Originally Posted by CaptLee
...But the bottom line is that a PT is so narrow it gives you very little advantage.
Sorry, but I beg to differ! I have independent motor control on my 4 ft PT, and it's fantastic for low speed maneuvering, I can even spin the boat almost on its own center.
However, I don't have an easy solution: I programmed my own microcontroller to do the job with a 2 channel radio, which makes operation very easy... but one needs to know one's electrons and coding for this. I discuss it a bit at:
(see the "Motivating" section):
- Forward: The motors pull a fair amount of current even under light load. To conserve power, only the center motor runs at part throttle ahead. At about 50% throttle, the two outboard motors gradually kick in until all three reach 100% at full throttle. The transition is seamless.
- Reverse: To avoid swamping, only the center motor is active in reverse, and is limited to 50% throttle.
- Turn-in-place: With no throttle, turning the helm counter-rotates and progressively increases the speed of the outboard motors; port helm spins the bow to the left, starboard helm spins to the right.
For low speed work, like a maneuvering competition, I'll goose it forward a bit, go to zero throttle and steer a bit, which kicks in the wing motors' counter-rotation... that spins the boat around, almost as fun as driving a forklift!
p.s.: There are some commercial mixer devices out there, such as the one from Action... tried it, was completely unsatisfied with how it worked for me. I also suspect that mixing on modern radios may let you achieve some of these goals, but I don't see how you can get exactly what I have with my on-board micro.