Making Sense of Marine Control Cables

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:

  1. Look at your cable and find any numbers on it.
  2. 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.
  3. Older Teleflex cables will have a part number that will look like CC17912, which translates into a CC179 Series, 12 feet long.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Engine Application Teleflex Cable Uflex Glendinning Felstead Historical Part Numbers
Pre-1979 OMC / BRP / Evinrude / Johnson CC170 C4 N/A N/A CC170, Morse TYPE O 48296
1979 to Date OMC / BRP / Evinrude / Johnson CCX205 C14 A7120 N/A CC205, CC479, Morse TYPE OS 302029
For (2003 to current) 4000 Mercury Gen II CCX189 C36, MACHC36 A7140 N/A CC189
For 600A Mercury Gen I CCX179 C5, MACH5 A7130 N/A CC179
Mariner / Mercruiser / Mercury CCX630 MACH5, C16 A7110 N/A CC210, CC630, Mercury 3600
Honda CCX633 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Suzuki CCX633 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Yamaha CCX633 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Tohatsu CCX633 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Nissan CCX633 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Mercury Sport Jet CC213 C22, C23BC N/A N/A N/A
Universal 33C CCX630 C2, C8, MACHZero A7100 33C CC172, 33C, Morse 301947-003
Heavy Duty Applications – 40 and 60 Series CCX430, CCX433, CCX640, CCX643, 40BC C22, C23BC A7200, A7300, A7210, A7310 Universal 43C, 43 BC, 64C, 64BC, 4300/43, 6400/64 Universal 43C, 43BC, 64C, 64BC, 4300/43, 6400/64, Morse 65835-003, Morse 46348-003, Morse 065885-003, Morse 304262-004, Morse 304263-004
Volvo Using OMC Top Mount Controls CC214 C25 N/A N/A CC214, Morse TYPE OC 310048

40 thoughts on “Making Sense of Marine Control Cables

  1. I have a Honda BF8A w/bracket for remote control & a Merc Side mount Control. I am buying the TFXtreme Control Cable CCX633, 8′ Length.
    -Will I need a Connection Kit for the motor end?
    -Will I need a Connection Kit for the Control end?
    -Existing cable broken & wrong length- What is correct length for 12′ boat?

    1. Bob,
      First, measuring the length. The easiest way is to lead a cable, wire or rope to the engine from the control. Measure this and add one foot. There is no ‘cheat sheet’ for determining the cable length by boat length.
      So I can confirm, you are wanting to take a 33C style cable and connect it from a Mercury control to a Honda outboard.
      The easiest way to do this is with these components (and it is pretty easy):
      The Mercury control end will use the 33c adapter.
      The Honda end takes the 33C end of the cable.
      Then you can choose any 33c type cable.

  2. I will be ordering shift cable and a speed control cable part # 98698 12feet pre 1979 omc. . Question, Do you sell the motor end adapters for shifter and speed? 1965 Johnson or Evinrude

  3. I have replace the old Volvo MD11 c engine in my boat with a new beta Marine 25hp. I need longer control cables to fit the new engine but am unsure what the end fittings should be. The fittings on the new engine are different than on the Volvo and I can find no markings on the old cables. Both ends of the old cables are the same.
    Mike Thomas

  4. I need to replace a throttle cable for a 1977 monark mcfast 5 boat with a 1978 evinrude 70 hp motor. will i need an adapter kit? and will i need anything else?

  5. I have a 1977 Volvo Penta MB10A gasoline (15hp) engine in my sailboat that needs a new throttle cable. The controls are side mount and marked as Volvo, but look similar to Morse controls. The current cable ends are 10/32 thread. Can you recommend a replacement cable?

  6. I have a 1973 Evinrude engine and want to hook up an early 80’s control box. Will i need to use the pre 79 or post 79 cables? Will this work even work?

  7. I have a 1988 20hp mercury outboard and iam looking for control cables for it.The motor on it was a johnson and the cables were finished also would not fit. I need to know witch cables i need the ones that were on the 14 foot boat were 12 foot long. Also i have a omc control box on it will this work with mercury cables.

  8. I am replacing the shift cables on a Hatteras Sportsfish. The existing cables are Morse 33C—-lengths of 24 ft. and 28 ft.

    Based on your website info, I require CCX633 cables as replacements.
    Am I correct that I do not require any additional connections—-“simply” unscrew one set and screw on the replacement?

    Straight run from the bridge to the engine room. Perhaps a stupid question but ballpark—as a DIY—how long would you project for this job?


    1. Correct, these are direct replacements for the 33C cables. As for time, it all depends on how many places they tie wraped the cables. You will need to cut them to remove the old cables and pull the new ones.

  9. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your website? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors
    would certainly benefit from some of the information you present here.

    Please let me know if this okay with you. Thank you!

  10. I have a 2006 Honda 9.9 and the honda control box. I need 7′ cables but the ones I see on your site have 10/32 US ends. the old cables are larger and I assume metric. What do I need to connect the 10/32 cables to the outboard / controls? Thanks, John.

  11. Are the shift select cables and the throttle cables the same? If so, do I need to order two of them or do they come in a set? All I have seen just say “control cables”. They do not specify

  12. I have a 1990 OMC 5.7L and OMC cables. I need to convert my OMC control to a universal control (I’m now running a merc-style sterndrive… push rather than pull set up), and need to know if I can still use my OMC cables, and if so, what adapters are available to connect them to the universal controls. If I need to replace the cable, is there a standard replacement that will fit, or do I still need an adapter?

  13. Dual controls, twin IO’s-how to route upper and lower cables through transfer unit? This would be a lot easier for you to answer if I could post a photo I have of the transfer unit.

  14. I have a pull cable on the helm with a knob with 1/4-20 threads that is used to stop the engine if the push button doesn’t work. I need to replace the cable but I can’t find any with that thread. Can you suggest where to get one?

  15. replacing shifter cable 88 chriscraft has morse cable 301947-003-0228 volvo out drive.cannot find replacment .have any suggestions. do I need to remove out drive to install cable?

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