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Old 29-06-2013, 15:19   #1
PGL
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Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

Greetings... I have a new (2012) Gemini MC105. I love/hate the drive leg. love how I get speed when it is up, but when I put it back down it does not always lock correctly. Anyone else have this? When I drop it down, I sometimes do not hear the click. A little forward with the prop sometimes does lock it. The T-pull handle will still sometimes be partially out. Like it gets vibrated out. Then any reverse, and the drive leg pops out. Even if I am certain that all is in place, the leg is locked, the T-pull is all the way in, all is "normal" and if there is any amount of reverse, it will still pop out. Seems like the T-pull mechanism is to blame, does not seem to go all the way in, that claw does not always close as it should. No fun when you really need reverse. I don't trust it. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 29-06-2013, 16:58   #2
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

As I recall, the "T"pull is the end of a cable that exits the bulkhead. The cable may just need to be either tightened or loosened to lock the drive leg. Join the crowd just about everyone who has owned the Gemini has a love/hate relationship with the drive leg. BH
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Old 29-06-2013, 17:45   #3
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

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 caused corrosion 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

Also https://www.youtube.com/user/waltsailing2009 is a place to start your Gemini education.

Best of luck.
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Old 30-06-2013, 04:24   #4
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

What Therapy said...and you'll find maybe 10 different ways to fix this, and most other Gemini problems, at the aforementioned Yahoo Group: Gemini_Cats : Gemini Catamarans. When we go on an extended cruise, we download the whole thing to the computer so we can use the reference even in remote locations (that's when things break).
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Old 30-06-2013, 07:18   #5
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, PGL.
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Old 30-06-2013, 12:26   #6
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

Wow - thanks everyone.

Even if I am sitting at anchor or mooring, I sometimes have to put forward to get it to lock. When moving, I must use forward. Scenarios occur when I pull the drive up to get more speed, clear seaweed, etc. Then need to drop if getting ready to motor. Sometimes the boat has speed when I drop. Is this not advised?

I will run thru all of these ideas - thanks everyone for your contributions!
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Old 30-06-2013, 13:31   #7
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Re: Gemini Sillette Drive not "locking" issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGL View Post
Wow - thanks everyone.

Even if I am sitting at anchor or mooring, I sometimes have to put forward to get it to lock. When moving, I must use forward. Scenarios occur when I pull the drive up to get more speed, clear seaweed, etc. Then need to drop if getting ready to motor. Sometimes the boat has speed when I drop. Is this not advised?

I will run thru all of these ideas - thanks everyone for your contributions!
I always raised the leg when sailing. Down can cost you a whole knot.

It is not advised to lock the leg using power.

I am not saying I have not done it but I cringed when I did knowing it could cost me a part and an hours worth of work (15 min job )

Also when shifting into gear for this purpose I push slowly to engage gently so as not to slam the bar too hard.

Generally, when clearing weed, I just went to neutral and let the boat slow some, reverse and then raise rpm a little (it blows the weeds right off), then back to neutral. Then on my way again.

Locking the leg down is different than normal shifting. If you are easing the transmission into gear gently and slowly as a practice you are going to ruin the transmission. This transmission needs to be shifted quickly/smartly/firmly/positively from one position to the other. No limp wristed shifting. (It was hard to get the wife to understand this). Like chambering a round in an automatic - you let the slide "slam" forward - you don't "ease" it forward. Rule of thumb - Basically you cannot shift it too fast.

Look all
I changed this into a gun thread.
Shame on me.
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