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Thread: [E32-3] Sealed Ignition Switch for Engine Panel

  1. #1
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Sati's Avatar
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    [E32-3] Sealed Ignition Switch for Engine Panel

    Hi folks, my ignition switch is getting mushy and loose in the engine panel, and it's starting to become a concern. Who knows when it'll just fail completely.

    Anyone know what size/model of sealed ignition switch would be a relatively easy drop-in replacement for the stock one on the Universal M25 engine panel? I have the same kind as in Christian's blog below:

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...Cockpit-Gauges

    Looking at his setup, he doesn't even have the key switch. I know lots of people who are pretty easygoing about leaving their key in the switch, or otherwise not securing the ignition, but I'm a little paranoid for that
    Geoff W.
    s/v "Delightful"
    1987 E32-3
    Hull #712

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Our '88 boat came with a push-pull Cole-Hersey (sp) on/off switch where the former Universal panel switch once lived. I assumed that the salt air/spray (SF Bay) and some neglect by the prior owner led to the early demise of that switch.
    Given that most boats are extremely easy to break into or steal or whatever, I decided to just live with that set up from 1994 to 2018, when we changed out the whole panel as part of the upgrade to a new Betamarine diesel.
    Now i have been re-training myself to get the engine panel key out and use it to start the boat!

    This might kind of depend on the general "security" of your marina, also.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    This is what I used -(checked my Defender Order history). I reused the existing rubber cover.
    https://www.defender.com/product3.js...0053&id=917224
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
    Hull #711
    Slip in Rock Hall MD.
    Home in Downingtown PA.

  4. #4
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Sati's Avatar
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    Looks like exactly the thing, GrandpaSteve. I see there's a new rubber boot nut there in related products as well so I can replace that as well. Thanks for sharing!
    Geoff W.
    s/v "Delightful"
    1987 E32-3
    Hull #712

  5. #5
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    I got tired of replacing keyed switches, so went with the toggle & push-button arrangement. It's located inside the companionway, so one can secure it by locking the hatch. Even if you have the switch in the cockpit, you can just turn off the battery switch down below before leaving the boat. And/or the fuel valve.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

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    Principal Partner Bolo's Avatar
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    Push/Pull

    Awhile back after experience constant starting problems on our 32-3 I narrowed the problem down to the key switch so it had to be replaced. After seeing the Christian Williams posting about replacing the key switch to a push/pull (on/off) starter switch I did the same for a couple of reasons. First, because the key switch was located close to the deck and in an area where there is lots of foot traffic I was afraid the the key could get broken off or bent (And I did bend it once). Second, it's a relatively unprotected area from rain and any large amount of water (snow) coming into the cockpit which I'm sure isn't good for an open key hole. Third, I'd never have to look for or loose the key again.

    As for security, even a key switch won't stop someone from "hot wiring" the switch to start the engine and they still need to get into the boat to open the sea cock. The pervious owner (PO) of my boat has a second battery Switch to start the engine with just the starter battery, or just hose battery 1, house battery 2 or all three. Then there is a selection for no battery (no power). When I leave the boat I turn the battery selector to "no battery" and I also, by the way, turn the selector to isolate the starter battery while at anchor so I'll have a good battery when it's time to pull up the anchor. So far the arrangement, using the push/pull switch has worked out great.
    Bob Skalkowski
    1987 E32 III (#722) - "Vesper"

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    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    High Security

    One more security "feature:" The choke cable (A4) wasn't quite long enough to route to the new panel location, so it's mounted on the bulkhead below, hidden in a crevice of the galley. Nobody will ever find it but me
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

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    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    My previous owner had a hidden "kill switch" at the nav station to outwit anybody trying to steal his 16,000-pound 6-knot sailboat and then hide it under a haystack.

    Mostly what he did was to make the current owner, me, and the broker, spend an hour trying to figure out why the devil the engine wouldn't start.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddster View Post
    One more security "feature:" The choke cable (A4) wasn't quite long enough to route to the new panel location, so it's mounted on the bulkhead below, hidden in a crevice of the galley. Nobody will ever find it but me
    Sounds like my van... I installed a diesel engine, but the cold start cable wouldn't reach the dash, so it's hidden beside the seat. I also changed to a 5 speed transmission, but left the 4 speed shift knob. The shift pattern is very different, so even if you get the engine started, shifting will be a challenge...

    One thing I am surprised more boats don't have it a remote start in the engine compartment - handy for maintenance, etc. Or perhaps they're just well hidden...

  10. #10
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Reminds me of a day back in the 90’s... sort of a guerilla Discovery Channel production that roamed all over Washington State for a couple of days. We spent a day filming, then I was bundled into a van to do voice-overs on the drive between locations, while a production assistant was supposed to wash my truck and drive it back to town. Only... he never showed up. Hours went by. I actually had a cell phone at the time - installed in the truck.(Remember those?)But there weren’t very many cell towers around yet. We kept calling it, and FINALLY he picked up. Still sitting up a dirt track ‘way up in the Grand Coulee. He couldn’t figure out that he had to push the clutch pedal in to start it.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

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    Contributing Member III
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sati View Post
    ......Anyone know what size/model of sealed ignition switch would be a relatively easy drop-in replacement for the stock one on the Universal M25 engine panel? I have the same kind as in Christian's blog....
    In the last three years I went through two Cole Hersee push-pull switches. Did a postmortem on the first one - it was full of crud and corrosion and did not seem exactly waterproof. In my opinion its current rating (10A) is too low for this application and waterprofing is not good enough. The fact that it is hot/wet Houston and there is no additional clear shield to protect the panel as you may see on some boats may have contributed to the problem. A couple months ago I replaced second Cole Hersee with toggle switch from West Marine. As far as I recall it was rated for 25A and claimed to be sealed. So far so good.
    Still Crazy, E32-3, 1987

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    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    My previous owner had a hidden "kill switch" at the nav station to outwit anybody trying to steal his 16,000-pound 6-knot sailboat and then hide it under a haystack.

    Mostly what he did was to make the current owner, me, and the broker, spend an hour trying to figure out why the devil the engine wouldn't start.
    (laughing)

    I put a toggle switch in the engine compartment so that I could cycle the electric fuel pump for bleeding without bizarre contortions involving toes on the battery selector.

    It (theoretically) also serves as a security measure, as it would allow me to make the fuel pump inoperable when I leave the boat, if I want.

    I'll have to leave a note for whoever the next owner is... someday... in the very distant future.

    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharonov View Post
    In the last three years I went through two Cole Hersee push-pull switches. Did a postmortem on the first one - it was full of crud and corrosion and did not seem exactly waterproof.
    Here is a pic:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	failed_switch_20181209_135202_compressed.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	60.2 KB 
ID:	26362

    Quote Originally Posted by sharonov View Post
    ...A couple months ago I replaced second Cole Hersee with toggle switch from West Marine. As far as I recall it was rated for 25A and claimed to be sealed...
    I think it is easy to guess which one is sealed:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WM_switch20181013_153850_compressed.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	90.8 KB 
ID:	26363
    Still Crazy, E32-3, 1987

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    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Another thing with those Cole-Hersee switches is that you have to order waterproof boots separately. There is more than one size, and it's not always clear from on-line listings which boot fits which switch.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

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    That area in my boat gets buried in snow and the panel is begging to be rebuilt, even though things do still work. I agree that you can just turn off the battery switch in the cabin and lock the companionway for security, so don't need a fragile ignition key, especially where bare toes could kick it. Tractors and construction equipment use IP67 waterproof switches, so I'll probably source something intended for one of those. You can find all sorts of sealed rotary and rocker switches by Googling
    IP67 rotary onoff switch


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