Comparing Multiflex Control Cables with Standard Cables

Control of your boat is really only as good as your control cables allow it to be. 

Smooth cable movement with minimal resistance ensures predictable responses from the throttle and steering. The trouble with boat control cables is that they’re routed into recesses, and anywhere they’re out of sight and out of the way. This means lots of twists and turns, which can hamper the movement of the inner core of a control cable.

Multiflex marine cables vs standard

Obviously the design and construction of a control cable, and the materials used to manufacture the outer jacket and inner core cable, make a difference in how well it operates. How much of a difference does it make, and is the additional cost of a premium control cable worth it in comparison to a standard cable? We bench tested a couple of control cables to find out.

Control Cable Baseline Test

We ran a standard control cable side-by-side with a Multiflex Marine control cable in a gentle curve to establish a baseline. 

Multiflex control cables testing

Using a force meter, we measured the amount of force required to operate each cable. 

  • Standard control cable required 1.9 pounds of force
  • Multiflex control cable required 0.24 pounds of force

 

Watch the clip below to see the control cable baseline test.

Under ideal conditions, the Multiflex Marine control cable offers eight times less resistance than the standard cable. How would they stack up in a more realistic scenario?

Control Cable “Real World” Test

Next, we ran a standard control cable side-by-side with a Multiflex Marine control cable in a sharply twisted route to emulate a control cable installed in a boat. 

Multiflex marine control cable test

Using the force meter again, we measured the amount of force required to operate each cable. 

  • Standard control cable required 4.5 pounds of force
  • Multiflex control cable required 1.1 pounds of force

In conditions similar to those found on a boat, the Multiflex Marine control cable requires 75% less force to operate than the standard cable. In fact, the Multiflex control cable still requires less force in “real world” conditions than the standard cable did under almost perfect conditions in the baseline test.

Watch the clip below to see the "real world" test.

Our tester concluded that when actually in use on a boat, the negligible resistance from the Multiflex control cable would provide accurate throttle or steering responses. However, the heavy resistance in the standard cable would result in sluggish responses that would affect the handling and performance of the boat.

Control Cable Testing Analysis

While performing the bench tests, our tester also noted his impressions of the feel and usability of the control cables.

Multiflex marine control cable

Multiflex brand control cable

  • Standard control cable felt tighter the further its core cable travelled, increasing the amount of force necessary to operate it
  • Multiflex control cable felt smooth and linear throughout the core cable’s range of movement

Our tester concluded that when actually in use on a boat, the Multiflex cable would provide complete control over the throttle or steering. However, the standard cable core’s reluctance to travel might prevent the motor from getting to WOT (wide open throttle) or the steering from achieving maximum maneuverability.

Boat steering control cable testing

Our tests clearly show that the Multiflex control cable is better than the standard cable, and will make your boat perform at its absolute best. 

 

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