View Full Version : OK GENT's Let's talk replacement throttle controls

10-11-2011, 07:34 PM
I'm sure this must come up often, I have a Commander 3000, and as impressive as the name, this is not a confidence building piece of kit. Big block 502, Black Hawk drive and a plastic controller? what solutions have you guys come up with? I am leaning toward a two stick set-up from DANA. In an aircraft everything has its own control, down to every light. The fact that a Black Hawk goes from zero to 5 knots just by putting it in gear makes it easer to go fast than get it back on the trailer!!!! Once in gear then It's all throttle and K plains, so separate gear and throttle makes sense to me. I admit, I am a sailor much longer than a go fast guy, I do love this boat! Thoughts?

10-11-2011, 08:47 PM
There is great thread on the subject of twin sticks! I started it and will always be against it, I have driven hundreds of boat of all sizes being a marine tech for over thirty years and a yacht broker for about twenty years. In an all out panic situation grab the wrong stick let me know what happened, I have seen more dock hits and tranny's blown I will always stick to ONE stick!


10-11-2011, 09:47 PM
I've only ridden in one Blackhawk and never driven one, so this is just my opinion;
The two very large props have a LOT of inertia and could have an impact on the longevity of the cone clutch if the throttle were'nt back to idle when shifting.
I would suspect it might be easier to screw up w/TWO controls.

Dr. Dan
10-12-2011, 05:22 AM
:shades: I just got my Donzi back together after a 2 year + hiatus...I can vouch for what both Veterans here have cautioned.... that being said.... I took a little different approach in my reasoning for going from a Single Lever to a Dana Marine Dual Lever.

First off let me just say that the pictures of the unit do not do it justice, the machining and construction are more than top knotch, We added new cables as well on my 18 year old 22 Classic. There are a couple of considerations. First there is an adjustment to give more to zero feed back / resistance on the Throttle.... I would recomend some positive resistance...otherwise you will kill yourself at the docks or others.... ask me how I know this?

I went with the Dana unit because I also purchased a 2007 - 28 Pantera - it has a short throw Hardin sticks and to keep both boats uniform in operation...I went to dual sticks on the little boat. Now to be honest I also did it to be different....every classic is a single lever, most new retro fits have gone to the super nice Livorsi unit...which on average is around $350 to $450 range for the unit itself. The Dana is considerably more expensive...at the mid $700's - to anyone with a good sense of fiscal responsibility and is a good conservative boater...the choices will be simple?

For an anal retentive Classic owner who wants what he wants regardless of how practical it is ... ahhh you take the plunge.

Real World results: This last weekend was my first running of the 22 with the new power and shifter. It was too sensitive at the docks, we added resistance to the Throttle Control, you need to be very cautious when shifting to not knock the Throttle at the time you shift...or you will launch your boat in reverse or forward...if someone is standing in your boat at the time...they won't be when this happens. So be careful....because this is new and a completely foreign concept of operation in the 22...I am approaching with caution...and taking my time...around the docks...and getting my seat time with it.

Also the base plate is fairly thin...so it leaves little to no room to wrap your hand around the Throttle Stick between the sidewall of the boat and the stick itself. Depending on the height of installation..it effects your range of motion of the Throttle.

Also the Throttle only travels from Perpendicular to the floor to straight forward...about 4" to a full throttle position....the good in this is its effectively a Short Throw Shifter...the bad is that it can be a handful in the worng hands or to a none attentive operator....

On my second day out...it was a much more controlled experience...I just have to get used to the Shifter to pull it in and out of gear....

I am ordering a thicker base plate from Dana to bring the levers all more interior to the Cockpit. This will allow my chubby hands to grasp the throttle and leave Rooster Boy in the dust.....(LOL) just kidding Todd - seeing if you are reading this?

That plate is going to add another $120 or more...

Conclusion...once you get used to the new super smooth operation of the Billet Shifter...it is a peice of art and a control that has to be respected...whether its tied to a 350 or an HP500.... I like it...but it is different and I agree with Phil and George... That said...I think its going to be a good addition for my speciific application.

Good Luck -

Danny :spongebob:

10-12-2011, 10:26 AM
I did read the other thread, MOP you bring up very valid points, alot to be said for K.I.S.S. I like the nice big T handle on the Livorsi. I also need a way to keep the K-plain trim switches on the thottle, like my current set-up. No good reaching for the trim switches on this boat! I fly complex aircraft so part of my DNA says go for the DANA, let me know how the thicker plate works out.

cheers Zoner

10-12-2011, 11:09 AM
Over many decades I have owned boats with dual lever & single lever controls.
The single levers are just safer in docking & panic situations in my opinion.
They are also idiot proof if you have someone else drive your boat.

As an additional add-on.~

I also like to add electrical neutral starting safety switches just in case you attempt to start your boat while still in gear and still sitting in your boatslip by accident .

10-12-2011, 11:23 AM
I have twin sticks on my 13' Whaler and after 2 years I am still not used to it. Docking is a biotch. Second I have seen MORE than 1 drive blow up from the operator letting it warm up in neutral at a high idle and she just mysteriously slips into gear..POOF! One happened on a trailer, thank God nobody was near the prop.

10-12-2011, 11:39 AM
This past year, I changed the Merc II trans in my boat from Electronic shift control to manual. In order to do this, I needed to change the throttle mech. and opted for an Old School Morse. SPearson sold me one, I cleaned it up, lubed it and painted it, bought a walnut Donzi knob for it and it now works and looks great! He still has a couple for sale.

10-12-2011, 11:49 AM
single lever are dangerous too advancing throttle and gear if accidently thrown especially in a classic where they stick up above the gunwale.

in a boat that has a 6-7 mph docking speed twin sticks are the only way to go. no gas needed just steering and shifting between F -N -R. if you need to throttle and shift yes then stick with a single lever.

10-12-2011, 11:57 AM
I'm usually big into separate sticks but I would want the pod with top mounted sticks Vs. the dana. Dr. Dan's issues are exactly what I'd fear with it.

Also, with the BH drive's issues with backing up I'd think having the throttle/shifter combo would be easier. bump into gear forward and bump and throttle for reverse. I think I'd go with a Livorsi side mount on the BH.... see if they can do one up for you in Gold and Black

10-12-2011, 01:30 PM
Great, I am glad someone started a thread for this!

I am currently looking at this Throttle for my 18TR. I am just not impressed with the plastic one that it came with....It also will not stay at full throttle, it wants to pull back as if the cable is straining when I have it WOT.


Anyhow, does anyone have experience with this throttle control at all? All I see on this model is a throttle lock and trim. My current controller has all of that plus a "trailer" button which allows me to come up into second-stage trimming to pull up the drive for trailering. I would need this again on my new controller. Secondly is the button that allows me to put it into neutral so that I can achieve revving the engine without it in gear. I dont see either of these on this control which is surprising to me on a modern $500 controller.

Anyone know about it? Maybe I am missing something any input would be great thanks!

10-12-2011, 02:23 PM
Trailer buttons have disappeared. You just wire it together so just like EVERY other manufacturer it goes trim, then tilt with the same switch. Yes this new controller has neutral rev as well.

10-12-2011, 02:43 PM
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Excellent this is good news. My 2001 Maxum 2800scr has a trailer button and have not much experience with boats newer than that. Ridding the trailer button makes total sense. So, apparently it will stop itself at full positive trim, then stage on to a trailering full tilt. I like it, thanks again for the info on this.

joseph m. hahnl
10-12-2011, 05:18 PM
Like said either can be dangerous for obvious reasons. My original 73 40Hp on my still owned and bought new Whaler Classic 13, had the twin shifts. Big difference between a 2 cycle and 4 cycle. As a 2 cycle can run away. can't tell you how many times it had that over rev run away with the bang smack into gear. But that can also happen with the 2ndary idle throttle of a single. With 4 cycles runaway is not a factor. Personally when I dock I come in at neutral and then reverse to stop all motion. If it is well executed throttle never needs to be applied.I prefer the single, but that doesn't make it any safer or not. To me it's just preference. There are still a lot of boats especially multiple inboards with separate controls.

As far as my trailer button goes,I'll keep it thanks:yes:.
Just because some one wants to cut manufacturing cost by getting rid of a button, doesn't mean that it is a better idea.:wink:

It means they've cheapened ithttp://images.free-extras.com/pics/c/cheese-871.gif

If I should have to replace the Minx's shifter I will try to get the same that's there

10-12-2011, 06:25 PM
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I have just installed this throttle on my 22. The only thing that is different is the sticker, mine says Livorsi, not Donzi.

The throttle assembly is not even made by Livorsi, it is an Italian built unit I believe.

The unit does not have a "neutral" button. To engage the throttle with out dropping it in gear, you pull the center (pivot) of handle assembly out. Not that awkward to use.

It does not have a trailer button, I have a shorty and I will blow out the prop before I over trim.

I do miss the limit switch and will probably hook one up next year as this year I just wanted to get the lever installed.

My biggest issue/complaint is the handle is much bigger than the stock Mercury unit and it is a little more difficult for me to squeeze the lever to change from F to R. Small hands.

It is a quality unit and seems to work smoother than the stock unit.

I would check with Harbormaster if you are interested as he is a Livorsi dealer.


10-12-2011, 06:43 PM
I love the Dana shifter. It looks great but the smooth movement of small changes in throttle are incomparable. Listen to people who own the Dana rather than those commenting from theory. After the sticker shock the Dana is wonderful. No regrets!
T.M. Hayes

10-12-2011, 09:40 PM
I met a girl named Dana. After the sticker shock she was wonderful as well. Regrets...I had a few! Sing it Frank!!!!

roadtrip se
10-12-2011, 11:06 PM
I've run both single and twin stick throttles on my boats. Depending on the application, there are good reasons for both.

I have the Livorsi-branded, Uflex, single stick style on my Classic now. While it isn't a blackhawk, I am turning 29-30 inch five blades at 800-900RPM at idle with
an IMCO shorty, which gives significant velocity around the marina, comparable to the blackhawk. It is an absolute thrill around the docks, um, not. The last thing I would want to do with a blackhawk is install a twin stick set-up, where I hoped I had the idle down, before I shifted gears with the other stick, and hoped, really hoped, I got the rpms down, all the while approaching a dock at high speed, before it went into gear at excessive RPM and blew a vertical shaft or a gear set, and I had to start shopping for parts that are no longer made or very hard to find.

FWIW, the Livorsi single stick works great on my set-up at idle, mid-range, and at WOT. Massive improvement over the stock merc handle. This is real world feedback.

But, it really comes down to personal preference.

Yep, Todd is reading this stuff, Dr.D.

10-13-2011, 12:05 AM
roadtrip, how is the travel on the single stick lavorsi? is it similar to the stock or shorter to wot? how about the bump in and out of gear, as much resistance as stock or softer into the transition?

roadtrip se
10-13-2011, 10:32 AM

I would say that the travel is about the same to WOT. It goes in and out of gear in much smoother fashion. It also throttles better, which is a must when wave jumping on the Great Lakes. Used to be that my arm would be sore from attempting to throttle with the merc junk after a big day. Nice improvement.

10-13-2011, 11:39 AM
Thanks great info, The first day I owned this boat, first day out after my driving lessons, I made no less than a dozen approaches to the dock, just to get a handle on this boat. (no traffic basin to myself) It does require the bump into F then N coast maybe R then repeat. There is no need for thottle at low speed, the EFI doesn't even care if I put it in gear! So warm-up is in neutral, no thottle needed. Doing this with the MerC contoler is a work out and the shifting is not presice, had it pop into fwd once or twice. Not cool close to the dock! I am already on the search for Black Hawk parts for the second drive that came with the boat. A good thottle set-up should help prevent what happened to it.

Cheers Zoner

10-13-2011, 01:15 PM
I have a 22c and I was not a big fan of the livorsi side mount throttle although it looked good and was very smooth I decided to go to the twin stick and ordered the pod from CP Performance and just took it to my interior guy and he made it look like it came on the boat, I love it makes docking very easy and Look's cool as well.

Dr. Dan
10-13-2011, 02:18 PM
:smash: Blake that looks great...I will keep everyone posted...please keep in mind that the 22 is like driving a Roller Skate to me with a Turbine out back...compared to the 28 Pantera....

The 22 is sooooo light and responsive around the docks, I think alot of my learning curve is related to my Hiatus in running the little boat?

I remember advice that someone gave me at my 1st 1000 Islands Event, ....."Danny never approach a dock or another object any faster than you are willing to hit it?"

I have never forgotten that and it ties into the "Less is More" when it comes to handling manuevers around the docks. Patience is a Virtue, I could go on and on....

I am very excited to just re-learn the 22 Classic again...I look forward to running with everyone again...

Danny :cool:

10-13-2011, 07:04 PM
just curious but what were you "not a fan of" on the livorsi side mount? the pod with the drop in looks great but does it feel crowded with the extra bulk?

10-13-2011, 09:50 PM
I just did not like it, it seemed like my hand was always wedged in when I was as full throttle and as for the cramped though it seem to fit perfect and does not stick out very far at all.

10-15-2011, 07:19 PM
To second what TMH said - listen to the guys who actually own and use the Dana two-stick. I have had one on my 18 for the past three years and it is indeed a piece of machined art - and works FANTASTIC. Really short learning curve, but once you get used to the precise throws and quality feel, every other shifter pretty much feels like junk. I actually LIKE the trailering switch and there is no clearance problem with this unit. The only thing that I don't like is that so much beautiful machine work his hidden on the back!

Just my personal $.02.


10-16-2011, 07:58 PM
Great info, I think the DANA is the way to go. Don't have to decide until spring, but that set up is awesome, even at the price.

03-30-2012, 10:13 AM
I've back read both threads and I still can't make up my mind...
I'd go Dana simply cause it's beautifully made and undeniably righteous:pimp:I remember our 1975 whaler had a dual morse and I can't recall any incidents but then again I was a kid and it wasn't my boat so I wasn't concerned about crash landings. I have some concerns that it might not work so well with my Alpha drive. I'm not sure about the 2 trim buttons. I really like the lever switch on my old thottle for light adjustments. I'd like ro hear how well they work. Jas

03-31-2012, 05:14 PM
I have a 2003 18 classic w Alpha and feel and function of the Dana equal or exceed its looks. I have no regrets whatsoever.

04-01-2012, 12:03 AM
Thanks, great! I think I'll go for it. Did you install? Scale 1 to 10 on grief scale. I can image its a tight fit.