New Boat Builders Home Page Logo
Disclaimer:   I am not a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard or ABYC. For an official interpretation of regulations or standards you must contact the US Coast Guard or other organization referenced..   More.....
The entire electrical section of this website may be purchased and downloaded. It is in PDF format and payment is through PAYPAL Go to the store here $12.50 USD
If you know little or nothing about electrical circuits go to,
Basic Electricity 1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
US Navy Basic Electricity Course  or  ABYC Basic Electrical Course
Contact ABYC and the Coast Guard to get the latest standards for Electrical systems.
 Info aboutABYC Standards


Electrical regulations and standards that apply to boat builders and recreational boats.  Calculating Voltage Drop .

Wiring Color Codes: If you look at any wiring you will see that the wires are all different colors. This is so an electrician knows what they are looking at.   Each color has a specific function.

Direct Current Color Codes: From ABYC standard E-11 Table XIV and Table XV.

Green DC Grounding Conductor Bonding Wires (insulated)
Yellow or Black DC Negative Conductor Negative Mains
Red DC Positive Positive Mains
Yellow/Red Starting Circuit Starting Switch to Solenoid
Brown/Yellow Bilge Blowers Fuse or Switch to Blower
Dark Gray Navigation Lights Circuit Breakers or Switch To Lights
Dark Gray Tachometer Tachometer Gauges and Senders
Brown Generator Armature Generator Armature to Regulator
Brown Alternator Charge Light Generator Terminal or Alternator Aux Terminal to Regulator
Brown Pumps Circuit Breakers or Switch to Pumps
Orange Accessory Feed Amp Mtr to Alt or Gen Output & Acc Circuit Breaker & Switches
Orange Common Feed Distribution Panels To Accessory Switches
Purple Ignition Ignition Switch to Coil & Electrical Instrument
Purple Instrument Feed Distribution Panel To Electrical Instruments
Purple Main Power Feed Positive Mains (particularly un-fused)
Dark Blue Cabin and Instruments Circuit Breakers or Switch to Lights
Light Blue Oil Pressure Oil Pressure Gauges & Senders
Tan Water Temp Water Temp To Sender To Gauge
Pink Fuel Gauge Fuel Gauge Sender to Gauge
Green/stripe Tilt Down/Trim in Tilt and Trim Circuits
Blue/Stripe Tilt Up/Trim Out Tilt and Trim Circuits

Alternating Current: Wiring Color Codes

I strongly recommend that unless you have experience or training working with AC electrical systems, that you hire an electrician. AC is deadly!

Black: Hot: An ungrounded current carrying conductor. This is the hot side of the system. Do not touch! You will get zapped!

White:  Shore Grounded Neutral  A current carrying conductor maintained at ground (Earth) potential. Do not touch! You will get zapped!

Green or Green with Yellow Stripe: Grounding Conductor. Used as a path to ground if there is a ground fault in the system Do not cut or disconnect!

Red:  Hot: An ungrounded current carrying conductor in 120/240 volt systems. Do not touch! You will get zapped!

<<Back to Electrical Wire Size by Length Next to Electrical Diagram>>>
American Boat And Yacht Council Westlawn Institute Of Yacht Design Boat Design Net  Woodenboat Forum Wooden Boat Foundation
This Web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of educational, economic, and scientific issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this Web site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit educational purposes. For more information see: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this Web site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.