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Old 08-01-2015, 04:53   #1
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Guest battery switch a problem ?

I had my boat on the hard all summer. In July when the yard did the monthly inspection they called to say the battery switch had fallen apart.

I had a look at the situation when I got to Florida to relaunch the boat. The plastic plate that retains the knob and copper contactor had fractured from the pressure of the detent springs. All the internal parts had fallen out. With no contactor all 3 terminals in the switch were open. It effectively shut down all power in the boat and would not have been easy to deal with in a safe way off shore. Had we been doing a night crossing to the Bahamas we would have had no instruments or lights, only a handheld vhf, handheld GPS, and some battery powered hand lights.

In the past week every one I've talked to in the marine repair business around here knows these switches are a problem. Even the clerk at Westmarine. Apparently so does Guest as they changed the design I was told.

All this to say if you have one on your boat maybe think about changing it out before you get caught in a dangerous situation. Our switch was 10 years old.

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Old 08-01-2015, 20:42   #2
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Re: Guest battery switch a problem ?

for temp fix. all you need to do is remove both nuts, put wires on same post. switch bypassed.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:20   #3
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Re: Guest battery switch a problem ?

That would work for sure. Just not something I would choose to do at 4 am in the Gulf Stream with no nav lights and trying to keep my distance from cruise ships if I could avoid it for $35.

It took me an hour to get at the back of my switch, I was on dry land, the boat was not pitching, and I had lots of light. Some boats it may be easy to access these terminals.

To jumper the switch terminals the battery banks wires would also need to be disconnected. If your alternator goes through this switch it is now toast.

The point of the post was if you have a switch like this be aware it may fail at a bad time. A sailor may want to replace it now to avoid this problem, or keep sailing and wait for it to fall apart.

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