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Old 04-21-2018, 04:44 PM   #1
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Split Throttle To Single Throttle

Ok, so I'm coming from driving a large sailing catamaran where you have one lever on each side of the wheel controlling both engine and tranny. I'm very confident in this setup, but all the trawlers we are looking at ( we sold the cat), have twin control setup with throttles and gearshift. Is there a way to convert these to a single control as on the cat? Not looking for electronic throttles....
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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The short answer is yes - but it will cost at least a boat dollar.
The question is - why bother - it will take a very short time to get used to the separate throttle/gear lever set up and you will soon forget the catamaran option.
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:40 PM   #3
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+1 on waiting and learning the split setup. For close boat handling you will generally use only the shifters anyway.
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:40 PM   #4
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Terminology: Single lever control: what you had on the cat
Dual lever control: what you are seeing on trawlers

Reason: dual lever are simpler, and therefore more reliable. You find them on dual station boats because the setup for mechanical controls with single lever controls is complex and expensive.

If the boat you choose has dual station, and you want single lever controls, and electronic controls are a no, then you end up with the arrangement below, X 2, one for throttle and one for shift. This setup introduces new controls, extra cables and additional friction in the box. You also must add a control to select which control operates the engine(s)

As Brisboy said, you'll get used to it very quickly, no worries






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Originally Posted by Sidclark View Post
but all the trawlers we are looking at ( we sold the cat), have twin control setup with throttles and gearshift. Is there a way to convert these to a single control as on the cat? Not looking for electronic throttles....
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Old 04-21-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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getting used to ANY system is only a few hours the first time and I submit this story to prove it.

I bought my Gulfstar 36 in Tampa with dual controls. They were connected backwards but I was in a hurry to fit into a weather window so left port with the backwards controls (Gear forward was REVERSE and back was FORWARD, throttle forward was slow and back was fast) The first 10 minutes I almost wrecked the boat, 20 minutes later it was working, 35 days later I arrived in Texas and was operating the boat like I had always had a reversed control. Comfortable as could be. Because it was comfortable AND I was afraid changing would mean I had to learn all over again, I didnt correct it and sailed the boat that way for 5 years. TWO WEEKS ago I purchased my Mainship which, of course had the correct set up. I was afraid it would be a problem retraining myself. IT WASNT! Apparently once you have learned a system you can switch back and forth at will. First time may take a couple of hours. Your brain just saves the information and is ready to switch when you tell it to. The first 15 minutes aboard my new boat was driving it thru a narrow canal system to my private bulkhead. Then turning in a 100' cul-de-sac to place the port side to the bulkhead. To add insult to injury the Gulfstar backed to Stardoard so I always docked Stbd side to the bulkhead and the Mainship backs to port requiring that I put port side to the bulkhead.

To my surprise, this ALL went as smooth as snot and I was complemented on my boat handling by the marina owner. It seems if you have ever done it before, the data is there in a data base that can be accessed easily.

Dont worry about the transition.

I had a flying instructor that told me if I ever started feeling cocky I should cross my legs on the rudder pedals and trying flying that way. I never got cocky again because I didnt want to try that!!!
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
Terminology: Single lever control: what you had on the cat
Dual lever control: what you are seeing on trawlers

Reason: dual lever are simpler, and therefore more reliable. You find them on dual station boats because the setup for mechanical controls with single lever controls is complex and expensive.

If the boat you choose has dual station, and you want single lever controls, and electronic controls are a no, then you end up with the arrangement below, X 2, one for throttle and one for shift. This setup introduces new controls, extra cables and additional friction in the box. You also must add a control to select which control operates the engine(s)

As Brisboy said, you'll get used to it very quickly, no worries

Hum I am not so sure about what you wrote. I have a dual station single lever control and it is not so complex and I think it is as reliable as anything else. At the end it still cables connected to pulleys and gears.
Not sure to understand your comment about 2x arrangement. Sigle lever or not you will need two cables, up on the bridge and down at the helm. Both are connected to a junction box itself connected to engine and tranny, nothing so complex. My junction box has been custom built by the builder of the boat and is made of 2 pulleys, 2 lever and two slotted plates.

L
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:41 PM   #7
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There are no pulleys and gears on a traditional push-pull mechanical control system. There are commercial systems like Kobelt and custom systems that sound like what your have, but nothing "off the shelf" like what you describe that doesn't climb into the price realm of electronic controls.

For traditional "off the shelf" push - pull cable systems:

Twin station, dual lever controls, single engine:
either rigged series or parallel: 4 cables

Twin station, single lever controls, single engine:
6 cables, 2 junction boxes, + 1 cable w addl control for station selection

These are the off the shelf current choice by the mainstream manufacturers. The number of components and total friction in the second system totals more equaling more initial cost, more total friction, and by having more components, less reliability.

Please don't take it personally Lou, this is not apples to apples. You have a custom HD control system fabricated by a reputable builder, an off the shelf mechanical control system just isn't in the same ballpark and your system could not be duplicated for less than several boating units.




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Hum I am not so sure about what you wrote. I have a dual station single lever control and it is not so complex and I think it is as reliable as anything else. At the end it still cables connected to pulleys and gears.
Not sure to understand your comment about 2x arrangement. Sigle lever or not you will need two cables, up on the bridge and down at the helm. Both are connected to a junction box itself connected to engine and tranny, nothing so complex. My junction box has been custom built by the builder of the boat and is made of 2 pulleys, 2 lever and two slotted plates.

L
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
There are no pulleys and gears on a traditional push-pull mechanical control system. There are commercial systems like Kobelt and custom systems that sound like what your have, but nothing "off the shelf" like what you describe that doesn't climb into the price realm of electronic controls.

For traditional "off the shelf" push - pull cable systems:

Twin station, dual lever controls, single engine:
either rigged series or parallel: 4 cables

Twin station, single lever controls, single engine:
6 cables, 2 junction boxes, + 1 cable w addl control for station selection

These are the off the shelf current choice by the mainstream manufacturers. The number of components and total friction in the second system totals more equaling more initial cost, more total friction, and by having more components, less reliability.

Please don't take it personally Lou, this is not apples to apples. You have a custom HD control system fabricated by a reputable builder, an off the shelf mechanical control system just isn't in the same ballpark and your system could not be duplicated for less than several boating units.

No worry and nothing that I could take personal
Maybe I should deposit a patent as what I have is 2 cables per station going to the one junction box and of course 2 cables from the junction box to the engine and tranny. The schema you posted is showing 2 engines so in that case of course 2 junction boxes.
Anyway I have nothing against dual lever or single lever, everybody has the choice.

L
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info! One thing that I've read in several places has me a little perplexed and maybe you can expound on it. Maneuvering the cat at slow speed such as docking you have to center and lock the wheel. From what I've read, on a power boat, you turn the wheel hard over to port or starboard and leave it there while maneuvering. Does this sound right? Why wouldn't you just keep the wheel centered?
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:12 AM   #10
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Maneuvering the cat at slow speed such as docking you have to center and lock the wheel. From what I've read, on a power boat, you turn the wheel hard over to port or starboard and leave it there while maneuvering. Does this sound right? Why wouldn't you just keep the wheel centered?
I've never heard that. But then again, maybe things like that are where the phrase "now I've heard everything" comes from...

Seriously, leave the wheel centered and dock just like you did on the cat. It might behave slightly different, but the physics are essentially the same.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:05 AM   #11
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I've never heard that. But then again, maybe things like that are where the phrase "now I've heard everything" comes from...

Seriously, leave the wheel centered and dock just like you did on the cat. It might behave slightly different, but the physics are essentially the same.
When I had my ex boat (single screw) I would put the wheel hard over to starboard and never touch it again. I would use the "back to port" feature to back into my slip.
On my current boat I usually do the same although now I have a stern thruster to help out.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:37 AM   #12
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Sidclark,

If you decide to go with single lever, dual function controls I have two Kobelt units I would be willing to sell at a very attractive price. They are used in good condition. Don't remember the model but will get it if you are interested.

Rob
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:49 AM   #13
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There is nothing complicated about switching from dual to single lever controls or the other way. All you do is change out the actual shifter/throttle. There are no changes to the cables.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:02 AM   #14
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I prefer dual levers because I can shift without any possibility of changing RPMs. Working shifters only makes for smooth competent maneuvering.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:52 AM   #15
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Thanks for the info! One thing that I've read in several places has me a little perplexed and maybe you can expound on it. Maneuvering the cat at slow speed such as docking you have to center and lock the wheel. From what I've read, on a power boat, you turn the wheel hard over to port or starboard and leave it there while maneuvering. Does this sound right? Why wouldn't you just keep the wheel centered?
When backing a single screw boat, depending on whether a left or right hand propeller, the boat will pull to port or starboard. If the boat pulls to port you set the rudder to starboard and give some forward motion to push your stern back to the center. This is referred to as "Back and Fill". You back up some then push the stern over.

If your boat has one steering station, a conversion to single lever is quite easy and costs $500 for a good control. 2 stations will be maybe $1,200. A quality "Pull Pull" 2 station setup is far more reliable than the push pull combiner systems.

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Old 04-22-2018, 12:58 PM   #16
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getting used to ANY system is only a few hours the first time and I submit this story to prove it.

I bought my Gulfstar 36 in Tampa with dual controls. They were connected backwards but I was in a hurry to fit into a weather window so left port with the backwards controls (Gear forward was REVERSE and back was FORWARD, throttle forward was slow and back was fast) The first 10 minutes I almost wrecked the boat, 20 minutes later it was working, 35 days later I arrived in Texas and was operating the boat like I had always had a reversed control. Comfortable as could be. Because it was comfortable AND I was afraid changing would mean I had to learn all over again, I didnt correct it and sailed the boat that way for 5 years.
Many years ago I had a friend who built his own boat with a big outboard. He had the steering backwards, but chose to leave it that way. Didn't bother him at all...
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:10 PM   #17
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Sidclark,

If you decide to go with single lever, dual function controls I have two Kobelt units I would be willing to sell at a very attractive price. They are used in good condition. Don't remember the model but will get it if you are interested.

Rob
Thank you, I'll remember that if it comes down to it. We're still dialing in what we want in a boat. So far, the ones that fit what we want to do are sundeck trawlers and motoryachts. Top of the list is fuel burn. We're ok with traveling at 6-10 knots and would like to burn under 5GPH. Has to be twin engine. Has to have a centerline queen. The wife loves the Grand Banks, but with twins in the master kills the deal. Somewhere between 30 and 42 foot. We try to avoid marinas and tend to live on the hook. Our cruising grounds are the ICW from Annapolis down to the Keys and the west coast of Florida. If the timing is right we'll spend a few months in the Bahamas.

I've got to figure out which boats are more rolly then others, because we do spend a lot of time on the hook. Wow, I've gone way off thread here....
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:50 PM   #18
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Hi Rob,

I'm be interested in the controls. I have a 36 Gulfstar trawler wiith twin Perkins 4-154. It's a dual station setup with main and flybridge, stations.
I'm located in San Diego, CA. The model number would be helpful to see if they will work for me.

Thanks
Roy


If you decide to go with single lever, dual function controls I have two Kobelt units I would be willing to sell at a very attractive price. They are used in good condition. Don't remember the model but will get it if you are interested.

Rob[/QUOTE]
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:43 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. S. Welcome aboard. I'm in the "stick with what you get" crowd. You will have PLENTY to do in the honeymoon stage without worrying about changing out controls.



Regarding maneuvering: For the most part the rudder will be fine amidships but there may be occasion where having the rudders hard over will assist in certain conditions...a very tight turn, perhaps.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:18 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=RTD;665932]Hi Rob,

I'm be interested in the controls. I have a 36 Gulfstar trawler wiith twin Perkins 4-154. It's a dual station setup with main and flybridge, stations.
I'm located in San Diego, CA. The model number would be helpful to see if they will work for me.

RTD,

We are on the boat heading out for Memorial weekend in the morning. I will post the model on Tuesday.

Rob
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