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Old 21-01-2017, 18:42   #1
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Installing Underwater Lighting

Hello All,

We are considering installing underwater LED lighting on our Oceanis 50.

Sitting in a quiet bay attracting fish, or sitting in an nice marina etc - when we have observed others, we quite like the effect.

1. Do the lights have to be mounted below the surface for that great effect, and if so, I guess there is nothing for it but to regularly drop over the side and give then a clean of any fouling?

2. Can we get away with having them just above the surface at anchor (but still tucked away under the stern), or is there too much reflection back up, and you lose a lot of the underwater glow?

Ideally, I would prefer to be drilling holes, rather than hole-sawing holes, so am hoping that there are decent quality lights that only need a 10-15mm mounting hole rather than a 30-50mm hole, so any suggestions would be welcome also.

Thanks,

David
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Old 21-01-2017, 20:12   #2
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

You want them facing down. Otherwise they are very annoying to yourself and others.
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Old 21-01-2017, 21:27   #3
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

They need to be below the surface and as lbs says, pointing downwards.

DO you really want to put additional holes in your hull below the waterline, just because it looks pretty?
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Old 21-01-2017, 23:08   #4
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

As much as I like the effects of underwater lights, I have to agree with Stu. Unless there are kits that magically don't need several holes, including a through hole, per light I don't think this is something I could do to a boat as valuable as yours. But if you do go through with it I definitely want to see pictures of the process and the final results!

Here's a video of a guy installing on his fishing boat.

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Old 21-01-2017, 23:18   #5
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

1. Yes

2. No

I personally like the "rich boat" lights and the sea life they attract- as long as they are true underwater lights.

The stadium lit decks are annoying imo.
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Old 22-01-2017, 02:36   #6
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

If I was buying an off-shore boat and the owner told me how he drilled holes in the hull to install cute lights I would just move on and find another boat to buy!
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Old 22-01-2017, 03:33   #7
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

OK, thanks for the feedback so far guys.

To clarify - absolutely don't want them facing aft. They need to be pointing down into the water. It seems from your comments then, that to get the effect, they need to be submerged (and I suppose that means regular cleaning to keep the lenses at least clear of fouling).

As to holes, well with the below waterline seacocks we already have:
2 - heads flushwater
2 - heads washbasin oulet
2 - heads holding tank outlet
1 - air-conditioning cooling water inlet
1 - desalinator raw water inlet
1 - galley seawater inlet
1 - galley sink waste outlet
1 - washing machine discharge
1 - engine cooling inlet
1 - generator cooling outlet
13 - total below waterline seacocks
(perhaps that number is reason enough to drill at least one more )

Then with all the above, there are another 9 above the waterline, so as is typical with todays boats (unless big enough for a sea-chest), there are a lot of potential 'sinkers' but there is the big one - the big gaping saildrive leg hole.

I guess all that means is that although I am not in a hurry to add another couple of holes, we already have quite a few.

However maybe we should concentrate on spreader lights (apart from a nice look, they are definitely a safety thing when at anchor, and also when wanting to see on a moonless night, without losing too much night vision), and collect some data from those who have the underwater lights as to how much of a pain they are to maintain.

Again, thanks for the feedback to date - I hope for more

David
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Old 22-01-2017, 03:33   #8
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

Last yacht that I served on as Engineer (40-meter motor yacht), the underwater lights were installed too close to the waterline. The slightest bit of wave action and the lights would be above the water and then submerged. The yacht twinkled like a Christmas tree. Was rather annoying to the owner and boats moored or anchored nearby.

I purchased a couple of these U/W lights similar to these to test and play with (but were good to 30-meters instead of 5):

Buy Portable Underwater LED Fishing Light with 5m Cable 12v online at Marine-Deals.co.nz

Found that this was an more practical and economical solution to wanting to have the pretty lights and drilling more holes in one's hull. Also, as the depth of mine are up to 30-meters, also makes for great night diving.

FYI, not affiliated with this company (purchased mine from a company out of Dubai about 7 years ago).
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Old 22-01-2017, 04:48   #9
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

Nice idea, but $150? They'd be $20 if they didn't have the word "fishing" in the name.


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Old 22-01-2017, 08:49   #10
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

There is a product that mounts underwater and does not require any holes in the hull. We installed them a year or so ago and they work well. Transmits power through the hull. We got them from this company. (www.genuinemarine.us) Anacortes, WA
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Old 22-01-2017, 09:21   #11
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catopia View Post
There is a product that mounts underwater and does not require any holes in the hull. We installed them a year or so ago and they work well. Transmits power through the hull. We got them from this company. (www.genuinemarine.us) Anacortes, WA
Can you at least say what the name of the product is? Their website is not searchable.
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Old 22-01-2017, 10:56   #12
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

http://d1dhn91mufybwl.cloudfront.net...=1&pbs=1&v=4.8

is their latest (2015) catalog

Think they could use some web/marketing help.
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Old 22-01-2017, 15:32   #13
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

What a dreadful website. It's totally unusable

But a google on "inductive underwater LED" did turn up several options.

The main drawbacks seem to be cost and hull thickness limitations.
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Old 22-01-2017, 18:41   #14
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
1. Do the lights have to be mounted below the surface for that great effect, and if so, I guess there is nothing for it but to regularly drop over the side and give then a clean of any fouling?
Yes, your lights need be mounted underwater.


And once in place, you will do best running them 24 hours. That keeps away condensation inside the light mounting.


What colour are you choosing?


On the E coast of Aus, experience* suggests that fouling over blue lights is only soft organisms. In contrast to white light, which also attracts hard (e.g. coralline algae and worms in hard sheaths). Depending on the biota in your anchorage, fish will graze soft growth and maintain it at a minimum.


* Experience reports from sportfishers (e.g. marlin and other gamefishers) moored at marinas in both Cairns and Moreton Bay.


Avoid red light. It scatters and is absorbed and so does not travel far (i.e. no depth if your lights point down, no distance if your lights are closer to horizontal).


Blue light (wavelength 440 - 490 nm) travels furtherest.


Squid boats in the Gulf of Thailand use green (and have their massive banks of lights above water, not underwater). The argument apparently is that although squid are more attracted to blue than to green, the green attracts fewer fish and turtles.
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Old 22-01-2017, 18:56   #15
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Re: Installing Underwater Lighting

Gulf of Thailand at night from the ISS
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