PropellerSafety.com

Archive for July 2017

The Leash, a tether for large outboard motors, entered the market in early 2016. They especially focus on preventing bass boat outboard motors from entering the boat after striking a floating, submerged, or fixed object.

Their patent application was filed 22 December 2015 and published 18 months later on 22 June 2017 by the U.S. Patent Office as Publication Number US2017/0174303 A1.

Roy John Grohler of Kentucky is the inventor. The patent is assigned to The Leash Tether LLC. of Kentucky.

The Leash: left and right views side by side

The Leash: left and right views side by side

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In December 2013 we published a report, Approaches to Prevent Outboard Motors From Flipping Into Boats After Striking Floating or Submerged Objects in which we identified several ways to prevent outboard motors from breaking off and flipping into boats after striking submerged objects. One of those was was active trim control (see pages 33-34 of our report) by using a magnetic fluid in the trim (tilt) cylinder and using position feedback (how far is the rod extended) during a log strike to adjust how much resistance the cylinder is applying to the upward swinging of the outboard. While the impacts are not as severe, the same approach is used for shocks on several cars.

Magnetic fluids are sometimes called Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluids. Also sometimes spelled as magnetorheological fluids. They change viscosity based on the presence of a magnetic field and upon its intensity.

Active control brings the ability to respond faster than existing systems and limit pressure overshoot today’s relief valves. It also provides the opportunity to measure the magnitude of the collision as it is occurring and then select the best way to respond or possibly to select one of several preprogramed ways to respond. One program could allow the outboard to rise up over the object before maximum resistance is applied (called trailover).

MR fluids are also currently used in some high end, rough water vessel chairs to dampen vibrations (protect your back in very rough water) for the U.S. Navy.

In January 2015, Brunswick filed a patent on this active trim cylinder approach that includes some interesting comments.

Brunswick’s patent, U.S. Patent 9,290,252 was issued 22 March 2016.

Delph Magneride image we posted with our discussion of using MagnetoRheolopical fluids in trim systems in 2013.

Delph Magneride image PropellerSafety.com posted with our discussion of using MagnetoRheolopical fluids in trim systems in 2013.

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We have previously written extensively on log strike testing, the variables involved, and more specifically on trying to prevent outboard motors from breaking off and entering boats after striking floating or submerged objects.

This installment focuses purely on durability testing of prototype outboards. It does NOT address the issue of outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats, the need to make sure production outboards maintain the same durability, production quality control issues, design changes, or other issues. It purely focuses on developing a test stand and a test protocol to test a single prototype outboard motor for durability in striking floating or submerged objects.

Note – the Asian outboard manufacturers tend to refer to log strike testing by the phrase, driftwood testing.

Note – Log strike testing is DANGEROUS, please read the DISCLAIMER at the bottom of this post.

This post is not meant as a “pick one” offering. It is more of buffet from which manufacturers new to log strike testing consider picking some things if they like them and bring some of their own ideas to the table as well to create something that works for them at the stage they are now in.

On Water Log Strike Testing

Most major outboard manufacturers now have a log strike test procedure in place for durability testing of outboard motors. Some still perform on water testing by running flat bottomed boats over floating logs.

Log strike testing news clip. Corpus Christie Caller-Times. 30 April 1960. Page 6D.

Log strike testing news clip. Corpus Christie Caller-Times. 30 April 1960. Page 6D.

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Three boys in a sailing class at Centerport Yacht Club on the north side of Long Island, New York were out sailing in Northport Harbor Tuesday afternoon 18 July, 2017. Their boat was capsized on purpose as part of a man overboard exercise. Two of the boys stayed with the sailboat. The third boy was picked up by an 18 year old sailing instructor on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat).

When the boat operator began to gradually accelerate the boat, the boy fell overboard and was fatally injured by the propeller.

Details are still sketchy, but some accounts say his life jacket was entrapped in the propeller and he was struck in the chest by the propeller.

The 18 year old instructor was able to get the boy back in the boat and performed CPR on him.

One news report mentioned the yacht club instructors were all trained in CPR.

The injured boy, from Northport, was taken to Huntington Hospital where he died.

Propeller guards are sometimes used to prevent youth sailing propeller accidents such as this one. We talk further about their use near the bottom of this post.

The instructed that performed CPR on the boy suffered shock and was taken to the hospital.

The boat was a Zodiac powered by a Yamaha outboard motor.

Centerport Yacht Club RIB involved in the accident

Centerport Yacht Club RIB involved in the accident
An Associated Press image

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Ten people were onboard a 21 foot Ski Nautique on Lake Gage in Steuben County Indiana about 7:15pm Saturday July 15, 2017. Dominique Effinger a 20 year old female was operating the boat. The boat took a hard turn and all ten people on board were ejected.

The unmanned boat went into the Circle of Death at an estimated 30 mph with ten people in the water.

A quote from the Journal Gazette perhaps best describes the chaos.

Journal Gazette
16 July 2016
 

“Several seriously injured people were taken to shore by local citizens’ boats so EMS and fire units could tend to the injuries, the statement said. It said two people were flown to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne with injuries including a skull fracture and a partial lower-arm amputation. Others less seriously hurt were taken to Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola.
 
Conservation Officer Jake Carlile launched a Department of Natural Resources patrol boat as county sheriff’s deputies urged residents to move their boats and clear the area, the statement said. It said the unmanned 21-foot Ski Nautique motorboat was coming closer to boats and docks with each circle.
 
Carlile threw a rope from the patrol boat to entangle the motorboat’s propeller, the statement said. It said the boat then struck a dock and changed direction, striking the back of the patrol boat and disabling the patrol boat’s motor.
 
The rope slowed the motorboat, the statement said, and Carlile used a nearby personal watercraft to jump onto the runaway boat while both were in motion. He then brought the motorboat to a stop.”

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U.S Coast Guard has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) reenacting the June 1994 accident on Table Rock Lake in Missouri that maimed Phyllis Kopyto and claimed the lives of her husband Bob Kopytko and of their fishing guide, Paul Brundridge. Phyllis speaks over the reenactment video.


USCG Kopytko kill switch PSA

USCG Kopytko kill switch PSA



The video is very forceful.
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The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) “Get Connected” campaign, funded by a U.S. Coast Guard grant, encourages boat operators to connect the kill switch / engine stop switch.

The purpose of connecting the kill switch lanyard / engine stop switch or using a virtual lanyard is to cause the boat to stop if the operator is ejected. Unmanned outboard motor boats underway tend to circle in the Circle of Death, repeatedly striking striking those in the water with the propeller.

In some instances stern drive or outboard powered boats can just run on down the lake leaving those in the water with no chance of reboarding and no visual indicator to others of their presence in the water. They may drown or be run over by other vessels.

We found one of NSBC images particularly striking and will comment on it below.

Get Connected hand image

Get Connected hand image


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Hunter Bland and Conner Young of the University of Florida Bass Fishing team were ejected from their bass boat at speed during a Collegiate tournament in January 2017.

A steering system failure caused the boat to abruptly turn to the right. Hunter was operating the boat and had the kill switch lanyard attached. Both young men were wearing life jackets.

Today, July 10, 2017 the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) released a great kill switch Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring Hunter Bland.

Kill Switch PSA: NSBC & Hunter Bland


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Katlyn & Patrick Oliver image created from a TDTNews image

Katlyn & Patrick Oliver
image created from a TDTNews image

Earlier, we covered the accident in which Patrick and his daughter Katlyn Oliver were swimming behind a houseboat on their way back to shore.


Katlyn Oliver, 4, killed by houseboat propeller on Lake Belton in Texas
.

They were returning to shore after Katyln’s first boat ride. The house boat engines were started and reversed, Katyln was entangled in the propeller, Patrick tried to rescue her put both his legs were cut off by the propeller.

Gibson houseboat in the Katlyn Oliver accident photo bty Brady Carrol in KTEM

Gibson houseboat in the Katlyn Oliver accident
photo bty Brady Carrol in KTEM

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