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Remote Control

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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These days, almost all medium sized and larger outboards are controlled via some sort of remote control device. Modern outboard remote controls are just electronic extensions of the tiller and the throttle, but older controls, from the 50s and 60s, were fully manual devices. Modern remote control systems have become remarkably advanced, offering increased safety ease of control, and functionality.

The most common remote control in the 50s for personal outboard boats was a control system that was based on a cable and pulley system. Because they are difficult to install, they lost popularity with the emergence of control cable-based and hydraulic control systems. Though parts for cable and pulley control systems are still available from some marine parts stores and Internet auction sites, they are not manufactured by any of the larger outboard products manufacturers.

Modern Remote Control Devices

Two common types of control device are currently in production. The most typical device for smaller boats is a concealed side mount control, or simply, side mount control. Most feature a single lever for thrust, and some feature a push-button shifting system or ignition switch as well.

More common for larger boats is a binnacle control system, which is console mounted. Binnacle controllers usually include throttle levers (multiple levers for twin-engine systems) and a key switch. Both systems generally rely on variations of push-pull control cables for normal operation.

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