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Old 04-22-2014, 11:07 PM   #21
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Interesting.....
Actually - Logical!
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:51 PM   #22
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Stick with cables!
I've seen and have friends that have too many failures with electronic controls.
I've owned boats as well and have had them fail while docking....causing damage to the boat.
Electronics and salt water do not mix!
Cables are way more reliable!
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:16 PM   #23
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On Volunteer the Morse cable throttle/shifter emitted a obnoxious ticking that was a result of the mount at the injector pump transferring fuel pulse noise up the cable to the pilothouse.

I had a bud that bought a pallet of Mathers electronic stuff... we managed to get complete controls for three boats + a lifetime of spares.. it cost me $ 200 for my part.

I changed both the bridge and flybridge to electronic control and for the three years I owned the boat after the conversion it was totally trouble free. I have a couple of other boats I run with them and have had no problems on those either.
They worked really well and were very smooth. And it was totally quiet on the bridge.. no more ticking sounds!
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:46 AM   #24
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When these things go south they go dead. One of our yacht club members has had his electronic controls fail twice in two years. Luckily within twenty feet of a dock each time, with others nearby to assist. Spend 5-10 grand for LESS reliability ? Not for me...
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:45 AM   #25
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Spend 5-10 grand for LESS reliability ? Not for me...

You bet , but remember the outboard style #33 cables can be had in a more robust #43 size , which are a bit harder to get into tight curves.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:20 AM   #26
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When these things go south they go dead. One of our yacht club members has had his electronic controls fail twice in two years. Luckily within twenty feet of a dock each time, with others nearby to assist. Spend 5-10 grand for LESS reliability ? Not for me...

You do know that cars do not have throttle cables anymore?

They are similar "fly by wire" type systems, true they do not have the rotary belt that the MircoCommander has but still no direct connection.

I have not had any experience with any of the new electronic controlled engines with electronic controls though..

The one boat I sometimes operate has used them an average of 2000 hrs a year ( yes 2000 is not a typo) and has had them for ten years with no failure.

There is always some percentage of failure is all systems.. never heard of a failure in a cable system?

The big advantage of electronic controls is that the system can have parameters set to drop engine rpm and time between shifts to allow for prop mass to slow before reversing direction, ease of gear change, multiple station location, remote control.

Would I but a NEW electronic system to replace the simple 2 station control on my Ocean Alexander?.. no way.. just think of all the Margaritas I can have for the same $ .. I could even afford to have some of them served to me by dancing girls..

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Old 04-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #27
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Our relatively new to us NT42 has Twindisc electronic controls (one station). As far as I'm aware they've never had any attention after almost 11,000 engine hours but now need a small repair done - on a mechanical component.

On our previous boat we had to replace all four mechanical control cables after 4000 hours.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:36 PM   #28
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Our relatively new to us NT42 has Twindisc electronic controls (one station). As far as I'm aware they've never had any attention after almost 11,000 engine hours but now need a small repair done - on a mechanical component.



On our previous boat we had to replace all four mechanical control cables after 4000 hours.

Yes I heard good things about them Nordhavn used them in some of their larger models I believe too.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #29
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I have never had an electronic system fail. I have had three separate cable system failures. Has anyone ever tried to trace a steering cable run on any decent sized boat? It can be a real nightmare unless the failure is at the ends, rudder or helm. Anywhere in between can be a real undertaking to track down.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:10 PM   #30
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Just ordered a second ZF microcommander set up for a client's boat after 2 years trouble free on a commercial landing craft I had installed them on. Previous system was 33C cables and as well as the cables breaking the gearboxes were suffering repeated failures (like every 6 months at least) Absolutely no gearbox preoblems since the ZFs were fitted and proper programming. Bill at Roberts Maritime Systems did me a very sharp price. (5K for twin engine two station including all data cablining of over 300')
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #31
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Fly by wire systems have gone through initial growing pains thus the failure stories. Those units that have debugged and are properly installed will do fine. Eventually it will be hard to find none electronic controls or parts for older manual units. This is not just a boat thing and includes cars planes industrial equt. etc. Some of the present systems have addressed the failure possibility with redundancy. My Glendinning SX has two sets of control black boxes with two separate sources of battery power. My Yacht Controller remote and Joy stick has two separate frequency inputs for the same purpose of redundancy. I am convinced that both of these systems allow for smoother and more positive control than any other system I have previously used on many boats. I think it is a lot easier for motor manufacturers to do electronic controls on what are now (due to EPA standards) electronic motors than play with any kind of mechanical link. Converting an older mechanical motor to electronic controls may still be up in the air while there may not even be a choice on a new motor.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:09 AM   #32
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I have been using Morse Teleflex KE-4A's for over 5 years they are flawless. The Morse systems require DC voltage through 2 paths and they warn you if either DC buss is not providing the correct power. I installed the engine sync provided by Morse as well it is a very inexpensive option.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taras View Post
Stick with cables!
I've seen and have friends that have too many failures with electronic controls.
I've owned boats as well and have had them fail while docking....causing damage to the boat.
Electronics and salt water do not mix!
Cables are way more reliable!
KISS
I had the Mather's zf micro commander that let me down at critical times. So I went back to Morse controls
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:14 AM   #34
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I picked up an older Glendinning system; when I called the company for a cable, they not only know everything about the system I have, but assured me that they are ready and capable of fully supporting my system. They can rebuild the actuators, control heads, and more.

The cable I needed? They built it ('Have to drag tha ol' machine out of tha corner to build the thing") and had it it my hands in 5 days.

I installed the salon control head today, and will finish the install tomorrow.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:53 AM   #35
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what are the benefits of the eletronic throttles? Seems like a large expense for?????

*
I spent the money (on a prior boat) because I was tired of a novice at the helm (unavoidable on my offshore fishing trips, unless I was to drive all day and night) pull the boat out of gear then shove it back in upon realizing his mistake. With the electronic controls (at least my MicroCommanders) that becomes impossible. No matter how quickly you move the throttles from full forward to full reverse, the gears won't engage until the engine first drops to idle.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:16 AM   #36
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This discussion makes me a little nervous. The PO installed a Microcommander system on our boat. Thus far it works fine, but seems others here have had difficulties. I still have to install the controls on the upper helm but the wire is in place.


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Old 06-28-2014, 01:26 PM   #37
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Maybe I've missed the point but why do you need electronic throttle controls ? it seems to me there's just more to go wrong and in my limited experience I have found that in salt water they will definitely work, but indefinitely.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #38
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For us, we have a run of about 50 feet to the starboard engine and about 80 feet to the port. Just the way it was ran and no real way of changing it. The path goes through some pretty tight bends through the ceilings and bulkheads. I nor any of the mechanics we have had were able to make the pressure the same and get out all the slop even after replacing the cables. So, we are very much considering this to aleviate the issues above. I think I will still leave the cables in whenever this gets high enough on the list to change.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #39
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This discussion makes me a little nervous. The PO installed a Microcommander system on our boat. Thus far it works fine, but seems others here have had difficulties. I still have to install the controls on the upper helm but the wire is in place.


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We have MM and also thus far have had no problems. (Knock on wood)
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:49 PM   #40
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I love my Morse controls, I love my Morse controls, I love my Morse controls... For little boat such as ours... Bum, Bum, Bum, Buuum!!!
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