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Old 12-15-2016, 07:49 AM   #1
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Nav light switching

I've got a 1990 Calif/Carver/Hatteras 45 that's new to me.
Problem I have is that I have no nav/anchor lights.
Control panel is on, I have power to the switch in the helm, but no lights.
It seems that I'm missing a fuse or another switch somewhere.
Of course, I don't have anything remotely resembling a wiring diagram, and Carver can't help.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #2
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Do you have power at the lights?
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:22 AM   #3
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Is there a 2nd switch at the upper/2nd helm station?
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:33 AM   #4
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Are the bulbs OK and are the sockets clean? One wouldn't expect all the bulbs to burn out at the same time but since you just bought the boat, you have no idea if the PO ever checked to see if the lights actually worked.


If you have power on the load side of the switch, it's unlikely (but not impossible) that there is a fuse or circuit breaker after the switch. It should be before the switch.


Most of the time, an electrician will not have a wiring diagram of a boat he is working on so it's a matter of tracing wires and checking voltages until he finds the problem.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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no power at lights, only single helm, I had hoped I wouldn't have to trace wires in bundles of hundreds of them.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:49 AM   #6
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Did you check the contacts at the switch at your helm control panel? You may have power coming to the switch but if your contacts are oxidized this may be your issue. Look at the switch contact, disconnect them, if them show some white traces clean them and reconnect. Same at the light, check the connections behind the light. Also is your switch a breaker or a simple switch? if it is a simple switch you will certainly have a fuse or breaker not far so check for it. Then check your wire to ensure continuity, check the resistance of the cable between the light and the switch, if infinite your wire is cut.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #7
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are your lights in a combined RG or two separate fixtures? If more than one are out, chances are the problem is at the switch, is the line to the switch hot and its output cold? Check there first, before trying to trace the wires.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:31 PM   #8
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chances are the problem is at the switch, is the line to the switch hot and its output cold? Check there first, before trying to trace the wires.
Agree.....I had a failure in my 3 wire bilge pump circuit. Turned out to be a bad DPDT switch...
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:33 PM   #9
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Jump the switch. Disconnect a wire touch it to the other wire. OR take short wire naked on each end touch each end to a different wire. Assuming there are only two wires on the switch. Quick and easy to check the switch. Ground connections at the fixtures are common corrosion points. Agreed all seldom fail concurrently. start with the switch.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:09 PM   #10
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Is there anything else not working?
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:42 PM   #11
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Thanks

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I was hoping for a smoking gun, easy fix.
No such luck. One had intermediate connections that were badly corroded. DEOXIT fixed them. One side light had disconnected wiring that was also slightly corroded. The contacts in one light weren't corroded, but were not making full contact. I've got to trace the anchor light/nav light on the arch and see what surprises I find in that circuit.
Evidently the PO never used the boat at night. Not hard to believe. It isn't a dock queen, but night time cruising isn't all that much fun amidst crab pots, floating debris and other surprises.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:00 PM   #12
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First I have to preface this saga by stating that the boat is not inexpensive nor a dumpy looking mess.
That said, I think we set a new wiring record in the radar arch. A 10" string of wiring to the nav/anchor lights had about 11 splices. None would have passed code in a third world country and in fact one lead was sliced nearly in two and covered with tape.
"If you haven't touched it, don't assume it works" is becoming my motto.
Actually this repair is going to be pretty straight forward. Cut out the existing wiring and run new leads.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:31 AM   #13
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Good Job. My 1986 48 MY has a three position switch in the main panel Nav-Off- Anchor. Nothing at either helm. Took me awhile to figure it out. Circuit breaker before the switch.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:16 AM   #14
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Good Job. My 1986 48 MY has a three position switch in the main panel Nav-Off- Anchor. Nothing at either helm. Took me awhile to figure it out. Circuit breaker before the switch.
The circuit breaker is (Is supposed to be) at the beginning of the circuit. That way it protects the entire circuit. Only a hack would put it after the switch.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:22 PM   #15
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Some three way switches have a circuit breaker at the main panel to the switch then fuses or CBS to the 2 different light systems as the wiring size could be vastly different based on nav light versus anchor light.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:30 PM   #16
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Some three way switches have a circuit breaker at the main panel to the switch then fuses or CBS to the 2 different light systems as the wiring size could be vastly different based on nav light versus anchor light.
"Only a hack".
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:35 PM   #17
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Or boatbuilders/marine techs that have forgotten more about boats than you might ever know...no matter how many dirt circuits you mastered.

Not my idea...just one I have seen aboard boats and have seen in schematics from well know marine pros.

If I recall coreectly, it is suggested in a Raymarine manual for splitting circuits as in a 3 way switch.
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