Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-01-2011, 07:31   #1
Registered User
 
Sailing Mermaid's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Boat: 50' sloop
Posts: 54
Bow Light(s) Recommendations

Greetings and good morning,

Before we set out on our next trip, we hope to install a new and better bow light.

What lights would others recommend that are sturdy (commercial grade?) and of a good size? It'll be mounted atop the step/seat above the anchor/rollers. The spot takes a beating with waves but this location is preferable to installing separate lights on the railings alongside (although, separate lights remains a possibility).

Currently, we have an Aquasignal (one casing with green/red) 4" x 5" that is less than five years. Although maintained properly it no longer operates 100%. (It's disconcerting to look out and suddenly "loose the bow" from sight when the unit stops working). We've checked the connections, wiring, etc., and all is in order. We think it's just given most of what it's got to give. We need a new light. (see below photo - present light / location)

Thanks in advance for your assistance/recommendations!

Warm regards,
Sailing Mermaid

PS: - found a CF thread on Bebi - highly recommended. Unfortunately, no bow lights offered.

PSS: Attempting to include a photo. Please pardon me if it does not show. If after hitting "submit new thread: the photo is included - imagine the very wide grin on this ladies face (not unlike the smiley face with all the teeth!). If it doesn't work, I'll ask for help to put into the thread. Thanks! SM
__________________

__________________
Sailing Mermaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 08:02   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: California Coast
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 331
Posts: 680
There isn't much that can go wrong with a light fixture. It is probably the wiring, in which case a new light fixture will not solve the problem.
You need to find out what the real problem is.
The LED light company LUNASEA makes LED relacement bulbs for most nav lights.
I bought a Bi-color LED replacement bulb from them for my Hella nav light on the bow and another LED relacement bulb for my stern light. They work great and use almost no electricity.

So if there is no corrosion on the bulb contacts inside your light fixture it is almost certianly the switch or the wiring. Get that fixed and then get some LED bulbs and you will be all set.
__________________

__________________
Liam Wald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 09:07   #3
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
your current fixture seems to be begging to be ripped off by a spinnaker sheet during a jibe. Replacing it with an LED bow light will lower the profile considerably.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 10:28   #4
Registered User
 
Sailing Mermaid's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Boat: 50' sloop
Posts: 54
Good morning Mr. Liam and Bash,

Thanks to you both for taking time to consider our issue.

The fixture is the issue - it leaks. We found the leak last summer. Despite our best efforts of resealing it, water still gets in.

Is it defective? Did the impact of one of those big waves damage it? Do most bow lights last longer than four-five years? Are there lights of higher quality that can withstand the rigors of a 22+ ton boat that enjoys sailing in 20 - 25 knot winds?

If most fixtures only last five years, okay, I'll put it on maintenance schedule, get an extra one for our spare parts inventory, and budget it in accordingly. But, if they last for 15 years, I don't want to install the same fixture and have it fail again in only a few years.

Would prefer to find the highest quality fixture and replace it less often. t

Bash, thanks for your mention, but it's not in the way. The photo is angled such that it apprears so, but it's safe. (my only up-close photo of bow.) Originally, the light was beneath the seat and we moved it atop thinking it'd take less impact; perhaps we were wrong. That light was original from new and it also lasted about five years. Thanks for your attention and suggestion. Which LED bow light would you recommend?

Again, thanks. Look forward to checking in here later in hopes of more info.

Southerm smiles,
Sailing Mermaid
__________________
Sailing Mermaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 10:47   #5
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
I've always had very good luck with Hella running lights. They were fitted to (and worked perfectly on) my last boat while I owned it, and the ones on my current boat seem to be original (dating back to 1994). I have developed some discolouration/crazing in the clear lens for the stern light, but that's about it.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 16:46   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,330
The nice thing about an aqua signal replacement would be that it might match the mounting holes. I think that about 8 years is about the most to expect out of a bow light, as the lenses are pretty crazed by that time, and the inevitable corrosion has got a good grip on the insides. I usually carry a spare. When you install the next one, spray all the metal parts heavily with a good corrosion block.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 19:30   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
We have Hella throughout and they are OK. We used AquaSignal too and they seem OK too.

Any way you can place the fixture UNDER the step?

If you plan on using this one extensively when sailing then probably get a LED bulb for it too. Otherwise save your $$ for a LED at the top unless you already have one.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 19:43   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
your current fixture seems to be begging to be ripped off by a spinnaker sheet during a jibe. Replacing it with an LED bow light will lower the profile considerably.
I guess that depends on your setup. I looked at the pic and thought it has protection from being ripped off like mine was. That's because it's brought back from the furthest point forward.

If I were dealing with the problem of the OP, I'm thinking an exact replacement and sort out the leak. I mean, I'm sure it is designed to be out there in the wet. Hairline crack maybe?
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2011, 20:12   #9
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,772
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
i want to pick mine off the sprit and place em about 8-10 ft above deck on the shrouds to be seen and not rippped off the end of sprit as it pierces seas......we lost one on the performance cruiser we sailed last year..on bow, as we went thru storm in ft myers--we did turn around on htat one..had to--lost nav lites and 5 ft of furling line....wasnt a really comfy ride either.....kinda wet, way hard on boat....
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 16:00   #10
Registered User
 
Sailing Mermaid's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Boat: 50' sloop
Posts: 54
Greetings and thanks for the contributions,

Southern Star - Appreciate your Hella testimonial. It's on my research list.

Donradcliff - Agree with your thoughts on utilizing same position - the fewer holes in a boat - the better, right?! :-} So, five year life for Aquasignal may be as good as it gets for the location. We keep numerous cans of anti-corrosion spray at the ready and use it liberally. Thanks again for your help. BTW - Do you have melted butter onboard, yet? Happy sailing!

Barnakiel - Agree - Aquasignal is okay. Originally, the fixture was beneath the step. We relocated it on top when it failed initially ( 2005?) thinking the step would act as a buffer and prevent some of the impact. We aren't sure it made a difference; impacts occur from both sides at one time or another. We have a tri-color atop the mast as well (redundancy is good!). The bow light is a necessity in our opinion and we're hopeful a sturdier unit is available that can provide longer service. (Will hope to report back to CF either way in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019? - overly optimistic? )

Minggat - It is definitely a "hair line crack" that sealant cannot reach! We may end up with the Aquasignal again, but use LED bulbs. I especially like the LED brightness to increase/extend our presence on the water to onlookers.

Zeehag - Much like the idea of putting higher up on the rigging for visibility from afar. Relocating your lights from the sprit seems like a good idea and certainly will be more convenient for maintenance. Good luck - another boat project.... we never finish them all?! Best wishes on your crew and upcoming journey!

Perhaps I have enough items to warrant getting to the Miami show for hands on/side-by-side comparison shopping and better prices to boot! Some sunshine and warmer weather would be an added and appreciated bonus!

Again, thanks to each of you for taking the time to consider our issue and offer assistance.

Warmest regards,

Sailing Mermaid (dreaming of blue water and warmer weather...)
__________________
Sailing Mermaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 17:29   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
jackdale's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 5,048
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i want to pick mine off the sprit and place em about 8-10 ft above deck on the shrouds to be seen and not rippped off the end of sprit as it pierces seas......we lost one on the performance cruiser we sailed last year..on bow, as we went thru storm in ft myers--we did turn around on htat one..had to--lost nav lites and 5 ft of furling line....wasnt a really comfy ride either.....kinda wet, way hard on boat....
A reminder that Annex I of Colregs specifies how lights can be placed. There is a minimum distance between sidelights and masthead lights.

Navigation Rule
__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203,204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 17:41   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,330

[QUOTE=Sailing Mermaid;607115]Greetings and thanks for the contributions,

Southern Star - Appreciate your Hella testimonial. It's on my research list.

Donradcliff - Agree with your thoughts on utilizing same position - the fewer holes in a boat - the better, right?! :-} So, five year life for Aquasignal may be as good as it gets for the location. We keep numerous cans of anti-corrosion spray at the ready and use it liberally. Thanks again for your help. BTW - Do you have melted butter onboard, yet? Happy sailing!

The butter is still pretty firm at 20 degrees north in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, so we are jumping off tomorrow for Honduras.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 17:49   #13
Registered User
 
SurferShane's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NSW AUSTRALIA
Boat: L. Francis Herreshoff Ketch
Posts: 1,129
Images: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailing Mermaid View Post
Good morning Mr. Liam and Bash,

Thanks to you both for taking time to consider our issue.

The fixture is the issue - it leaks. We found the leak last summer. Despite our best efforts of resealing it, water still gets in.

Is it defective? Did the impact of one of those big waves damage it? Do most bow lights last longer than four-five years? Are there lights of higher quality that can withstand the rigors of a 22+ ton boat that enjoys sailing in 20 - 25 knot winds?

If most fixtures only last five years, okay, I'll put it on maintenance schedule, get an extra one for our spare parts inventory, and budget it in accordingly. But, if they last for 15 years, I don't want to install the same fixture and have it fail again in only a few years.

Would prefer to find the highest quality fixture and replace it less often. t

Sailing Mermaid
Even half good ones can last a month or less if put in the wrong situations as far as mooring accidents and seas are concerned. My recommendations are no matter what you settle on buy a spare set. Every time you set off and every now and then at sea do a quick inspection to make sure they are working. Sometimes they just need a quick jolt and other times it will be out with the multimeter.

Last few times installing my lights I have thrown around a bit more Sikaflex even under the base for sealing and sprayed the inner with inox to help retard corrosion.
__________________
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire
SurferShane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 17:58   #14
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailing Mermaid View Post

Bash, thanks for your mention, but it's not in the way. The photo is angled such that it apprears so, but it's safe. (my only up-close photo of bow.) Originally, the light was beneath the seat and we moved it atop thinking it'd take less impact; perhaps we were wrong. That light was original from new and it also lasted about five years. Thanks for your attention and suggestion. Which LED bow light would you recommend?
Sorry to take so long to get back to you. You probably know, but on larger boats you need to have a light that gives 2-mile visibility, so I'm guessing that this is what you want to look for.

Navigation and Exterior Lights - Aqua Signal Bi-Color LED Deck Mount Light

I've seen this light listed on other websites for twice as much as jamestown distributors wants for it.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2011, 18:08   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle
Boat: Wauquiez Centurion 49
Posts: 720
Images: 13
https://kimberlitemanufacturing.com/...products_id=70

I would NOT recommend Orca Green lights. I am on my fourth set, and every one of them has leaked.
__________________

__________________
CAELESTIS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Vetus Bow Light Chief Engineer Classifieds Archive 3 28-12-2010 19:36
For Sale: Vetus Bicolour Bow light Chief Engineer Classifieds Archive 0 27-12-2010 16:06
Recommendations for a Good Spot Light ? ReMetau Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 2 14-10-2010 12:44
Mast Light Recommendations Please waterworldly Off Topic Forum 6 05-11-2009 22:43
LED light turned Nav light BLUE!!! MarkJ Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 19 28-01-2009 10:19



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:49.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.