Have Boat Questions? Ask a Boat Repair Expert.
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Which engine do you have in the boat?
Do you have a volt meter, and do you know how to take voltage measurements?
A standanding fully charged battery is 12.6 tops, so you can't have any higher than that. Did you have a battery charger hooked up by chance?
Next, if you turn the key to run, do the gauges come alive?
Lets start by checking the battery again, but this time with the charger off. Hold the key to start in order to energize everything, what does the battery voltage read?
Is that with the key held to start? If yes, does voltage rise when you let go of the key?
Okay, next pull the keyswitch out and check for power on the red wire at the key switch. Make 2 measurements, key off, and then key held to start. What do you get for both measurments?
Are you near the boat now to check this, if you are I will wait.
What i'm curious to see is if the bilge pump and blower are getting their power from the keyswitch, when really they should not be. They should be on their own dedicated circuit. When you get back to it you will also want to see if the keyswitch is getting it's power from the main harness that runs up from the engine (as it should) or if the keyswitch gets it's power from something else, like a fuse block. Does that make sense?
Starter shouldn't have anything to do with it. Did it work correctly before you changed the starter?
How are the battery cables attached at the battery, are the main cables on top of any other cables?
Did you remember to hook up the main ground cable from the engine to the battery?
Then it might just be a coincedense. Check the power at the red wire at the keyswitch and let me know what you find.
Let me ask you 1 more thing, you should have 2 or 3 more red wires, along with an orange one all connected to the same stud that the main battery cable connects to at the starter. Did you make sure all of the red wires (and orange) went on that same stud?