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Nav Light Delays

posted Aug 8, 2011, 8:41 AM by Christopher Hubbell
I'm having a really fun time getting my nav lights hooked up.  Oh, running the wires and patching them into the various busses and circuits was easy.  That took a few hours at night with my trusty head lamp.  Then the fun began.

First, my tail light was completely out.  I took it apart and realized that the fixture was in pretty shoddy condition.  Not only that, but at some point in history the bulb has become a supernova and touched the lens, which melted something or another.  My once clear lens was white over 50% of the surface and had some nasty stuff in it.  I decided to remove it and replace.  With a little time in the West Marine catalog I was able to find an exact Perko replacement for around $56.

Second, my bow bicolor was an Aqua Signal Series 40.  It looked disproportionately large for my vessel, but it certainly worked...  At some point in time...  I discovered that there was so much play in the contacts that the slightest change int he wind or wave pattern would cause it to come one and off intermittently.  I woudl need a new bulb and socket base to correct this issue, and while I'm at it the lens was pretty filty and UV-degraded.  Looking like a new one is a good idea.

Visiting West Marine, I was able to look at a few options and decided on the Aqua Signal Series 25 for both bicolor and stern lights.  They are very reasonably priced (both the price of one stern light Perko!), relatively easy to install, and have a commonly available LED replacement bulb I can put in next year.  Then the integration fun begins.

The stern bracket was about 2/3 the size it needs to be to cover the back of the light.  I'm planning to mount a piece of 1/4" marine lumber in the correct size, then mount the light to it.  Shouldn't be too hard.  The bow is a bit more challenging, unfortunately.  I had a welded AS 40 bracket on the pulpit which just wasn't going to work with the Series 25 lights no matter how hard I stared at it.  New plan is to obtain the Series 25 plastic rail bracket to mount the light.  Of course, my $25 light needs a $60 bracket.  Wow.

I've also been making progress on getting my mast wiring integrated to the sweet 5-pin deck connector I've selected.  I removed my old crusty (and leaking) connector, and filled the holes and core with thickened epoxy.  This afternoon I'm going to use my lunch break to drill the new hole as this will be the last of the dusty mess projects which will impact the cabin.  That's good news because my new cushions are going to be installed this week, and I do not want them getting messy.

I'll get some pictures posted soon.  It's been hard to do as of late since I've been working at night well into the dark.  My headlamp doesn't make for a very good photo light source.