Owners Manuals

Why a Manual?

Have you ever questioned how to switch from one fuel tank to the other? Or from one water tank to the other? Does the battery switch go on 1, 2 or Both to start the engine? Which battery is 1, which is 2? Do you have a handy list of spare part numbers for fuel filters and water pump impellers? And where to buy them? How are the components of your navigation system linked together?
These manuals address just such questions. They are concise and comprehensive, but at the same time easy to read and use. They are meant to be handy for the boat owner/user who may have nagging questions about things he should know, but doesn't quite. They are specific to the individual boat.

What Is Offered

The manuals describe and illustrate specific systems such as electrical, fuel, water, and navigation. Sections of the manual generally include:

Drawings and sketches are provided as appropriate. These are not meant to duplicate manufacturer's equipment manuals, but will reference them when appropriate. Significant how-to information will be provided, along with spare parts information and handy tips.

Who will use?

The information provided will be useful to:

Above all, the manuals will be USER FRIENDLY, enabling the boater to enjoy being on the water with a minimum of fuss.

How They're Created

These manuals are researched and prepared by Bruce Malone. Bruce has considerable experience in writing technical manuals for industry. Additionally, with 30 years experience in the boating industry, he has intimate knowledge of the various systems used on boats. Having worked closely with customers over the years, he has a strong awareness of the needs of the boat owner.
After being contacted by a boat owner, Bruce visits the boat and diagrams the system of interest, checks pertinent equipment manuals, and notes the component parts. Then, back at the office, he and writes up a description and whatever diagrams are required. A typical system on a 40' boat takes about 10 hours.

The following two systems manuals for batteries and water system are ones that have been recently completed. Also included is a diagram of thru-hull locations.

(Note: The diagrams are much more readable in the actual manuals)

(Boat Name) Battery Circuits

This paper describes the high amperage circuits on the boat (Name). The devices associated with this are the batteries, battery switches, portions of the engine wiring, power to the electrical panel, and the Quad-Cycle monitoring system.

System Components

There are four, 12v. gel cell batteries on board. The engine starting battery is in the port cockpit locker (85 amp hour capacity). A parallel connected pair of house batteries is in the main saloon, port locker close to the mast (85 amp. hr. each). Another house battery is in the main saloon, starboard side, across from the port pair (183 amp. hr.).

Two battery switches are located at the navigation station. They have Off-1-2-Both positions. They will be referred to as either the forward or aft switch.

Although there are many engine electrical connections, the ones referenced in this paper are the ground wire, the hot wire from the alternator, and the hot wire to the starter motor.

All the ground wires from the batteries are connected together and to the engine ground and the electrical panel ground.

Description of System

The forward battery switch provides power for the engine (starter motor and alternator). If it's turned to position one, the power comes from the battery in the cockpit locker. In position two, the power comes from whatever setting the aft switch is set at. If it's in the "both" position, it also supplies power to the electrical panel, assuming the aft battery switch is off.

The aft battery switch provides power to the electrical panel and can also connect to the engine if the forward switch is set in the number 2 position. Position #1 gets power from the port saloon batteries. Position #2 gets power from the starboard saloon battery.

Starting the Engine

When starting the engine, the suggested procedure is to put the forward switch in "both" and the aft switch off. This will operate the engine and control panel off the cockpit battery

Operation of House System (Sailing)

When sailing with the engine shut off the electrical panel is run off the house batteries. To do this, the forward switch is turned to 'off', and the aft switch is turned to #1 or #2. #1 is the port pair of batteries, #2 is the single large starboard battery.

Charging House Batteries With the Engine Running

After a few minutes of charging the engine battery, the aft switch can be turned to #1 or #2, and the forward switch turned to #2. Please note that the aft switch MUST be turned to #1 or #2 or "both" before the forward switch is turned to #2, otherwise the alternator may be damaged. This allows the forward battery banks to be charged. #1 is the pair of batteries to port. #2 is the single battery to starboard. The Quad-Cycle is used to monitor the charging. A fully charged battery will read 14.4 volts.

Emergency Starting

If the cockpit battery is 'dead' and won't start the engine, the best thing to do is to put both switches in the 'both' position. This will connect all the batteries to the engine to help start it.

Written by:

Bruce Malone

Malone Boatbuilding

Rockport ME

Feb.10, 2005

wiring diagram

(Boat Name) Water System

This paper describes the fresh water system on the boat (Name). Some of the salt water piping is also described.


The principle components of the system are:

  • 2, 20 gal. plastic fresh water tanks located under the port and starboard settees.
  • a 'Reverso' manifold for selecting which tank to use (under the galley sink)
  • an electric water pump: ITT Jabsco PAR-MAX3 model 30600-0012 (under the galley sink)
  • an accumulator (under the galley sink)
  • a water heater (under the quarter berth aft of the navigation station)
  • pressurized faucets in the galley and head
  • a hand operated galley faucet
  • a foot operated salt water pump in the galley

Description of System

There are two inspection / cleanout covers in each tank accessible from under the settee cushions. The water fills are on deck. Hoses run from the aft ends of the tanks to a 'Reverso' manifold under the galley sink. There, either tank can be selected to draw from. After the manifold, the water normally goes to the pressure pump, which pressurizes the hot and cold water system. Alternatively, if the electric pump is inoperative or electricity is to be conserved, a valve can be switched and a hand operated sink pump in the galley can be used. All these valves are labeled under the galley sink. There is also a water strainer in line with the pressure pump.

Operation of System

A switch on the electrical panel turns on the water pump. The pump has a built in pressure switch so it will cycle on and off depending on water use. There is an accumulator in the system which serves to lessen the cycling of the pump. Either or both tanks can be drawn from. The tank inspection ports can be opened to check the level of the water supply. The hot water heater warms the water from residual engine heat. Alternatively the heater can be operated when the boat is connected to shore power. There is a breaker for the heater on the A-C electrical panel. A salt water tap at the galley sink is operated by a foot pump underneath the sink.


Many of the water system controls and components are under the galley sink. The water strainer may have to be cleaned occasionally. Its exterior is clear plastic so it can be visually inspected As the pump is a diaphragm pump it will not be damaged by running dry. If the pump does run dry, it may not immediately prime when it is supplied with water and turned on again. A good way to help it is to open the galley faucet. Another help is to fill up the water tank you're drawing from all the way to the top of the filler neck. This provides a 'head' to push water into the pump. A third method to help prime the pump is to disconnect the outlet hose from the pump. This has a quick disconnect fitting. Run the pump for a second until water starts flowing. A bucket is handy to avoid spillage. Shut it off and reassemble the outlet pipe. An appropriate spare part to carry on board is an extra pressure switch Jabsco part # 37121-0010.

written by:

Bruce Malone

Malone Boatbuilding

506 West St.

Rockport ME 04856

Feb. 28, 2005

water system

thru hull locations