Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Speaking of electric propulsion. My Thoosa 9000 system came with a rather robust industrial quality electric throttle control shown above. Which naturally I proceeded to locate in the area where the previous engine throttle control for the old Westerbeke diesel was located. It was how shall we say a "temporary plan". Which I used for almost two whole seasons as shown below:
This actually worked quite well. I've already expressed my liking for using cable ties on board. The above is just another example of where they came in handy. While my "temporary" installation worked fine for almost two seasons. Aesthetically, of course it would never do. Even though the Thoosa throttle control was pretty robust and weather proof. It is better to try and keep it out of the weather as much as possible. So I went about thinking about a more protected and permanent design. I wanted to have the control at the helm position. I've seen installations where the throttle is located in other areas of the cockpit requiring the helmsman to leave his position to make adjustments to speed and direction of the boat. I think this is a pain at best and dangerous at worst. Especially if a passenger accidentally hits the control. I believe the person controlling the boat should have as many controls as possible within easy reach and without taking his hand off the wheel. The location of the old throttle was the best location for the electric throttle too. I began by removing the the old mechanical metal throttle control from the helm. It was not serving any purpose since the diesel was removed.  This was easily done by removing the  control and the linkage underneath the compass and removing it from the compass binnacle. I also removed the control cable from inside the binnacle too.

I then constructed a helm platform out of 1/2" Starboard. This would provide a sturdy sheltered location for mounting the electronic throttle keeping it out of the weather but still allowing the helmsman to have easy access.

I needed to make sure to allow room  so I did not stress the cables that came out of the control when mounting it:

I used a hole drill bit, jig saw and a Dremel tool to shape the platform around the hand holds and binnacle. Which allowed me to incorporate them into the support of the platform.

I also started thinking of other items I would also like to have located at the helm position and one of them was a 12 volt outlet to provide power for recharging a handheld VHF, Blackberry, Laptop or MP3 player. It would also come in handy for powering a cockpit light when dining or working in the cockpit in the evenings.

 I also added other items to the location which I will get to in a later post.


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