Last week we scheduled a sea trial for this Tuesday to check some things out. The autopilot needed some adjustments and the electronic throttle/transmission control was acting up. With the throttle/trans control, when put in to gear, it wouldn’t always engage until “throttle” was added. I felt something was off with this particular unit vs the black box. We switched the one in the pilothouse (the one with the issue) with the one in the stern. And underway, we could see if the issue followed the unit or ?
So I arrive to Red Rover at 1pm Tuesday to 25 kt winds. Where did this come from? Forecast was for 12 kts…. um… Scott with Emerald Harbor Marine was just finishing the swap of the throttle control unit when I arrived. We postponed the sea trial for a few days! We did have a chance to review some other of my questions, so not a wasted afternoon.
Thursday morning was stunning with the moon setting over the Olympics. The electronics were up and I had the Lugger running as Scott stepped aboard. I went to the wing engine to test the controls. No thrusters. Ugh. Thrusters worked everywhere else! So we swapped the wing unit with the stern unit and had success! Well, mostly success – another boat part to buy…
Ok, ready to go! We tossed off the lines and backed out. As we drifted towards our neighbors boat, I tried to thruster away… only we kept getting closer faster! I realized the thruster control was wired for an aft facing operator and direction was reversed. So I was able to avoid an early morning “meeting” with our neighbors.
Finally out of the marina and we headed out to a quite area to do some testing and adjustments. As we have two complete sets of autopilots, it did take the morning to get both dialed in. As you can see, there is a lot of maneuvers needed to get to where you want the settings to be.
Once complete, we were able to test the stern throttle/transmission control. Good or bad, we did not find an issue with it. We think that there was a loose connection and the switching of the two tightened things up. We will try the stern station over the next few months to confirm.
Zoe, our trusty co-pilot.
Scott offered to make the thruster rewire change before we docked. I waived him off thinking that I would be able to dock with controls reversed. When we dock, we don’t need a lot of thruster action… just a gentle nudge here and there. So this shouldn’t have been a problem. Problem was, even with full mental notes that the controls were reversed, it was the muscle memory that took over. It took me 4 tries to get in to our slip! On a beautifully calm day… I don’t think I have ever needed 4 tries to dock before! So good lesson – habits are hard to break. I am glad our neighbors were not home as I almost kissed their boat a couple of times (sorry Darren and Lisa!). Once tied up, Scott made the adjustment to the wire harness and triple checked the operation of the thrusters. All good!
Alison and I are ready for a weekend outing… it has been over 7 weeks since we have been out and we are missing it. Just one more day of work…