What do I need to know when selecting a new ignition switch for my boat? Most people think that all they need to know is the make and model of their boat or engine. Unfortunately, in aftermarket parts, more details about the switch are important and required. Here are some of the terms and definitions for selecting the right ignition switch for you:
Push-to-Choke- refers to the choke at the carburetor top. It works in providing a richer fuel mixture by closing off the air supply in the carburetor, also helping to pull more fuel into the carburetor.
Magneto- refers to a magnetic process to help the spark plug create the spark. Magneto will generate its own power without a battery. Motors with distributors or electronic ignitions would use a non-magneto type switch.
Number of positions – refers to the number of options the key start has. The most common on our site are 3 and 4-position. A 3-position switch might have Off- Ignition-Start, or Off-Run-Start or Off-Start-Choke. A 4-position switch might be Accessory-Off-Ignition-Start-Choke (Push to Choke).
Screw terminal – refers to number of connections on the back of the switch that will be screwed into the dashboard system on your boat.
Wire leads –refers to the number of wires coming out of the back of the switch to connect into the dashboard system on your boat.
Panel thickness- refers to the thickness of the dashboard panel in which the switch will be installed into.
Amps or amperes – refers to the flow rating of watts in the electrical system of your boat – often listed as 15 amp, 30 amp, etc.
Volts- refers to the voltage of your battery system: 12v, 24v, or 36v.
DC or Direct Current – refers to the electrical charge’s unidirectional flow.
So you can see that checking out your current ignition switch and knowing a bit about your boat system is important in selecting the right part.
On our iboats forum this is a paragraph outlining what to check before assuming the ignition switch is the problem. You can view this thread here: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=302897.
We hope this information is helpful for you in determining the right ignition switch.