This article documents the color codes for wiring used in marine electrical applications. Information is available for:
Table 1 shows the color codes of wiring used in Boston Whalers. "Base" means the color of the wire jacket. "Stripe" means the color of an identifying stripe in the wire jacket. Color codes are listed as Base/Stripe, thus "Blk/Brn" means a black wire with a brown stripe. (It is believed that this color code is a standard used throughout the boat building industry.) Many electrical items are added after delivery, either by the dealer or the owner, so it is reasonable to expect that not all wiring found on a boat will conform to this standard.
|03||Blk/Org||Isolated Accessory Grounds|
|04||Blk/Yel||Blower/Power Ventilation Ground|
|05||Blk/Grn||Water Level Sender Ground|
|08||Blk/Gry||Nav Light Grounds|
|09||Blk/Wht||Battery Parallel Solenoid|
|11||Brn||Pumps-General, Bilge or Sump (Manually Switched)|
|12||Brn/Red||Pumps, Bilge or Sump|
|13||Brn/Org||Pumps, Fuel/Oil Transfer or Priming|
|14||Brn/Yel||Baitwell or Aerator|
|15||Brn/Grn||Fresh Water Pump/Water Maker|
|19||Brn/Wht||Temp Sender-Eng., Trans., Air., etc.|
|27||Red/Vio||Misc. Accy. Main Feed|
|30||Org/Blk||Audio System Feed|
|31||Org/Brn||Electric Head-Sanitation System|
|42||Yel/Red||Start Solenoid, Neutral Safety|
|43||Yel/Org||Powered Ventilation, Fans|
|49||Yel/Wht||Rudder Angle Sender|
|52||Grn/Red||Stop Solenoid/Kill Switch|
|59||Grn/Wht||Water Level Send / Water Pressure Send|
|61||Blu/Brn||Oil Temp Send|
|62||Blu/Red||Cabin or Cockpit Lights Port|
|63||Blu/Org||Engine Room Lights|
|64||Blu/Yel||Lighting Circuits to Remote Send|
|65||Blu/Grn||Cabin or Cockpit Lights Stbd|
|66||Blu||Instrument & General Lighting|
|67||Blu/Vio||Courtesy, Boarding Lighting|
|69||Blu/Wht||Oil Pressure Send|
|72||Vio/Red||Eng. or Generator B+ from Breaker|
|75||Vio/Grn||I/O Trim Down|
|76||Vio/Blu||I/O Trim Up|
|77||Vio||Ignition-Generator or Engine|
|79||Vio/Wht||Trim Gauge Send|
|85||Gry/Grn||Strobe or Beacon|
|88||Gry||Navigation (running) Lights, Tach. Send|
|91||Wht/Brn||Temp. Alarm or Indicator|
|92||Wht/Red||Fuel Alarm or Indicator|
|93||Wht/Org||Fire Alarm or Indicator|
|94||Wht/Yel||Air Flow Alarm or Indicator|
|95||Wht/Grn||Water Press/Flow Alarm or Indicator|
|96||Wht/Blu||Oil Press Alarm or Indicator|
|97||Wht/Vio||Voltage Alarm or Indicator|
|99||Wht||General Alarm Usage, Yamaha Kill Switch|
This information comes from Boston Whaler. A PDF file version of this chart is also available.
The following color coded wiring is often seen in outboard motors manufactured by OMC. This information was developed by Jim Hebert from factory wiring diagrams. Unfortunately, these diagrams are completely lacking in annotation. The identification of the circuits involved was deduced by the author with the assistance of OMC master mechanic David Zammitt of Lockeman's Boat and Hardware.
A pictorial diagram of the typical OMC ignition switch wiring is available in a separate article. It illustrates the use of these wiring colors.
OMC Under-cowling Wiring ------------------------ (Based on V6 c.1992) RED = Battery positive RED with VIOLET stripe = Fused battery supply to ignition switch BLACK = Battery negative BLACK with YELLOW stripe = KILL Switch (grounded to stop engine) YELLOW with RED stripe = START (Ignition switch to starter solenoid via safety switch) VIOLET = Battery voltage in RUN or START from ignition switch VIOLET with WHITE stripe = PRIMER solenoid LT BROWN = ALARM (grounded on alarm) GRAY = TACHOMETER pulses to gauge from Rectifier/Regulator OMC Stator Coil / Timer Base Wiring ---------------------- YELLOW / YELLOW with GRAY stripe = Battery Charging Coil AC voltage to Rectifier/Regulator Assembly on Engine Block BROWN / BROWN with YELLOW stripe = Charge Coil to Ignition Power Pack BROWN / BROWN with BLACK stripe = Second Charge Coil to Ignition Power Pack ORANGE / ORANGE with BLACK stripe = Power Coil to Ignition Power Pack or OIS Module Green / Violet / White = Timer Base to Ignition Power Pack / Black with White OMC Power Trim and Tilt ----------------------- RED = Battery positive RED with VIOLET stripe = Fused battery supply to remote controls BLUE = UP supply to MOTOR BLUE with WHITE stripe = UP RELAY GREEEN = DOWN supply to MOTOR GREEN with WHITE stripe = DOWN RELAY RED with WHITE stripe = Fused battery to remote switches BLACK with TAN = Trim SENDER isolated ground WHITE with TAN = Trim SENDER isolated fused battery positive
The following color coded wiring is often seen in E-TEC outboard motors manufactured by Evinrude. Where two colors are given the first is the main color of the wire insulation, the second is a color stripe identifier. For example, Yellow/White means a wire with Yellow insulation with a White identifier stripe. This information is also available in a color chart.
Yellow, Yellow/White = Phase 1 Orange, Orange/White = Phase 2 Brown, Brown/White = Phase 3
Gray = Tachometer Tan/Orange = Check Engine Black = Ground Tan/Blue = Signal or Alarm Tan/Black = Low Oil Tan/Yellow = No Oil Tan = Overheat
Black/Yellow = Stop Circuit Yellow/Red = Start Circuit Black = Ground Violet = Switch B+ 12-volts Red/Violet = Fused B+ Black/Orange = Bootstrap (associated with EMM programming)
White/Red = 55 Volt Black = Ground (NEG) Red = 12 Volt (B+) Brown/White = Starter Solenoid (V-Models only)
Red = Sensor 5V Supply, TPS, Oil, Water Pressure Black = Analog Ground Pink = Water Pressure CANbus Pink/Green = Water in Fuel Pink/Black = Cylinder Head Temperature Pink/Blue = Intake Air Temperature Tan/White = Oil Pressure Green = TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) Yellow = CPS (Crankshaft Position Sensor) White = CPS
Red = CAN Source (voltage) Black = CAN Common (voltage) White = CAN High (data) Blue = Can Low (data)
Orange/Blue = top Orange/Violet = center Orange/Green = bottom
Blue = top Violet = center Green = bottom
Red/White = Fuel (90° V6 Models 2008 and newer) Violet/Black = Fuel (V4 and V6 Models) Brown = Fuel (Inline Models) Blue = Oil
Blue/Red = Water Valve - 55 V (Inline Models) Red/Violet = Exhaust Valve - 12 V (V4 Models) Black = Exhaust Valve - Ground (V4 Models) Violet/Black = Exhaust Valve (V4 Models) Blue/Black = Exhasut Valve (V4 Models)
Blue/White = Up Green/White = Down White/Tan = Sender
The following color coded wiring is often seen in outboard motors with the Mercury or Mariner brand. This information was provided by Mercury Marine.
|Brown||Reference Electrode MerCathode System|
|Orange||Anode Electrode MerCathode System|
|Lt. Blue/White Stripe||Trim UP Switch|
|Lt. Green/White Stripe||Trim DOWN Switch|
|Brown/White Stripe||Trim Sender to Trim Gauge|
|Purple/White Stripe||Trim "Trailer" Switch|
|Black/Yellow Stripe||Shorting or Stop Circuit|
|Pink||Fuel Sender to Gauge|
|Red||Unprotected Wire from Battery|
|Red/Purple Stripe||Protected (Fused) Wire from Battery|
|Red/Purple Stripe||Protected (12 Volt +) to Trim Panel Control|
|Purple||Ignition (Switch) to 12 Volt Positive|
|Tan||Temperature Switch to Warning Horn|
|Tan||Temperature Sender to Temperature Gauge|
|Tan/Blue Stripe||Temperature Switch to Warning Horn|
|Yellow||Starter Solenoid to Starter Motor|
|Yellow||Stator to Regulator (Charging Circuit)|
|Yellow/Red Stripe||Start Switch to Start Solenoid to Neutral Start Switch|
|Yellow/Black Stripe||Choke (Enrichener System)|
|Green with Color Stripe||Switch Box to Coil - Striped and Numbered|
|White/Black Stripe||Bias Circuit (Switch Boxes)|
This information was provided by secondary sources but is believed to be accurate.
BLACK = Ground RED = Battery Positive; SW3 Oil warning red light V4 YELLOW = Ignition ON 12-volts; Four-stroke lighting coil BLUE = Instrument lights; choke; choke circuit; Ground potential oil transfer; High speed Charge Coil GREEN = Tachometer signal; lighting coil lead; knock sensor ORANGE = Trim position sensor PINK = Oil and overheat signal ground WHITE = Ignition stop circuit; SW1 oil transfer off position V4 BROWN = Starter circuit; Low speed charge coil; Positive "+" potential to oil transfer pump; SW2 transfer on position V4 GRAY = Warning circuit lead; Over-rev. control; Four-stroke tachometer SKY BLUE = Trim up LIGHT GREEN = Trim down YELLOW/Red = Diagnostic lead from ECU PURPLE = ECU ground to enrichment solenoid V76 BLACK/Yellow = Thermo sensor BLACK/Red = Remote oil tank ground return, PBS to tachometer, Low speed charge coil BLACK/White = Ignition coil primary lead GREEN/Blue = Crank position sensor GREEN/Red = Red oil warning light ground through SW3 in main tank oil sensor to tachometer GREEN/White = Crank position sender; Lighting coil lead to rectifier BLUE/Green = Main tank oil level sensor SW2 oil transfer circuit BLUE/Red = Main tank oil level sensor SW3. No oil warning circuit BLUE/White = Main tank oil level sensor SW1; Oil transfer OFF circuit BLUE/Yellow = Shift cut switch PURPLE/Red = OX66 #1 injector PURPLE/Black = OX66 #2 injector PURPLE/Yellow = OX66 #3 injector PURPLE/Green = OX66 #4 injector PURPLE/Blue = OX66 #5 injector PURPLE/White = OX66 #6 injector RED/Yellow = Key on power through fuel relay pump; power to ECU; Fuel pump and fuel injectors WHITE/Red = #1 pulser V6 WHITE/Black = #2 pulser V6 WHITE/Yellow = #3 pulser V6 WHITE/Green = #4 pulser V6 WHITE/Blue = #5 pulser V6 WHITE/Brown = #6 pulser V6 YELLOW/White = Electric fuel pump for electric carb system (ECS)
This information was provided by secondary sources but is believed to be accurate.
BLACK = Ground BLACK/White = 12-volt power, Engine Start BLACK/Red = Engine Stop BLACK/Green = Stator, Ignition Coil WHITE/Black = Ignition Switched Power GRAY = Tachometer, Battery Charging BROWN = Choke RED = Temperature warning Lt. GREEN = Trim UP Lt. BLUE = Trim DOWN BLUE = Pulse Coil 1 BLUE/Yellow = Pulse Coil 2 BLUE/Green = Pulse Coil 3, 4
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DISCLAIMER: This information is believed to be accurate but there is no guarantee. We do our best!
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Copyright © 1999, 2000 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!
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Author: James W. Hebert
This article first appeared July 21, 2002.