Category Archives: Power Boats

Manitou Pontoon Boat Wiring

Kevin,

I am working on a 2005 22" Manitou Osprey Pro. Is there any source for obtaining a boat wiring diagram for this pontoon?

I just recently purchased this and have been trying to fix some electrical issues. Some are relatively straightforward.

Manitou Pontoon Boat

The pontoon's stereo speaker color codes matched the vendors color codes directly, but the stereo's power hookup did not - both yellow and red leads from the stereo were tied to a the pontoon's solid red wire. There was also a red wire with a yellow tracer in the same (stereo) wiring bundle of the pontoon but it was just clipped. Is one of the these a direct battery connection and the other one an on/accessory connection? The stereo wiring diagram shows two positive connections one labeled battery and the other labeled ignition - I don't want the stereo on all the time. The sun has faded all the indications of position for the ignition switch and all the switch/breaker functions. I don't even know if the ignition switch has an accessory function/position.

I don't know if the 5 function switch panel is a standard wiring. Is there a standard layout for the switches? Since the stereo speakers and power seem to follow the standard color codes for front -rear and power, is it safe to assume all the lights, horn and other accessories follow some standard of wiring? If so what are those standards and where can I find a standard schematic or wiring diagram for those standards?

I can't wait to get out fishing on this pontoon - it has an installation for a trolling motor battery in the console with direct wiring to an outlet mounted at the bow for the trolling motor (no battery installed yet) - there doesn't seem like a way to charge this battery from the engine's alternator/charger. Is there a way to connect this battery to the the engine's alternator but not allow the trolling motor battery to try to start the main engine? I don't what to run the higher gauge wiring for that. I just want to use the trolling motor battery for the trolling motor and accessories when the main engine is not running if that is possible.

I would like to develop a wiring diagram for this pontoon but I would hate to have to start from scratch and trace out the circuits by trail and error.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Hi,

It sounds like a previous owner was doing some wiring modifications. We know the Manitou crew very well, and it is not like them to have hidden wires clipped off in their harnesses.

The key switch accessory position question is based on the brand of the engine on your boat. The easiest way to tell is to turn the key switch. It will either have 3 positions (OFF-ON-START) or 4 position (ACC-OFF-ON-START). If the key has an accessory position, it will have an A or ACC on a tab on back of the key.

There is not a standard layout for the switches on your helm. I would consider calling Manitou in Lansing MI to see if they have replacement panels for your boat that would have the proper labeling for the panels.

Here is the common boat wiring color code used by most OEM boat builders, including Manitou. You should be able to use this to trace down any wires on the boat.

If you want to charge the trolling motor battery while the engine is running, you will need to run some larger wires between the starting battery and the trolling motor battery. This wire size is based on the size of the alternator on your engine. Most VSR smart battery switch systems are capable of handling 125+ amps but the limit is the size of your alternator. If you alternator is less than 20 amp, the VSR is almost a waste of money. You will need to run your outboard at full alternator output for nearly 3 hours to replace what the trolling motor can draw in less than 1 hour.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

Crestliner Wiring Upgrade

Kevin,

Could you please check out my homemade boat wiring diagram? It’s for my 17.5′ Crestliner Fish Hawk.

As you can see, I added and wired the two Attwood battery selector switches and a fourth battery to the system (Battery 2) and wired all the batteries in parallel. I also added the Blue Seas fuse block, all lighting, fishfinder, trolling motor, etc.

Crestliner boat wiring diagram

Click to Enlarge

My goal here is to be able to run the trolling motor off the extra battery if needed and/or to be able to start the motor with the extra battery if the main died. Also, to run all the lights off the extra battery for night fishing. I’ve yet to turn both switches to “both” because I’m not sure if that would be bad for……..everything.

I’m obviously an amateur at this so was wondering if you think it’s a safe setup assuming all the fuses, connections, wire gauge, etc. are kosher? I haven’t had any trouble yet but I’m a little nervous about burning something up.

I’d really appreciate your input if you can decipher the wiring diagram.

Thanks,

S.D.

Hi,

I would make a couple of minor changes:

  • Move the trolling motor circuit protection to the trolling motor side of the switch.
  • Add circuit protection for the Blue Seas fuse panel at its connection location to the boat battery switch.
  • Use the same size boat battery cables for all of your battery link wires. You call out 4/0 for the positive lead (I would assume you mean 4 AWG) but not on any of the other cables.
  • If the trolling motor batteries are near the bow of the boat I would consider adding circuit protection at each end of this wire to help reduce the risk of a catastrophic fault.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

Kevin,

Thanks for the help Kevin. I’ll do all of that.

Also, I was wrong about the battery cable being 4/0, its actually 1/0 welding cable.
Thanks again,

S.D.

Hi,

Most people don’t use welding cable on boats or cars because it is not oil resistant.

Kevin

Stereo Works. Boat Doesn’t.

Kevin,

I recently bought a 16 foot Smokercraft fishing boat with a 60 hp Mercury EFI 4 stroke engine. I also bought a stereo unit for the boat and was hooking it up and now I have 3 problems.

  • No power tilt and trim
  • No turn over of the engine with the key start
  • No power to my fish/depth finder.
  • JBL Marine Speaker

I have checked the fuses. Both the one of the engine as well as the one on the fish finder.

I ordered a key switch unit and a 20 amp circuit breaker. If this does not fix the problem—do you have any suggestions of where I should look next?

All of the above worked before the stereo hook-up in which I connected the power cable to the ignition.

Thanks for your help!

Leroy

Hi Leroy,

There must be a blown fuse somewhere on your boat. Is there an in-line fuse at the key or an ignition fuse on the fuse panel?

I would use a meter or test light to look for 12 volt power at the key switch and make your way back to the engine.

I don’t believe a new key switch is going to solve the problem.

Let me know,

Kevin

Bigger Better?

Dear Kevin,

I have a Marinco 12-24/24-36 plug and receptacle installed on my boat for my trolling motor.

I have switched from a 24 volt system to a 36 volt system and noted that two of the four prongs on the male plug are larger than the other two. Marinco trolling motor plug

The trolling motor uses two wires (black and red) for power from the batteries. Should these wires be installed on the two larger prongs, since the 36 volt system will be drawing more current than the 24 volt system. The prongs are labled A+, B+, neg, and NET on the back of the plug.

Thank you for your time.

Arthur

Hi Arthur,

I would use the larger terminals in the plug for your new trolling motor. They have more contact area and will be less likely to get hot during heavy operation.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

Thanks Kevin.

That was my thoughts. Nice to have your take.

Arthur

Bad Timing

Kevin,

I am looking for an electrical wiring diagram schematic for 1996 Ebbtide Dynatrack 18.5 foot bass boat…can you assist?Livewell timer

The problem that I’m having is a livewell pump that I can’t shut off without shutting off entire panel.

Any ideas what the problem might be?

Thanks.

Josh

Hi Josh,

I’m sorry, but I do not have a schematic of your boat wiring. In general, boat wiring diagrams are notoriously hard to come by.

As for your problem…

My experience is that the livewell timer circuits go haywire and often cause the problem that you are having.

Your best bet will be to chase the power wire from the pump up to the boat’s switch panel to find the mystery hot wire that is causing the problem.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

PVC Conduit

Kevin,

My father and I have a 1987 Ranger Bass Boat and last summer the wiring traveling from the trolling motor battery to the front panel melted.

We were going to rerun the wire but it appears that the wire runs up into the foam that runs along the side of the boat. We thought we could feed it through but does not move.

Any recommendations?Ranger boat

Thank you,

Joey

Hi Joey,

I have seen several creative solutions, but none seem to work great.

Usually cramming a piece of 3/4″ PVC pipe with some teeth cut on the front edge through the foam is effective. It is not strong enough to cut anything but the foam.

Good luck,

Kevin

Reset Revival

Hi Kevin,

I screwed up my boat wiring and hope that you can help.

I have a 2004 Sylvan 18 I/O. I had to jump it the other day and in my hurry I hooked up the boat battery cables in reverse. Push to reset breaker

I have power to the bilge pump, boat horn and navigation lights, but the other side of the dash has no power at all. This includes starter switch, bilge blower, and radio. I checked the fuses but found none bad.

Did I miss a fuse down on the starter?

Thanks,

Maurice

Hi Maurice,

There is a push-to-reset circuit breaker on the engine that supplies power to the dash. It should be a red button about 3/8″ diameter on the stbd side of the engine near where the main engine harness plugs in.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

Backward Boat Wiring?

Hello Kevin,

I am trying to replace the white all-round navigation light on my fishing boat wiring.

My old light had two wires, blue and black which were connected to a black and gray on my boat. My new Attwood light has three wires. One black and 2 red labeled rear and aft. Attwood LED all round white navigation light

How do I wire this?

Thanks,

Tom

Hi Tom,

Connect the black to the black and both reds to the blue.

Hope this helps,

Kevin

Kevin

I appreciate your quick response, but I tried that and it didn’t come on.

Tom

Hi Tom,

Is the new light one of the Attwood LED navigation lights?

Thanks

Kevin

Kevin

No, the package doesn’t designate it as led. It’s titled as “Anchor/Stern Light Combination.”

Tom

Hi Tom,

It may be polarity sensitive and your boat may be wired backwards.

Either check the black and blue on your boat with a meter or try hooking up the black on the light to the blue on the boat and the reds on the light to the black on the boat.

Kevin

Prevent Engine Flooding with a Fuel Demand Valve

This is the second in a series of new fuel product announcements from our associates at Attwood Marine. With so many of our readers using portable fuel tanks, we believed that it would be helpful to pass along this information.

Attwood has been serving the parts and accessory needs of the marine industry for more than 100 years. As a result of recent EPA regulations, they have developed innovative Portable Fuel Systems that are EPA compliant and designed with the customer in mind.


Have you had problems with your outboard engine flooding lately? If you’ve recently upgraded or replaced your portable fuel tank this year, chances are that that’s the cause. New EPA regulations control portable fuel tank emissions, and your fuel system may not have the proper equipment necessary to keep your engine from flooding.

EPA Regulations & Fuel Tanks

As of January 1, 2011, the EPA requires that all new portable marine fuel tanks follow a zero-emissions policy. To meet these new standards and regulations, fuel tanks can no longer be built as an “open” fuel system. Prior to the change, fuel tanks were manufactured with a fuel filler cap that vented and released gas vapor into the atmosphere. Now that portable fuel tanks must be fully sealed, the gas vapor is unable to vent and has nowhere to escape except to your engine through the fuel line. This builds up pressure within the fuel tank, and puts your engine at risk of flooding.

If you purchased a portable marine fuel tank that was built in 2011, it is likely a closed system and was manufactured to follow these regulations. However, the EPA is allowing all manufacturers and retailers to sell their remaining inventories of open portable fuel tanks. This means that even though you may have bought a portable fuel tank in 2011, it doesn’t necessarily follow the new EPA regulations.

If your portable fuel tank expands and contracts noticeably with changes in temperature, it is likely that you have a closed fuel system, and the pressure within the system may result in flooding your engine. Opening and closing the fuel tank filler cap releases pressure when refueling, but if you don’t refuel regularly, there is more risk of pressure building up in your tank and flooding the engine. It’s always a good practice to relieve pressure from your fuel tank prior to attaching it to your engine. That helps reduce the chance of any fuel spraying or dripping from the connector as you attach it to the engine.

Fuel Demand Valve

Fortunately, we have developed a product to help protect engines from fuel being forced in to the system causing flooding. New from Attwood is our Fuel Demand Valve (FDV). The FDV installs onto the fuel hose between the fuel tank and primer bulb, and prevents fuel from flowing unless there is demand from the engine. This eliminates excess fuel that would otherwise be forced through the fuel line due to pressure in the tank, and avoids the related flooding and engine failure.

The EPA-certified Attwood Fuel Demand Valve is compatible with all new fuel tanks, no matter the brand. The FDVs are available both individually and as part of Attwood’s fuel line assembly, which includes EPA-compliant hose, primer bulb, and the new Universal Sprayless Connector.

With proper usage of the new closed fuel tanks, not only are you helping your boat run smoothly and helping the environment, you are keeping the fuel where it belongs: in the tank. No one wants to deal with the headache or money loss of a flooded engine!

Portable Fuel & EPA Resources

By understanding how the new EPA regulations affect your fuel tank’s performance, you can take the necessary steps to keep your engine working properly. For more information on the new EPA regulations, the potential effects of compliance, and the products that keep you safe and your engine performing, visit the Portable Fuel & EPA Resources section of our website. Help the environment and help keep your fuel where you want it… in your tank!

Conversion Aversion

Kevin,

My fishing boat wiring question concerns using an inverter to charge trolling motor batteries.

Can I plug my Guest Model 2611 battery charger into an inverter capable of producing at least 10 amps if the inverter is connected to the main motor (1994 Mercury 125 HP Optimax outboard) starting battery only while the main motor is running? Guest marine electrical battery charger

Thank you.

Don

Hi Don,

This will work.

It is not the most efficient way to charge your boat’s trolling motor batteries while underway, but it is the most cost effective.

Kevin

Kevin,

Thank you.

I am open to considering any other “more efficient” suggestions from you.

Please share your ideas.

Don

Hi Don,

There are chargers like this one from Marinco that will charge all three batteries along with charging on the fly.

When charging the marine electrical system using the engine alternator, the DC charge is not converted to AC and then back to DC.

Hope this helps,

Kevin