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Remote Controls for Tohatsu 9.8

Discussion in 'Engines and Propulsion' started by MaryEllaRose, Jan 1, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. MaryEllaRose


    Joined Sep 11, 2013
    197 posts, 29 likes
    Catalina 25
    6106 US Lake Erie Metro Park
    One of my (many) winter time projects will be to add remote controls to my Tohatsu 9.8 outboard on a '90 Catalina 25. I've ordered the kit from Tohatsu with 10 foot cables. Can anyone offer any advice in regard to the placement of the control box and routing of the cables? I was thinking of putting the control box on the starboard side of the cockpit near the deck (motor is on strbrd side as well).

    Tom G

  2. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,489 posts, 2,440 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Sorry Tom,
    No suggestions, but I am interested in seeing what you come up with. Thanks for posting.

    -Will (Dragonfly)

  3. MaryEllaRose


    Joined Sep 11, 2013
    197 posts, 29 likes
    Catalina 25
    6106 US Lake Erie Metro Park
    The project most likely won’t start until March or thereafter. Temp was 20 F here this AM. I’ll post the results. My main concern is routing / length of the cables. My outboard drops rather low on the transom to keep the prop in the water. I’m concerned about cable binding and hoped someone had been down this road before and could advise.

  4. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,925 posts, 1,480 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Try the small-boat forum where these outboards-hanging-on-the-transom live.

  5. Joe


    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,646 posts, 409 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    My suggestion is to place the box on the cockpit's wall at or below bench height. Midway, fore and aft, convenient to your normal steering position would be my preference. The run back to the motor can be routed behind the wall. in a separate conduit, or simply bunched together.... there are a variety of "cable clams" that can facilitate this.
    The method of avoiding kinks in the cable is to configure them in a big spiral near the motor connection. When you raise and lower the motor the spiral allows the cable end to move without binding. Actually, the cable manufacturer will instruct you to add an extra couple of feet to your measurement to account for the loop.
    This picture isn't that good, but you can see the loops at the bottom.... that's the idea anyway. Impulse aug 04 027.jpg
    Don't forget, the Tohatsu equipment should have adequate instructions to answer most of your questions.. The biggest decision you'll make is where to place the box.... I set mine a little too high, but lowering it requires some contortions that don't warrant the added convenience. You're trying to avoid snags.... but in truth, knowing the culprit (control arm) is there motivates you to keep your sheets tidy in the cockpit.
    Lastly..... this upgrade will vastly improve your sailing life... I do not even have a tiller.... the motor rotation is tightened and I use rudder and prop wash to maneuver.... just as if the boat were equipped with an inboard. Have fun.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  6. jcb2


    Joined Jun 5, 2012
    51 posts, 9 likes
    Oday 31
    US Bayville, NJ
    An elderly fellow in my marina added this on his Catalina 25. He found a used throttle and starter from a power boat. His son installed it on the starb’d side of the cockpit near the wheel. This allowed him to singlehand well into his 80s. He sold it and then bought a small Ranger tug boat because he was having trouble handling the halyard and sheets but didn’t want to give up boating. Sorry but I don’t know the details.

  7. MaryEllaRose


    Joined Sep 11, 2013
    197 posts, 29 likes
    Catalina 25
    6106 US Lake Erie Metro Park
    Thanx for all the input...I'll post pix, as long as it doesn't turn into a disaster.

    Tom G

  8. MaryEllaRose


    Joined Sep 11, 2013
    197 posts, 29 likes
    Catalina 25
    6106 US Lake Erie Metro Park
    Update on project Remote Control
    Spoiler: If I had to do it again, I would sell my outboard motor and buy one already configured for remote control rather than try to convert a tiller model like mine.
    The whole point of this exercise was to eliminate the need to lean over the transom, especially in choppy water. I choose to use the Tohatsu remote box rather than a generic product. Tohatsu sells a "kit" that consists of all of the gear shift and throttle linkage parts but it unfortunately didn't include the choke solenoid or its related parts. The "kit" leaves the choke operation manually actuated, even though the remote control box has the capability to activate the choke electrically by pushing in the key switch. They also failed to mention that the carburetor is different in that the choke lever on the tiller model is designed to close the choke plate when pulled forward as opposed to being pulled up as it needs to be when activated by a solenoid. This necessitated making some small linkage rods from brass rod stock to reverse the motion as shown in the pictures.

    Choke solenoid and linkage.jpg

    A spring had to be added to hold the choke plate open when the choke solenoid is deactivated and another to keep the manual choke throttle advance lever out of the way.
    Other than that, the rest went fairly smoothly. The remote box was mounted on the starboard side of the cockpit foot well.

    Remote box installed.jpg

    A 1 1/4" hole was drilled in the transom to allow the cable to pass through. I used a CV joint boot to cover it.

    Transon hole.jpg

    The cables pas through the foot well wall into the rear bunk area, then out through the transom.

    Interior view 2.jpg

    Motor shown in the operational position, fully lowered:

    Motor at operational position.jpg

    Motor fully raised and tilted up.

    Motor raised and tilted.jpg

    If anyone is interested in pursuing the same project, it set me back about $700. PM me and I can provide Tohatsu part numbers and more details about modifying the choke linkage.
    So far I've only tried it out with the boat on the trailer and the motor in a barrel of water. Launch day is still two weeks away....

    Tom G

    Will Gilmore and Ward H like this.

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