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  #1  
Old 11-17-2013
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Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

I recently replaced the anchor light. Going out to the boat this week, I checked on the light to make sure all was good. After turning on the master, then the anchor, I saw it wasn't working. So I checked on some other electrical items. Nothing working. I unscrewed the panel and noticed that the wires were coming out of the switches and the switch to the anchor light was separated inside. Now I know why the master indicator didn't work either, the wire wasn't connected (old). So after examining my options, looks like all the connections need to be redone and a few if not all the switches need to be replaced.

Should I just replace the entire panel or do switch by switch? If the panel route, where is a good place to get a replacement panel?

This is a Catalina 27' (1981). Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

If the panel is in good shape, and has enough slots for your purposes, I'd just buy all new switches and rewire the whole thing.
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Old 11-17-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

panel is in good shape, but I noticed one switch was already replaced, so rather than doing just one here and there, seems like a better idea to replace the switches. Seems like the fuse section is ok
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

Depending on your budget, since you have fused switches, a new panel with circuit breakers might be worth the time and money. Particularly if you plan on keeping the boat long term.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

I would replace the panel. By the time you get all new switches of good quality you are going to be awful close to the price of a new panel.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

I would replace the panel like the one in the link below from Blue Seas - excellent quality product.

Traditional Metal DC Panel - 8 Positions - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

If I wanted a winter project I'd look at panel replacement if your's is an older boat. That's what I did with mine, in fact I redesigned the electrical distribution in the process to be more reliable. My 70's era boat wasn't up to current ABYC standards for example the panel back was exposed. Then there was the on-off-both power switch for which there are better alternatives. In the process I got to check out every wire and get it properly labeled and fix corrosion issues. There was also some safety things like adding a sloblo fuse for engine starting power which while not required is a safety issue nonetheless. The problem I came across was space. On smaller boats a manufactured panel may not fit into your old space and you may need to relocate it. I had time so I built my own panels, not too hard but takes time.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

Fused panels are for the birds.

Quit screwing around, and buy the Blue Sea panel linked by mitempo.

-Never worry about carrying spare fuses again.
-Backlit labels.
-Ability to easily replace labels when you make wiring changes.
-LED indicating an active circuit.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by geronimo69 View Post
panel is in good shape, but I noticed one switch was already replaced, so rather than doing just one here and there, seems like a better idea to replace the switches. Seems like the fuse section is ok
Since you're sailing a Catalina 27, it might pay to contact Catalina about a replacement panel from the factory. I suspect it might be the least costly option verses a 2nd party product and Catalina is usually pretty good about such things.

FWIW...

PS: If you do change the panel, be sure to label each of the wires as you disconnect them from the old panel!
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Replace Panel vs. Replace Switches

Panels are available from catalinadirect.com but they are pricey. Bluesea a much less expensive option.
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