12-Volt Electrical Problems On Boats
Frequent readers probably recall that a couple of weeks ago I had some difficulty with the electrical system on our Starcraft pontoon boat. First the gas guage didn’t work, then the lights started acting wonky. Of course I went right for the guts of the matter, under the console, pulling out wires and fuses like I knew what I was doing. Of course frequent readers know that I don’t know what I am doing….
However, after somehow managing to not only blow fuses on the pontoon boat fuse panel, I also blew the fuse on my hydrometer, the neat little tool used to check the amount of charge in a battery or other power source. Don’t ask me how I screwed up the hydrometer, I just did, that’s me, it’s a talent I guess.
Well, eventually I got things fixed, with the help of my buddy Dave, we now have the guage and lights working, finally determining the problem was a matter of loose wires, something that was not immediately obvious when I first checked things over. In fact, I even had the fuel gauge float and guts out of the gas tank checking it, before we found out my problem was with a couple of bad connections.
Boat wiring is not particularly complex, but it is a little confusing depending on how many electrical options your boat is equipped with, such as navigation lights, driving lights and spotlights, guages, radios and stereos, fishfinders, bilge pumps and livewells, and anything else that requires electrical power like the engine ignition. I know that under the console of my pontoon boat is a bunch of wires in a wide array of colors, all going here and God only knows where.
The owner’s manual is not particularly helpful in this regard either, I suppose because they don’t really expect you to be frigging around with the wiring. The other thing to remember is that boat power is typically 12 volt battery power which is similar to other forms of wiring, with the added twist of having a battery that has to be kept charged.
The 12-Volt Bible For Boats
Miner Brotherton and Edwin Sherman have written a helpful book appropriately entitled, The 12-Volt Bible for Boats specifically written for guys like us, guys with boats and batteries who need to know how it all works. This is a recently updated edition of the 12-Volt Bible For Boats that has been thoroughly updated with respect to modern batteries, breaker and panel design, alternative energy sources, and troubleshooting equipment.
If you have a boat that uses 12 volt batteries, you should have a copy of this book in your workshop.
Order a copy today from Amazon for around $12.00 I am sure you will find it indespensible when it comes to your boat’s 12 volt electrical system. Pick up a copy today, Click Here to order yours:The 12-Volt Bible for Boats
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