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12V Colours

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Graham Stephen, May 1, 2005.

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  1. What are the harmonised colours used in the EU for 12V DC wiring on yachts?
    My suspicions are blue and red, but considering what has been done to 3
    phase AC goodness knows. (Were the "new" colours used anywhere in the EU or
    world prior to that directive?)


  2. Hmmmm......

    I don't think that the ABYC has much relevance in Europe. Blue is the
    colour for 230V AC neutral and it seems to be being used for negative on 12V
    DC. Red has not been used in the UK for many years in portable equipment
    flexible live connections. It has however been used for building
    installation where black is the neutral. The building installation colours
    are now brown and blue as per the flexible. Three phases are now brown,
    black and grey. They were red yellow and blue. Confused? Many are.
    Hopefully in a few years time everything will be the same across Europe with
    the increase in safety it will bring. Until then?????

    My three year old (German) boat is wired with positive red and negative
    blue. I just wonder whether that is the European standard. Maybe I'd
    better stick with that.

  3. Steve Thomas

    Steve Thomas Guest

    A lot of North American 12 volt stuff uses red as positive and black as
    ground. This is the standard battery cable colour code for automotive use,
    and everyone is familiar with it that has ever had to jump start a car, or
    hook up a battery charger.
  4. Larry W4CSC

    Larry W4CSC Guest

    Our boat is a French Amel Sharki. All the wires are Blue (-) and Brown (+)
    throughout the boat. The boat is a 1986 model.

    With all the straight screws holding everything together, we try to say
    French without cursing...(c;........damn them.
  5. We are definitely moving forwards:

    Negative: Blue, Black, or Yellow

    Positive: Brown, Red, (Orange if 24V)

    I think I have some white positive on my boat as well.....


    re the French - we Scots have a very long term understanding with them -
    probably something to do with a common position on the English going back a
    thousand or so years......... I would admit that their gallic take on
    things is sometimes a little bit too individual.
  6. Larry W4CSC

    Larry W4CSC Guest

    My captain is English. If you wish to see his face turn red, simply start
    whistling the French National Anthem while he's cursing some stupid
    installation Amel did on the boat....(c;
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