Boat won't start - ignition switch? Relay?

texas_jarod

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My boat was stranded the other day. I was showing 11 volt on the guage. It started to turn, then just clicked like a dead battery... but the battery is new. I noticed my radio was reseting while I was driving around, so I thought it was a loose wire. I friend pulled his battery and connected it to my boat.. then I got NOTHING. No clicks, nothing on the voltage meter. Fuses looked good, battery connectors looked good... so I'm thinking cyllinoid or relay? Ignition switch? Last option would be the starter I guess. My lights and switches all light up but no feedback from the voltage guage - even with a new battery connected.

Any help is appreciated.
 

kaydano

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I'd look at the switch since the voltmeter isn't turning on.

But, it also could be the regulator in the alternator, which happened to me. It drained the battery when the motor was off, and it wouldn't let the alternator charge the battery when it was running. Sounds like your problem....

My alternator got really hot when the battery was charged, even though the boat was in the garage and not being used. I was looking for loose connectors under the engine cowl when I just happened to put my hand on alternator. It was too hot to touch more than a couple seconds. I hadn't even had the boat out that day.

Try that. Make sure the battery is charged, then install the battery, and see if the alternator heats up. I ended up buying a new alternator on Amazon and replaced it. Worked fine after that.
 

texas_jarod

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how much did the alternator run you, and it this something that can be done in the slip? It's not going to be easy to get it to the ramp.

Definitely going to try the switch first.
 

kaydano

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Doesn't sound like the solenoid to me since your stereo reset while running the boat. The solenoid is just a relay (same thing) and all it does is send high current to the starter when you turn the key. The key circuit is a low current control circuit that turns on the relay/solenoid which in turn turns on the high current starter circut when you turn the key.
 

kaydano

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how much did it run you, and it this something that can be done in the slip? It's not going to be easy to get it to the ramp.
Just take the cowl off and touch the alternator. Don't run it or try to start it. When my regulator went bad, it created a short to ground, which caused a lot of heat in the alternator. The regulator is inside the alternator. Make sure you have a fresh battery though. A dead battery won't heat up the alternator.
 

kaydano

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Your stereo resetting sounds to me like your alternator isn't working. Makes sense you'd have a dead battery since the motor will drain it while running if your alternator isn't working. Might not be the regulator, which is usually part of the alternator. Could be something else wrong with your alternator. But to me, that fits your symptoms.
 

kaydano

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Check to see if your belt broke. That would keep your alternator from working. Check the alternator wiring connections too. Your friend's battery should have started your boat though, so something isn't adding up...
 

texas_jarod

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Check to see if your belt broke. That would keep your alternator from working. Check the alternator wiring connections too. Your friend's battery should have started your boat though, so something isn't adding up...
Yeah, my real concern is that I was getting a spark before I hooked up the other battery... then I say no volts from either one. Fingers crossed it's a switch, but what would be related to the voltage meter besides a bad connection. Maybe moving the battery wires around finally severed that bad connection.
 

kaydano

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how much did the alternator run you, and it this something that can be done in the slip? It's not going to be easy to get it to the ramp.

Definitely going to try the switch first.
I think it was $250 or so. Merc outboard. Mine was Very easy to replace. You should be able to do this in the slip.
 
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