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Old 08-31-2014, 08:45 AM   #1
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Albin-25 Transmission/Throttle control?

We quit our recent Champlain-Erie Canals cruise early when we crashed into a closed gate at Champlain Lock #1 due to not being able to counter a light wind moving us toward the Lock.

A competent Mechanic at nearby Lock 1 Marina adjusted the shift cables but each time we attempted to leave the marina, our boat work just well enough to push away from the pier, then fail to shift, or the MD17C engine would quit.

An Albin-25 we met at Lake Ticonderoga had been retrofitted with separate levers for transmission and throttle instead of an integrated single-lever control, which the owner like a lot. Any thoughts about that here?
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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I have only operated single levers on an outboard, I did not really like them.
Singles have failed in this area, both the mechanical and the electrical.
I would guess the doubles have also but they are simpler to fix (jury rig?).
I like the double wire over pulley system.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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I don't like a single lever as a big chunk of the movement of the lever is for shifting gears so the part left for throttle is insufficient. Don't like my OB single lever either ... it's too hard to control. Throttle changes are too sudden. Especially at low speeds.

With two levers the throttle control is long, smooth and linear on most controls. It's easy to accurately and dependably make small changes ... or large.

I did have one single lever control I liked. It was on an old Johnson OB. Late 60s I believe. The reason it was good is because the shifting was done electrically by solenoids in the lower unit. Only a very small amount of the throw was taken for shifting. Never had another one that I even half liked.

Ted what's "double wire"?
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Eric
Double wire controls: two wire come off your control lever(throttle or shift),
they run to the engine/trans over sheaves.
Often referred to as "Kobelt" contols (major manufacturer)
Same system as I use to see on small aircraft (no, I'm not a pilot)
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:42 AM   #5
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Simple Morse two stick for me. Single stick too easy to slam shift, too hard to gently add slight throttle, etc.

My hydraulic gear has a half sec shift delay, and that is about exactly how much time it takes for the hand to move from shift lever to throttle lever. So by the time I bark the throttle, it is firmly in gear. With a single lever, it is too easy to rev engine before engagement, then BANG!!

To the OP, if engine stalls, that does not sound like a control problem, unless perhaps the idle is too low.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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We have owned two Albin 25's, both with single lever controls. The first one with a 36HP 3 cylinder Volvo (forget the model) had a great controller. The second was repowered with a Yanmar and had (I believe) the same controller that came with the original 2 cylinder Volvo. The latter was very challenging to use, particularly in a docking situation; the range of controller motion was probably 60% devoted to forward idle/neutral/reverse idle.
Having had both single and twin lever controls on various boats I would say that if they are properly set up both systems work equally well once you get used to them. If they are properly set up.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:47 AM   #7
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The nice features of 2-stick expressed here appeal to me. The day before our misshap I was bow-on a low concrete wall, with a bow line belayed on a cleat, and shifted into forward, intending to use tension on the bow line to push the stern around parallel to the wall. Only I moved the stick too far and the bow rode up on the wall under the burst of too much power.

A fellow I met at Lk Champlain with an Albin-25 said that in tight quarters he idles the throttle and then shifts forward and back as required.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby Nick View Post

A fellow I met at Lk Champlain with an Albin-25 said that in tight quarters he idles the throttle and then shifts forward and back as required.
That technique worked very well for me on a previous (not Albin) boat. However, it only works if the prop has enough bite at idle to make a difference. If you are constantly having to switch the transmission and also tap the throttle it could get interesting really quick.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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As for the canal cruise itself, we were gratified to find that our Albin's 8-mph is about as fast as we would want to go doing that much "navigation". It was only out second week-long cruise. Our first was on Lake Superior's Nipigon Bay last year where there were more open areas instead of buoyed channels.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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Sailboats up into the 40' range, don't know about larger, all use single lever controls. Owned a sailboat for six years and preferred the single lever to the dual controls on our current boat.

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Old 09-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #11
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The best controls we ever had were on a small sailing cat. Single diesel driving a hydraulic pump and a hydraulic motor in each hull. Each motor was controlled by a single lever. Each lever connected to a hydraulic valve, no friction, no drag, no dead play, really smooth. No going back and forth between throttle, shift, throttle and so on. I would assume some of the electronic controls I've read about on high end yachts probably work as well. Except they're electronic and they will fail, hydraulics are forever.

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