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Old 12-08-2007, 09:17   #1
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REMOTE ENGINE CONTROL SYSTEMS

My boat is moored in a strong tidal area ie up 4/5 knots during a spring tide. I do a lot of my boating single handed and timing it just right to pick up the pick up buoy can at times be very tricky. I am considering a 38/40 ft cat which means a long run forward and very spot on timing with a boat hook to make sure I get the pick up buoy or even thread a temporary mooring warp through the ring on the main buoy and attach it to a strong central cleat before the boat is pushed backwards at a rate of knots.
Therefore my question, does anybody, or has anybody tried one of the remote engine control systems, such as the Micro Commander (a hard wired system) to help in situations such as these, ie I could stand by the front cross beam and control her right up to the buoy. I look forward to any replies.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:15   #2
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If you have electronic controls or Micro Commanders. There is now a wire less control system that can be added.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:42   #3
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Yes, I am aware of 2 wireless remote systems which are also on the market, 1 called Yacht Controller which I believe is made by an Italian company and there is another American system but these guys do not reply to emails when you request info, unlike the Master Commander people who seem very efficient and the Italian guys who are also cooperative.
My only reservations about the wireless systems is the frequencies used and could they be affected by other electrical systems, cell phones, radios etc in the locality when using it on board - think of the consequences if there was any serious interuptions the the signals!!!
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Old 12-08-2007, 13:07   #4
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Glendenning and Yacht Controller have a collaborative device that you may be interested in. I think it is wireless as well but they should be able to answer your questions on signal reliability.
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Old 14-08-2007, 08:28   #5
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Outboard Remote

Does anyone know of a mechanism for remote controlling an outboard on a dingy from the cockpit of a cat? I've got a 52' cruising cat with a single 50 hp diesel in the port hull. It works just fine for cruising and she motors at about 9 knots, but marina handling is another matter. I'd like to be able to strap my dingy with its 40 hp suzuki outboard to the inside of my starboard hull when I have to come into a tight spot. All I need is throttle and gear shift capabilities. No steering required. Maybe a quick disconnect system that would allow me to hook up a second outboard remote in the cockpit and easily switch back to the controls on the console of the dingy?
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Old 14-08-2007, 13:10   #6
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I've installed numerous Micro Commander systems, with up to 4 helms. It's a very reliable & versatile system, and the remote is very handy, includes a P/S momentary switch which can be used to control a bow thruster, or rudder (if you have an autopilot) (but there's no provision for a rudder position indicator). The remote is a twin engine control, so you'd just have to choose one side and ignore the other.

The control voltages are analog DC, there's no noise producing signals thru the cables. The actuator units take regular Morse cables, so can interface with any engine that uses standard control cables.

The control heads used to have a problem with the 'take control' momentary switch wearing out and shorting, disabling the system, but that was upgraded about 4 years ago (retrofit part is available). The mechanisms inside the actuators need a spray of lubricant every couple years, and the mechanical cables must be maintained, otherwise they are pretty much trouble and maintenance-free.

With multiple control stations, one station in control locks-out all others, however, you can take control away from another station by placing the handles in aproximately the same position then holding the take control button for 3 seconds.

The system should be powered from the service battery bank. If it must be powered from the engine starting battery, a product like the Newmar Start-Guard should be used. (Voltage drop from cranking may reset the system and re-activate the neutral start lockout.)
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Old 14-08-2007, 14:23   #7
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Ireanay, I'm not sure I'd want a remote control system. Too many ways that can do what electronics and machinery on boats always find a way to do: Break down. And probably rather costly.

I'd rather run a mooring line from the bow, outboard and back to the stern and helm. Then pick up the mooring WHILE AT THE HELM, and "haul in" the mooring line as I walked forward to the bow, making it fast and short at that time.

If you had to do this everyday I suppose you could even rig a block and "winch it in" from the stern, snugging up the bow to the mooring without to get remote engine systems and large expenses involved.
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Old 16-08-2007, 09:51   #8
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Hi Hellosailor, I understand what you are saying and thought of the same possibilities, but again timing would be very important and by going forward with a mooring buoy on a long line and tying it off to either a central cleat or either hull cleat, to then pull her in tight enough to attach the bridle lines will require some huge strength ie 8 tons against a 4 knot tide and my other problem is that I had a triple heart by-pass op. only 12 months ago, although I am pretty fit and strong I don't fancy putting too much pressure on the old ticker.
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Old 18-08-2007, 10:08   #9
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we use a simple system for picking up boys in strong tide.
tie moring line between to hulls made of to forward cleets. create enough slack to drop 3-4ft into the water.
motor up and over the boy throw the line in the water,
cut the power as the boat drops back the line snags the pickup boy and we then rest on this tempory bridal until we can make fast.
this could be adapted for single hand by using a light line run forward with a slip knot so pull on the light line at the helm and it releases the bridal into the water.
when the boat is at rest on the tempory bridal walk forward and make fast at your lesure.
verry cheep auto release moring.
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Old 18-08-2007, 10:13   #10
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ps
this works on small and large boys as the only restriction is the deck clerance ie how big a boy can you get under the trampoleen perhaps you are still thinking as a mono sailor.
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Old 20-08-2007, 02:53   #11
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Hi Phillip, Thanks for the idea, never thought about just dropping a specially designed length of warp over the buoy and lassooing it.
This has got me thinking of different and simple designs for my mooring process, I should have thought about this, as when I did my yachtmaster practical in the UK on a Prout 38 my examiner, a young Canadian guy showed me this as a simple temporary way using a mooring buoy, and it is so simple.
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