A row of rocker switches that control electrical accessories like pumps, lights, blowers, horns, and wipers is part of nearly every boat’s console or dash panel. Fortunately, replacing marine switch covers is among the easiest upgrades you can make; simply pop the old ones off with a removal tool and snap the replacements in place. » Read More
What Are Boat Switch Covers?
Rocker switch covers are decorative covers that attach to marine rocker switches. They have two main purposes: covering and protecting the switch itself and labeling what it does. Many boaters don’t realize that they can easily pop off and replace their covers in a matter of minutes without replacing the switch itself.
Why Replace Them?
Markings fade and deteriorate over time, but if you use your boat regularly, you probably don’t pay attention to them anyway. You know by feel where the livewell and the nav light switch are. But remember that other people may need to operate your boat at times, including in emergencies. Clearly and accurately labeled boat switches are a bigger safety factor than you might expect.
Additionally, faded, unreadable, or scarred switches significantly affect the appearance of your helm. By design, switch panels are typically in a highly visible and easily accessible spot on your console or dash, so ugly covers are one of the first things you and your guests see.
Not all covers are the same. OEM options come in a wide variety of shapes and textures, and replacement covers are just as different. It’s important to select replacements made of material that can stand up to the marine environment without fading or deteriorating.
“Soft touch” style covers feel great when they’re new, but they tend to deteriorate and get sticky or soft over time. Hard plastic options last longer.
Printed vs Laser Etched
There are also different techniques for marking on the cover. Many coverings have labels and markings printed onto the surface of the plastic, but this tends to fade and wear away.
For crisper, more readable lettering, and better resistance to wear and environmental conditions, choose switches with laser-engraved markings. Laser-engraved switches have the added benefit that the backlight shines through the engraving, making the markings readable in the dark.
How to Replace Them?
Replacing the switch covers on your boat is one of the easiest upgrades you can make. Simply pop the old cover off with an Actuator Removal Tool and snap the new one in place. You can replace the covers on your entire panel in a matter of a few minutes.
Choosing the Right Replacement
Beyond the quality of the cover, you’ll also need to make sure you buy one that’s compatible. Contura switches made by Carling are the most common in the industry.
There are several different Contura series, including the popular Contura II and Contura V, but the replacement coverings are interchangeable. In other words, you can directly replace a Contura II-style cover with a Contura V-style cover.
Boat Outfitters replacement coverings are compatible with all Carling rocker switches. Most Cole Hersee and Blue Sea Systems options are also compatible.
RV, UTV, ATV, & Golf Cart Covers
Contura-style switches aren’t just for boats! These versatile, tough, weatherproof options are also commonly used on all kinds of recreational vehicles, including RVs, off-road vehicles like side-by-sides, ATVs and dirt bikes, and golf carts.
Need More Help Deciding? Give us a call!
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