Control Cable Under Bridge deck? Outside boat?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by snowbirder, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    I've run into an unanticipated problem.

    My helm is next to a forward cockpit. Single helm.

    I need to run control cables for steering and engine controls aft to the sterns (catamaran).

    Problem is, to snake them inside the boat, the cables are something like 50 feet and 60 feet long, piercing an aft watertight bulkhead.

    I waws thinking of running all this stuff through the bridgedeck,outside the boat on the underside of the bridgececk, through a hole in the hull in the aft compartment, leaving the water tight bulkhead intact. The cables for each engine would go their own ways, each making a bee line for their respective engines from the helm... so a V shape under the bridgedeck with each cable taking a straight path.

    I really don't want the boat to look stupid or to have a safety issue.

    Is this OK to do?

    Cables are sealed, sheathed cables, not exposed wire cable runs.

  2. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member


    Is this thing on? :)

    Is it ok to route these outside?
  3. Charlyipad
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: St Simons is ga

    Charlyipad Senior Member

    why not? as long as they don't chafe or make any sharp bends. Outboard cables are nearly always exposed to the elements at some point. You should be able to bundle them neatly, etc. so they won't sag down too far. Seems to me the entry point back into the hulls is point that would need the most attention. Rubber grommets should take care of it.
  4. AndySGray
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Location: Cayman

    AndySGray Senior Member

    Can't comment on that particular config. from experience.

    Common on workboats to glass a length of standard schedule 40 plastic plumbing pipe under the deck to run control cables in - less about protection but ability to replace and add additional cables... These are mono hull and so that is already an 'inside' space.

    I would think that might be basis of an idea? it would certainly facilitate much easier changing of cables, and that will happen sooner or later.

    If you're on the hard standing, maybe rip a length of 4" pipe in half to give a 4x2 gutter and either attach and glass over or use as the negative for an externally smooth cable 'conduit' which could be popped out the mold and glassed to the underside of the bridgedeck faired at the ends.

    Are there looms for gauges too?
  5. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    Ok, thanks,guys.

    Yes, there are wire looms for ignition control on the outboards.

    advantage to me seems to be literally two 45 degree bends in the cables and that's it.
  6. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: South Florida USA

    keysdisease Senior Member

    Like Charly said, control cables are often exposed on many type vessels, UV from the sun is a bigger threat to their lifespan than water. Where you plan to go into the hull a small clamshell makes a nice cover and a sweeping entry, just pump it full of silicone. Perko 315-1 (1-5/8 x 1-1/2)

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.

  7. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    This was exactly my thinking... that most center console boats have the cables out in the sun and the last few feet is always outside as it attaches to the outboard.

    Also, some cat steering alternatives have a bar going though the hull in thge exact same spoit I want to route the cables into the hulls.

    In my mind this looks better.
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