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Dual engine control problems

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    Has anyone else had problems with the dual engine controls?  I had an unfortunate incident while berthing on Saturday, while manouvering the lower control was moved into ahead, I assume by the close proximity of the cables, by the time I realised what was happening we had a collision, revving the engine in astern from the cockpit where I was helming only had the effect of increasing speed ahead, an unnerving experience!!!

    Has anyone had this problem and identified a fix?  its a pity the engine controls can’t be locked in the same way as the twin wheel system.

    I plan to have an engineer look at the problem shortly, any suggestions would be gratefully received.



    Not quite that but I find mine get stuck in forward a bit – called sea start once who advised me to hit the mechanism under the floor boards (where both sets of controls combine) as there can be rust there.  I keep this part clean and then well greased now.

    As part of my engine checks prior to departure I now always try forward and reverse as well as the bowthruster to make sure all is in order.
    I know it is some distance from Lymington – but I only ever let Gosport Boatyard do anything on my engine.  I once used someone else and they put the wrongly rated cold water pump on the engine.  All my hoses blew in the shipping channel off Cowes, and then again off Portland Bill !

    Thanks Richard,

     I like you have a trusted engineer but as all good technicians hes very busy, the controls were working fine when I left the berth and I did grease them as part of the fitout, although they are very difficult to see and reach on a 321.




    Hi Brent,

    I didn’t have this problem but an other one related to dual control : a safety feature prevents the engine starter to work if one of the commands (internal and external) is not in neutral position. It happened that my outside control handle was not exactly in neutral, thus preventing me from starting the engine, sometime in difficult moments. My boatyard chief engineer told me it was a usual problem and that the solution was to bypass this safety feature. It was bypassed 5 years ago and I had no problem since then.
    As for the cables, I do not see how the ones of the internal and external commands can interfer, however I grease the “compensation” mechanism every year.

    Thanks Joel,

    I had no idea that safety feature existed, something else to consider if I have starting problems!!




    I am not aware of a safety feature stopping the engine being started unless both controls are in neutral. This would have to involve some complex ‘interlocking’ wiring which is not present on my 321.
    I have certainly started my engine with the throttle open in the past.

    Dr Jorg Taubel

    My experience is both with the coupling unit and the mirse teleflex command located at the inside helm station.

    1- coupling unit : I experienced very hard to manoeuver morse command. To track down the problem I disconnected the cables at the couling unit. One comes from the outside helm, one from the inside helm and the last one runs from the coupling unit to the inverter gear box. I was then able to manoeuver them by hand and discover that the last one was a bit stiff : someone’s foot had put pressure upon it at the gear box level and bend very slightly the end of the cable, which is more than enough to build friction and make forward/backward almost impossible. Cable changed and every returned to normal.

    2- from time to time it was impossible to switch from backward to forward or vice-versa, handle was stuck in opne position. Not confortable to manoeuver in marinas. Procedure described above in 1- would not help. Eventually the cable broke right inside the morse command at inside helm. Changed the cable and was faced with problem 3, solved.

    3- alignement at engine control lever : after changing the morse cable between helm and coupling unit the handle would not allow faster than 1700 rpm. I discovered that someone’s foot and weigth had bent that piece of metal close to the speed control on the engine, thus command cable sleeve and engine control lever were no longer aligned. un-bending and Realinging that piece of metal solved the problem.

    Just in cas all those misfortunes help someone else.

    Yves.(NC33 1978 Naïla)

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