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Old 03-08-2007, 08:22   #1
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New tricolor Light

I am thinking about installing a new light atop my mast. The thing is I don't want to take it down where it is very easy to work on.

Since one had to be physically above the light, I would think to mount it, using a bosun's chair seems to be a no go. Changing a bulb is one thing, but I think the mounting would be too difficult. Anyone done this?

I was also thinking about doing this in the fall at my winter layup. The have a crane they use to step masts and it might be able to lift me above it... or perhaps the yard could do it for me.. should take but an hour I would think. Do you think this is a viable option... or do I have to unstep the rig just to replace the light?

jef
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:29   #2
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Jef...You should be ble to do this without unstepping the mast. Last month I took my tri-light down so I could make a different (higher, for better visibility) mount for t. With a bosun's chair and a few tools, I had the tri re-mounted and working in about 45 minutes. Drilling new mounting holes through the mast crane was easier than I thought (aluminum).
Should be a relatively easy project.
John
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:40   #3
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What brand of tricolor are you mounting? LED?
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:13   #4
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I haven't gotten that far. I was thinking AquaSignal series 40, but I would do some research on combination LEDs too. Any thoughts?

jef
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:50   #5
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I use an Orca Green (OGM) LED tri. They are not as spendy as a Lopolight, but still about $200. I should have pitched in $30 more for the strobe option, a safety feature in my mind. The light itself is great...very bright, well-made. If you do this, make sure you have a 3-wire system up the mast. If only 2 wire, then the strobe option may not work for you.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:18   #6
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Jef,

I purchased an 'etiere' <sp> (french for ladder?) from a sports store (climbing gear). Cost about $25 USD. You can attach it to your lifting eye (used for the bosun chair) when you get to the top of the mast, and literally climb up above the mast head. The "Top-Climber" uses something like that (just a double foot loop - no 'steps'). I'll look about and see what I can find and post a link.

Edit: Correct spelling: Etrier Can be found: Etrier by Black Diamond and other climbing equipment for Ropes and Slings.
ABC 6-STEP ETRIER
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:21   #7
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Thomas,

I was thinking about a means to climb up. If you find the link.. that would be super.

jef
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:26   #8
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About going up the mast, I've seen people secure a short piece of line over the top of the mast, with foot loops in it at each end, to provide a way to hold yourself high enough to work at the top more easily. I have a pair of folding steps at the top, and they are quite helpful. I also use a climbing harness (from Spinlock) which can position me higher than the bosun's chair, since the point of halyard attachment is close to my belt-buckle, not at chest-level.

I have an Aquasignal tri/anchor/strobe at top, and have replaced the incandescant bulbs with the LED lamps from FirstStar, but there are newer, and possibly better, LED lamps available. I use LEDS for the tricolor and anchor lights because the power used by the incandescant lamps is a significant part of my power budget. I finally replaced my deck-level running lights with Lopolight units, not for the power (since I don't use them much on passages), but because I was tired of having the bulbs and wiring corroding and failing -- especially the bow-light.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:32   #9
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The ATN top climber ATN Home Page -- sailing, sail, storm, gale, tacker, spinnaker, sleeve, stasher, flasher, douser, chute scoop, sally, case, furler, roller, reefed sail, single handed, short handed, cruising, transatlantic, round the world, Jules Verne Trophy, BOC, w has worked very well for me. It's a bit pricey but simple to use and invaluable to get up the mast solo. It took me a time or two to really get the hang of it but now I can be up the mast in a matter of minutes. Doesn't require attaching slides to the mast or other hassles. Just slide the seat and climbing strap onto a halyard, anchor the halyard near the base of the mast, winch the halyard tight and start climbing. It's still not fun working at heights for me as the seat can swing around the mast, both a positive and negative, so you have to think about how to stabilize yourself while you're working. Lashing yourself to the shrouds and/or stays works. The real advantage of this type of system is you can easily get above the mast head to work up there.

My experience with bosun chairs is you can't get high enough to work above the mast plus the problem of how you are going to get up the mast. You can use a four part tackle but the amount of line required is prodigious for a 50' mast.

You may be able to come close to duplicating the Top Climber with rock climbing gear though I didn't find the exact components I was looking for. The seat on the top climber is real comfortable compared to a harness and there was no two step foot strap. I also got a ration of garbage from the employee's at REI when I told them what I wanted to do. All they did was discourage me and wouldn't help me fearing liability issues. Chalk up another one for the Trial Lawyer's Association.

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Old 03-08-2007, 14:00   #10
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Peter (and all) - I did make my own. A couple of Accenders, a bosun chair, and the web ladder. I DO plan on getting the bottom two (of six) loops resewn to be on the same plane ... should make the trip a bit easier. Cost was $140 (with upscale bosun chair).
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Old 04-08-2007, 07:37   #11
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This is what I put together similar in concept to the "Top Climber"....

Bill,
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:28   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meridian
I should have pitched in $30 more for the strobe option, a safety feature in my mind.


NOT LEGAL

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navru...faq.htm#0.3_13

Quote:
Q: Can I use Strobe Lights to be more visible at night?

A:For any other lights beyond those specifically defined within the Navigation Rules they should be such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules, or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out (Rule 20).
Displaying a strobe for “higher visibility” would confuse other vessels as to your navigational status (many aids to navigation use a strobe or flashing). Also, lights provide direction and aspect information to other boat operators. For example, if while operating my vessel I see a red light on my starboard side I know I am the give-way vessel (Rule 16, 17). The use of a strobe light could overwhelm a vessel’s navigation lights and cease to provide such crucial direction and aspect information to other boat operators.
Also, Rule 36 of the International Rules addresses signals to attract attention and for the purpose of [that] rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided. Rule 37 of the Inland Rules addresses strobes in regards to distress signals so that when a vessel is in distress and requires assistance she shall use…a high intensity white light flashing at regular intervals from 50 to 70 times per minute.
Since strobe light use is to be avoided (International waters) or used as a distress signal (Inland waters), it cannot be used to routinely mark vessels operating on the water.
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Old 04-08-2007, 19:19   #13
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If it comes to being seen or not seen I would definitely take the "illegal" route of using a strobe, I have noticed several french cruisers either already have them or are fitting them. The large ferries around Auckland use a flashing orange light, rather the same as a truck with an overwidth load or a tractor on the main road.
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