Navigation Lights

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Navigation Lights

Postby SMHolmans on Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:52 am

Hi everyone. Ron Winston has just suggested that I run wiring for navigation lights into the Dorade boxes before I drop the roof into place, while access is still easy.

I may well do this but first I want to ask for your opinions about fitting masthead LED lighting - tri colour running and white all round mooring lights. There are some great units available and it seems like a relatively simple way of having all the lighting in one place. Has anyone tried this?

Thanks!
SMHolmans
 
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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Re: Navigation Lights

Postby TassiePete on Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:39 pm

Hi Steve,

Just a thought. There are some great little battery operated navlights around. They have little brackets which attach to the boat, and the lights snap in when needed. I assume that the rules ( colregs ) are the same where you are: a vessel under 7 m (sailing or otherwise) only needs to exhibit an all-round white light and side-lights 'where practical'. Actually, as you do below 7 kts under power, if you carry a torch you can switch on in time to avoid a collision, you will be 'legal'.

On Kermadec, I do have navlights and a stern light wired in, which have never been switched on ;). So, I won't be running cables in my next boat ... only a small battery for the wind instrument display. These days the wind sensors on the masthead are wireless and may need a new battery every 3-4 years. Ah, and the iPad for navigation (with an iPhone as backup). Plenty of redundancy, no wires and terminals to corrode, fewer holes in the boat, fewer $$ ( wires, switches, battery, solar panel, weight ! ), less work, ...

Peter
TassiePete
 
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Re: Navigation Lights

Postby SMHolmans on Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:47 am

Thanks Pete. I will investigate the battery powered lights - I hadn't thought about that. I do intend to sail at night and also sleep on board, so good lights are a must. I am thinking about running a cable inside the mast to a masthead LED, with a waterproof connector at the bottom to allow the mast to be lowered.
I know very little about electrics, so just purchased a dummy's guide to12 volt boat electrics ... that may help!
SMHolmans
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Re: Navigation Lights

Postby TassiePete on Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:07 pm

Hi Steve,

Just a hint ... when you install the cable inside the mast, make sure you that secure it with a few foam blocks, or the like, inside the hollow mast part. Where the cable exits, I suggest to install sockets like these, instead of flying leads coming out of the mast - sooner or later the cables will be mauled by the tabernacle or the boom gallows.

plugs.jpg
plugs.jpg (3.53 KiB) Viewed 646 times


I guess you will route little box openings into the mast and fit small cover plates for the sockets. Make sure you have a few inches of cable curled up in there, and use plenty of epoxy, silicon, bedding compound, and whatever else you can think of to keep the water out of the mast. At the same time, one day you will need to access this again ... it is tempting to fill the little boxes entirely with epoxy (after soldering the cable to the plug !) and 'close the lid'.

Cheers,

Peter
TassiePete
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:31 am
Location: Port Huon, Tasmania ( Down Under )

Re: Navigation Lights

Postby SMHolmans on Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:48 pm

Thanks Pete. I'm some way off needing to worry about lights but this discussion has helped me to form a plan of action!
SMHolmans
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Re: Navigation Lights

Postby truenorth on Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:28 am

Up until this past Monday, I was all about installing wires in the mast to have a masthead light. I even thought of running an antennae inside to boost my radio signal and reception. My electrical panel already has an "anchor light" label.

But when I actually saw the mast dry fit, I abandoned the idea as too much trouble given the state of battery-powered LED's. The thought of putting extra holes in the mast, perhaps compromising the structure, wasn't worth it. You'll also see that the mast doesn't have a lot of room near the top where it tapers to a 2x2 square which needs to accept all the top rigging.

Instead, if I'm anchored out, I'll raise a light 6' off the stern which is all that's required. That doesn't mean don't do it! I'd love to see one in action and maybe whenever I feel like re-doing the mast I'll revisit this again.
truenorth
 
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Re: Navigation Lights

Postby SMHolmans on Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:00 pm

That's really interesting, and useful. Thanks! I hadn't considered the dimensions of the mast at the masthead - that's a really small area to accommodate lights as well as fittings for the rigging and sails.

More and more the battery powered LED lights seem sensible. Does anyone have a recommended product(s)?
SMHolmans
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:38 am
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom


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