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O'Day 272 wiring issues

TPN

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May 8, 2021
3
O'Day 272 Holland
Is there an electrical circuit diagram available for the 272? I'm not getting any power to the bi-color bow light and I'm trying to clean up/make sense of the tangle of wiring behind the switch panel.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,779
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I have not seen one in my owners docs for my 322. I am trying to trace wires but it certainly takes some time. I just picked up some long lead with alligator clips for my DVM…

Greg
 
May 17, 2004
3,391
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Unfortunately as with most boats from the 272’s era, there’s little way to know how much of the original wiring has survived the last 30+ years of previous owners. Particularly if there’s a tangle in there it may have several “contributions” from the years. About all that leaves you is a multi meter to try to trace voltages at junctions along the way from circuit breaker to light.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,486
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Never seen a detailed wiring diagram on production sailboat so you will have to do a functionality test on each circuit that you are troubleshooting and document AND label what you find. To confess, I have my marine electrician do this, at least on the circuits that are not functioning as expected.
 
Last edited:
Dec 5, 2015
107
Oday 272LE Louisville, KY
I do not recall seeing a wiring diagram, but my wiring was a mess when I purchased my 272 several years ago. I replaced my DC panel with a new Blue Sea panel. In order to trace which wire goes where on your DC panel, you will need a simple continuity tester or better still a multimeter (I use a Klein model that was about $30 at a big box store and a 25 foot length of copper wire). If you have a multimeter, then first test for 12V DC voltage at your panel at each switch position (you may just have a ground problem). If the current is good there, then you will need to set the multimeter to the continuity test setting, disconnect each wire on your running lights breaker panel and run the copper wire to your running lights and test for continuity (my mutimeter beeps when I have continuity). I discovered that most of my DC wires were connected to the wrong positions in the breaker panel. I also ran a new marine grade tinned ground and positive feed wires to the new panel and have not had any problems since then.
 
Jan 18, 2016
654
Catalina 387 Dana Point
I use a "Fox and hound" wire tracker to find stuff like this. ~$30 for a cheapie. Meter works too.

You will likely discover that somewhere along the route from the panel to the light one or both of the wires have corroded away. My old 1980 C-30 had all the in-deck wiring do that and I needed to run replacements. (In 1980, Catalina used garbage wire, and too small gauge) No idea if Oday had similar build standards.

May just be easiest to run a new wire anyway - because I'd bet a nickel you're going to have to once you trace out the wire.
 
Jan 18, 2016
654
Catalina 387 Dana Point
Is this what you are referring to…?


Greg
Nope. That looks like a 12v voltage tester. (I'd use a multimeter)

A tracker puts a modulated signal on a wire (very low frequency AM radio) such that the wire acts like an antenna broadcasting a signal that can be picked up by the receiver. You don't need contact - I've traced the wiring hidden in the boat, in walls, etc.. You do get crosstalk on other wires, but once you figure out how to use one they're a pretty good tool.

Mine's a cheapie, like $30 or so.
613iJUF15nL._AC_SL1000_.jpg
613iJUF15nL._AC_SL1000_.jpg
.

Something like this:
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,779
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Nope. That looks like a 12v voltage tester. (I'd use a multimeter)

A tracker puts a modulated signal on a wire (very low frequency AM radio) such that the wire acts like an antenna broadcasting a signal that can be picked up by the receiver. You don't need contact - I've traced the wiring hidden in the boat, in walls, etc.. You do get crosstalk on other wires, but once you figure out how to use one they're a pretty good tool.

Mine's a cheapie, like $30 or so.
View attachment 195382
View attachment 195382.

Something like this:
Got it.

Thanks,

greg
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,751
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
A tracker puts a modulated signal on a wire (very low frequency AM radio) such that the wire acts like an antenna broadcasting a signal that can be picked up by the receiver.
Great tool for finding wires and continuity. If the wire is broken no signal gets through. Also known as a tone generator. Used all the time in the phone biz. When faced with a thousand groups of wires in a terminal box, put a tone on a specific wire at the house and you can find it in the box.

Way cool.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,751
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
What can possibly be so difficult on a 272 O’Day?
How many breakers are there? That is the number of circuits.
  1. Lights
  2. Power to the engine
  3. Radio
  4. Nav lights
  5. Anchor light
  6. Steaming light
  7. Maybe Auto Pilot
  8. Maybe navigational systems
Not many more options. If the stuff works than the wires are likely ok. If not you check the terminals at both ends. Only then if not working do you suspect a broken wire. That can be checked with the tone generator/tracker or the continuity option on the DVM.

if your going to “clean it up” you going to rewire anyway, do you will be creating your own diagram. What is there no longer matters.
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,533
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Nope. That looks like a 12v voltage tester. (I'd use a multimeter)

A tracker puts a modulated signal on a wire (very low frequency AM radio) such that the wire acts like an antenna broadcasting a signal that can be picked up by the receiver. You don't need contact - I've traced the wiring hidden in the boat, in walls, etc.. You do get crosstalk on other wires, but once you figure out how to use one they're a pretty good tool.

Mine's a cheapie, like $30 or so.
View attachment 195382
View attachment 195382.

Something like this:

I just used this to solve a mystery on our boat. An outlet we had been using suddenly stopped working and I had tried to follow the wires back to the panel. Not having any luck, I tried continuity testing which didn’t help either. So I bought the Klein Fox and Hound and placed the Fox leads to the wires on the outlet. From there I tried following the wire but lost the signal behind the cabinets in the galley. I then tried the main panel breakers and quickly found which breaker carried that outlet. From there I knew a GFCI outlet that was also on that breaker and it had tripped.

Less than two minutes and I had my solution. Thanks for the tip.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,751
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Yes that is a great tool.

Back in the day when phone company folk came to the house to help you with phone trouble. "The rats/dog/children ate through the phone wire again" repairs were often diagnosed by use of a tone generator and the hang on your hip phone signal receiver. Put the tone on the wire and then follow the tone to the break.

Like magic.