Join Date: Nov 2009
Thanked 28 Times in 27 Posts
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I just replaced my masthead anchor light (and mast wiring) last summer. I opted for an incandescent light, not because it was much cheaper, but because I didn't want an LED at the top of the mast.
We had a lightning strike last summer and had lost all of our electronics and other stuff that had semiconductors, including all of our internal LED lighting. Most of my remaining incandescents survived. In a direct hit, all bets are off, but with a nearby strike an incandescent anchor light is more likely to survive and save me a trip to the top of the mast.
I agree with Cameraderie regarding the cruising scene in the Caribbean. My experience is only from the Spanish Virgins to Antigua, but we have seldom used an anchor light. If you need to be seen, a removable light that you plug into a DC outlet (like a cigarette lighter socket) and place lower on the boat makes sense.
I also have a portable anchor light that I hoist about 10 ft off the deck between the forestay and the mast. It is more visible than one placed in the cockpit.