Where Is The Fuse Box On A Pontoon Boat?

Where Is The Fuse Box On A Pontoon Boat? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

October 30, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Fuses overload due to electrical surges
  • Fuses protect vital components of a boat
  • Removing a fuse is a straightforward procedure
  • Always replace a malfunctioning fuse.

Since most pontoon boats have standard electrical outlets, the light possibilities are endless. Where is the fuse box on a pontoon boat?

The fuse box is generally located under or behind the seat or the center console. Older pontoons will appear as a standard fuse box (like in a home), or in others, it will appear as a control box similar to the fuse box in a car. Refer to the owner’s manual for the location.

As a person who lives on a reservoir, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a plethora of pontoon boats everywhere I look. I understand the popularity. Many families love these boats because they provide so much versatility. Even though the pontoon boat has been the subject of sneers and ridicule over the year, recent improvements have changed the look and the performance. No longer a cumbersome, slow craft that is hard to maneuver, the pontoon boat of today offers a lot of space, carries more passengers than deck boats, and in many ways, is easier to operate in many ways.


Table of contents

What is the Difference Between a Pontoon Boat and Others?

There are differences between a pontoon boat and a deck boat, not just in the design or appearance.

Size and Shape

A pontoon is a flat-styled boat that uses two or more air-filled long tubes (pontoons) to stay afloat. These tubes (pontoons) provide the needed buoyancy to keep the watercraft's deck above the water's surface. A deck boat is built with a single frame, which displaces water by resting on a hollow shell, either rounded or flat. Based loosely on a catamaran style, a pontoon boat allows for a larger deck area to accommodate lounge seating, bars, or more passengers than a typical deck boat. Both boats are usually powered by a large outboard motor attached to the stern.

Seating Configurations

Most Pontoon boats allow for seating in any direction, while on deck boats, seating faces forward. A pontoon boat provides luxury for families who like to take their gatherings onto the water. A pontoon boat allows more passengers to assemble than a deck boat’s limited seating capacity.


Depending on the size and type of boat, a pontoon boat is generally cheaper.


Depending on the engine used, a deck boat slices through the water better than its pontoon counterpoint. Due to the larger surface area of the pontoon, most drivers keep the speed of the boat down to keep the boat’s steering as practical as possible.

Safety of Occupants

Due to the limited space of a deck boat, it is easier to fall overboard. (Although plenty of people have fallen off pontoon boats, mainly when alcohol was involved).

Where is the Fuse Box Located on a Pontoon Boat?

Depending on the manufacturer, the fuse box is located under the center seat or below the boat's control panel. It should look like a fuse box in your car, or older pontoons will look like a fuse box. Since a pontoon boat has electrical outlets like would be found in a home, the fuse box should be easy to find. The best way to find out information concerning the fuse box is to refer to the owner’s manual.

Why Does a Boat Need a Fuse Box?

The primary purpose of a fuse box is to regulate the electrical current from the battery (power source) to the outlets, ignition, and various motor functions of the boat. When the boat runs, electrical current is drawn from the battery to the many functions a boat uses to provide power for all kinds of things, like a speedometer, gas gauge, or even the ignition. Fuses help ensure the regular flow of current. Because the pontoon boat is close to water, and the danger of water shorting out the system is much higher, a fuse helps prevent damage from being done to electrical components. A surge in current will short out the fuse and act as a barrier to keep that surge of electricity from ruining vital systems on the boat. This operation is a safety barrier against your engine catching on fire, so it is a good thing.

What Does a Blown Fuse Look Like?

If an electrical component stops working, it can be the first sign of a blown fuse. Locate the fuse box and the corresponding fuse using a diagram in the owner’s manual. A blown fuse looks like a plastic tab with two metal prongs and a single wire inside the plastic running from one side to the other. Once pulled, there are two ways to determine if a fuse has blown. Look at the metal tips and see if they appear brown or black from singe. Second, look at the thin wire connecting the two metal tabs inside the plastic housing. If the wire is broken, the fuse has overloaded and blown. If either of these conditions exists, replace the fuse with a corresponding number and test the equipment that has stopped working.

How To Replace A Burnt Fuse

There are some specific steps to replacing a fuse on a pontoon boat.

Ensure that the Boat is Off and Not Running

It is never safe to replace a fuse while the boat is running. Because electrical current is involved and electricity can jump from wire to wire, replacing fuses with wire connections close by can create other issues.

Note: changing a fuse with the power running is possible, but it is not advisable. Care should be taken because reinserting a new fuse can trip a circuit breaker or worse.

Locate the Appropriate Fuse

Refer to the owner's manual to determine which fuse controls applications on the pontoon boat. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, firmly grip the fuse and pull it out. Inspect the fuse to see if there are signs of singe or burn marks on the metal tips.

ReInsert the New Fuse

Reinsert the new fuse in the same manner as before. I use the pliers to guide the fuse into place, and once the connectors are situated, I press down gently on the top of the fuse with my finger until it snaps into place.

Start the Boat, and Check to See if the Application is Working.

With any luck, the component that was not working before is working now. If it is still malfunctioning, there may be a more serious electrical issue plaguing the boat, and it is best to have a certified technician inspect and repair the issue.

What Are Some Causes of a Faulty Fuse?

There are a variety of causes of a blown fuse, but primarily a fuse overloads because excess current is being forced through the system. The fuse overloads or blows to stop the current surge from damaging vital components.

If the component continues to act up and overload fuses, this signifies a more serious electrical issue. A crimped wire or an overtightened connection can cause surges, throw circuit breakers, or blow fuses. Wiring that is exposed and heating up can also be a culprit.

Many older pontoon boats have wiring that does not meet maritime specifications. If, upon inspection, there are wires that look haphazard or put together like a five-year-old did the work, it might be best to have a certified marine technician have a look.

Where Is The Fuse Box On A Pontoon Boat?
Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

Read more articles

by this author

Home /

Where Is The Fuse Box On A Pontoon Boat?

Where Is The Fuse Box On A Pontoon Boat?
7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat >>Can You Live On A Sailboat Year Round? >>

Most Recent

Important Legal Info

Similar Posts

Popular Posts

Get The Best Sailing Content

Welcome aboard! Check your email...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Lifeofsailing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

(866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing
Email: contact@lifeofsailing.com
Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244
DisclaimerPrivacy Policy