on the floor of said boat to an operating position in the water.

2. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto further consists of a portion of the structure of said boat.

3. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto further consists of a stationary plate that is secured to a stern portion of said boat; and said stationary plate further contains a hinge pin.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 further consists of at least one spring means with a first and a second end; said first end is operatively connected to said boat at a first suitable location; and said second end is connected to said swingable plate at a second suitable location; said spring means are operable to allow said trolling motor to move over obstacles in said water while said boat is traveling in a forward direction and said spring means are operable to releasably hold said trolling motor in said operating position in said water when said motor has been activated in a reverse direction.

5. The apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein said spring means further consists of at least one metal spring.

6. The apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein said spring further consists of at least one rubber strip.

7. The apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein said spring means further consists of at least one bungee cord.

8. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 further consists of a stationary plate; said stationary plate further contains a hinge means at a first end and a flat surface at a second end, said flat surface contains a first part of a releasably securing means; and said apparatus contains said swingable plate, said swingable plate contains said hinge means at a first end and said swingable plate further contains a flat surface at a second end, said flat surface further contains a second part of said releasably securing means; when said stationary and said swingable plate are hinged to each other at said first ends and said flat surfaces are in contact with each other at said second ends; and when said releasably securing means are engaged with each other, said releasably securing means are operable to hold said trolling motor in said water to propel said boat in a reverse direction when said trolling motor is placed in a reverse speed; also, said releasably securing means are operable to disengage to allow said trolling motor to move over obstacles in said water when said boat is traveling in a forward direction.

9. The apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein said releasably securing means further consists of velcro.

10. The apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein said releasably securing means further consists of a metal magnet.

11. The apparatus as recited in claim 8 wherein said releasably securing means further consists of a releasable clamping means.

12. An apparatus for fastening a trolling motor on a boat; said apparatus comprising: a trolling motor mount assembly for mounting a trolling motor on the transom of a boat; and means to hinge a swingable plate thereto; said mount assembly contains a swingable plate, said plate contains a hinge means at a first end and a means to rotationally mount a trolling motor at a second end, when said first end of said swingable plate is connected to said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto and said second end of said swingable plate contains said trolling motor, said swingable plate is operable to carry said trolling motor from a stowed position in said boat to an operating position in the water.

13. The apparatus as recited in claim 12 wherein said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto further consists of said hinge means being positioned in the approximate vicinity of a front portion of the transom of said boat so that said swingable plate is operable to carry said trolling motor from an upright operating position in said water to an inverted position located over said boat and said swingable plate is operable to further carry said motor to a stowed position on the floor of said boat.

14. The apparatus as recited in claim 12 further consists of at least one spring means with a first and a second end; when first end is operatively connected to said boat; and when said second end is suitably connected to said swingable plate, said spring means are operable to allow said trolling motor to move over obstacles in said water while said boat is traveling in a forward direction and to hold said trolling motor in said operating position in said water when said motor has been activated in a reverse direction; and said spring means further releasably secures said trolling motor in said stowed position in said boat.

15. The apparatus as recited in claim 12 wherein said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto further consists of being operatively fastened to said boat; said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto further contains a first and a second end, said first end contains a releasably securing means, said second end is hinged to said swingable plate; said releasably securing means further consists of a first and a second part, said first part is suitably secured to said first end of said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto, said second part is suitably secured to said swingable plate; said releasably securing means are engaged with each other when said trolling motor is in said water; said releasably securing means are operable to allow said trolling motor to move over obstacles in said water while said boat is traveling in a forward direction and to hold said trolling motor in said operating position in said water when said motor has been activated in a reverse direction.

16. An apparatus for fastening a trolling motor on a boat, said apparatus comprising: a trolling motor mount assembly for mounting a trolling motor to a stern portion of a boat; and means to hinge a swingable plate thereto, said means are positioned in said boat; said mount assembly further contains a swingable plate, said plate contains a hinge means at a first end and a means to rotationally mount a trolling motor at a second end; when said first end of said swingable plate is connected to said means to hinge a swingable plate thereto, and said second end of said swingable plate contains said trolling motor, said swingable plate is operable to swing said trolling motor from an upright operating position in the water to an inverted position over the boat.

17. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 further consists of said swingable plate being operable to carry said trolling motor from said upright operating position to a stowed position on the floor of said boat.

18. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 wherein said hinge means further consists of said hinge means being positioned in said boat; said hinge means further contains a hinge pin, said hinge pin is located in a position that is forward of the transom of said boat; said hinge pin is operable to allow said trolling motor to swing from said upright operating position in said water onto the floor of said boat.

19. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 wherein said trolling motor is in an inverted position over said boat; said trolling motor mount further contains a removable pin that has been placed in a position that supports said swingable plate when said trolling motor is in said inverted position.

20. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 further consists of at least one spring means with a first and a second end, said first end is operatively connected to said boat at a first suitable location and said second end is connected to said swingable plate at a second suitable location; said spring means are operable to hold said trolling motor in said inverted position over said boat.

21. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 further consists of at least one spring means with a first and a second end, said first end is operatively connected to said boat at a first suitable location; and said second end is connected to said swingable plate at a second suitable location; said spring means are operable to allow said trolling motor to move over obstacles in said water while said boat is traveling in a forward direction and said spring means are operable to releasably hold said trolling motor in said upright operating position in said water when said motor has been activated in a reverse direction.

22. The apparatus as recited in claim 16 further consists of a trolling motor shaft assembly; and said swingable plate further contains a means to allow said shaft assembly to be rotated 90° on said swingable plate so that when said shaft assembly has been rotated 90° said swingable plate is operable to place said trolling motor shaft assembly in said boat in a position parallel to the transom of said boat.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Fishing boats are equipped with electric trolling motors for maneuvering a boat slowly across the water while fishing. There are trolling motors designed for an operator to operate a boat with his hands. But if the fisherman wants to use a foot operated trolling motor so his hands are free to operate fishing equipment, most fisherman use a foot operated trolling motor that is designed to mount the motor on the bow (front) of the boat. But if the fisherman desires to fish from a small one man boat that has a foot operated trolling motor with the motor attached on the rear (transom) of the boat, there are no acceptable trolling motor mount brackets available on the market today for this purpose.

[0002] Most of the one man boats with hands free boat controls are equipped with a trolling motor that has a mount bracket designed for a hand operated trolling motor.

[0003] These hand operated trolling motors brackets are designed to attach a trolling motor on the transom of the boat and to be operated by the hands of the fisherman.

[0004] These mount brackets hold the motor in a rigid fixed position in the water, and when the trolling motor comes into contact with a stump or other obstacles in the water, the impact will bend the shaft of the trolling motor or damage the mount bracket. There is also a problem with the operator being able to place the motor in an easily accessible area on the boat for the operator to remove grass or debris from the propeller.

[0005] Most of the above problems can be eliminated by modifying the trolling motor mount bracket so that it will allow the motor to kick over an obstacle in the water, but when this is done the mount bracket will not hold the motor in place in the water when the operator places the motor in reverse.

[0006] To eliminate this problem, most small one man boat manufacturers simply place a rubber strap across the shaft of the trolling motor and fastens each end of the strap on the back of the transom of the boat so that the strap will allow the motor to kick over logs and also will hold the trolling motor in place so that the motor can move the boat in a reverse direction without kicking up out of the water. But this method also creates a problem because it makes it very difficult to remove the motor from the water to clean moss off of the propeller. The fisherman has to lean his body out over the back of the boat to reach the propeller and since he is in a very small boat the boat is likely to take on water. When the propeller becomes cluttered with debris, some fishermen will remove the motor from the boat while the operator is seated in a stable manner. He will then place the motor in the boat to clean off the propeller and then he will reattach the trolling motor to the boat.

[0007] My invention eliminates these problems. My mount bracket will (a.) allow the motor to kick over a log, (b.) hold the motor in place when the motor has been placed into reverse to move the boat in a reverse direction, (c.) allow the fisherman to simply lift the motor out of the water into a position in the boat that makes it very easy to clean the moss off the propeller while the operator is securely seated in the boat, and (d.) my bracket also will allow the motor to be placed on the floor of the boat without detaching the motor from the boat when the operator wishes to use his larger more powerful motor to propel the boat, or when the boat is in transit on the road.

SUMMARY

[0008] My invention is a device for mounting a trolling motor on a stern position of a boat that has been equipped with a trolling motor. This mount allows the attached trolling motor to move across logs in the water while the boat is traveling forward without bending the shaft of the motor or damaging the mount bracket, and yet allows the motor to propel the boat in a reverse direction without the motor kicking up out of the water. This is achieved because of the unique way that my bracket is designed with the hinge pin placed out in front of the transom of the boat, unlike other mounts with the pin placed behind the transom. Rubber straps are also incorporated into the hinged structure of the mount bracket. The straps allow the operator to lift the trolling motor from the water and position the trolling motor propeller so that it is easily accessible for removing moss or debris from the propeller while the operator remains in the boat in a stable manner without having to lean over the back of the boat to access the propeller.

[0009] These straps (a.) hold the motor in the water while the boat is traveling in reverse, (b.) allow the motor to kick over logs while traveling forward, and (c.) hold the trolling motor in the boat in a stable upright position for easy access of an operator to the motor. This mount even allows the operator to completely stow the motor on the floor of the boat, or on top of the live well or another object in the boat without decoupling the trolling motor from the mount bracket. This is achieved because of the unique way that the trolling motor is hinged on the mount bracket. It must be understood that:

[0010] (a.) My apparatus incorporates rubber straps, but these flexible straps could consist of a metal spring, bungee cord or any suitable spring like material.

[0011] (b.) My bracket would accomplish the same purpose if velcro, a releasable latch, or a magnet were employed in place of the rubber straps.

[0012] (c.) The unique design of this bracket will help keep the motor in the water while in reverse even if the rubber strips (spring means) are not employed. The weight of the motor itself would help keep the motor in the water in a stable position.

[0013] (d.) This mount has spring means that are mounted at one end to the boat and at the other end to the swingable plate, but in the future I may construct the bracket so that the spring means will be mounted at one end to a stable portion of the mount bracket and at the other end to the swingable plate which carries the trolling motor.

[0014] (e.) This bracket is designed to mount an electric trolling motor on a boat, but it could be used to mount an internal combustion engine on a boat.

[0015] (f.) This bracket is designed to mount a trolling motor on the back (stern portion) of a boat, but it could also be used to mount a motor on the front (bow) of a specially designed or modified boat.

[0016] (g.) The stable hinge support means of my mount bracket are a part of my assembly, but it must be understood that the stable (fixed position) support means could be molded into the hull of a boat.

[0017] (h.) The swingable plate which carries the trolling motor shaft assembly could be constructed so that the trolling motor could be rotated 90° on the plate, and this would allow the motor shaft assembly to be placed inside the boat parallel with the transom of the boat so that there would be more usable space in the boat when the trolling motor is stowed in the boat.

[0018] For a more detailed description of the mechanical aspects of my trolling motor mount bracket, please look at the drawings and read the description of preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a side view of a boat with a transom mount for a hands free trolling motor control assembly.

[0020] FIG. 1-A is a top view of FIG. 1 with the mount in the closed position.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a top view of a transom mount in the open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] Referring to FIG. 1

[0023] FIG. 1 is one embodiment of the mount bracket on a boat. 2 is the floor of a boat. 3 is the transom of the boat. 4 is a trolling motor bearing assembly which includes a trolling motor 17 which rotates on a shaft within a bearing. 5 is a fixed plate which is fastened on the transom 3 of the boat. 6 is a swingable plate which is hinged to the fixed plate 5 with the pin of a hinge 15 which is positioned out in front of the transom 3 of the boat. 16 is a set screw and lifting handle which secures the bearing assembly 4 to the swingable plate 6.

[0024] When the swingable plate 6 is lifted by the handle of the set screw 16 at 180° from the closed position the swingable plate 6 will come to rest on the plate rest 7 which is a pin that is fastened through a portion of the fixed plate 5. If the user chooses, he can remove the pin 7 and the swingable plate 6 will rotate at least 320° from the closed position or until the trolling motor 17 comes to rest on the inside bottom (floor) of the boat 2.

[0025] 8 is a flexible band made of rubber, bungee cord, a metal spring or some other suitable material. 10 is a pin for securing one end of the flexible band 8 to the swingable plate 6. The other end of the flexible band 8 is fastened to the inside floor 2 with a fastening means 18 or to the transom 3 of the boat. (This mount could be constructed so that this end 18 of the flexible band would be fastened to a fixed portion of the mount bracket 1.)

[0026] When the boat is traveling forward and comes into contact with a stump or other obstacle under the water, the flexible band 8 will expand and allow the motor to “kick” over the log by allowing the swingable plate 6 to lift up the attached trolling motor 17 to “kick” over the obstacle.

[0027] Also, when the user places the trolling motor 17 in reverse, the flexible straps 8 will apply enough downward pressure to the swingable plate 6 so that it will not lift up and allow the trolling motor 17 to rise out of the water enough for the propeller 19 to spin out, thus allowing the boat to move in a reverse direction.

[0028] The flexible band 8 serves three purposes:

[0029] (1.) It will allow the trolling motor 17 to kick over logs,

[0030] (2.) It will allow the boat to back up when the motor is placed in reverse, and

[0031] (3.) When the motor is lifted in the boat and the swingable plate 6 rotates approximately 180° and comes to rest on the plate rest 7, the flexible bands will apply enough downward pressure on the swingable plate 6 to hold the trolling motor in an inverted position inside the boat so that a user can easily clean moss or debris off the propeller of the motor.

[0032] If the two flexible bands 8 shown are used and do not properly hold the trolling motor down in the water, a user can simply add enough additional bands to accomplish this task.

[0033] FIG. 1-A is a top view of the trolling motor mount in the closed position shown in FIG. 1. Part number 11, shown here and in FIG. 2, is a cylinder shaped hole that passes through the swingable plate 6 to hold the trolling motor bearing assembly 4 to the swingable plate 6, and the height of the motor can be adjusted to suit the user's need by loosening the set screw 16, then adjusting the motor 17 height and retightening the set screw 16. This figure does not show it, but the swingable plate 6 could be modified so that the trolling motor bearing assembly 4 could be easily removed by the hands of the user. The swingable plate 6 could be constructed to include a door with a hand operated knob installed, so that the door would open, allowing the trolling motor 17 to be removed from the transom mount assembly.

[0034] Referring now to FIG. 2

[0035] This figure shows the fixed plate 5 with a swingable plate 6 that has been opened approximately 180° from the closed position that the swingable plate 6 is in when the trolling motor 17 is operating in the water.

[0036] This embodiment is very similar to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 1-A with the exception that (a.) there are no flexible straps 8 on this embodiment, but a strip of velcro 13 and 14 has been installed on the swingable plate 6 and fixed plate 5 so that when the two plates are resting on each other in the closed position the velcro will help hold the plates together and prevent the motor 17 from kicking up when it has been placed in reverse and yet allow the motor 17 to “kick” over obstacles when the boat is traveling in a forward direction.

[0037] The swingable plate 6 could be constructed so that it would contain a means (not shown) to rotate the trolling motor shaft assembly 90° on the swingable plate 6, so that the trolling motor shaft assembly 20 would lay in the boat in a position parallel to the transom 3 so that there would be more useable space in the boat when the trolling motor 17 is placed in the boat.

[0038] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and substitutions can be made to the preferred embodiment herein described without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the claims.