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Old 13-11-2009, 18:18   #16
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Vasco, I am about electrically minded as a piece of burnt toast and I managed to make one.

Got the bits from a local electronics shop after playing on this site MetkuMods - Because you love your hardware!
to work out the resister thingy size. Blew up a couple due to my 'more power Tim' syndrome but 3rd go I used a variable resister and it's all go.

Got the electrical bits, a piece of thin plywood, a hot glue gun and a nice burn in the kitchen table (No sorry Dear, no idea where that came from...Opps). Made it and stuck it all in a jar just like yours is. Run a lead to a ciggy plug which I plug in to the boat, I have put in a few ciggy plugs in the boat as lots of stuff runs 12V using those.

Mine is basically just like yours but has LED's rather than a bulb.

As I aimed the LEDs out horizontally they don't appear that bright but from a distance they are seen as a very intense pin prick of light and it does catch the eye very well. And as I hang it off a the back or forestay it swings a little so it's a semi-flashing intense pin prick which makes it even more eye catching. I've stepped back just over a mile from the boat and while not big it is very noticeable 'something' has a light on it. Hopefully most would realise that 'something' is a boat and manoeuvre accordingly.

Now I'm such an electrical legend (in my own lunchbox if no one elses) I'm trying to make one the same but solar powered. If your lights suddenly go off it could be me playing with that again so sorry about that in advance

I did have some of the garden solar ones but they do tend to fade away in the early hours and there is talk of the local Maritime Authority banning them due to that down this way.
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Old 13-11-2009, 20:11   #17
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They have rules about how bright your anchor light has to be. I'm not so big on rules but I hear that if somebody plows into you and your light wasnt up to code then it is your fault. Could get expensive.
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Old 13-11-2009, 20:18   #18
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Thumbs up

If you can make a place to plug it in, the Bebi LED anchor light from Fiji at LED Anchor Light-Waterproof & Rugged for Marine RV and Offgrid Use is incredibly bright and draws almost no power. I use one to keep the small boats from banging into me, even in areas where I am not required to show an anchor light at all; otherwise it is in combination with my masthead anchor light. Highly recommended!
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Old 13-11-2009, 20:44   #19
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Hey they made what I did only they didn't use the McIver method

Mines just like that basically and I agree works bloody well.
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Old 21-11-2009, 05:07   #20
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Anchor lights

We have two slightly different tactics. If we're in an anchorage near big, commercial boats, we use the all round mast head light. (Not an LED - we remain unconvinced about the long distance, long term colour correctness of LEDs - see last months report in Yachting Monthly if you are in the UK).

If we are in a small boat anchorage we use a Davis plug-in 12v light strung up in the rigging. It is still 1nM visible, and at a much more cockpit-friendly height. It also has the huge advantage of being photo-responsive, so if you leave the boat knowing/expecting to get back after dark you are not either leaving the boat unlit nor burning power you don't need.

The value of an all-round light is immediately obvious when you start feeling your way into an anchorage at night, making sure you are far enough away from everybody else. Then you want to be able to see each boat at any angle, and you want to know you are looking at just one boat (not eg one nearby and another one beyond it).
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Old 21-11-2009, 23:17   #21
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Like Roaring Girl, we use a masthead non LED, but I also have a col-light which is a regulated fluro - low power. This is spray proof and sits sbove the cockpit as an extra incentive to avoid us.
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Old 22-11-2009, 08:17   #22
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I've been using those LED lawn lights with the solar panel and battery for a few years now and love them. They are not all that bright but are at deck level so easier to see when close than an anchor light. At $12 apiece you can go nuts.

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Old 22-11-2009, 08:54   #23
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Entering the average Caribbean anchorage on a moonless night is a nightmare...a least a third of the cruisers and longterm boat 'parkers' think that adequate anchor lights are optional! We have done it 3 times in the last 3 months and each time we almost hit a dark hulled unlit boat. The new LED lights are much brighter and easier to distinguish from street lights because of their 'whiteness', we have the Orca mast-head light and we will often leave an additional LED deck light on if we feel we are in a vulnerable location.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 24-11-2009, 12:16   #24
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i use a kerosene anchor lamp with fresnel lens---visible to over 3 miles--i checked it out--and my home depot but not really-outlet store 4-6 dollar garden lights work just as well if not better--i use them also---especially when i am in a mooring field or out somewhere no one allegedly goes--there is a russell purduk in every locale......yes i did speel his name wrong on porpoise.....LOL....yes i do has speel chick.....
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Old 24-11-2009, 14:08   #25
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
And if you are in dangerous waters outside of the USA, you show no anchor lights at all, as this signals to the pirates that a "fresh target" is available. Locals never show any lights at night.
Jee - it would make me equally smile as I wonder where some of these ideas come from.

In most places around the globe you stand more chance of an accident, or an argument with fellow cruisers, or a visit from officials, then you would find youself hidden from 'pirates' by not showing anchor lights.

And there is no limit on the number of lights shown at anchor as some others have correctly pointed out.

If you end up as illuminated as a cruise liner or perhaps a warship it may indeed create some confusion - but it would be unlikely you'll get rammed or a pirate visit.

Maybe best advice is to use lights each time you anchor - but never anchor in dangerous wates.

Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at
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