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stanirish
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Initially Posted - 01/10/2022 :  14:07:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 1980 Cat 25 and I want to replace the switch toggles on the panel since some of the wires have broken off from the back of the panel.
Catalina direct sells them as well as other companies like LED Supply; the are 10a 12v. The switches come with 2 black six inch leads. I understand that the 2 black wires are not + and - but get put in
the + or - line and the toggle just turns on or off the current.

Question: 1) is it a must you use the catalina direct switch for replacement which is also a simple 10a 12v and 2) how is the new switch put or cut in

keats
Navigator

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USA
196 Posts

Response Posted - 01/11/2022 :  07:09:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most people just replace the old switch panel with a new one:

https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-by-boat/capri-25/electrical/switch-panel-kit-7quot-high-new-style/

Tim Keating
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940
Midsummer
Lake Don Pedro, CA
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1851 Posts

Response Posted - 01/12/2022 :  13:39:36  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
stanirish,

Re:  "is it a must you use the catalina direct switch for replacement"

I doubt there's anything special about the Catalina switches, other than the price associated with being sold by a company with "Yachts" in the name.  I would expect just about any reasonably good quality switch which fits where the old ones are, and meets the electrical current requirements, will work just fine.  (For that matter, converting to LED lights will greatly reduce the current load the switch has to handle.)
 
Re:  "how is the new switch put or cut in"
 
The new switches get wired in the same place the old ones were.  It's been quite a while since I replaced the entire electrical system of my Catalina 25.  However, as I recall the power source side of the branch circuit switches may have all been bridged together with a copper bar soldered to them.  If so, that could make it a bit less obvious how to install the new switches.  Just keep in mind, the electrons don't care about a conductor's shape or appearance, so long as it leads them where you want them to go.

As a general broad statement about boat factory electrical systems of similar vintage and boat size to ours boat wiring has come a long way since then.
 
I recommend studying at least one or two books on boat electrical systems, such as "Sailboat Electrics Simplified" by Don Casey, and "Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook " by Charlie Wing.  "Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" by Nigel Calder and "The 12 Volt Bible for Boats" by Miner Brotherton are also good.
 
If you have additional questions, there is a lot of info and knowledge to be found by searching previous posts on this forum.
 

Leon Sisson
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OLarryR
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3292 Posts

Response Posted - 01/12/2022 :  22:25:17  Show Profile  Visit OLarryR's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My advice is to add a switch panel and migrate some or all your electrical loads to the new panel. For now, I still utilize my old switch panel for 3 loads: VHF radio, fish finder and a switch controlling 12 volt accessory plugs (which I rarely use). The new switch panel, I located in front of the galley, adjacent to the companionway primarily to gain access to my nav lights while I am still in the cockpit. The link below has photos of the positive and negative bus bars and the master circuit breaker of the old switch panel. Also, some details of the new panel with circuit breaker switches and the electrical loads that the new panel controls.

http://catalina25.homestead.com/Panel-Wiring.html

For more details of the new panel install, there is a link on the opening page of my website.



Larry
'89 Robin's Nest#5820, Potomac River/Quantico, Va
http://catalina25.homestead.com/olarryr.html

Edited by - OLarryR on 01/13/2022 06:20:17
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stanirish
Deckhand

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USA
8 Posts

Response Posted - 01/14/2022 :  12:32:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Leon for the info, the LED Supply switches ($2.50 each) work just fine and were easy to install once I realized I need to follow the color codes; red for running, blue for anchor etc. For my minimal electrical needs for my boat the newer switches are solid and I really didn't want to replace the whole board.
quote:
Originally posted by Leon Sisson

stanirish,

Re: "is it a must you use the catalina direct switch for replacement"

I doubt there's anything special about the Catalina switches, other than the price associated with being sold by a company with "Yachts" in the name. I would expect just about any reasonably good quality switch which fits where the old ones are, and meets the electrical current requirements, will work just fine. (For that matter, converting to LED lights will greatly reduce the current load the switch has to handle.)

Re: "how is the new switch put or cut in"

The new switches get wired in the same place the old ones were. It's been quite a while since I replaced the entire electrical system of my Catalina 25. However, as I recall the power source side of the branch circuit switches may have all been bridged together with a copper bar soldered to them. If so, that could make it a bit less obvious how to install the new switches. Just keep in mind, the electrons don't care about a conductor's shape or appearance, so long as it leads them where you want them to go.

As a general broad statement about boat factory electrical systems of similar vintage and boat size to ours boat wiring has come a long way since then.

I recommend studying at least one or two books on boat electrical systems, such as "Sailboat Electrics Simplified" by Don Casey, and "Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook " by Charlie Wing. "Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" by Nigel Calder and "The 12 Volt Bible for Boats" by Miner Brotherton are also good.

If you have additional questions, there is a lot of info and knowledge to be found by searching previous posts on this forum.


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