Yamaha Patent Application: Propeller Status Indicator Lights

Back in April 2014, Brunswick was issued U.S. Patent 8,803,711 for what eventually became Mercury’s Moving Propeller Alert device. It uses several LED lights to display a rotating pattern when the propeller is turning and the boat is stationary or barely underway. Mercury has on online brochure.

Now, in 2022, Yamaha’s U.S. Patent for a related device was printed by the US Patent and Trademark office as US Patent Application 2022/0106028 published April 7, 2022.

Yamaha cites the Brunswick patent as prior art and claims two improvements:

1. They provide a means to place to device directly on the back of the outboard motor.
2. They can provide additional information about the status of the outboard via the lights.

While Yamaha’s sketches show 4 lights, Yamaha notes there could be a plurality of lights.

Yamaha says they could display a wide range of data from the Engine Control Unit (ECU) via their Buss system. It can display things like in gear or not, forward speed, turning, throttle position, GPS location, and much more. They also note their device can be used with multiple outboard installations.

Yamaha does not provide an example of how they would use these lights to convey this type of information to those in the water and makes not mention of rotating LED lights.

We congratulate Yamaha for making some efforts in this area and hope some version of their invention makes it to the marketplace.

We joined some of Yamaha’s patent application images below.

Yamaha Propeller Status Indicator Light patent application

Yamaha Propeller Status Indicator Light patent application

We do provide one comment, seems to us like if the engine is about to be started or running, and you are in the water behind the boat you need to quickly swim away irregardless of all these other variables.

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