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Old 13-01-2016, 19:52   #31
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
Spreader lights... Those lights should - IMHO - be considered as part of a boat security system. Plus noisemakers.
I don't want to take this thread off-topic too much, but interested in what you use for "noisemakers".

The world is not getting any better unfortunately, and my wife and I are thinking of security measures for protection/defence.

Thanks,

David
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Old 13-01-2016, 20:20   #32
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

You should have both.
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Old 13-01-2016, 21:15   #33
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

Our foredeck light has failed, and while she is up on the hard I want to replace it. I am considering a two stage light ~ low power for changing sails without stuffing night vision, and high power when more is better (docking, anchoring, emergency).

An easy option is a two wire system with a polarity reversing switch, up for low power and down for full.

Another option is a decade counter thingy at the masthead, with power transistors. Switch on state could be anchor light, next push for steaming, next push masthead nav, then strobe to wake up fishing boats, deck light and so on. Only needs one power feed and a signal wire. Next to the switch put a row of LEDs indicating which light is on.

Do we ever need more than one mast fixture running at a time?
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Old 14-01-2016, 00:31   #34
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
Spreader lights... Rather good at illuminating the decks when unwanted, uninvited, undesirables come aboard at zero-dark-thirty. This I know from experience. Dual switching helps... Turn on from the helm OR from below - for us, at the companionway. Those lights should - IMHO - be considered as part of a boat security system. Plus noisemakers.

Foredeck light... Well, on our boat that causes a shadow when I'm up forward during anchor maneuvers or even when out checking the anchor system chaff guard. So, for me, those dinky LED headlamps are better because they put a bright light right where I'm looking. And isn't that the point?
on the spreader lights. I have mine wired into the boat alarm system and operable by remote control keyfob from up to 150m. I also leave them on for boat visibility in anchorages here in SE Asia not so much for security but for the fact that local fishing and other vessels are haphazardly skippered, and have caused many collisions. I have an acquaintance whose boat was nearly cut in half by an unobservant fishing vessel in a river in Malaysia last year. In this part of the world nobody uses the correct lights (more or less) and certainly don't respect or recognise them. A single white riding light is, sadly, inadequate in SE Asia. They were lucky to live. Spreader lights gently illuminate the whole vessel leaving no doubt.

For the record, I use four LED strips as spreader lights. One on each side of the underside of the first spreaders. Gives a very pleasant wash to the whole boat and draws milliamps. Easy to install, self adhesive 3M backing. Anyone could install and adds almost no weight to the rig, and no holes in the spreaders. Oddly I have yet to see another boat specifically with LED striplights as spreader lights… they are cheap, easy and very effective.
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Old 14-01-2016, 00:35   #35
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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Originally Posted by David B View Post
I don't want to take this thread off-topic too much, but interested in what you use for "noisemakers".

The world is not getting any better unfortunately, and my wife and I are thinking of security measures for protection/defence.

Thanks,

David
I use a powerful sounder up the mast, wired into the boat security system (which I made from a driveway alarm system with wireless weatherproof PIRS and a three channel output from the main box). I run the whole thing from a three channel remote. One channel for the alarm, which trips the siren and spreader lights at once, one channel for just toggling the spreaders on and off, and one to activate the electric agricultural fence that I can set up around the guardrails. (NOTE: it is an AGRICULTURAL fence, not mains, and so is very painful but otherwise harmless). That said, neither alarm nor fence gets much use, as they are reserved for areas where I feel there is a clear threat. I sail a great deal in remote and third world areas, but most places are very safe.
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Old 14-01-2016, 06:57   #36
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

Re: sound, when I installed the 50 watt LED foredeck light I also installed a 40 watt loud hailer horn speaker. This is wired into the PA/FOG output of our Standard Horizon VHF. The SH has a preprogrammed series of various fog horn signals to choose from, at anchor, underway, etc. Or you can just use it as a horn, using the microphone button to blast it. The PA function is handy, as I can talk to people on the foredeck, people on the dock, other boats nearby. Can tell swimmers I just spotted a 14 ft. tiger shark, etc, It also has a siren function. It is quite loud at the 30 watt output of the SH amplifier. We can lock up the boat fairly well from the inside, we can very brightly illuminate the entire outside of it, and we can blast a siren or lay on the fog horn if needed. I can also saturate the area with my voice. It will, indeed, create a disturbance and alert anyone in the vicinity.

Don't know what a boarding bad guy would think if he was suddenly blinded, and a loud siren sounded, interrupted by a voice telling him to put his hands up and surrender or I'll shoot him, interspersed with the news that the police etc. have been notified. And he can't reach the lights or the speaker. Almost sounds like fun, doesn't it?

The system has another interesting feature in that after talking on the PA I can listen back for responses through it. It works quite well. I can hear conversations taking place a hundred feet away on the dock.
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Old 14-01-2016, 07:12   #37
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

I don't use deck lights underway generally, although I might if I had some repair work (for example) to do.

As others have mentioned, I don't use deck or spreader lights very much at all.

However, when you need them, it's good to have the entire deck lit up, and not just part of it. I have both forward-aimed deck light (under the steaming light; an Aquasignal standard fixture into which I put a strong LED bulb), and LED spreader lights, but I don't have anything to light up the afterdeck, which is a drawback.

So my recommendation to the OP is BOTH spreader and foredeck lights, and if he has a radar pole at the stern, maybe something there as well.
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Old 14-01-2016, 07:15   #38
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
. . . and one to activate the electric agricultural fence that I can set up around the guardrails. (NOTE: it is an AGRICULTURAL fence, not mains, and so is very painful but otherwise harmless). That said, neither alarm nor fence gets much use, as they are reserved for areas where I feel there is a clear threat. I sail a great deal in remote and third world areas, but most places are very safe.
Interesting idea.

Couldn't you just wire the electric fence unit directly to the guard wires? I think they're electrically isolated, aren't they? And does the -- ahem -- victim need to be grounded?
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Old 14-01-2016, 07:17   #39
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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There are no other boaters where we go. I'd rather have the light and not need it than need it and not have it.

We also don't have a problem with driving lights on cars where we sail. So annoying other people with my foredeck light is not an issue for us.

I'm certain that you use them judiciously, and have them angled as to not blind other boaters. I was pointing out a consideration.

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Old 14-01-2016, 07:48   #40
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

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Interesting idea.

Couldn't you just wire the electric fence unit directly to the guard wires? I think they're electrically isolated, aren't they? And does the -- ahem -- victim need to be grounded?
The guard wires are the ground. But in fact I have found that even standing on a dinghy, touch that wire and you get a jolt. I don't quite understand why. Perhaps salt on the hypalon? Same goes for the teak, as i have found out with a jolt… Wires are on standoffs mounted outside the rails. Attached shot was taken in the vicinity of Batam Island in Indonesia, where I had been anchored in a lonely bay overnight. Lots of "interesting characters" around that area so I put the fence up. It is capable of two rails but only one (the upper one) is visible, mounted in the standoff isolators. The isolators just spin off quickly with a butterfly nut. I had to modify a bunch of stainless clips (mostly permanently mounted) to accept the standoffs. Whole thing goes from nothing to up and running in around 15 minutes.

As to the usual rails being isolated… not at all. They are grounded to the anode circuit, and I don't want to encourage accellerated galvanic corrosion. The standoffs were an excellent solution, as they really complicate climbing aboard in general. Basically impossible to avoid touching.
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Old 14-01-2016, 08:11   #41
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Re: Spreader Lights vs. Foredeck Light

I put these on my spreaders:
Amazon.com: Shoreline Marine White L.E.D. Underwater Light: Sports & Outdoors



Very low power usage, and not too bright, just right for me.

I have a combo steaming/fore deck light as well also about $20 (AAA Victory I think) Could not justify $300 for a brand name. It also has a not too bright led light for the fore deck.



Both of these have been working for three years now. I don't expect them to last as long as the more expensive choices, so I installed them with easy replacement in mind.

Cheers,
JM.
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