How to Decide What Rigging You Need for Your Boat
Back in the day, rigging was simply "lines and chains used aboard a ship especially in working sail and supporting masts and spars," as defined by Webster's dictionary.
These days, you could define rigging as any point at which you interact with your boat, be it working on, monitoring or adjusting it. For example, any controls you use to manipulate the boat, or any gauges you use to get information and feedback from your boat, would be considered rigging.
The three main points of interaction with a boat are:
- Controls: Steering, shifting, throttle
- Gauges: Instrumentation relaying information about the boat and the surrounding environment (RPMs, temperatures, voltages, fuel levels, etc.)
- Displays: Instrumentation relaying information about the surrounding environment (depth finders, GPS, radar, fishfinders, etc.)
Determining What Rigging You Need
Boats require control rigging — steering, shifting and throttle controls — but from there on exactly what other rigging you'll need depends on how you use your boat.
Does your vessel require control rigging for both the main console and a flying bridge as well? If it does, how do you determine what you'll need to accomplish that?
The simplest way is to use our Online Yamaha Outboard Rigging Catalog. We compiled the entire Yamaha Outboard Rigging and Parts Catalog into one easy-to-use online interface to make choosing rigging for your boat an effortless experience.
The Online Yamaha Rigging Catalog lets you compare and select the rigging that best suits your boat. For example, using the Online Rigging Catalog, click on Rigging Estimate Guide, then select the engine rigging guide that matches your boat. From there, select your control method and scroll through the rigging kit options. Having chosen a kit, simply add the harness length you need and you're all set.
PRO TIP: To determine the main harness length, measure an unobstructed path from the control to the centerline of the outboard, then add an additional 4 feet, and round up that figure to the next highest harness length that's available.
Which gauges you'll need largely depend on how you plan to use your boat.
For example, if you have a pontoon boat you only use on a lake, you probably won't need a satellite GPS system. However, if you have a triple-outboard V-hull you take offshore, you'll want a lot more information about your boat and the surrounding area.
At the very minimum, you should consider adding engine RPM, engine oil pressure and engine temperature gauges, regardless of how you use your boat.
These gauges provide invaluable information on your motor's health. They also help you identify any small issues, and allow you to fix them before they become major problems. A gauge or display that shows you the time on the engine is also useful, as it helps you keep up with the routine maintenance schedule.
Invest in an LCD screen display if you'll be taking your boat offshore. Unlike a couple of gauges, an LCD display will give you all the information from the engine, and could make the difference between getting back to shore or getting stranded out on the ocean.