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Author Topic:   Montauk console rewire
jjjewett posted 02-24-2010 06:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for jjjewett   Send Email to jjjewett  
Hi. I am in the process of rewiring my Montauk. Is there a reason why I couldn't buy a fused switch panel and then a ground bus instead of a switch panel and fuse block with ground bus bar? I am looking at Blue Sea's Weatherdeck fused switch panels

I will be wiring up the navigation [lamps] and instrument [lamps] on one switch circuit, and my fishfinder, VHF, and [pump] on separate switch circuits.Thanks!

A few FYI's

I was able to buy two pieces of 1/4-inch black King Starboard that are 10-3/4 by 5-7/8" to replace my instrument and switch panels for $6 shipped FedEx from Acesany on Ebay (

The response I got from The Outboard Motor Shop in Oakland on a request for a blank instrument panel, Boston Whaler part 1026350:

"I checked with Boston Whaler and they do not stock that panel anymore. Their last available price is $45.00 each. It would be approx 30 days to get and there will probably be about $15.00 shipping to get them here.

45.00 times 2 = $90.00

Shipping $15.00

Sales tax $10.24

Total price $115.24 for two panels"

dfmcintyre posted 02-24-2010 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Check the following link for some other discussion on rewiring a slightly larger console:

jjjewett posted 02-25-2010 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
I understand that it is best practice, and forward thinking to use a fuse block with a negative bus; and a but none of the electronic devices on board are "always on" so would a fused switch panel and a separate ground bus be OK?

Phil T posted 02-25-2010 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
J -

I prefer this for fused switches.

I installed something like this during my Montauk rewire 1987Montauk#5112677014942783426

For electric sources requiring a switch on my Montauk:

Bilge (separate fused 3 way switch)
Navigation and compass lights
Deck lights
Accessory (blank)

Behind the instrument panel was a simple terminal block. Something like this: do?pid=11975&familyName=Blue+Sea+Systems+Screw+Terminal+Blocks

While the OEM panels are pricey, you can make your own from some aluminum plate, painted black and drilled in the corners. The prior owner of my Montauk did that.

For the basic needs of a Montauk, no need to get overly complicated and expensive.

jjjewett posted 02-25-2010 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
Thanks for the reply-

I bought 2 1/4" starboard panels for $6 shipped.

Is there a waterproof switch panel that is NOT fused out there? Seems like the fuse block is almost the same cost as the terminal block.

The bilge and nav lights are really the only devices I have without a switch. Maybe I can just use the original brass pull switches I already have for the bilge and lights, and use the on-board power switches on the other devices, all going to a Blue Sea 5026 Fuse Block with Negative bus....

jimh posted 02-25-2010 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are many electrical components and wiring accessories available to use in the electrical distribution system on a small boat. Precisely what component to use for a particular installation is a matter for the installer to decide. As for what sort of judgement ought to be used, I would suggest that there is probably a good balance between adherence to proper safety practices, such as suggested by the recommendations of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the budget allotted to the project, and the constraints of the space and surfaces in the boat where the components are to be mounted. The use of a distribution center which has its own negative power bus is a good technique to save space, and it is quite workable when there are not too many circuits. In larger yachts where the electrical distribution can expand to 20 or more branch circuits, a separate negative bus is often used to permit the wiring bundles to be separated into positive and negative groups. For a distribution panel with only six circuits, including both the positive and negative wiring points should not result in wiring density that is too great.
jjjewett posted 02-27-2010 01:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
What are the OEM 1989 Montauk switches rated for. I believe 10A ?

Does anyone have any recommendations for a non fused weatherproof switch panel?


jimh posted 02-27-2010 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The switches typically used by Boston Whaler c.1989 in their helm electrical switch panels were manufactured by Cole-Hersee. You can find information about Cole-Hersee electrical switches in a publication available from Cole-Hersee and on-line at

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