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Shift and Throttle Controls: Dual Lever vs. Single Lever
|Author||Topic: Shift and Throttle Controls: Dual Lever vs. Single Lever|
posted 02-14-2007 09:08 PM ET (US)
What are the advantages or disadvantages [of a dual lever remote shift and throttle control compared to a single lever control]? Is it just a personal preference?
When examining both a single handle Morse MT3 and a two-handle one in a local marine store, I noticed the single handle was very stiff, and took a lot of force to move back and forth. The two-handle one just glided forward and back with very little effort. It was so much smoother than the one-handle, I wondered why I haven't seen any in use.
Input would be appreciated before I spend any money. Is anyone using a two-handled Morse MT3 engine control with a single engine?
posted 02-15-2007 09:12 AM ET (US)
I used to have the twin stick Morse control on both of the Shamrocks that I owned. I liked them because they allowed me to adjust the idle speed, without having to engage the marine gear. Once in a while the old Holley carb on my 20 footer wouldn't want to idle and this feature was a big help. The down side to them is they are a little tricky to use for someone that isn't used to them. I have had a couple of friends of mine pull back on the black handle without first pulling back on the throttle. Then it scares them and they would put the boat back in gear at 2000 rpms. Velvet drives are basically bullet proof. I'm not sure how well an outboard would survive that treatment.
My advice is that if you're the only one that is ever going to drive the boat then it's no big deal. If there's going to be other people driving the boat I'd stick with a single stick model. I'd use the SL3 for an outboard.
posted 02-15-2007 09:27 AM ET (US)
In the early days of remote controls for outboard motors, separate shift and throttle controls were the normal set-up. Now it is just about universal that outboard motors are controlled with a combination single-lever shift and throttle control. I think that is a reaction to market demand--there is not much call for separate shift and throttle on outboards.
posted 02-15-2007 11:07 AM ET (US)
I have twin engines, dual controls with each engine...yep, my hands are busy.
Like both previous posts mention, you get used to it.
The main advantages to me over a single lever;
The big drawback is the possibility of accidentally taking it out of gear WOT instead of pulling the throttle back.
If you buy a single lever setup, check the lever resistance before cables are attatched. If it is stiff, ask sales if the lever torque is adjustable. Have them losen it up to your specs BEFORE you buy.
Check it again with the cables attatched to the control and laid out on the floor straight, check again with cable taking a loop on the floor similar to your helm to engine path. Certainly remove any kinks or twists if the resistance increases any time during the install.
Ive been using motorcycle chain oil to coat my control connections and any exposed nuts n bolts capable of rusting all over the boat and engines.
Anyway, good topic. I agree, stiff levers are a pain in the as*...err, elbow & wrists that can take some of the fun outa running boats no matter how big or small they are.
posted 02-15-2007 03:37 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the responses. I like the idea of the separate throttle and gear shift control. Plus the mechanism is much simpler, no clutch apparatus in the control... and the levers operate so smoothly.
However, my son, and most likely some of his friends, will also operate the boat (1990 Montauk w/90hp Johnson).
I will heed your advice, and go with the single handle model for less confusion to operators.
Currently there is an MT3 control on the boat that is severely pitted/corroded, so I think I will replace it with the same model.
posted 02-16-2007 06:14 AM ET (US)
For absolute preference, I prefer a foot throttle. It means you always have both hands on the wheel where available.
posted 02-16-2007 12:43 PM ET (US)
we're putting the seperate controls (chrome) on our '72 Outrage restoration. having grown up w/ inboards, it's a no-brainer for me.
plus, lets face it - they just look cool.
posted 02-16-2007 08:31 PM ET (US)
I prefer the double lever controls, although my 25 Outrage has OMC single levers. I much prefer being able to put an engine in reverse by pulling the lever to a positive stop, rather than easing it to a detent.
posted 02-16-2007 09:59 PM ET (US)
Two levers are the way to go, you can idle at any speed and just tap in in and out of gear when needed. Also under different currents depending on how you fish you would love the dual lever. I like the smoothness and the easy shifting of the two lever. However I have to agree with jimh on this one market demand, its like a automatic and a 4 speed transmission. But I will always have two levers...good luck
posted 02-19-2007 07:02 PM ET (US)
Personally, I prefer single action, double lever controls for inboards and a double action, single lever control for outboards or inboard/outboards.
The reason is that on an inboard, when you get right up to the dock, at that point, your rudder is pretty much useless. You're using the prop-walk to maneauver the boat more than the rudder and having the double levers allows you put both hands on the controls and use them that way. It's hard to explain why that works better, but it just does. At least if you have experience with it, it does.
On an outboard, or inboard/outboard, as you approach the dock, you will use the directed thrust of the propeller to maneauver the boat. You need one hand on the wheel to do this properly, leaving only one hand for the throttle and shifter. A double action single lever works much better when you only have one hand to work it with.
posted 02-21-2007 10:27 PM ET (US)
Capnrik, never ease your motor into gear. It causes the clutch dog and or gear dogs to prematurely wear out. Just put it into either gear with one quick, positive movement. Steve
posted 02-22-2007 09:51 AM ET (US)
In an emergency situation, single lever controls are the way to go- less chance of mistaking the shift lever for the throttle and the throttle for the shift, especially on twin screw applications.
As a youth (I was maybe 12 or 13 years old) my father often let me pilot the family 29’ Ulrichson from up in the flybridge on long trips, of course he was always sitting next to me up there. It was one of my favorite activities as a young boy, sitting next to dad up on the flybridge in command of the family boat! One day while in cruise mode, something came up- and I can’t remember what it was at this time- but it required an immediate reduction to idle speed. In that semi-panic situation I mistakenly pulled the shift lever back instead of the throttle on the old Morse dual lever controls. The old V-8 inboard raced over 4000rpm’s … had I continued to pull the shift back to reverse (thinking it was the throttle) while the boat still had a good amount of forward momentum and the engine now revving in neutral over 4000 rpm’s disaster certainly would have followed. But cooler heads and calm hands prevailed and dad reached over and put his big hand over mine and stopped me from shifting into reverse and then he brought the throttle back to idle. To his credit- he never ever mentioned the incident, I guess he saw how shaken I was. I guess that’s what a fathers love is all about…
All in all, I’d rather have a single lever control- just consider if a novice had to pilot your boat in an emergency situation ….
posted 02-23-2007 08:37 PM ET (US)
My F/C 27 has separate throttles & shifters. It also has separate trim buttons, and, of course, separate trim tab switches. I find myself reaching all over the place too much. I bought an original OMC control unit which combines the shifters, throttles, and trim all in one unit. I figure I need fewer arms this way. I can't wait to install it. Of course, I will keep all of the other hardware in case I ever sell the boat and someone wants it original.
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