Showing posts with label THROTTLE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THROTTLE. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Since I was kind of in a rush to finish the conversion to electric propulsion back in 2008 some things did not get installed as well as they should have at first. One of the things that was done in a temporary install was the electric propulsion speed control. Which at first was just secured with Ty Wraps as you can see here:

  Also the wires for the control ran across the cockpit deck into a hole on the side. Not the best way to operate for long. It worked  fine but, a more permanent solution had to be done. But, how should I run the wiring to the pedestal location where the electric motor control would be? The controls for the diesel engine were run through the pedestal and were wire linkages to the engine. I did not really like the idea of running the wires through this same route. It was tight and there were things like chains moving as one turned the helm to steer. If it chafed through the propulsion control cables who knows what could happen. It also would be very inaccessible. So I borrowed and idea from a fellow Nonsuch owner who ran a separate piece of conduit next to the helm for his pedestal mounted Loran unit.  I modified my design a little where as his was aft of the wheel I choose to install mine just forward of the wheel. Here is what I did. First I marked the location where I would be drilling the access hole in the deck next to the Edson pedestal making sure I would not be cutting into any stringers or supports below deck:

Next I drilled the hole and routered out and sealed the deck core with thickened West System Epoxy so no damage or delamintion would occur  if there should be any water leakage:

The fitting I used I was used a standard deck water fill fitting:

I removed the chain and fitted and secured it into the deck.
The photo above shows the fitting before the securing and chalking but, you get the idea. Then went to the local Ace hardware store and found a PVC fitting that would screw into the deck fitting: 

I then glued this fitting onto a piece of PVC pipe of the length I wanted using PVC cement:

I then screwed the pipe into the deck fitting using some Teflon tape on the threads before I did to help seal the threads. From then on it was simply running the wires down the  pipe from the helm. I used the wire pull rods I carry on board to help make this a little easier:

Hard to see in the photo below but, I cut a small slot down the side of the top of PVC pipe to allow for the wires (NOTE: I also created a drip loop so water would not run down the wires into the boat) and fitted the top with a removable PVC cap that allows for the easy installation of more wires or removal of existing ones as needed:

The nice feature of using this conduit is you can add and modify wiring to the helm as needed. Since I did the original install for the electric propulsion throttle control I added wires for a helm mounted GPS and 12 volt power outlet:
There are still a few more projects to follow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


As I've mentioned I like to have as much control and information available to the helmsman as possible. Which since I do a lot of single handed sailing is usually me. So after I had the electric throttle secured and installed in it's housing at the helm. The question I asked myself is what other things could I add at that location.

The most obvious answer was my Standard Horizon CP180iGPS chartplotter. I never could understand those boats that had their chart plotters installed down below at "Nav" stations. I've always believed the information belonged at the helm and not relayed up from below. Some chartplotters are large and need to be permanently mounted.  Making it look like the person at the helm is speaking at a pulpit. But, the 180i is small enough to be removable and stored securely down below when one wants to. With an additional power cable one could also operate it down below say in anchor watch mode. This is something I plan to do in the future. So with just three additional screws I installed the stand for the 180i on top of the helm control enclosure.

This now provides the person at the helm with a lot of electronic navigation information including location, speed over ground and course information right at their fingertips. The180i also has a lot of other features that I will want to eventually take advantage of. But, to use some of these features I will need to use the connections into and out of the unit. Happily the helm enclosure allows me the room to interface all these signals in a convenient location as shown below:

Here you can see how I have arranged the various terminal strips for power and the interface for the chart plotter signals that I will need to hook up to the 180i unit in the future.  I'll be posting more about these signals and some other items I'll be adding to the helm enclosure in a future post.

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.