Broken Throttle Cable

While backing Cay of Sea into our slip with Ruth at the helm, she shifted into reverse and applied a good bit of throttle to change direction of the boat. Then while attempting to counterbalance the reverse thrust in forward, she moved the throttle forward after shifting gears, and nothing happened.

Huh?

I instantly thought the fitting that holds the cable-end captive had let go, but on inspection found that the cable had broken at the throttle-lever end. I disconnected both ends and slipped it out of place to examine the break. That’s when the end of the inner cable came out of the outer jacket entirely.

This is what came out of the red, outer jacket of the cable.

This is what came out of the red, outer jacket of the cable.

You can see the threads and nut on the rod that attaches to the control lever. The other end has the single strand cable captured in it, sort of like a swage fitting. So my conclusion is that the steel strand that actually moves inside the jacket was allowed to work and flex right at the connection point to the threaded rod end. Eventually (last week) it became brittle and broke.

The other end of the cable, on the right of the photo, is exactly the same as the end that broke. At left are the two pieces that should be connected.

The other end of the cable, on the right of the photo, is exactly the same as the end that broke. At left are the two pieces that should be connected, and there should be single strand cable protruding out the end of the red jacket, but it was lost inside the jacket.

The single strand should be exiting the right end of the this fitting, and connecting to the threaded rod.

The single strand should be exiting the right end of this fitting, and connecting to the threaded rod.

So I ordered another through Amazon: $23, and if you have have Amazon Prime there is no shipping charge (here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LF7364/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

When I install it, I think I’ll try and capture the lever-end of the cable so that the strand doesn’t flex. Maybe I’ll get more than 10 years out of the next cable!

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1 comment
  1. Adam here. Former charter captain (100 ton master with sail aux) in florida keys. I ran a 40 foot cat that chartered sail/snorkel pax to coral reefs. I too had numerous issues of morse cable failure. I’m feeling that this is an item that deserves greater attn. in maintaining long term. Best to carry a spare to cover both transmission and throttle connections. I would suggest using MORSE if you are not already. Seem to be the leader is throttle cables. More on me and our vessel, Velella at http://www.adam-waywell.squarespace.com. Last, we are in the market to upgrade from our cape dory 25 to a Watkins 27. Your blog and wordpress site has been most beneficial as a resource. With thanks, Adam

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