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Silverton 34 (1984) 12v electrical system

Discussion in 'Silverton Yacht' started by dkreines, May 8, 2022.

  1. dkreines

    dkreines New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2022
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    2
    Location:
    Beach Haven NJ
    Hello. I have a problem and I'm not sure where to look (literally). I just bought a 1984 Silverton 34 (convertable?) The boat has three batteries - all fully charged - two starting and one house. Almost nothing in my 12v system has power (one radio and one chartplotter on the bridge have power, but the other pair do not). Engines have power and start (separate batteries). I have double-checked the battery charge level, and cleaned/tightened connections at the battery. I am suspecting either a ground or a positive is bad/broken, or maybe there is a fuse out. But I have no idea where to look. It seems like there should be a power distribution panel/buss somewhere, but I have not yet found it. Following the cables from the battery was useless since they disappear into the interior. Can someone point me in the right direction? I find it hard to believe that a boat like this doesn't have a fuse/breaker panel somewhere (and maybe I'm just blind). Thanks in advance!
  2. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
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    668
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, USA
    A more typical Silverton setup is two main battery banks; each bank starts one engine and runs approx half of the house loads, House loads usually includes bridge electrics on one bank and bridge electronics on the other. My guess is that you have that, and the bank with two batteries might be for the house loads where your fridge is, or maybe your AC (aircon) side, if you have that. And if you have a genset, there'd likely be a third battery bank (single battery) just for that.

    The main battery switches (might be rotary) usually control everything except critical or other hidden loads (e.g., bilge pumps, CO detectors, stereo memory). Next in line might be a main distribution panel (might be in the engine room) which lets you individually energize main house loads, electrics, and electronics. Then likely an AC/DC distribution panel (might be in the saloon) with individual breakers for fridge, outlets, microwave, AC and AC raw water pump, etc.. And then there are sometimes hidden fuse blocks with blade fuses (might be behind your main AC/DC distribution panel) for some systems (CO detectors, etc.).

    I dunno much about the '84 34C, though, so that's just some background info.

    -Chris
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Could the previous owner shed some light?
  4. dkreines

    dkreines New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2022
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    Location:
    Beach Haven NJ
    Apparently the systems on this boat have been modified (not a surprise after that many years). There are two starting batteries (one for each engine), each with it's own battery switch. There are a few cables directly connected to each of these, which I assume are for bilge pumps, etc. Then there is a large house battery, each side (pos and neg) has just a single large cable (like that for a starter) connected and going to ???, and I suspect that is where the problem is - where ever those cables go. I hadn't thought to take down the AC panel and look behind, so I'll try that. Unfortunately, I have no way to contact the previous owner.
  5. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
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    Location:
    San Diego, CA.
    I worked on one Silverton that was larger, but the battery switches were built into the step area leading down to the galley. They should be "easily" accessible for emergencies and also within something like 4' of cable length from origin. There could be a hatch built into the risers of stairs, for example.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Who knows has the boat has been modified over the years, not that these old Silvertons where well engineered back then anyway.

    there should be a 12 VDC panel somewhere with breakers and volt meter. Open every cabinet or access panel especially behind or under the helm. Maybe they didn’t bother using a decent panel and instead hid some fuse blocks somewhere.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    11,023
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    "I just bought a 1984 Silverton 34"
    What did your surveyor report. Any notes on where he found the DCv panel?