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Old 04-11-2015, 15:41   #211
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I spent last week in San Diego (thanks Del!) and lived on the harbor. Early ever morning and every evening, I would bicycle past hundreds (even thousands ?) of boats at anchor or mooring balls. Not one had a top mast anchor light lit up. There were quite a few LEDs surround the cockpit of some, but nothing above the water more than 20 feet. And that was on more than 5 miles of very popular mooring areas in San Diego bay.
I am glad it worked out for you Dockhead. Sounds like everyone chipped in where they could.
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Old 04-11-2015, 22:32   #212
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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The rest of the original story . . . in case anyone is interested in how it turned out.


My insurance company came through far above and beyond the call of duty, waiving my deductible and agreeing not to go after the fisherman. Pantaenius Insurance -- Mega Kudos

The fisherman, overwhelmed with relief, offered to spend a few days helping me work on the boat, as some kind of compensation, which I gratefully accepted.

Lallow's started on the work today and promise to have it finished in a couple of weeks. I'll be gone on business for a couple of weeks, coincidentally.

So in the end everything has turned out quite well for everyone. In great part thanks to the extraordinary actions of the insurance company.
Thanks for the update, a good outcome. Which could have been completely different had you gone guns blazing after the fisherman as many would have. Well done!! A lesson for us all.
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Old 04-11-2015, 22:33   #213
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Dockhead,

Excellent results! Good on you! Kudos to Pantaenius and to your negotiating skills!

Ann
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Old 04-11-2015, 22:54   #214
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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The fisherman, overwhelmed with relief, offered to spend a few days helping me work on the boat, as some kind of compensation, which I gratefully accepted..
Never know when you bump into new friends
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Old 05-11-2015, 00:31   #215
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Great result Dockhead. Glad things are working out.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:53   #216
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

It just amazes me, what happens when everyone acts like grownups. Good for you!
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Old 07-11-2015, 22:00   #217
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I spent last week in San Diego (thanks Del!) and lived on the harbor. Early ever morning and every evening, I would bicycle past hundreds (even thousands ?) of boats at anchor or mooring balls. Not one had a top mast anchor light lit up. There were quite a few LEDs surround the cockpit of some, but nothing above the water more than 20 feet. And that was on more than 5 miles of very popular mooring areas in San Diego bay.
I am glad it worked out for you Dockhead. Sounds like everyone chipped in where they could.
I was in San Diego last week too and have never seen such a collection of junky, poorly kept sailboats, and it looks like very few of them ever leave their moorings. What a mess! I'm surprised they're allowed to live there year after year without ever leaving their moorings.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:07   #218
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Thanks to your original post, we added two of these LED laterns from Walmat $15 each. They each have a rechargable battery life good for 8 nights and illuminate the deck nicely in anchorages.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:27   #219
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Thanks to your original post, we added two of these LED laterns from Walmat $15 each. They each have a rechargable battery life good for 8 nights and illuminate the deck nicely in anchorages.
A good solutions!

I was in the market for one of those and didn't quite manage it before departure.

Meanwhile, I have left my deck lights on at anchor, when there was any darkness!! Now up here there's no darkness, so the anchor ball is enough , but nevertheless I leave salon secondary lighting on, which illuminates the hull ports.

I'll look again for the lanterns next time at a hypermarket.
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Old 11-06-2016, 18:09   #220
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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So let see... You are saying that a person who can see an Alternating Current (AC) powered room light twinkle, can also see a Direct Current (DC) powered anchor light that is less then a mile away twinkle. Since it is the effect of AC on the room light that they are observing as twinkling - I think not.
Just a note, we have an led head torch that when on half brightness in fact just switches off and on, you can clearly see the strobing by waving your hand in front of it, I imagine if it were moving at the top of a mast it would appear to twinkle.

Oh, and BTW interesting thread, thanks all
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Old 11-06-2016, 18:36   #221
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I must confess that I did not read all of this thread,- just the first five pages and then a skip here towards the end.

I'm also in agreement that outcomes are best with polite behavior and it's a credit to those involved that all worked out well.

I'm posting in defense of the high masthead anchor light and specifically their great advantage over lower lights in much of my cruising area such as Florida and the Bahamas where all the land is low.

A high light provides visual information about the distance of the light due to parallax. Neither stars or lights at your own level will move relative to your own movement, while a masthead light will increase it's apparent movement as your approach. If your eye is near deck level and a light you are directly approaching is at the same level it may not be distinguished from other lights much further away.

I add other lights. I particularly like my LED spreader lights giving a glow to my whole deck, but I would not want to risk anchoring without a high light that is distinguished by it's relative movement when viewed from an approaching vessel.

Well, of course, none of these lights are seen by those not looking!
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Old 11-06-2016, 20:49   #222
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by sparau View Post
Just a note, we have an led head torch that when on half brightness in fact just switches off and on, you can clearly see the strobing by waving your hand in front of it, I imagine if it were moving at the top of a mast it would appear to twinkle.

Oh, and BTW interesting thread, thanks all
I started mucking about with DIY LED anchor lights before you could buy them off the shelf. One of the circuits I toyed with used an oscillator output to clock a decade counter with each of the ten outputs wired to a LED. The advantage of this was that only one LED was actually switched on at a time resulting in a significantly lower power draw than a series/parallel arrangement. Whether or not the light appeared to "twinkle" or strobe depended upon the frequency the oscillator was designed for.

When they became available in the market I bought one which triggered the squelch on my VHF radio and locked it up. I assumed that this light had either some sort of switched mode or oscillator circuit which was cycling near the CH16 frequency.

With all the things you can design LEDs to do it would not surprise me to see one twinkling.
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:23   #223
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I started mucking about with DIY LED anchor lights before you could buy them off the shelf. One of the circuits I toyed with used an oscillator output to clock a decade counter with each of the ten outputs wired to a LED. The advantage of this was that only one LED was actually switched on at a time resulting in a significantly lower power draw than a series/parallel arrangement. Whether or not the light appeared to "twinkle" or strobe depended upon the frequency the oscillator was designed for.

When they became available in the market I bought one which triggered the squelch on my VHF radio and locked it up. I assumed that this light had either some sort of switched mode or oscillator circuit which was cycling near the CH16 frequency.

With all the things you can design LEDs to do it would not surprise me to see one twinkling.
I made one loosely based on the frankenbebi circuit, but using a linear regulator based on an lmv431 chip, similar to this one but with a FET transistor.




With cree leds, it's very bright set to about 0.1A. With the overlap of the led viewing angles it "twinkles" a bit as the boat rocks slightly even in the calmest anchorage.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:18   #224
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

All good suggestions.

Our easy fix to add lots more light was to buy a box of cheap solar garden lights and attach them to stanchions etc (insert the upright piece into a loose looped cable tie).

We put them away when we return too port but they still rust out each year but for a $1 a piece, they are much cheaper than batteries.

They also add a nice ambient light around the boat without turning on brighter LED's etc.
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