Join Date: Feb 2008
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are you handy with an electric 12 v dc test meter? i'd put a 12v meter on the battery -red wire to positive terminal and black ground to negative post. measure battery voltage there before you start the engine. then move up to your switch, put the red tester probe on the red hot of the switch, and the black to any ground. see what the voltage drop is at the battery switch as you turn the switch to the left to start the engine..i'd also check the voltage from the switch into the start solenoid. sometimes the wiring harness into the key start switch becomes so old cracked and degraded that your battery is putting out enough voltage, but it is not transmitting back down into t he starter solenoid. the fact that this problem is intermittent suggests that there is a loose wire somewhere that may not be allowing sufficient volts from battery up thru the switch then back down to the starter solenoid. you can also measure voltage at your 3 critical points battery , switch and solenoi after you've been out on the water for a few hours. is it possible that running instruments like your autohelm, radar, depth, lights etc etc is draining your battery below what you need to start when you're out ? checking volts at the 3 points may tell you that...i carry a portable winter battery pack $35 from pepboys, 100 ah cranking , as a backup to my engine start battery.. it's mainly been used to jumpstart friends' boats (because my engine knows i have it.) on my old boat, i couldnt run the refrigerator when out sailing or that amp draw depleted my battery so badly i couldn't start the engine .grab a copy of don casey sailboat electrical systems and a $15 digital read voltmeter, and let us know what you find.
good lck let us know what you find