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Old 06-02-2015, 06:11 PM   #1
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Boat Maneuvering with Separate throttle and Shift

I have a single screw diesel trawler. It's a small trawler, but it has a lot of windage and maneuvering is always tricky. I've had the boat for about 8 years and I'm getting the hang of it, but one thing continues to mix me up, and that is the way the throttle and gear shifting work.

There's two levers on my boat. One for the throttle, and one for the transmission. The throttle does not have a stop. I shut my engine down by just pulling the throttle all the way back. I can't shift unless I keep it at 1100 rpm or less. So in tricky docking situations, it's really mentally taxing. For example, if I'm approaching a dock and I want to stop way I have to pull back to idle, shift to REVERSE, then push FORWARD on the throttle to apply force BACKWARD. If I want to stop going BACKWARD I then have to pull the throttle Backward to find idle so I can then shift to FORWARD where all the throttle mapping is then reversed. If I'm shifting in and out of gears adjusting thrust around a busy marina in dicey situations this configuration really makes me sweat.

Does anyone else have such a setup? Is there a trick to mastering this?
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Other than pulling back on the throttle to shut down the engine, it all appears normal to me. I do the same X2 since I have 2 engines; 2 throttles and 2 gear levers.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:36 PM   #3
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Can you rig it up so your shutdown is not the throttle lever? That would make it simpler.

I too have single screw with two levers, but with throttle on the idle stop it is 500rpm and a good place to shift. Shutdown is elsewhere. My tranny has a one sec delay in engagement, so by the time I get my hand on the throttle clutch has grabbed. Works for me.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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You could switch to a single lever control, but you would have to put a stop on your throttle linkage at your desired idle speed. I have single lever controls on both boats and they work very nicely.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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How about if on the way in to the docking, set the throttle at 900 rpm or so in neutral and leave it alone. Vary the length of time in fwd or reverse as necessary to move where you want. Be sure to pause in neutral a couple seconds between fwd and rev.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:10 PM   #6
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How about if on the way in to the docking, set the throttle at 900 rpm in neutral and leave it alone. Vary the length of time in fwd or reverse as necessary to move where you want. Be sure to pause in neutral a couple seconds between fwd and rev.
yes, this is generally my tactic and works great without too much wind and current or the need to spin the boat around quickly. As long as I know I'm not dealing with some abnormal setup I am sure I'll manange.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:17 PM   #7
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How about if on the way in to the docking, set the throttle at 900 rpm or so in neutral and leave it alone. Vary the length of time in fwd or reverse as necessary to move where you want. Be sure to pause in neutral a couple seconds between fwd and rev.
That's what I do . I also have an Aqua coupling installed that probably helps with shifting .
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:29 PM   #8
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Sounds downright crazy to me to have the Shutdown linked in any way to the Throttle.
Makes operating in any difficult situation really scary - change it to a separate switch.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:40 PM   #9
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Boat Maneuvering with Separate throttle and Shift

Haha that reminds me of our loaders at the shop you have to pull the pedal towards you to shut them off.

I'd get that checked out, as being able to shut the engines off from the shifter is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:57 PM   #10
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I'm with the other guys. Your engine should not shut off when you pull the throttle back. Get that fixed.
Leave the throttle at idle and bump in and out of gear as needed.

Better still get a single lever control and make your life a lot easier.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:04 PM   #11
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another vote for high quality single lever installed by someone who knows what they are doing. I would never go back to duel levers now that I have used the single.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:05 PM   #12
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I agree...separate the shut down from the throttle. Add a shutdown solenoid with a dedicated pushbutton. The low throttle position should then be the low idle.

Or...install a physical limiter into the throttle position so you must lift the limiter to allow the throttle to retard to shutoff...like a two-handed operation. A simple wood block that flips over into the throttle channel to restrict its movement might help.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:37 PM   #13
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I agree with those advising to acquire a shut-off button. The governor should be set so the minimum position for the throttle is idle and the maximum position is at top safe engine speed whether in or out of gear.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:28 PM   #14
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Thanks. I had no idea the throttle down to shut off was so uncommon. I've definitely shut the engine off by accident when maneuvering - usually from the fly bridge where it is difficult to hear the rpms. I think much of my difficulty is having to think about the rpms as I am shifting vs just pulling the lever back.

I love the idea of using a block as a stop so I don't have to rely on an electricity to stop the engine.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:12 PM   #15
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Sorry I haven't read everything above, but incase it hasn't been suggested, keep your hands off the throttle (unless the wind/current is so strong you need the power -- don't use throttle just for speed). That way, when you want to stop making way (of which there will be less anyway), pull into reverse and back to neutral until you have stopped. Once you have mastered the throttle, your brain will easily adapt to the idea of adding throttle then pulling back to idle long before you need to stop making way. It sounds like the way you are driving now is pretty much the way my brother drives his sports car -- if his foot isn't on the gas its on the brakes.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:44 PM   #16
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When approaching my home berth, I keep the engine at idle with the transmission in neutral except to engage it while making two 90į turns and an occasional forward or reverse thrust.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:21 AM   #17
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Better still get a single lever control and make your life a lot easier
X2

With one of these (Morse Control) you would be in heaven.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:38 AM   #18
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Thanks. I had no idea the throttle down to shut off was so uncommon.

I agree with all the others. Change that.

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Old 06-03-2015, 07:54 AM   #19
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Can a single lever control use the existing cables?
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:58 AM   #20
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Try adjusting the shut off first and then try to get experience with single control boats.

Single levers are not all they are cracked up to be.

Some love'en... some hate'em....and many it doesn't matter worth a darn...especially with a single engine boat.
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