Installing an outboard (“rigging” in marine industry speak) involves not only bolting the outboard to the transom, but can also include connecting the steering system, wiring harnesses, throttle and shift controls, and instrumentation.
This issue of the Boaters’ Log is an overview of what goes into rigging a new boat, so even if you don’t tackle the job yourself, you’ll at least know what you’re talking about.
The Power - The outboard must be the proper horsepower for the boat, based on the manufacturer’s recommendation on the capacity plate, and be the correct shaft length (15, 20, 25, or 30 inches) for the boat’s transom height.
Wiring - A Yamaha outboard’s wiring system is made of three basic sections: a pair of heavy-gage cables to conduct battery voltage to the engine and charging voltage from the engine to the battery; a main wiring harness (harness=bundle of wires) that connects the outboard to the remote control box and ignition switch; and an instrument harness that sends information from sensors on the outboard and in the boat to the gauges in the dashboard.
Pre-Rigging - Routing wires and control cables throughout a boat can be a daunting task, that’s why many manufacturers install the wiring harnesses and cables as the boat is being assembled, a process known as “pre-rigging”. For example, if a builder knows a certain series of boats will be using Yamaha outboards, those boats will be pre-rigged with Yamaha controls, wiring and instruments to speed up the process when it comes time to mount the engine.