Outboard Control Cables

Getting the correct type of control cables and length for your outboards throttle and gear shift to operate is vital for the workings of your outboard gearbox and throttle response and will result in more enjoyable boating.

Using old cables or cables to short or to long can result in extra friction causing gearbox damage. The damage can go years unseen and only visible when changing your gearbox oil which will contain a metallic silver color indicating gear wear likely caused by old control cables or poor set up.

New outboards and many used outboards don’t come with control cables as the length of the two control cables (one for throttle and one for gearshift) depends on the length of the boat with regards to the distance from the outboard engine to the remote control box unit.

Below are the key points for selecting the correct control cables for you engine and control box

  • Control cables come in foot length increments, use the diagram below to help obtain the correct length.
  • If a universal control box or non-genuine manufacturer control box is used extra components or a different control box maybe required to suit your outboard. Consult a dealer.
  • The most common cables are 33c which will fit Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha outboards.
  • Mercury outboards use Gen 1 or Gen 2 control cables
  • Most new Mercury and Mariner four stroke outboards will use Gen 2 control cables.
  • Mariner and Tohatsu outboards will use a variety so always inspect your outboard and control box to obtain the correct cables or contact a dealer with photographs and an engine serial number.
  • Johnson and Evinrude use OMC style control cables. (we do not stock these)
  • Commercial heavy operation cables are available the extra cost can be worth it.
  • Lengths can range from 3ft to 40ft+
  • Most new modern larger outboards (175hp upwards) now use digital throttle shift and will not require control cables, dealer diagnostic equipment is required for set up.
  • 33c cables come with a threaded end, cables ends to attach to the outboard and control box should come with the engine or control box. If not they can be found on the website. Click here.


Most Common Types Of Control Cable.

  • 33C control cables: with threaded ends, suitable for Honda, Suzuki, Tohatsu and Yamaha.
  •  Mercury Gen 1 control cables: no cable ends required, adjustable toggle on engine end of correct set up.
  •  Mercury Gen 2 control cables: no cable ends required, adjustable toggle on engine end, 33c design on control ends. New Mercury outboards will use Gen 2 cables.

How to Measure Correct Length of Cables For Your Outboard.








Visit The “Shop Section” To Purchase Control Cables For Your Boat.