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hey guys,

got a question for you boaties out there.

I have been looking around for boats for a while now and have settled my eyes on a 4.75m centre console.

The motor is a 50hp mercury 96 model.

When i went for another inspection today, i tried to push the forward control forward and it was tight and reverse was even harder.

What do you think the most likely problem is? Control box and the cables? or motor gearbox problem?

The reason im asking if you guys think its more likely to be the engine i wont bother getting a mechanic out.


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Hi, centre console boats always cause problems with steering and shifting. The control cables need to do alot more bends than in say a runabout and every bend makes it harder to shift. I would be surprised if there is a problem with outboard and the way to make sure is to disconnect the control cables and see if it becomes easier to shift and open throttle by the control box. I think you will find it is still quite hard. I would be guessing, but I think the control cables will be the basic /cheap cables that are fine on a runabout, but ideally a console boat need the better platinium cables that Merc has-these cables shift alot freer and are what console boats need to run.



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Check the steering as well as cables take same turns unless it is Hydraulic. Better cables are a bit more expensve as well but worth it and cleaning up old ones only delays the failure a short while. Leaving them how they are will lead to breakage or extra wear. Often hard to select a gear with motor turned off ( and not a great idea) as outboards have a dog clutch that needs motor or prop spinning to engage properly but shouldn't be really stiff as you describe. The control box can have a tension / friction control on them that may have been overtightened by kids. If you can see look closely at the electric harness for guages and electrics as if not secured under the floor properly it can spend it's time in salty bilge water and also chafe with the extra turns it goes round if it isn't in supported by a open conduit / brackets . Some can be really wet boats so check out all the electronics and switches. About 50% of all center consoles I have looked at have had welds cracking as the console takes a hammering with big blokes hanging on in a swell or with T-canopy in he wind. Check the steering as well as with often poor seating position it cops a hammering a sblokes hang on to it.

Get the mechanic to note all these on the boat inspection, check trailer bearings they always forget, , any motor issues and negotiate using them and consider a water test to seal the deal so you can see trailer and the way it loads.

Good luck

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