Marine Switch Panel

Your boat is only as good as your marine switch panel

Need a boat switch panel upgrade? Here are some quick facts, tips, and tricks to make shopping for a new marine switch panel a breeze.

  • Look closely at your dash’s built-in features and keep them in mind when browsing for new switch panels.
  • Check out the current wiring components and note that whichever option you choose should fit conveniently into the current layout. 
  • Reread your boat’s manual, or study all the features available, to pick the best panel.

The pros and cons of popular boat switch panel types

Rocker switches – With a wide selection of flexible style and position options, rocker switch panels are rather popular. You can easily change the etched labels on them and fit them into most systems without any trouble. They do happen to be a bit on the pricey side.  

Toggle switches – These switches can support any voltage (from 12Vdc to 48Vdc). With flexible positioning and some ability to customize them, they’re a great, cost-minded choice. A downside is that they offer no indicator lights and don’t have label customization ability when etched panels are used. You could purchase lighting separately and come up with your own label system as well. 

Pushbutton Switches  – It’s all at your fingertips with these pushbuttons. This boat switch panel has circuit protection built-in, and you’re able to customize the hardware with ease. This is the priciest option on the list and has limited installation positions. Similar to toggle switches, you’d have to come up with your labelling system for this option as well. 

Other tips and tricks for boat owners

Keep yourself out of trouble with backlighting—typically, backlighting is built into the etching on modern pushbutton and rocker switches. Still, you can easily install a version of your own for extra protection when or if need be.