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Old 21-10-2006, 06:29   #1
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Throttle Adjustment

One of the thing I have noticed sailing OPB (Other People's Boats) is how people have set up their throttles. Some allow the operator to set the throttle and leave it at that RPM while others return to idle when released or cause the engine to stall entirely. It seems that this second method almost always has an assist to keep the throttle at the desired setting, frequently a bungie cord. I'm looking for pro and con opinions on each practice.
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Old 21-10-2006, 06:42   #2
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Hey PV

I replaced the TM controls on our boat this year for that very reason. It just seems disconcerting that you'd have to jury rig your throttle with a bungee cord. I think a lot of people resort to this instead of replacing worn throttles as most are intended to stay in the set position. The TM controls have a series of friction plates to hold the position and eventually they wear out beyond the ability to adjust them.

I've seen too many return springs on carbs that have enough pull to return the throttle to idle. Why that happens is usually a problem with returning to idle due to worn or corroded cables or too many bends in the cable enroute from controls to engine causing more resistance.

Pro for bungee cord controls: Cheap, good indicator for next owner on level of maintenance, or lack thereof, the boat has received.

Con for bungee cord controls: Cheap, could it be a hazard in an emergency? Dunno, maybe.

Rick
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Old 21-10-2006, 07:21   #3
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A dock mate of mine has his throttle controls set so that it is possible to go past idle and kill the engine ( it is diesel, so I'm presuming that this is a design function?). I would find this to be dangereous - such as when trying to maneuver by using forward & reverse - too easy to stall the engine. He has, apparently, become adept at getting it just right, but what has happened before (and potentially in the future) is that someone else is driving and attempts to set to idle and the engines dies.

I know that when I shift the tranny in any direction, I push the throttle to idle before doing so - I count on the stop to position the throttle correctly. This is critical for my boat (modified full keel and heavy displacement) when trying to turn in tight situation using prop walk.
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Old 21-10-2006, 07:38   #4
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Usualy a throtle that returns automaticly is worn out. It needs to be replaced or repaired. THere are tensioning devices that can be added but will only be a band aid.
Some early Westerbeke and Universals had a cut off that was activated by pulling the lever beyond idle. They've since revised this.
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Old 21-10-2006, 07:42   #5
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Thanks Pat - always comforting to know there is a professional diesel mechanic floating about.
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Old 21-10-2006, 09:52   #6
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Thanks for the input. On the one hand it seems plausable that a single hander would want the boat to idle or better yet die if he unintentionally left the controls. On the other hand if that safety feature was constantly overriden by a bungie then what is the use?
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Old 21-10-2006, 10:21   #7
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There were many hours during my delivery. We would set the throtles and walk away. I think a deadman throtle would induce fatigue in a sailor, even singlehanding. Having a proper throtle that hold speed so you can get up and strech is more beneficial. It would be fairly easy to rig a dead man to a teather for use in rough weather.
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Old 21-10-2006, 10:47   #8
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If you are single handing, you are most likely harnessed in - it really wouldn't do you much good to wear a life vest if you seperate from your boat. Even with some sort of dead man switch, in seas enough to have you part ways with your boat, the time the boat would "slow down" could be too far to swim (provided you are capable of doing so). Even 'idle' would likely have the boat making 2 to 3 knots. And, while an Olympic swimmer might do that for a couple of hundred feet (in warm water?) - well, I don't think that "we" are Olympic swimmers (in Olympic condition).
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Old 21-10-2006, 11:16   #9
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Old 21-10-2006, 11:18   #10
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ahhhh friendships - so fragile ...
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Old 21-10-2006, 11:24   #11
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Old 21-10-2006, 17:04   #12
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Swimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Elusive
And, while an Olympic swimmer might do that for a couple of hundred feet (in warm water?) - well, I don't think that "we" are Olympic swimmers (in Olympic condition).
Hey I did get the Mile Swim patch in Boy Scouts. OK, so I was last out of a troop of 200 kids but I did get it. And I think my shape has changed to make me more bouyant since then.

But the point was well taken. I was considering this before I headed to the boat this morning and thinking that the real difference a deadman switch makes is watching the boat float away slowly, not quickly. And yea,m I do wear a harness... well most of the time...
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Old 21-10-2006, 18:26   #13
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