Basic Outboard Rigging Maintenance
If you work on your own outboard, some knowledge of basic rigging maintenance comes in handy.
Maintaining the rigging on your outboard is an essential part of your maintenance plan. You change the engine oil and the outdrive fluid, keep it clean, and take care of any number of basic maintenance items, but do you regularly check the controls?
The worst thing that can happen is for your controls to stiffen up and fail. For example, if your shifter cable stiffens up, it can fall out of sync with the throttle, which can lead to grinding gears and other problems lubricant alone can't fix.
How to Inspect the Cables on Your Boat
You should inspect the cables on your boat twice a year: at the beginning and at the end of the season.
The best way to inspect your cables is to pull the covers and inspect the linkage inside of the housing. The process for removing the cover will vary from boat to boat, but you want to look for the grease points. Wipe off the old grease and then reapply fresh marine grease.
Lubricating the Cables on Your Boat
The best way to evaluate a cable is to disconnect it from both ends: the control side and at the engine.
With no resistance on either end, it's much easier to evaluate the movement of the cable inside the sleeve. To lubricate the cables, use a spray lube like Yamaha Lubezall on either end, then work the cable back and forth to get the lube down into the cable sleeve.
That's all it takes to do some bare-essential outboard rigging maintenance.