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"Main" switch on dash

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  • "Main" switch on dash

    Just an FYI - Ran into a problem yesterday and could not power up the auxiliary battery power to the dash with the "main" switch. I checked the switch, that is working fine. After speaking to Keith at the factory this morning, the switch is wired into the ground circuit for the solenoid that is activated when the main switch is activated. After a number of years, the contacts in the solenoid go bad - so the solenoid has to be replaced. Keith could not have been more helpful and is shipping one out today so I will have it for the week-end.
    Capt. B

    Now a 2014 28' Regulator
    Wall, NJ

  • #2
    ha - I've been having that for 2 years

    especially in cold and humid weather - 2 or 3 flicks of the main and it starts working again - I never even considered looking at the solenoid - thanks!


    • #3
      I replaced the solenoid and everything is fine - turns on first time I switch the main switch. When I was removing the old solenoid - specifically the ground wires, I could hear the solenoid clicking on - so you may want to check the ground connections on the bottom solenoid - to see if that clears up your problem first.
      Capt. B

      Now a 2014 28' Regulator
      Wall, NJ


      • #4
        which witch is which in the solenoid box

        I admit to never having cracked the cover of the engine room solenoid box. I'm sold its time to go in there and at least have a look!

        Is there an obvious way to identify the main solenoid in there?


        • #5
          There are three solenoids in there - stacked on top of each other. One is for each battery - so one goes to each engine/ignition and the other one is for the house load. In mine, the bottom one was for my "main" switch.
          Capt. B

          Now a 2014 28' Regulator
          Wall, NJ


          • #6
            I'm wondering if I am beginning to have this same problem on my 25. I had trouble getting it to power up at the dock on Monday. I also noticed when I turned it off the light faded out very slowly instead of promptly turning off.


            • #7
              Well apparently I now have this same problem. Yesterday morning I could get nothing on the 12V side to work, I have voltage at the main switch but no joy. I figure it to be a bad ground somewhere some of the comments in this thread is telling me where to start looking. When I do get this fixed I am going to add a switch that will allow me to raise the engine hatch using the starter batteries. has anyone tried this? What a pain it is trying to lift and support that manually, took three of us and a 2X4 to hold it up. I would hate to do this in a pitching sea.


              • #8
                When Mac was explaning everything to me when I picked up my boat I remember that he said not to use the main switch when everything is turned on. It will burn the contacts on the solenoid. Make sure that you turn off your breaker switches before flipping that main switch.

                He also said that if it did'nt work you have 1 chance to make contact to get the hatch to lift. With the main switch in the off position, turn on all the 12 volt breakers with as much load as possible and then hit the main switch on the helm. He said this will make the contacts arc and make contact 1 time so you can lift the hatch and replace the solenoid.
                Life is to short for an ugly boat

                2015 Enclosed Helm 35


                • #9
                  Thanks Tom, sure sounds like a strange deal to me about the switches and the main relative to the order in which they can be used. OK I will heed that advice. Thanks


                  • #10
                    Main switch

                    I just replaced the solenoid that's controlled via my main switch. Symptom was like others have described here. Main switch would not always power up first try. Took two flips of the switch now and then.

                    Keith sent me a replacement solenoid. Got it in two days!! Not easy to get to the lower screw that holds the solenoid in place but we managed. I disconnected all my batteries, and shore power first so there was no power on the boat anywhere.

                    Switch works reliably now.

                    Keith also mentioned that it's good practice to make the main switch the first turned on and the last turned off at the helm. Probably maximizes the solenoid use life.
                    Steve on Reel Screamer
                    2004 Carolina Classic 28


                    • #11
                      Fixed it. I also talked to Keith, he told me on many 28's there was a 4th selenoid for use with a windlass if I had none I could that one. The good news is, it was located right next to my bad 12v main selenoid so I just moved the wires over one, 10 minute job and it was fixed.
                      Of course the hard job was getting the hatch cover up and braced so I felt comfortable enough to be under it. I also discovered the float switch on the bilge pump was not working, the fire bottle needed charging, the batterys terminals needed cleaning and the trim tab reservoir was darn near dry.
                      I just got this boat and it looked to be in great shape cosmetic wise. however I am guessing now the previous owner was not real deligent in in doing necessary owner maintainence. By the end of today I believe I will have checked everything and be ready to go.


                      • #12
                        Same issue?

                        First I turn on my main switch and then turn on the electronic switch, when I throw the electronic switch on I lose my led light and power to my main. (not every time). I am guessing that this may also be a symptom of a bad solenoid. What do you guys think?

                        "Pelagic" 2006 Classic 32


                        • #13
                          Sounds as if you have the same problem brewing is my guess. Only way to find out is to take a look. I suspect if it is it will just get worse. Only way to know is get down in there and find out. If you don't have a windlass and are lucky enough to have the 4th selenoid it should be an easy fix. Good luck


                          • #14

                            If I'm reading you right it sounds like your problem may not be the main switch. The main powers up but fades after you turn on the electronics? It sounds like you may have some sort of resistence or short in one of your units. Try turning off the individual units manually and then turn them on one at a time and see if you can isolate the problem. It could just be a loose connection.


                            • #15
                              You could be right but mine acted the same way when it first started going bad, eventually it just died altogether. Easy enough to check for 12v across the switch and if it is there more than likely either a bad ground or the selenoid is heading south.