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S&S Swan Maintenance - Morse engine control
10 November 2018 - 17:30
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 52

Morse engine control

Dear S&S Swan skippers,

Does anyone know what is the function of the aluminium knob on the upper side of the Morse engine control case?

Best regards

Jyrki (Infant, 38/014)

12 November 2018 - 09:34
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

It is an interesting question I often asked myself.  I think that it has no purpose for us users because, apparently, it does not have any degree of freedom.  My interpretation to date is that it is the outer projection of some internal structure but, if you are not in a hurry, soon I will be able to answer the question: I need to open the assembly to put grease in it; lately the clutch button has become quite stiff.

Oddly enough I know that I already did this operation and, probably already solved the "important" question but I forgot the answer. ...age!!!

Daniel, 411/004 Luna Menguante

12 November 2018 - 16:08
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 52

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for your response! I'm going to clean and grease the assembly during this winter. I also want to change the pivot pin of the gear arm. The throttle arm pivot pin was so worn out it broke off a couple of years ago.

The assembly must be installed in a tight space behind the coaming, and I'd like to know the structure before I disassemble it.

Looking forward to your answer


13 November 2018 - 05:35
Join Date: 03 February 2011
Posts: 39

Hello,   there is a spring in cylinder (knob) holding a ball against shifting mechanism in place.  Ball gives message and the click when entering idle posiion. Would not take apart unless broken parts are revealed since has probably been assembled with special tools when manufactured.  (I took apart and it took hours and more than two hands to reassamble).

My entire original control unit now pretty much worn out.  It can be repaired with delicate aluminium welding.  If there is a place to go for spareparts, would be glad to know.

Guess very few insurance companies will cover damage due a wornout unit.


Thorbjorn, Ravn 411/36

13 November 2018 - 10:43
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 52


Thank you for the information, which is good to know! I think finding spareparts for these old units might prove to be challenging.



13 November 2018 - 10:49
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Friends,

thanks, a very interesting thread. Looking forward to reading your discoveries after the disassembling (if you are disassembling it...!)

By the way I am not sure it's built out of alluminum, I think this is a different material. When I re-chromed my own Morse control leverage, the company who was in charge of the process told me it could have been built of zamak, which is a composite material (with alluminum too).

Anyone has additional info?

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)


13 November 2018 - 17:48
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

I did it and it is not so complicate.  The only needed tools, besides a pozi screwdriver for opening the lid, are displayed in the last picture: a flat-blade screwdriver, a 7/16 wrench and a 4mm hex key.  Surprisingly - for me - no part was seized and the disassembling was straightforward.

As already explained by Thorbjorn, the mistery object contains a spring and a ball but, unlike of what he writes, I do not think that reassemblying will be difficult.

Matteo is probably right, it is not pure aluminum but something like the matter used for some automotive parts and easily molded.  Is it possible to anodize it?  Maybe it could also be painted with a good 2-component paint; a question for Lars.

Daniel, 411/004 Luna Menguante

Rear of the lid and rear side of the Morse Control

What is inside the boat after the Morse Control was extracted

Morse Control taken apart

14 November 2018 - 13:38
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

I need to amend what I wrote previously: Thorbjorn is right, re-assembling the Morse engine control is not obvious.  I had to make the "special tool" shown in the picture to compress and keep in place the spring/ball plunger in order to be able to install the notched wheel; it would be impossible to proceed without such a device.

If you are not ready to make your own special tool, my suggestion is NOT to disassemble the large throttle handle from its shaft.  Everything else can be disassembled for cleaning and greasing because it is easily re-assembled, but not that part; as far as you do not use the 4mm hex key which is needed to undo the handle, you are safe.

Daniel, 411/004 Luna Menguante

14 November 2018 - 15:09
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Daniel

Here you can find information about surface coating possibilities

Kind regards


18 November 2018 - 09:04
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Hello everyone.

In my opinion the materail for the morse  control is Zamac.

Most of the time the problems encountered are rather due to the cables (throttle and clutch) which should run freely.

So cleaning with fresh water, and putting a little grease should be fine for a long time.

This is specially true for the button you need to pull to engage the clutch.

I bought  a new morse control system to replace the original one and never had to use  it again after the above treatment!

All the best.


22 November 2018 - 18:55
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 52

Dear Daniel and Thorbjörn, 

Thank you for your pictures and information!

I decided to disassemble also the throttle handle shaft, as its bearing needed cleaning, like the whole unit. In this case, there was no problem with the steel ball. The inner, open end of the “knob” was a bit squeezed, so the spring and ball couldn’t bounce out. Re-assembly was very straightforward and easy. The cleaning and greasing was absolutely worth doing. The feel and function of the system got much better. 

All the best,


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