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What do you do when your 10mm wrench, your only 10mm wrench, a tool that you need for a repair job, goes swimming in water too deep to recover it? You borrow one from your boat neighbor of course. But what do you do if their wrench goes swimming too? In our case, we moved on to our next friend and borrowed another one, hopefully without them knowing what just transpired. This wrench we tied to the boat though so as to not end up indebted to yet another person! Yes, the engine cable repair job turned out to be a bit more complex, and expensive, than simply swapping a cable. Don’t all boat jobs end up that way though?

With new cable in hand I set about the process of swapping out the badly corroded one that I photographed for the previous post. Once knee deep in the job though I came to realize that the cable I was switching was in fact not the shifter cable but rather the throttle cable. I had no trouble with the throttle on the engine, it was my inability to shift gears which caused us to bump the marina dock!

Closer inspection showed that the culprit was the clamp which holds the cable securely (or rather should hold the cable securely) to the front of the engine. Without this portion of the remote control assembly doing its job, the entire cable can move instead of only the inside, which should be the only part moving. Unfortunately, for reasons not entirely clear to me, (only) this clamp and the bolts attaching it are badly corroded on both engines. I spent a fair amount of time trying to fit new bolts into the clamp to make it work and with a bit of jury rigging, did get it to function. The repair is not perfect though so I went ahead and ordered replacement pieces for each engine. Once these new ones are installed I’ll make sure they’re coated with grease so that they don’t fall victim to same corrosion issues.

Parts 9 and 4 are the major problems. Our replacement parts were ordered from

Note: I have been told that the cables on newer engines are not secured in the same manner. Perhaps this clamp was a problem item for others as well.


  1. What is your definition of “Water too deep”?

  2. Could you attach a floaty key ring on the wrench?

  3. I had to smile at this one …. 10mm spanner is the most common tool used on our boat too!

    I lost mine lending it to someone who had done the same thing as you … he left without returning it. I now have 2 spanner sets on board and about 5 x size 10 spanners 🙂

  4. Does sell 10mm wrenches? Some tools deserve redundancy, I think a 10mm open and box end is one of them.

  5. a.) Buy yourselves a Sea Magnet. There are various types/tradenames. Lower it on a suitable thin line and pick up your spanners. Plus probably several other peoples ones too.

    It takes a bit of patience to lower it in the right place if there is any current. But it works.

    b.) Get some of that Quicksilver 101 green grease that I mentioned before. It works. And it works well in a marine environment and even seems to ease the problem of steel bolts and aluminium engines and their associated corrosion.


    • a) We thought of trying to use a magnet but if the wrench was stainless, it likely wouldn’t have picked it up. The wrench also no doubt buried itself in about 1′ of silt as soon as it hit the bottom (under our boat).

      b) I have some waterproof grease on board. You probably are aware of this but when recommending specialty brands, it is worth noting that very few of them are readily available in the islands. Quicksilver may or may not be among the items stocked around here.

  6. Here’s a link to my 3 cent wonder. Check it out – you’ll save many a tool that way 🙂

    S/V Kintala

    • Nice!

      Interestingly rubber bands seem to die a rapid death down here. I’m not sure why. I typically do pretty much the same thing with a small piece of cord.

  7. Enjoy today’s thread[ as every daily thread, reading your blog has become part of my lunch break routine or evening read if I don’t have a chance @ work :-S, like today], very sorry to hear that. I won’t hit the like button on that one. I think you will understand.

  8. When the new brackets go on make sure you coat them with Boeshield T9, while you’re at it coat your engine with it too. Stuff works wonders.

  9. Hindsight “What cha aughtta do” idea.
    Could you make a “velcro wrist tether” something like a boogie board leash, that you could quickly switch from tool to tool? Make it, market it and sell it, I’ll just need 10% please!

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