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Surface Mount Control

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Of the two most common control systems used by outboard owners today, surface mount control is perhaps the more popular choice. Also known as binnacle control, it usually consists of a console-mounted throttle lever that is connected directly to the engine by a system of control cables. Surface mount control systems are popular among owners of single-engine boats and twin-engine boats alike.

The main alternative to binnacle control is side-mounted control. Most side mount control kits feature a relatively simple set up consisting of a single throttle lever, mountable on either the port or starboard side of the boat. In general, side mount controllers may include a pullout shift system, but they rarely include any other controls (including a key switch).

Most surface mount control systems feature a levels functionality not found in side mount controls. Usually, since binnacle control systems are console mounted, they include a key switch built into the controller's housing. Many also feature push-button shift controls and force-feedback throttle lever sensitivity.

Surface Mount Controls for Dual Engine Boats

Binnacle control systems are a natural choice for twin-engine setups. The design of binnacle control boxes allows for a throttle lever on either side of the gearbox, one lever for each engine's throttle. Many dual engine controllers also offer the option of being able to use the throttle levers separately or in tandem.


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