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ZF Cruise Command or Smart Command ??

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by DOCKMASTER, Sep 2, 2019.

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  1. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    I'm getting ready to start a repower of my 54' Donzi (details covered in another thread). I'm going with CAT C-18's and ZF665-A gears. I've been quoted the ZF Cruise Command or Smart Command controls. Does anyone have experience with either of these? Any issues? I'm leaaning toward the Smart Command as we do aa lot of slow speed trolling in differing conditions and the Smart Command gives more flexibility here.

    I'm also wondering if I should retain my existing emergency manual back-up controls or if they will even work with electronic controlled engines/gears? I forgot to ask CAT/ZF about this but plan to early next week.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What about the Sturdy controls that CAT uses on all of the CAT powered boats? I really like the Sturdy that comes on all of the factory cat powered yachts.
  3. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I have not looked at those or any others for that matter.
  4. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    What do you like about the Sturdy controls?
    You bring up a good point that I need to look at all the options out there. I should look at Sturdy, Glendening, ZF and perhaps others. I've got some time to decide on controls but I have to get the engines and gears ordered due to lead time.
  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    I think you really have two choices, the Sturdy/CAT setup or the ZF gear setup. These are all OEM supply.
    I personally prefer to stick with the engine manufacturer control.
    Simplifies warranty/service. Get your trolling valves for all that fun salmon fishing coming next season.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Sturdy's just plain work. They have a lot of nice features. Neutral lock out, slow vessel mode, in sync you can go up or down 50 rpms at a time with the up or down arrows. They use the CAT computers to raise or lower rpm's in synch at the same time. They're factory CAT controls and plug right into the CAT harness and are supplied with CAT's on OEM installs. Also if there is an issue with the controls, they will tell you through the CAT displays and the CAT dealer would cover the warranty on them as well and the CAT computer plugs into it. They should come through your CAT dealer. The controls themselves have nice detents and the right amount of resistance and a better feel than the ZF's IMO. Nothing wrong with the ZF's, just less features.