OUTBOARD MOTOR STEERING ASSEMBLY WITH RUDDER REFERENCE SENSOR
Inventors: Gerald Allen Zelm, Menomonie, WI
(US); James Dennis Cayford, Afton, MI
Assignee: Marinetech Products, Inc., White Bear
Lake, MN (US)
Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 19 days.
Filed: Nov. 9, 2007
Prior Publication Data
US 2008/0113571 Al May 15, 2008
Related U.S. Application Data
Provisional application No. 60/858,629, filed on Nov. 13, 2006.
B63H 5/125 (2006.01)
B63H 20/08 (2006.01)
U.S. CI 440/60; 53/58
Field of Classification Search 114/144 R,
114/144 RE, 144 A, 154-161; 440/53,55, 440/58-60, 61 S, 63; 318/588 See application file for complete search history.
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
An outboard motor having a steering control and a rudder reference sensor, both connectible to a computer-operated guidance system. The steering control utilizes a linear actuator connected through a linkage to the motor. The actuator utilizes a rack that moves along the axis about which the motor pivots from its use position to its storage position, thereby enabling the rudder position sensor to remain connected to the motor when the motor is pivoted from its use position to its storage position. The sensor can include a follower disposed in a sloping groove on the rack, a pin on the rack engaged in a helical groove on a cylinder, or an externally mounted sensor connected to the steering linkage through an auxiliary linkage.