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Easier berthing for boats with a throttle and gear lever mounted on the sidewall of the cockpit

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What is the issue?
Classic yachts tend to have a combined engine throttle and gear lever that is mounted low on the sidewall of the cockpit. This means that when adjusting power, such as when coming alongside, the helmsman has to constantly duck down to make fine adjustments, each time losing sight of all the objects around the vessel.

Why address this?
Those last few moments are critical in tight circumstances of a confined marina, and never more so than when berthing a classic yacht that can be difficult to manoeuvre in these circumstances. The constant ducking down and vision difficulty only adds to the frustration and tension.

How to address this?
A way to avoid taking one's eyes off the vessel's manoeuvers is to use a simple throttle extension when operating in tightly confined situations.

Throttle extension using a section of standard drainpipe
Image: Tony Gibson

All that is required, as illustrated above and below, is a length of domestic plastic waste pipe with a diameter that fits sufficiently snugly over the throttle. The addition of a wooden handle at its head will make it more comfortable to use.

Throttle extension dropped on
Image: Tony Gibson

Once the extension is dropped over the throttle, the arc of travel will be elongated, but all power adjustments can be handled whilst standing with a full 360° vision of proceedings.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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