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Old 25-12-2015, 20:00   #1
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running lights on pulpit

I have deck mounted Aquasignal series 25 running lights. They are mounted port and starboard just inboard of the toerail. They are not in a terrible location, but not great either. Tend to be in the way and are nearly chafing against lines led to the mooring cleats.

I also have a masthead tricolor.

I have the pulpit off the boat at the moment. I am thinking of mounting the lights on the pulpit, probably need to get a plate welded to it. I am concerned about the lights now chafing against the sails or getting whacked by misplaced dock pilings, etc. Maybe a bicolor right at the front?

Any thoughts?
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Old 25-12-2015, 20:14   #2
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Re: running lights on pulpit

John,

I did exactly that on one of my boats...moved the running lights to the pulpit.

The back-glare off the lights killed my visibility at night, and I had to wrap the polished stainless pulpit with black electrical tape to prevent the glare. The tape cut down on the glare but did not completely stop it.

YMMV.
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Old 25-12-2015, 20:22   #3
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
John,

I did exactly that on one of my boats...moved the running lights to the pulpit.

The back-glare off the lights killed my visibility at night, and I had to wrap the polished stainless pulpit with black electrical tape to prevent the glare. The tape cut down on the glare but did not completely stop it.

YMMV.
Will
^^ What he said. ^^

But if you insist.... The single bifurcated light could be mounted somewhat inboard on the pulpit to avoid dock piling contact.

Did I miss something? Because we only use the Tricolour when under sail and the deck lights (with half-up-the-mast white forward light) when under motor &/or motor sailing. Did you mean otherwise?
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Old 25-12-2015, 23:13   #4
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Re: running lights on pulpit

You can buy a clamp bracket to mount a bicolor light on the pulpit. Pulled the pulpit to epoxy fill the fastener pukas. Took the opportunity to drill a hole in the pulpit and through one of the bases to run the wires and used the clamp mount to install the bicolor running light. It's worked fine but do have to be careful of spinnaker sheets/guys hooking under the bracket. Next time will have a 'U' pipe welded to the pulpit to surround the light and prevent a line from tweaking the light.
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Old 26-12-2015, 02:44   #5
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Re: running lights on pulpit

My nav lights are on the pulpit, and I am not a big fan of this arrangement. As others have said, they are vulnerable to being crushed by the odd stray piling (BT,DT), and the glare is not good for night vision.

We do not use the tricolor except far offshore, as it can't be seen well from short distances.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:27   #6
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Are you planning on putting the lights one to either side, or as you said a bi-color directly on the bow? I have the bi-color on the very front of the pulpit. It was that way when I bought the boat and I have never had a glare problem. I can see having a problem if the lights were not forward of everything else.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:35   #7
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Re: running lights on pulpit

We relocated our running lights onto the port and starboard shrouds, old style and the stern light on an extension above the pushpit. We also increased the size of the running lights and lenses to improve being seen. Our masthead tricolor was kept but we also put above that a strobe light. While strobes are not an approved navigation aid, they can be seen way way off and lots of commercial vessels like Matson Navigation use them 24/7 on their ocean routes. Ours is yellow so it can penetrate foggy conditions.

Its always good to have redundancies on a long distance cruising sailboat. Murphy's Law never sleeps.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:40   #8
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Re: running lights on pulpit

On my Irwin the bicolor is mounted on a crossbar just inside the upper pulpit forward loop.


I've had no issues to date with location or glare.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:45   #9
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Weld a piece of stainless across the arch at the pulpit if you dont have one already. Weld a mounting plate to that piece. It will then be behind the apex and out of harms way. Tape the back of the apex ahead of it with black tape to reduce glare from the light. See picture below.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:55   #10
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I have deck mounted Aquasignal series 25 running lights. They are mounted port and starboard just inboard of the toerail. They are not in a terrible location, but not great either. Tend to be in the way and are nearly chafing against lines led to the mooring cleats.

I also have a masthead tricolor.

I have the pulpit off the boat at the moment. I am thinking of mounting the lights on the pulpit, probably need to get a plate welded to it. I am concerned about the lights now chafing against the sails or getting whacked by misplaced dock pilings, etc. Maybe a bicolor right at the front?

Any thoughts?
mine are on the pulpit with no problems. i don't worry about dock pilings. just steer to miss em'.
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:57   #11
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Old 26-12-2015, 09:03   #12
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Re: running lights on pulpit

I wanted a seat on the pulpit, forward of the headstay, so I fabbed one of epoxy-coated ply, painted and non-skidded it, then clamped it to the pulpit with stainless u-brackets. I then screwed a bi-color nav light to the underside of the seat, out of the way of tangling lines, observed by others. I only use this light when under power and have observed no backlighting because of its position forward of the pulpit tubing. I also mounted a small floodlight next to it to allow me to raise the anchor and pull off any tangled kelp. That is REALLY handy at night.
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Old 26-12-2015, 09:35   #13
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Re: running lights on pulpit

bicolor on bow is great for daysailng and coastal sailing, HOWEVER, they are not visible as red and green unless you are directly abeam em. the best location for running lights is 10 ft off water, and as far apart as possible so you can be SEEN and identified.
are ypu able to place a little higher so that the lines donot contact them?? or relocate the lines to avoid problems,. are you able to place the lights in your shrouds, one each side of boat.
if you donot intend to sail in open water, this is probably not a problem, unless you desire others to be able to actually see you.
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Old 26-12-2015, 10:06   #14
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Re: running lights on pulpit

We put clamp on solar lites on stern and colour solar on front available at west marine we have almost been hit in Anchorage before installing guess boaters can.t c mast lite.
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Old 26-12-2015, 11:38   #15
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Re: running lights on pulpit

I moved my bow lights from the sides of the hull to a bi-color on the bow pulpit. The bi-color I chose (Deck and Rigging Upgrades) is really not legal for my boat (>12M), but since your boat is well under 12M that shouldn't be an issue for you. I tried to find a larger, brighter bi-color, but none was available at the time. In any case the bi-color was a major improvement over the existing lights, which were failing.

Port and starboard bow lights with inboard plates to separate them is probably the best way to go, but that will likely require some modifications to your bow pulpit.

Edited to add: One of the disadvantages of the bi-color is that it uses a single festoon bulb for which there are no LED replacements that meet the minimum specifications for navigation lights.

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