Marine control cables for both throttle and shift are never a problem – until they give you problems. Depending on the vintage of your boat, you may have an old Morse cable or an early Teleflex cable. Your original cable may have lasted for 20+ years (and your new one should last longer) but first you need to figure out what to get to replace that throttle or shift cable. Also note, if one is sticking, the other will follow. Replace both cables at the same time and you will be able to go another 20 years+.
Identifying your cable and what you need:
- Look at your cable and find any numbers on it.
- Old Morse cables will begin with 6 digits, then 2 then the length in inches. For example Morse # 032377-03-0144 = a 33C style cable that is 144 inches (12 feet) long.
- Older Teleflex cables will have a part number that will look like CC17912, which translates into a CC179 Series, 12 feet long.
- Identify your ends. If both ends of the cable have a 10-32 thread, then you likely have a common 33C. 40 series has 1/4-28 thread both ends and 60 Series has 5/16-24 thread both ends.
- Lastly, you can just measure what you have.
Measuring your cable:
Measure your cable from tip to tip and then round up to the next foot. Replacement control cables are sold in one foot increments. OMC and Mercury cables tend to use specialized ends. Nearly every other manufacturer of outboards, sterndrives and inboard engines uses 33C style control cables. The most common throttle and shift cables on a sailboat are the 33C.
All throttle, shift and control cables are considered as replacement cables. You will need to know how long your cable is and the manufacturer of your controls and engine.