Boat Wiring Color Standards

Boat wiring best practices include the use of a common wire color code for several reasons.

boat wiring image

At installation, it greatly reduces the confusion. Often you are running several wires at the same time. If all wires were the same or random colors, you would be constantly trying to decipher which went to which device. The installation time will easily be doubled.

Wiring problems are inevitable, but they are easier to track down when a color code is used. When a common color wire is used through out a particular circuit, an issue can be quickly located and corrected. Reduced tech time means reduced labor bills.

Thirty years ago a common marine color code was compiled and adopted by most major boat manufacturers. Some builders deviate slightly, but the core wire colors usually remain the same.

Low Voltage Boat Wiring Colors

Primary
Secondary
Boat Wiring Function
Black
Black
Low Voltage Return
Black
Red
Windlass Down
Black
Tan
Port Tab Down(Razorblade)
Black
White
Generator Shutdown
Black
Yellow
Blower Lt Ground
Blue
Blue
Instrument Lights
Blue
Black
Indirect Lights
Blue
Gray
Head Lights
Blue
Green
Overhead Lights #1
Blue
Lt Blue
Galley Lights
Blue
Lt Green
Reading Lights
Blue
Orange
Fwd Cabin Lights
Blue
Pink
Night Lights In
Blue
Red
Mid Cabin Lights
Blue
Tan
Closet Lights
Blue
White
Step/Night Lights
Blue
Yellow
Overhead Lights #2
Brown
Brown
Tank Monitor Power
Brown
Black
Fwd Bilge Pump Manual
Brown
Gray
Fwd Bilge Pump Auto
Brown
Green
Potable Water
Brown
Lt Blue
Vac-U-Flush
Brown
Lt Green
Vac-U-Flush In
Brown
Orange
Aft Bilge Pump Manual
Brown
Pink
Livewell Pump
Brown
Red
Aft Bilge Pump Auto
Brown
Tan
Overboard Discharge
Brown
White
Hi Level Alarm
Brown
Yellow
Blower Motor
Gray
Gray
Single/Stbd Tachometer
Gray
Black
Aft Masthead Navigation Light
Gray
Blue
Stern Navigation Light
Gray
Brown
Cockpit Courtesy Light
Gray
Green
Fwd Navigation Light
Gray
Lt Blue
Docking Light
Gray
Lt Green
Underwater Light
Gray
Orange
Arch Courtesy Light
Gray
Pink
Transom (Swim) Light
Gray
Red
Port Tachometer
Gray
Tan
Cockpit Courtesy Light (3 Way)
Gray
White
Fwd Masthead Navigation Light
Gray
Yellow
Engine Room Light
Green
Green
Bonding/Static Ground
Lt Blue
Lt Blue
Single/Stbd Oil Pressure Sender
Lt Blue
Red
Port Oil Pressure Sender
Lt Blue
Blue
Hatch Up
Lt Blue
Green
Hatch Down
Orange
Orange
Accessory Protected Power/Heater
Orange
Black
Windlass Protected Power
Orange
Blue
Electronics Protected Power/Gps
Orange
Brown
Pump Protected Power/Razorblades
Orange
Gray
Navigation Light Protected Power
Orange
Green
Radio Equipment Protected Power
Orange
Lt Blue
Docking Light Protected Power
Orange
Lt Green
Head Light Protected Power
Orange
Purple
Courtesy Light Protected Power
Orange
Red
12V Plug Protected Power/Inflator Deflator
Orange
Tan
Wiper Protected Power
Orange
White
Horn Protected Power
Orange
Yellow
Blower/Fan Protected Power
Pink
Pink
Single/Stbd Fuel Sender
Pink
Black
Port Fuel Sender
Purple
Purple
Single/Stbd Ignition Power
Purple
Lt Blue
Neutra-Salt Power
Purple
Lt Green
Exhaust Power(Thru-Hull)
Purple
Orange
Dioded Ignition Power
Purple
Red
Port Ignition Power
Purple
White
Single/Stbd Trim Sender
Purple
Yellow
Port Trim Sender
Red
Red
Unprotected Power
Red
Black
Windlass Up
Red
Blue
Stbd Wiper Power
Red
Brown
Stereo Switched Power
Red
Gray
Entertainment #2
Red
Green
Refrigeration
Red
Lt Blue
Stbd Wiper Park
Red
Lt Green
Autopilot Positive
Red
Orange
Port Wiper Power
Red
Pink
Port Wiper Park
Red
Purple
Protected Power
Red
Tan
Cockpit TV Power
Red
White
Cabin Panel Power
Red
Yellow
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Tan
Tan
Single/Stbd Water Temprature Sender
Tan
Black
Port Alarm
Tan
Blue
Single/Stbd Alarm
Tan
Brown
Shower Sump Power
Tan
Gray
Shower Sump Auto
Tan
Green
Refrigeration
Tan
Red
Port Water Temprature Sender
White
White
Searchlight Signal
White
Black
Stbd Trim Tab Select
White
Blue
Trim/Tilt Up
White
Brown
Trim Tab Down
White
Gray
Rudder Reference Sender
White
Green
Trim/Tilt Down
White
Orange
Horn
White
Pink
Trim Tab Up
White
Red
Trim/Tilt Power
White
Yellow
Port Trim Tab Select
Yellow
Yellow
Low Voltage Return (Ground)
Yellow
Black
Fire Suppression Out
Yellow
Gray
Head Vent
Yellow
Orange
Autopilot Computer Return
Yellow
Purple
Cabin Fan Power
Yellow
Red
Neutral Safety Interlock

High Voltage Boat Wiring

Primary
Secondary
Boat Wiring Function
Black
Black
Ungrounded Conductor
Red
Red
Ungrounded Conductor
Orange
Orange
Ungrounded Conductor
Blue
Blue
Ungrounded Conductor
Green
Green
Grounding Conductor - Non-Current Carrying
Green
Yellow
Grounding Conductor, Shore/Earth Connection
White
White
Grounded Neutral Conductor
Lt Blue
Lt Blue
Grounded Neutral Conductor

Speaker Wiring Colors

Primary
Secondary
Boat Wiring Function
White
White
Port Front Positive
White
Black
Port Front Negative
Green
Green
Port Rear Positive
Green
Black
Port Rear Negative
Gray
Gray
Stbd Front Positive
Gray
Black
Stbd Front Negative
Purple
Purple
Stbd Rear Positive
Purple
Black
Stbd Rear Negative
Blue
Blue
Port Front Cockpit Positive
Blue
Black
Port Front Cockpit Negative
Black
White
Arch Port Aft Speaker Positive
Black
Pink
Arch Port Aft Speaker Negative
Black
Gray
Arch Stbd Aft Speaker Positive
Black
Green
Arch Stbd Aft Speaker Negative
Black
Orange
Subwoofer A Positive
Black
Tan
Subwoofer A Negative
Black
Purple
Subwoofer B Positive
Black
Blue
Subwoofer B Negative