There are several things it could be.
The T-handle has a knurled nut at the bulkhead. Inside this nut are two plastic compression
pieces. If this is tightened it squeezes the handle shaft and makes it difficult or impossible to push all the way in. It needs to be “loose”.
The end of the cable (on most all Gems) should be almost completely used. Meaning the cable lock nuts on the threaded end should be at the very end. This allows the locking bar to move all the way in/out.
The locking bar could be bent. All angles when the bar is viewed are perfect right angles. The only one of main concern of course is the part that rides over the rod/bar/locking post on the transom part of the bracket. Using English
instead of pictures = hard for me to explain. Bent = unreliable = replace. Bending happens when applying reverse too aggressively. One should shift and then slowly increase rpm
The rod/bar/locking post on the transom part could be bent. This is caused by using the throttle to try to seat the lock and it hits too hard and bends it. Spin it by had to see. If it is bent, replace it.
The rod/bar/locking post is in a slot and needs to be free moving in that slot. It is lubricated from the factory with garbage.
The whole leg comes lubricated from the factory with garbage. For some reason the stuff just dries to hard cement. The only cure is to remove original grease and use some good marine
grease. The best I have found is Evinrude/Johnson Triple Guard. I can go on about that grease for a while…….Nothing better!
The control ropes that steer the leg are run through the ring on the top rear of the leg and terminate at a cleat. Not sure about a 2012 model. But wherever………These can be too tight and stop the leg from fully dropping even though the locking bar looks OK on the rod/bar/locking post. Loosen them a little.
All the above can be checked from the dingy or in shallow anchor
in 15 min. Adjustments can be done in another 15 min. That means, in boat time, it will take at least an hour.
These drive legs have a justifiable history
of being crappy. It is, after all 1930s design. A nice I/O out drive leg that was long would be much more modern and useful but there is no market for them so Mercury
won’t consider making them.
But if you take the time to adjust properly, keep well lubricated and don’t use throttle to “set” the lock they will work fine and be trouble free. Mine was after I read about it and followed others instructions.
If you find yourself with time on your hands before salt water
makes it junk, take some of it apart, remove all factory grease and reassemble with Triple Guard. Also make sure you use Tef-gel when putting back the stainless oil plug
and grease nipples. That stainless to aluminum
will hurt you in the end. Badly.
It may seem a shame to get a new boat and find there are things the builder
could have easily done to save the customer a lot of time and headache but it is simply done by all.
The best advice I can give you is to join the Gemini group on Yahoo. There are a few folks there that have taken a lot of time and effort and are very helpful. Anything you can ask will get answers. Not like a regular forum. Gemini_Cats : Gemini Catamarans
is a place to start your Gemini education.
Best of luck.