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Old 01-25-2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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Single lever controls vs two lever controls?

Hello All,

What is the general preference as far as engine controls? I had single lever controls on the last boat and wondered what the reasoning behind someone preferring twin lever controls?

The only possible risk is a newbie running from higher than idle down to neutral and reverse before giving the transmission time to shift. I was taught to give it a couple of seconds at neutral and then go to reverse.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:11 PM   #2
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Try an archive search for this. There was a several page thread on this within the last 12 months.

Ted
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:54 PM   #3
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I like the dual controls as they seem more precise and need less pressure to shift.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:34 PM   #4
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My buddy switched out the single-level controls for the twin engines on his 47-foot Chris-Craft because, when they were anchoring or picking up a mooring, his wife just couldn't remember how to use the single lever controls.

It was expensive but he said that it was an essential part of keeping the first mate aboard.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:43 PM   #5
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I have two-lever controls, and am comfortable using them now. I have only used single-lever ones on outboards, but to me they are more intuitive.

I think that I would prefer single-lever controls on my Mk 1, but doubt that I'll switch over, at least not anytime soon. The boat bucks are earmarked for higher priority upgrades.
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:34 AM   #6
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Why do I LOVE single lever controls on trawlers without flybridges?



1) It is difficult to make panic reverses that stresses or damages the transmission and drive line. Operator is forced to lower RPM's during shift.

2) Allows one handed operation when backing and filling.

3) The thumb operated " out-drive lift switch" can easily be wired to the thruster jog lever so there is no need to let go of the helm or throttle when operating the thruster in close quarters.

4) There is a switch underneath the lever handle, why I don't know, that can be used for another function, such as a single swipe of a windshield wiper or blowing the horn, without removing hands from helm or shift lever.

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Old 01-26-2018, 04:29 AM   #7
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How does one readily raise RPMs while in idle with a single lever? Two-levers give more flexibility in control. Two-lever works for me changing gears while in idle. But if one lever works for you: great!
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:30 AM   #8
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Yes I also remember a thread on this within the last year.

My preference is always for single lever because in stressful docking situations you don't accidentally grab the throttle instead of the shifter, or vice versa.

Stressful situations are stressful enough without adding even more stress
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:32 AM   #9
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I don't think you'll ever find a "general preference"on this subject. I've had both and prefer the single lever but think it probably depends which type you are taught to use when learning or have had most time operating. Everyone will tell you the for and against for the types they like.

The best I've ever personally used were the split single lever controls on professional game fishing boats. These are a single lever engine control for each engine mounted on either side of the helm. When reversing you can face aft with your hands on the engine controls and for maneuvering it is very intuitive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
How does one readily raise RPMs while in idle with a single lever? Two-levers give more flexibility in control. Two-lever works for me changing gears while in idle. But if one lever works for you: great!
Generally you push a button on the control which disconnects the transmission shift control either mechanically or electronically to allow the throttle to be moved out of gear. On some you have to pull the lever outboard of the mount slightly.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
How does one readily raise RPMs while in idle with a single lever? Two-levers give more flexibility in control. Two-lever works for me changing gears while in idle. But if one lever works for you: great!
You pull the handle out which disengages the gear feature. You can do anything with a single that you can do with two handles...except take it out of gear when not at idle.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:49 AM   #11
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Shifting gears at higher than idle rpm? The potential for damage is huge.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:53 AM   #12
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ONLY personal preference......

You get used to either setup......

I have operated many, many of both kinds and it takes a bit getting used to if you have only done one for awhile, but I have yet to crash a boat...so either does the job they are supposed to.

I have seen shifts at high rpms and yet none of those boats had tranny issues as far as I know....possible....true.....but still would consider that a reason to switch shift setups.

I have yet to hear an argument for a clear hands down winner.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:55 AM   #13
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I think this is one of those things where people prefer whatever they are accustom to. That will typically out weigh any actual differences, pro or
Con.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:38 AM   #14
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With single lever, if you push stick quickly from N to F and keep going, it revs the engine up before clutch has a chance to engage. The "BAM" as it slams into gear. Have to be gentle and wait for clutch, then advance.

I also have the idle set low on my engine (500rpm) to be polite in no-wake zones. When maneuvering I like to set the throttle to 600 to get a little more bite. Easy to do with two sticks.

Pretty much all newer boats have single sticks. Twin stick has gone the way of the stickshift car and truck!!!
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Try an archive search for this. There was a several page thread on this within the last 12 months.
Seems that it true for many (most?) 'new' threads posted here.

Just sayin'
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:46 AM   #16
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Funny story; When I first bought my sportfish with tower, it had "fisherman" style controls up top and "yacht" style dual controls down low.
So, upstairs it went from L to R "port gear, port throttle, stb gear, stb throttle".

Down low, it was : port gear, stb gear, port throttle, stb throttle.

What at nightmare! Obviously, THAT didn't last long.

I'm with PS on this one. But, I will say a single lever on a $500k single enginer trawler does look, hmmm, light
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:51 AM   #17
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Hydraulic clutches are quite tough, as long as you don't slip them at cruise speed for a time. I had a passenger accidently put one engine in N at full cruise, then quickly slam it back into gear as the engine redlined. No harm though!
That is one reason to prefer single handle.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
Hydraulic clutches are quite tough, as long as you don't slip them at cruise speed for a time. I had a passenger accidently put one engine in N at full cruise, then quickly slam it back into gear as the engine redlined. No harm though!
That is one reason to prefer single handle.
If I had a dollar for everytime that happened to our assistance towboats....wow....very common...

All the Shamrocks had BW Velvet drives in them. and they last decades unless from other issues.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
Down low, it was : port gear, stb gear, port throttle, stb throttle.
I've never used a dual lever control set up that way. That would mess me up in a hurry!
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:42 AM   #20
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I had a boat broker running a big Hatt with 8V92's. Running on plane in ICW. Little boat on the shore, so he decided to slow down. Pulled back on the levers. Boat did not slow, so he slapped them all the way back. OOOPS, that was the gears. Full plane at 2100 and he pulled them into REVERSE.

I'm in the engine room and all hell breaks loose. I thought we grounded. Crap (and me and my equipment) fly everywhere. A huge ball of water jumps over the transom, floods the cockpit and comes rolling down the engine room cockpit hatch. Both engines stalled, buzzers going off.

Figuring we grounded, I slog out of the ER and observe. Just floating there right in the middle of the ditch, not on the bottom at all.

Once we figured out what happened, I checked everything over, all looks ok. Do a start, all ok. Try the gears, all ok. Underway, all ok. Power up, all ok.

So yes, gears can be tough. These were Allisons.

Guy bought the boat.
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