Title:
Pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
To provide a pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive in which the jet propulsion drive is located within each pontoon, the steering nozzle extends from the rear or aft pontoon end cap and the motor for the jet propulsion drive is located either inside the pontoon or on the deck above the pontoon. A jet propulsion pontoon boat includes a platform for carrying people with a pair of pontoons arranged beneath the platform for supporting the platform above a water line. The pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive includes two jet propulsion drives, steering nozzles and engines for propelling the boat through the water.



Inventors:
Ruiz, Leonard P. (Shoreview, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/103421
Publication Date:
10/12/2006
Filing Date:
04/11/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
114/61.1
International Classes:
B63H11/113; B63B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASINGER, SHERMAN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leonard P. Ruiz (Shoreview, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive comprising: a platform for carrying people; a pair of pontoons comprising an elongated cylinder with end caps arranged beneath the platform for supporting the platform above a water line; a jet propulsion unit mounted within each pontoon; the steering nozzle connected to the jet propulsion unit and extending from the rear or aft pontoon end cap of each pontoon; an engine mounted within each pontoon and connected to the jet propulsion unit also within each pontoon; the deck and the pontoons having an opening allowing access to service the engine and the jet propulsion unit in each pontoon.

2. A pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive comprising: a deck mounted on a pair of pontoons comprising an elongated cylinder with end caps; a jet propulsion unit mounted within each pontoon; the steering nozzle connected to the jet propulsion unit and extending from the rear or aft pontoon end cap of each pontoon; an engine positioned on the deck above each of the two pontoons; and the deck and the pontoon having an opening allowing access to the jet propulsion unit in the pontoon to connect a drive belt or a drive shaft from the engine to the jet propulsion unit.

3. A pontoon boat with jet propulsion drive according to claim 2, further comprising: chambers configured for housing the engines; and the chambers configured for housing the engines may function as a storage area, a seating area or a lounging area for passengers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a pontoon boat provided with a jet propulsion unit located within each pontoon and the jet propulsion units powered by an engine either located within the interior of the pontoon or on the deck of the pontoon boat above the pontoon where the jet propulsion unit is located. In a pontoon boat with two pontoons, there is an engine and jet propulsion unit configured with each pontoon.

2. Description of the Related Art

Various types of watercraft have been developed for different types of boating activities, for example hydroplane type hulls for racing, monhulls for load carrying capacity and catamarans for speed and stability. The pontoon boat is unique in design and is constructed from separate components for the pontoons and the deck and generally offers a relaxed ride for a number of passengers, is usually equipped with an outboard motor and typically operates at slower speeds. Seating areas, lounging areas, storage compartments and chairs and tables are usually arranged on the deck of the pontoon boat for cruising and for accommodating a variety of recreational activities. The layout of the deck on pontoon boats usually permits passengers to stand and move easily throughout the passenger area. Pontoon boats are usually equipped with an outboard motor but these motors are not suitable for use in shallow waters, rapids, weed infested waters, or areas with submerged rocks or other objects that can damage the projecting propeller shaft of the outboard motor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a pontoon boat with a jet propulsion unit mounted within the pontoon. The boat is propelled by sucking water from the pontoon bottom through the inlet of the jet propulsion unit which is powered by a separate engine.

The water is discharged rearwardly or aft through a steering nozzle propelling the boat forward.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a watercraft which combines the attributes of a pontoon boat but with the advantage of being capable of operating in very shallow water and is also capable of additional maneuverability than a pontoon boat equipped with an outboard motor.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a jet propulsion source located in the pontoon sufficient to move the pontoon boat at varying speeds through the water.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a pontoon boat with a jet propulsion drive including a deck that can be configured in a manner consistent with a number of seating, lounging and storage layouts. The passenger areas on the deck can be configured to a variety of layouts to provide the amenities of an extremely comfortable watercraft capable of seating multiple passengers while providing sufficient storage space for all necessary items for a commercial or recreational watercraft.

A further object of the present invention is to provide access hatches or ports through the deck and the pontoon that can be configured in a manner consistent with marine engineering to be water tight to allow access to service the engines and the jet propulsion units.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a jet propulsion pontoon boat with a larger useable deck area than a pontoon boat with an outboard motor. Pontoon boats usually have a shortened rear deck to accommodate an outboard motor.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a jet propulsion pontoon boat with a removable motor compartment cover on the deck that forms a storage area, or a seat bottom and seat back, or a lounging surface area

The jet-propelled boat of the present invention may be furnished with an engine, a multiple cylinder engine provided with a plurality of cylinders, or other engine types sufficient to power the jet propulsion unit. Other methods known in the art for powering the jet propulsion unit may be used. Transfer of power from the engine to the jet propulsion unit may be through a belt drive, direct drive shaft, a drive shaft connected through one or more gear boxes, or power transfer units, or transmissions, or other methods known in the art for power transfer in a straight line or at various angles of alignments between the jet propulsion unit and the engine.

Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given herein below and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limiting of the present invention, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partly cutaway side view of a jet-propelled pontoon boat in a preferred embodiment with the engine located within the pontoon adjacent to the jet propulsion unit according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partly cutaway side view of a jet-propelled pontoon boat with the engine located on the deck of the pontoon boat and the jet propulsion unit is located within the pontoon according to the present invention;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, an embodiment of the present invention will be described below wherein FIG. 1 is a side view of a jet propulsion pontoon boat having a pair of pontoons and provided with a jet propulsion unit and an engine within each of the pontoons according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1 the pontoon 1 is a buoyant structure that is attached to a deck 2. A power unit, the engine 3 is installed in the space 4 of the pontoon 1. The engine 3 and a jet propulsion unit 5 are disposed in a rear end portion of the pontoon, the engine 3 is disposed in a portion of the space 4 nearer the bow of the pontoon. The engine 3 and the jet propulsion unit 5 are accessed for servicing through a hatch 14 in the pontoon above engine 3 and a hatch 15 in the deck 2 above the engine 3.

The jet propulsion unit 5 has a duct having an inlet 6 opening in the bottom of the pontoon and a jet nozzle 7 opening in the rear end of the pontoon, an impeller 8 supported for rotation in the duct, and a drive shaft 9 supporting the impeller 8 and connected to the output shaft 10 of the engine 3.

As shown in FIG. 1, the drive shaft 9 is supported for rotation in a water-tight sealing member 11. When the impeller 8 is driven for rotation by the engine 3, water is taken through the inlet 6 into the duct and is jetted through the jet nozzle 7 to propel the pontoon 1 forward. The housing of the jet propulsion unit 5 serves as the duct through which water taken through the inlet 6 flows toward the jet nozzle 7.

A steering nozzle 12 is supported for swinging motion in a horizontal plane on the rear end portion of the jet nozzle 7. The steering nozzle 12 is connected by a mechanism, not shown, to the steering wheel, not shown, of the pontoon boat.

A cup-shaped reverser 13 is support for turning in a vertical plane on the steering nozzle 12. When the reverser 13 is turned downward to set the reverser 13 opposite to the steering nozzle 12, the flowing direction of water currents jetted through the steering nozzle 12 is reversed substantially through an angle of 180 degrees so that the jet-propelled boat is reversed.

Referring now to the drawings, an embodiment of the present invention will be described below wherein FIG. 2 is a side view of a jet propulsion pontoon boat having a pair of pontoons and provided with a jet propulsion unit within each of the pontoons and the engines that powers the jet propulsion units are located on the deck above each of the pontoons according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 2 the pontoon 1 is a buoyant structure that is attached to a deck 2. A power unit including an engine 3 is installed on the deck 2 of the pontoon 1. The jet propulsion unit 4 is disposed at the rear end (aft) portion of the pontoon, the engine 3 is disposed on the deck above the jet propulsion unit. The engine 3 is within a chamber, not shown, configured for housing the engine 3. The chamber, not shown, configured for housing the engine 3 may function as a storage area, a seating area or a lounging area for passengers when closed.

The jet propulsion unit 5 has a duct having an inlet 6 opening in the bottom of the pontoon and a jet nozzle 7 opening in the rear end of the pontoon, an impeller 8 supported for rotation in the duct, and a drive shaft 9 supporting the impeller 8 and connected to the output shaft 10 of the engine 3 by a belt drive 16 allowing a 90 degree power transfer or other type of power transfer device allowing a 90 degree power transfer. The belt drive 16 passes through an opening 17 in the deck 2 and the top of pontoon 1.

As shown in FIG. 2, the drive shaft 9 is supported for rotation in a water-tight sealing member 11. When the impeller 8 is driven for rotation by the engine 3, water is taken through the inlet 6 into the duct and is jetted through the jet nozzle 7 to propel the pontoon 1 forward. The housing of the jet propulsion unit 5 serves as the duct through which water taken through the inlet 6 flows toward the jet nozzle 7.

A steering nozzle 12 is supported for swinging motion in a horizontal plane on a rear end portion of the jet nozzle 7. The steering nozzle 12 is connected by a mechanism, not shown, to the steering wheel, not shown, of the pontoon boat.

A cup-shaped reverser 13 is support for turning in a vertical plane on the steering nozzle 12. When the reverser 13 is turned downward to set the reverser 13 opposite to the steering nozzle 12, the flowing direction of water currents jetted through the steering nozzle 12 is reversed substantially through an angle of 180 degrees so that the jet-propelled boat is reversed.

From the invention thus described, it will be obvious that the invention may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended for inclusion within the scope of the claims.