Replacing GW Switches

SkunkBoat

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#3
Hey Greyduk,

The openings are too small for a "Contura" style switch. You might be able to file them open enough to get it in but it will be a pain and I'm not sure of the finished look and whether you'll be able to read all the labels.
It would certainly seem to be easier to buy a new Blue Seas panel...however, then you have the existing circuit breakers and the short jumpers and its a pain.... after thinking it thru I went with trying to find McGills that suited my purpose.

I had a post about those mcgill switches...look up "oval "euro" nav/anchor DPDT switch?"
The oval McGills are strange, they light differently than the Contura style. Had a hard time finding what I wanted on eBay. found some at GreatLakesSkipper. I still have extras that didn't pan out.....
I put in a livewell timer and changed the switch to a lighted On/off/on so I could have livewell always on/off/timer. The only oval switch I could find has 2 red lights and they light opposite of what you would expect.(telling you which one is off instead of which is on). They don't have LED lights they are incandescent.


Someday, If I ever get the nerve to commit and plop down $36K for 2 motors, I'll redo the entire dash the way I like and those switches will be the first to go.
 

blindmullet

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#4
I would just replace the entire panel. I have slowly changed the terrible original wiring out. The price to reproduce the panel isn't that bad. It's really just the switches that add up. Make sure you get a good quality switch. There is some low cost stuff on eBay that appears to be a knock off.
 
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#5
I just did this. I had to grind down each hole with a Dremel tool about 1/16 for each switch. Also the tabs aren't set up the same to reconnect the wires..had to switch them all around as a ground tab isn't separated. Had to use volt meter to figure them out.
 

DennisG01

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#6
There's a very small margin for error when enlarging the holes, so if you go that direction, just be careful. Take off a little at a time - it's like a haircut... you can always take more off, but you can't put it back.

Here's another idea - these guys will build you a brand new panel, to your specs, with the layout and number of switches you want. New Wire Marine.
 
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Greyduk

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#8
There's a very small margin for error when enlarging the holes, so if you go that direction, just be careful. Take off a little at a time - it's like a haircut... you can always take more off, but you can't put it back.

Here's another idea - these guys will build you a brand new panel, to your specs, with the layout and number of switches you want. New Wire Marine.
Thanks for all the thoughts. My main goal is to refurbish the panel because the labels are weather worn and just look a bit haggard. I thought about the Carling switches since they have the switch function made into the rocker itself. The boat is a 1999 248 so I'm sure there is no possibility of finding an OEM panel. I will probably end up having new panels made when I can get to it. As always the input here is really an asset. Thanks.
 

Greyduk

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#9
I had a wired panel that New Wire Marine did for a 1994 Wellcraft V-21 and it turned out great. They are very helpful and easy to work with. Wellcraft 8.jpg
 

Ky Grady

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#10
Luckily I have the Carling switches, guess Grady changed suppliers in later years. Liking the blue switch covers that New Wire Marine has, might pick some up next time I'm in Charleston and change mine out.
 

Jambo

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#11
Why not just change the rockers and keep the switches? Just pop off the old and put in new. New rockers are available. It significantly dresses up the dash.
 

Greyduk

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#12
Why not just change the rockers and keep the switches? Just pop off the old and put in new. New rockers are available. It significantly dresses up the dash.
I have the older style McGill switches and want to go to the Carling switches. The mounting holes are not the same.
 

Legend

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#13
Why not just change the rockers and keep the switches? Just pop off the old and put in new. New rockers are available. It significantly dresses up the dash.
I did this recently and the dash looks great. about 100 buck on Ebay for the full original GW set of covers
 

Ky Grady

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#14
I did this recently and the dash looks great. about 100 buck on Ebay for the full original GW set of covers
I probably bought the same set a few months back, think Taylor Marine was the vendor on eBay, was going to install in the spring. They are the red lenses though and I'm liking the blue ones New Wire has, little bit of custom look.
 

SkunkBoat

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#15
Why not just change the rockers and keep the switches? Just pop off the old and put in new. New rockers are available. It significantly dresses up the dash.
he doesn't have the newer rockers like you. They are black oval switches and the rockers are not removable, the labels are on the dash panel.

Also, imo, the blue lights are too bright at night.
 
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#17
I have to say consider new wire marine. They are currently making a new fuse panel for my Islander and also making a new dash for gauges and lowrance hds live 7. The fuse panel with jumpers and the dash will cost about $550. I sent in my old dash and fuse panel for a reference.

New wire marine is very responsive.

I second SkunkBoat about the blue lights at night.
 
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Ky Grady

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#18
Thanks for the input on the blue lights. I'll proceed with the install of the new red ones I purchased to freshen my panel up this spring.
 
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#19
New wire is building me a panel right now with blue back lit switches. At New Wire's suggestion, I opted for the optional dimmer switch in the lamp feed to lower the intensity. Guess I'll know how it's going to work in a week or so.
 
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DennisG01

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#20
I agree about how the blue lights can possibly be too bright at night. Plus, red is the best color for viewing at night as it is softer and doesn't mess with your night vision like other colors. Something about the wavelength...

Dr. Vet - that's a good idea you're getting a dimmer.