View Full Version : Pontoon Boat Light Operation

05-04-2016, 03:48 PM
Good afternoon - I have an 18' pontoon boat with a white stern light and a red/green lights on the deck front. I had them all disconnected for a floor replacement and now I'm not sure how they should operate. The light switch is two position and I THINK in one position only the stern anchor light should be lit and in the other position all of the lights (anchor light and both navigation front lights) should be lit. Is that a correct statement?

If correct then I have a wiring problem - in one postion the white anchor light and the red navigation light are on and in the other postion only the green running light is working. I only disconnected two terminals from the accessory board on the console and I'm very sure I got them back on the right spots. I also clipped the connections for the running lights and respliced them. Any thoughts on where to start with this problem? My gut says I got something reversed at the running light connections but would be interested in any thoughts others may have.


05-05-2016, 02:17 PM
Some new information - when the switch is in the center position all lights are off (as expected). In the up position all lights are on and in the down position no lightd are on (I think the stern light should be on when the switch is in the down postion). I know the stern lamp is working because it lights whe the switch is up (alng with the navigation lights). The switch is lit up in both positions. Nt sure where to go from here?


05-05-2016, 04:02 PM
you either are missing a 2nd wire to the stern light or the switch has the position that feeds the stern light hot on in both the up and down position and only one hot in the up position..both are off in the center position...either meter it out or try moving the stern light wire to the bottom position.....

05-05-2016, 05:23 PM
Here's a picture of the switch - it is the third switch from the right. It is a Carling V6D1. you can see there are only 4 pins. Number 7 (top right) appears to be the ground pin. There are three pins on the left - the middle pin has a wire from the fuse so I am assuming that is 12V IN. The top pin is empty - and was empty before I messed with it. The lower pin (12V OUT?) has three wires - one to the temp gauge (don't know why) and two others that I assume are for the stern and navigation lights. There must be internal wiring in the switch that routes the circuit based on the switch position? The interesting thing is that a V6D1 is a single pole switch and I was expecting a double pole switch. The switch appears to be original to the boat based on how it compares to the other switches on the panel. This is a 2000 Playbuoy pontoon boat.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b185/Rick_B/DSC00004_zpsgzhtwfjd.jpg (http://s19.photobucket.com/user/Rick_B/media/DSC00004_zpsgzhtwfjd.jpg.html)

05-05-2016, 07:20 PM
So I decided to not assume that the boat was correctly wired when I received it - I can't honestly say that the lights ever worked correctly. Based on that I removed the gray/blue stripe wire from the lower left terminal (refer to above picture). When I did this the stern light did not work in any switch position but the navigation lights did work in the switch UP position - based on this I am cooncluding that is the stern light wire.

Then i moved the gray/blue stripe wire to the top empty pin on the left and the stern light worked by itself in the switch down position but still did not work in the up position.

So I am concluding that the top and bottom pins are both output terminals based on switch position and that I need a jumper from the lower left pin to the top left pin - sound right? If so - I'm not sure how to do that - I'm thinking that I could splice a hunk of 18 gauge wire onto the gray/blue stripe wire with a terminal on one end and attach it to the currently empty top pin. That should give me 12V output to the stern light regardless of switch position but 12V to the navigation lights in the switch UP position.

make sense?


05-05-2016, 11:12 PM
http://search.aol.com/aol/imageDetails?s_it=imageDetails&q=wiring+boat+lights&host=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carolinaboatoutfitters.com%2 Fcatalog%2Fh3font-color0000ffhow-to-wire-navigation-lights-spdt-p-85013.html&v_t=wscreen50-bb&width=85&height=85&thumbUrl=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid% 3DOIP.Me463ed857f99ad4ae79383214d2d3698o0%26pid%3D Api%26w%3D85%26h%3D85%26c%3D7&img=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carolinaboatoutfitters.com%2F catalog%2Fimages%2FNav-AnchorSwitch.jpg&imgHeight=412&imgWidth=413&imgTitle=TECHNICAL+HELP+-+How+To+Wire+Navigation+Lights+%28SPDT%29&imgSize=16761+B&hostName=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carolinaboatoutfitters.c om%2Fcatalog%2Fh3font-color0000ffhow-to-wire-navigation-lights-spdt-p-85013.html&b=image%3Fq%3Dwiring%2Bboat%2Blights%26s_it%3Dimag eResultsBack%26oreq%3D7e67b8deb0cb4e4e9e1025827c89 7ad7
This diagram shows a diode between the upper and lower pins. Hot would be the center pin and the is ground for the light. The diode blocks power in one direction I suppose the diode could be inside the switch. The way it works when you have the switch in the nav position the diode allows power to the anchor light and when you switch down to the anchor light the diode blocks power to the nav lights. If it works backwards just turn the diode around.

05-06-2016, 04:48 AM
That makes sense. Need to meter it out....

05-06-2016, 10:10 AM
Thanks guys - while I was waiting I did find a guy (Eric Steele) on a different forum from new wire marine that provided a comprehensive answer that verified what has been suggested in this thread. With his permission I am including his response below in the even that others may find it helpful.

"Hi Rick,

So what you have there is the single pole version of this switch: https://rockerswitchpros.com/product/vjd1-d66b/

Here's the diagram (imagine you don't have positions 4, 5 or 6): https://rockerswitchpros.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/VJD1-D66B_RSP.pdf

Nothings happening when the switch is down b/c when it's down it connects terminals 1 and 2. # 2 you correctly assumed is the input, but the anchor light is not connected to number 2 (you said it's empty right?).

I'll bet the three wires coming out of #3 go to: (1) the nav lights, (2) the anchor light, and (3) the backlighting in all your gauges (daisy chained together, starting with the temp gauge).

So, anchor light needs to be on terminal 1 AND terminal 3. Problem with a SPDT switch is, you can't do that without a diode in between b/c it will backfeed back to the nav lights without it... defeating the purpose of having a double throw switch.

A diode is like a check valve for electricity. Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode

It would probably look like this: http://d1gsvnjtkwr6dd.cloudfront.net/large/SC-DI-1N5391_LRG.jpg

It would go between terminals 3 and 1 to make sure current does not backfeed from 1 to 3 when the switch is DOWN.

I'm guessing sometime in the life of the boat the diode failed, and was turning both lights on at once... so the owner decided to remove it, and just never got around to hooking the anchor only side back up with a new diode.

You've got two options:

1) find and replace the diode.

2) just buy a DPST switch, and wire it like our nav anchor switch shows.

The first link above should work for you if you decide to go with option #2.


www.newwiremarine.com (http://www.newwiremarine.com)

www.rockerswitchpros.com (http://www.rockerswitchpros.com)

05-08-2016, 06:00 AM
Just to complete the circle on this thread - I got a DPDT switch and wired it as described on the New Wire web site and everything worked as expected. Thabks for your input