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Old 08-02-2019, 09:44 PM   #1
City: Edmond
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 18
Any idea what these are?

Still trying to figure everything out on our new to us boat, a 1999 Hampton pilot house.

I asked the PO, and got ďNo idea, never messed with them.Ē

The first is a chrome two-position pull/push knob similar to the headlight switch on older American cars. Itís located on the electrical panel. Iíve pulled it and nothing seems to change. Iíve not yet traced the wires, but will do that soon.

The second is the white box with two red on/off toggles, and the two finned boxes behind it.

Previous owner had the boat for six years. Evidently didnít mess with too much...

Just thought someone might have a similar set up so I might narrow my investigation.

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Old 08-02-2019, 09:58 PM   #2
Conrad's Avatar
City: Calgary
Vessel Name: Blue Sky
Vessel Model: Nordic Tugs 42 Hull #001
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,829
Our previous boat had a similar chrome push pull knob that isolated the windlass controls. (Not a breaker switch.)

Berthed in
Campbell River BC
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:00 PM   #3
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City: Saltspring Island
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,677
I have two of those 2 position switches. One in the galley, unlabeled, but operating the exhaust fan over the stove. The second position was not connected, so I used it to run a series of lights over the sink and counter. I took power from the exhaust fan line for the lights, but they are switched separately. The second is by the helm, labelled "stove" and opens the propane solenoid and turns on the red propane indicator light. Again, the second position was unused, so I connected a Walbro pump to the diesel supply line to the Diesel stove day tank.
In both cases, pulling the switch to the second position disables the first position.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:46 PM   #4
Comodave's Avatar
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 10,074
Unfortunately I suspect that you will have to trace thee wiring and see where it goes. Or just ignore them like them like the PO...
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:18 AM   #5
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
Trace the wiring. I had similar switches that took me 2 years to figure out. One of them controlled an exterior light over the fly bridge that was barely noticeable at night when it was on. The other powered a raw water washdown pump that I knew was there but couldn't figure out how to turn on. Those switches and every other on my boat have labels now.

Could those mystery boxes have something to do with audio amplification? Where are they? Where do the wires go? Let us know if you figure it out.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:45 AM   #6
caltexflanc's Avatar
City: North Carolina for now
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,258
Have you tried contacting Hampton and seeing if this is OEM? Maybe get a manual and schematics from them while you are at it. The white box seems to have two circuit breakers mounted in it. You could try turning them off, or on as the case may be.

The two black boxes look like light dimmers transformers or perhaps 24-12 volts converters.

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:10 AM   #7
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City: Bethesda, MD
Vessel Name: Solstice
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 47 Eastbay FB
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,449
If you don't have one already, a Tone Probe is very handy for tracing wires. I've got a Greenlee unit and have used it several times on our EB47. Best result was finding a windlass fuse that was buried behind a breaker panel.

This isn't the exact one I've got, but it's close.

The idea is you clip the tone sender one end of a circuit and then use the probe to 'sound out' where the signal goes. The probe is sensitive enough to let you work along bundles of wire, following the signal. The key to using it is being able to clip directly onto a conductor. For your mystery switch it'd be easy. For the breaker box you might have to get into it to gain access to a connector.

I concur the two finned boxes are some sort of transformers, likely for lighting dimmers.
-- Bill Kearney
2005 Eastbay 47 FB - Solstice
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:31 AM   #8
City: Seaford Va on Poquoson River, VA
Vessel Name: Old Glory
Vessel Model: 1970 Egg Harbor 37 extended salon model
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,217
They may do nothing at all, device they activated removed.
Many times old boats have old disconnected wiring .
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
City: Edmond
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 18
Thanks for the ideas! I may grab a Tone Pro, I hadnít heard of that tool before. Ditto on Hampton. Even though our boatís 20 years old, Iíve heard theyíre pretty good about helping owners. Iíll add this project to my ever expanding list of stuff to do. When (if) I figure it out, Iíll post back.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:46 AM   #10
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City: Southern Maine
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,120
That pull switch looks for all the world like the old-style navigation light switches. The two settings are "nav" and "anchor."
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:59 AM   #11
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City: New Orleans
Vessel Name: Stella
Vessel Model: Seaton 56
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 168
We have similar push/pull switches in the pilothouse and on the fly bridge. Used to engage a twin engine synchronizer, but no longer functional as the engines have been replaced.

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