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Old 22 April 2006, 11:09   #1
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jet control advice wanted

I'm doing a complete rebuild of the console and controls for a 30' RIB that is powered by twin 300hp diesels turning jet drives. The attached picture shows the current setup. The seating and design is a military one.....for 3 people to be at the console leaning against a bolster that's divided into 3 sections, with steering at the center position. the controls immediately to the right of steering are throttles and the next set are for raising and lowering the buckets.

I want to convert the positioning to work for 2 people, with steering and controls all from one position on the starboard side. I will remove the current 3 position bolster seat and install two Stidd Special Mission seats side by side.

To do this I will move the existing electrical switch control panel to the vertical surface of the console (repositioning displays, guages and controls), and move the steering wheel to a position centered in front of the new starboard seat. there isn't enough space to move the steering and retain the bucket controls and throttles side by side as they are now. My question is....what would be the ideal or optional new positions for bucket and throttle controls relative to the newly positioned steering wheel?

I find references online (Ultradynamics) that say the best position would be with bucket controls to the left and throttles to the right of the wheel. would that be the best alternative, or could I put the throttles forward of the existing bucket controls levers...both to the right of the wheel?

I have very little experience operating the boat in the current configuration, and no other experience operating a jet boat so would welcome all comments and advice on what would be the ideal locations. thanks.
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Old 22 April 2006, 11:56   #2
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I would try to keep the controls on the same side of the wheel. That way you can always keep one hand on the helm. In my (admittedly limited) experience of jet powered boats, they can be difficult to control in close quarter manouvers, and require constant adjustments to the helm.

Side by side would be ideal, but looking at your photo it is probably not possible with the space available. In that case I would suggest you have the
the bucket controls above the throttles, but within easy reach.

The photo shows how Seadoo set their controls out. A "light domestic" application compared to your set up, but the principle is the same.

Good luck with the project

Cheers

Ian.
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Old 22 April 2006, 11:57   #3
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Both our sets are on the starboard side of the wheel
If you get the rpm set right a jet boat is highly responsive for close quarter maneovering!
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Old 22 April 2006, 13:15   #4
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pressman, that is one serious console!
very cool
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Old 23 April 2006, 11:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrider
I find references online (Ultradynamics) that say the best position would be with bucket controls to the left and throttles to the right of the wheel. would that be the best alternative, or could I put the throttles forward of the existing bucket controls levers...both to the right of the wheel?

Don't split the throttle and bucket controls to opposite sides of the wheel. When maneourving you will tend to set a certain rpm and then use the buckets as your primary control (helm is often not needed). But, frequently you will need to fine tune the revs by tweaking them up and down dependant upon flow/tide/wind effects on the boat. If you have them opposite side of the wheel you will be juggling back and forth and may have to keep taking your hand off of the helm.

When you are at speed you hands will swap onto the throttles just like a normal boat, but you can use the buckets to pop the stern up to miminise wash or do the jet boat party trick, a full bucket stop by fully reversing the jet flow. 40kts to 0 in a boat length!

Another jet trick is to sharpen your turns by doing the opposite to the normal o/board practice of using the outside engine when turning. With twin jets you can chop the inside bucket into astern and you will carve around the turn pretty spectacularly! Just make sure you and your crew are holding on.

The above are both reasons why you should keep the throttles/buckets combo on the same side of the wheel.

Try and get a ride out on another twin engine jet boat and you'll quickly see why they are positioned together.

Good luck with your refit and have fun with the jets, they are great to use and you'll quickly get the hang of them.

cheers,

t
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Old 24 April 2006, 02:30   #6
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What's the thing on the right side of the console? Rifle scabbard?

jky
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Old 24 April 2006, 07:58   #7
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Thanks for the quick and helpful replies. It seems like there is agreement that the best position for controls would be to keep them both to the right side of the steering wheel, so I will gratefully accept that advice.

Due to space limitations, moving steering to the right rather than center makes it necessary to move either the bucket controls or throttles forward of the other to make space for the wheel - what is your advice on which control would be better in front of the other?

Although it would be easiest to relocate the throttles to the horizontal surface forward of the exisiting bucket control position it would also be simple to move the bucket controls forward, perhaps giving better leverage (although there is a hydraulic assist for them, the military people didn't use it because manual worked OK and was preferred, but takes some muscle when underway). What do you think?

And yes, that is a rifle scabbard at the console...there is also a 50cal machine gun mount at the bow, but haven't found much use for it in Iowa so far.

thanks all.....
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Old 24 April 2006, 14:47   #8
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Hi Sunrider,

Have you considered trying to enable the hydraulic assist? You would then be able to use similar levers to your throttle set (this is the set up on the boat I have used), which have a much smaller 'footprint' so you may be able to squeeze them in.

I thought that the outside set of levers looked rather large...

If you want to get the best out of the jets then you'll really want them to be v.light and easy to operate. Otherwise you'll just drive it on the throttles like a normal boat!

Keeping the controls together would be my preference, and I would really see if you can do this... But, as you will tend to use the throttles as your primary control at speed I would have them set up so that you can helm with one hand and keep the other on throttles. So, the buckets over them probably makes more sense. It's your boat! As long as, they don't interfere with each other when fully ahead/astern etc...

Out of interest where are your gearbox controls, under the console?

t
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Old 24 April 2006, 15:48   #9
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sounds like good advice...I'll look at the possibilites and see if it makes sense for me - would be great to use smaller and more responsive controls if possible. There is no gearbox or neutral - the jets pump whenever the engines run, so good control is even more critical I think.

I think the primary reason the military operators chose to disconnect the hydraulic assist was the complexity of the hydraulic system, which has redundancy and support between engines and jets (if one pump or engine fails the other provides hydraulic power) - great idea but makes for a tangle of hoses and valves that limit access in almost every area of the engine and jet compartments. also, this boat was used exclusively by Navy Seals so muscle power was not a problem. I'm well past that age so any assistance is welcome!
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Old 24 April 2006, 22:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrider
I'm doing a complete rebuild of the console and controls for a 30' RIB that is powered by twin 300hp diesels turning jet drives. The attached picture shows the current setup. The seating and design is a military one.....for 3 people to be at the console leaning against a bolster that's divided into 3 sections, with steering at the center position. the controls immediately to the right of steering are throttles and the next set are for raising and lowering the buckets.

I want to convert the positioning to work for 2 people, with steering and controls all from one position on the starboard side. I will remove the current 3 position bolster seat and install two Stidd Special Mission seats side by side.

To do this I will move the existing electrical switch control panel to the vertical surface of the console (repositioning displays, guages and controls), and move the steering wheel to a position centered in front of the new starboard seat. there isn't enough space to move the steering and retain the bucket controls and throttles side by side as they are now. My question is....what would be the ideal or optional new positions for bucket and throttle controls relative to the newly positioned steering wheel?

I find references online (Ultradynamics) that say the best position would be with bucket controls to the left and throttles to the right of the wheel. would that be the best alternative, or could I put the throttles forward of the existing bucket controls levers...both to the right of the wheel?

I have very little experience operating the boat in the current configuration, and no other experience operating a jet boat so would welcome all comments and advice on what would be the ideal locations. thanks.
Nice to see another ex military boat on the forum sunrider, makes two of us anyhow... I can't comment on the controls other than to make sure everything is easy to reach, Wheel especially and throttles, plenty of clearance. I changed the helm arrangement on my boat and checked and rechecked everything until I was happy. Where did you get the Stidds? did they come with the boat? They are the best and not cheap! Finally, I ran a 36 Nautica several times, Seatec diesels with Castoldi jets, less responsive docking with the jets but you get used to it, other than that under way, no big deal, it is cool to have a boat with brakes as at cruise drop the buckets and the boat stops fast! Just get ready for some stern wash! Enjoy, hope you boat works out and post pics of your work in progress.
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